THE AMERICAN LEGION RIDERS
Cumming Post 307 Chapter
American Legion Riders support Americanism, Veterans, and Children and Youth programs by raising donations from their frequent rides. One of the fastest-growing and most highly visible of the many programs offered by The American Legion, The American Legion Riders are a very diverse group and so are the programs that they support. American Legion Rider activities are far too many to mention in this space, but this site is dedicated to maintaining some of the most recent events to highlight their outstanding contributions to God and Country.
CONTACT GAPost307@gmail.com for details about how to join The American Legion Riders.
RECENT LEGION RIDER ACTIVITIES
PISTOL RAFFLE PRESENTATION
Twenty-five year old Taylor Alenne of Lawrenceville, GA. was the lucky person who won our ALA/ALR 309 Pistol Raffle. He bought the winning ticket leaving work on Friday afternoon, the day before the drawing. He stuck his ticket away and promptly left on vacation to visit his brother
WILLOW WOOD NURSING HOME ICE CREAM SOCIAL
Sunday April 26th saw nine American Legion Riders from Georgia's 9th District visit the Willow Wood Nursing Home in Flowery Branch. Gallons of ice cream had been previously delivered to the site and keep frozen by the Willow Wood Staff. The Riders representing the Duluth 251, Buford 127 and Cumming 307 ALR Chapters entered the facility and made right for the dining room where the Homes Residents were just finishing their lunch. Retrieving the ice cream from the kitchen we then assumed the role of Waiters and Waitresses and served all present their preference in flavors. Word reached others in the facility of our presence and soon the dining room was standing room only. A good number of the recipients are Veterans and one of our number announced each one by name and branch of service. Upon and after serving we talked with all, Veterans or not and were rewarded by tales and stories of their past(s). One US Army Veteran who's job it was to work on the M26 Heavy Tank during the Korean War relayed to me a list of the motorcycles that he had once owned and stories of riding conditions and his Motorcycle mishaps in the 40's and 50's. I always come away from these feel good Missions with a sense of doing something positive and a little thought in the back of my mind that hopes that if I am ever in the same position some day some caring soul will sit and listen to my adventures of days gone by. Thank you to all that gave their time today to this previously scheduled 9th District. There will be more scheduled for the future. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
SGT. TIMOTHY A. YEAST, USAF
It was a clear, warm and sunny day in North Georgia when thirty six motorcycles carrying 42 Riders left the Woodstock Funeral Home and Escorted US Air Force Desert Shield/Storm Veteran to his final resting place at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA. Timothy was only 48 years old when he lost his battle with cancer on April 18th. A total of forty five Riders were comprised of a large number of American Steel MC members from the Nashville TN and Saint Augustine FL Chapters, to which Timothy was a detached member not living close enough to a Chapter location. Other participants included Patriot Guard, Christian Motorcycle Association, and American Legion Riders from the Jasper 149 and Cumming 307 Posts, who stood in an Honor Flagline during the Full Military Honors Service, while fifty-nine members of his Family and Friends observed. A civilian clergy performed the Eulogy while the Air Force Honors Team carried out the Flag Ceremony and presented our Nations symbol to the next of Kin and rendered Taps. Rest in Peace Sgt. Yeast. We who are your Brothers appreciate and will not forget your sacrifices in the First Gulf War. Thank you to all that came out today to Honor this young Veteran. With special thanks to PGR RCIC Craig Womer for his leadership and Georgia Motor Escort, Woodstock, Holly Springs and Canton Police Departments, and the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office for ensuring the safety of the convoy of bikes, hearse and cages through the I-575, GA. 20 corridor. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
APRIL 13 GENERAL MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM FEATURED POST 307 ALR
Fifteen Chapter 307 Riders stepped up and participated in the ALR Program presented at the April General Membership Meeting. As a Group, they not only enlightened our Legion, Auxiliary, SAL, and 9th District sisters and brothers on what they do as a Chapter, but described in detail their core values and how they go about achieving their goals. Additionally, the camaraderie displayed provided evidence of how they function as a family unit. They put on an excellent presentation and added fun to the program by ad libbing, which further reflected their close-nit relationship. The reaction from the audience was not only positive but has strengthened the ALR connection with the Post as a whole. We're proud to be associated with men and women of such high standards and moral character.
BOYS STATE INTERVIEWS
This has been an absolutely amazing week for me (03/23 thru 27). As part of the Cumming Post 307 Boys State selection team we have interviewed boys from all five Forsyth County High Schools. As we all watch the news or read the papers every day our faith in America's Youth is sorely tested and one begins to think that there is not much hope for our Country's future. This week for me has brought about an optimism of possibilities in our destiny yet to come. The youth that I have conversed with have displayed their faith in God and Country, a confidence in their abilities and a willingness to step up and be a part of this Nations providence. We just might have a chance after all. I would definitely recommend and encourage all to get involved in this Program at any of it's levels. I would also like to personally thank Post 307's Boys State Chairman, Reggie Sikes, for this opportunity and team members Ron Meier, Larry Havenhill, Ed Miller, and Larry Strong for their assistance and support. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
H.D. SCHULER, US ARMY
Saturday March 21st was an overcast average temperatures day in Northern Georgia when Murray County said their final goodbyes to US Army Korean War Veteran Sgt Howard David Shuler who had been Awarded numerous decorations including two Bronze Stars for his Service on the Korean Peninsula . Nine Patriot Guard and American Legion Riders led by PGR RCIC Craig "Crayons" Womer stood in an Honor Flagline at the Shawn Chapman Funeral Home in Chatsworth during Services which included ALR from Chapters Duluth 251, Powder Springs 294, Jasper 149 and Cumming 307. Afterwards four MC Mounted American Legion Riders from Duluth 251 and Cumming 307 bracketed the Hearse and Escorted Sgt Shuler the 35 miles to the Scourgetown Baptist Church Cemetery in Gilmer County. The Full Military Honors Ceremony was conducted by the North Georgia Honor Guard which Members are comprised of American Legion, VFW, DAV, and Marine Corps League local associates. In addition to the Rifle Salute and Taps they always include the "Reasons Our National Symbol is folded 13 times" before presenting it to the next of kin. Sgt Shuler, from todays turnout it is very evident how much you were admired, Your Time and Service on this earth will not be forgotten. Thank You to All that participated today with special gratitude to the Chatsworth PD, Murray County S.O., Ellijay PD and Gilmer County S.O. for insuring our safe passage for such a lengthy procession from point A to point B. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
CLAYTON VARESI, USN
On the warmest day of the year so far (Monday 03/16/15) American Legion Riders from five Posts in two Districts Staged at Ingram's Funeral Home in Cumming, GA. to Escort US Navy Vietnam Veteran Clayton Varesi to his final resting place at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA. Veteran Varesi's Family had been assisted in this final endeavor by efforts of both Ingram's Funeral Home and Members of Cumming American Legion Post 307. Seventeen Motorcycles (four assigned as corners on the Hearse) with eighteen Riders, one ALR Flagwagon and a small contingent of Family and Post 307 Officers completed this 30 mile Escort with the assistance of two Georgia Motor Escort professionals, and LEO's from Forsyth and Cherokee County Sheriff's Departments along with the Canton Police Department. Upon arriving we set up a twenty three person Honor Flagline at Shelter #1 assisted by four Patriot Guard Riders that stayed to lend a hand after a prior Mission of their own. The Service was started by two guitars with a rendition of "Amazing Grace" followed by Eulogy and Prayer by a Civilian Clergy. The Full Military Honors Service was conducted by the Veterans Alliance Honor Guard who rendered both the Rifle Salute and Taps along with folding and presenting of the American Flag to the next of kin which was witnessed by a small Family delegation and Officers of Cumming Post 307 including Post Commander Randy McGhee, Member at Large John Arant and Assistant Sgt. at Arms SSGT John Archer. Rest in Peace Shipmate Varesi, your service to our Nation will not be forgotten. Thank you to all that made this a special day today. Officers of the Forsyth and Cherokee County SO's, The Canton PD and Otto and Dan of Georgia Motor Escorts who made sure of our safe journey along with participants of Ingram's Funeral Home, Legion Post 307 Officers, The Veterans Alliance especially their Bugler who always holds that last note of Taps until a tear forms in my eye, Our PGR Brothers and in particular American Legion Riders from Chapters 77 Conyers and 233 Loganville of the 10th District and 149 Jasper, 127 Buford and 307 Cumming of the 9th District. "RIDERS LEAD THE WAY". Ranger Bill
JACK STAPLETON, US ARMY
Monday February 23rd, 2015 was one of those days that started out fair and then the temperatures continued to drop throughout the day. But that didn't deter fourteen patriotic Riders from Honoring US Army Korean War Veteran Jack Stapleton who also served 50 continuous years as a Legionnaire, 28 of those with Statham Post 163. As the Flagline ringed the gravesite at the (Old) United Methodist Church of Bethlehem Cemetery a Civilian Clergy performed the Ceremony. Afterwards his Daughter gave her Father the ultimate praise by stating "If he gave you his word, he was good for it". The Service was concluded with a rendition of the 23rd Psalm and then Commander Ricky Baugh of Statham Post 163 was given the Honor of Presenting Our Nations Symbol to the next of kin. Rest in Peace, Jack, You have not only served Our Great Nation but you have set our standards high. Thank you for all that took part in todays Mission, Riders from the Christian Motorcycle Association, Abate of Georgia and American Legion Riders from Chapters 163 Statham, 233 Loganville, 77 Conyers and 307 Cumming. The picture posted is of Al "Dogman" Beeman at todays mission. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
COMMAND SARGEANT MAJOR T. O. HALL, U.S. Army, Retired
Today I'm going to do something a little different and that is to piggy back off of the AAR submitted by our 10th District Chaplain Pat Buchanan, who wrote: It was a cold cloudy and windy morning (Tuesday 02/10), one of those days you look out and want to get back under the covers. Yet 25 Riders from PGR, ABATE, CMA, Post 307 Cumming, Post 56 Jefferson, Post 233 Loganville, Post 77 Conyer, Post 163 Statham, and George Hollinger Flag Wagon, all headed to Post 56 to Honor one of their own: Tile O. Hall, CSM, US Army Retired. The skies, cold and wind remained Awful until we reached the northern edge of Winder. Then, just as if the Lord said, "Enough, no more sorrow, no grief!", the skies cleared to a beautiful blue, the air warmed by the bright sun. The gloom of the weather was removed and God reminded us of his awesome power to Honor a Great man who dedicated his life to his country, community and his fellow veterans. Oh yes, this was no time for grief or sorrow; it was truly a time of celebration. The Army Honor Guard provided a spectacular 21 gun Salute and a real bugle gave a perfect rendition of Taps. The Folding of the Flag kept every one's eyes at attention. All of this is a way Our Lord says, "Thanks T. O.", as the CSM was called, "Your job is done. You protected your country and trained your younger troops to a razors edge. The bell tolls come home my child it is time to rest." What a beautiful day it was!!! Now, I will add that we first stood an hour long Flagline at the Evans Funeral Home in Jefferson and then walked about 60 yards to the graveyard where we once again stood in Honor surrounding the Internment Site. At the end of the Full Military Honors Ceremony ten persons placed roses upon T. O.'s casket, nine white and one red. White Roses evoke Purity, Humility and Innocence and are placed by close relatives and friends. The Red Rose conveys Love, Respect and Courage and are placed by persons with an intimate relationship with the deceased, in this case his Loving Wife. The only other thing that I would add to Pat's excellent report is that we also had two members of a new Veterans Riding Group join us in this effort, the Military Veterans of Georgia and independent, non-affiliated Riders Group out of Winder, GA. We welcome them and hope to see their presence at future Missions. Rest in Peace T.O. Only God and your Family know of the sacrifices that you have endured in your service to our Great Nation. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
RIDE FOR ALLY
Saturday January 31st, 2015 was a red (purple) letter day for ten year old Alyssa "Ally" Tucker. Suffering from Rhabdomyosarcoma a rare childhood cancer in which the treatments are no longer viable she is embracing life and enjoying the time she has left with her loving Family and Friends. Today was Purple Prom Day and she was surprised when a Limo along with a contingent of Bikers showed up at her front door to take two more items off her "Wish List". I received a phone call Thursday night at 6:45 pm and posted my first Short Notice Mission Request at 9:30 pm that evening. What happens when you put out a Mission Request to the Biker Community in North Georgia on such short notice? You wind up with 80 motorcycles and over 100 people to make this day special for, as her parents refer her to "Our Brave, Young Warrior". Showing up on this rapid response Mission were Independent Riders, Patriot Guard Riders, Abate, AmVets, Nam Knights, Tun Tavern Marines and American Legion Riders from the 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th Districts, along with several Department Officers, including the DOG Chaplain, DOG Sgt-At-Arms and Area 1 Assistant Director. Let us not forget the 3 Georgia Motor Escort and 1 DeKalb Motor Escort Professionals who donated their day to ensure a safe ride all the way to the final destination. As our Purple Princess emerged from her home, she was greet by this multitude of well wishers, several of whom gave her mementos to remember this special occasion. The gifts included challenge coins, a parachute cord monogramed "Ally", braided pink bracelet, and a homemade reversible cap with "Frozen" on one side and "Hello Kitty" on the other. As she entered her Limo the procession departed her home and we rumbled through her sub-division as friends and neighbors lined the streets with purple balloons and signs cheering us on. As we approached the I-85 east on ramp, which would take her through Atlanta and to the Prom Destination, 20 of the Bikes along with the Motor Escorts continued on this Escort to make a little girl's wish come true. Seriously, Thank you ALL for making this day special not only for Ally but for her Family and all that love her and for your continued selfless service and sacrifices. I am Proud to be associated with people of your caliber. Special Thanks to the 2 Gwinnett County Sheriff Deputies and 1 Gwinnett County PD Officer for their continued support of our Efforts. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
REMEMBER OUR FALLEN
Remembering Our Fallen is a photo exhibition founded by Patriotic Productions, with a national campaign sponsored by Bellevue University, located in Bellevue, Nebraska, that tours the country in honor of members of the military service who have died from wounds suffered in war zones since September 11, 2001. Patriotic Productions was formed by Bill & Evonne Williams of Omaha with the belief that, "Warriors of the 21st Century are professionals who volunteered to join the United States Armed Forces. They grew up in the shadow of September 11, 2001, a defining moment for most of them. Many have endured multiple deployments and most return home. Some do not. "Remembering Our Fallen" was created to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Its legacy will be that these men and women will never be forgotten and that their names will be remembered and spoken. Speakers from First Data, Bill and Evonne William of Patriotic Productions and Colonel Thomas Carden the newest Adjutant General of the Georgia National Guard all spoke of the importance of Employer Support for our Nations Military and an ESGR (Employer Support for Guard and Reserve) was signed. The most touching moment for me today was when our own Cumming Post 307 2nd Vice Commander Kelly Castell who is also a USNR Commander (O-5) was asked to escort Gold Star Mother Candace King to her sons picture to place a rose. Ryan King 22, of Dallas, Ga. who was assigned to the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died May 1, 2009 near the village of Nishagam, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit. I would like to thank not only those that attended today's Ceremony but First Data Corporation and other Leaders of Industry for their continued support of those who Sacrifice so much Protecting the Freedoms that we all enjoy. I only wish that more of America's workplaces shared that spirit. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
Jb "BEASTY" WHISNANT
Patriot Guard Rider and Assistant Road Captain for the American Legion Riders, Jerry Anthony Jb "Beasty" Whisnant received a Final Goodbye from a host of Family and Friends today. He was called to Heaven at the young age of fifty leaving a large Family including his Wife of seven months, Julie Griffin Whisnant. Three PGR Flag Wagons, two from Georgia and one from South Carolina along with one ALR Flag Wagon supplied the Flags for a 76 person Honor Flagline in front of Flanigan's Funeral Home in Buford, GA. The Chapel during the service was at maximum capacity including an indoor Flagline along it's walls. The Service was conducted by American Legion Cumming ALR Chapter 307 Chaplin Colleen "Spydergirl" Howard who led us in Prayer several times during the Service and played Johnny Cash songs including "Amazing Grace" and "Ghost Riders in the Sky". Several of the Congregation stood and offered Words of Remembrance, 307 Rider Kerry Setzer recited the 23rd Psalm, 307 Rider Dennis Gerard narrated the poem "If Tomorrow Starts Without Me" and I had the Honor of conducting a "Last Call Ceremony" with the assistance of Rider Julie-Ann Whitelaw. Afterward we adjourned to Buford Post 127 for a Guest Reception. We know Brother that you have been reunited with your favorite Harley Davidson "The Purple Beast" and are Riding the Roads of Heaven. Your Life on this Earth has been and inspiration to us all. Thank You to all that came out for this Memorial today. Family, Friends, the Patriot Guard Riders of North Georgia and Western South Carolina and American Legion Riders from Georgia's 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th Districts. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
JB Whisnant's Obituary & Funeral Arrangements.
Jerry Anthony Whisnant, age 50, of Sugar Hill, GA passed away on Saturday, January 10, 2015.
He was preceded in death by his son, Blake Whisnant. He is survived by his wife of seven months, Julie Griffin Whisnant; children, Dustin Whisnant, Acworth, GA, Dalton Whisnant, Acworth, GA, Dylan Whisnant, Kingston, GA, and Scott Whisnant, Lilburn, GA; sister and brother-in-law, Patty and Fernando Castro, Wichita, KS, Ben Whisnant, Wichita, KS, Michael and Pam Whisnant, John Whisnant, KS, and Randall Shane Whisnant, Power Springs, GA; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Mr. Whisnant was born October 28, 1964 in Monroe, GA. He was a graduate of Monroe Area Comprehensive High School and graduated from college with a business degree. He was owner of Custom Painting Company in Lilburn, GA. He was Assistant Road Captain with American Legion Riders and Patriotic Guard Riders.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 10:30AM in the Chapel of Flanigan Funeral Home. The family received visitors at the funeral home on Saturday from 9:30AM until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials were made to American Legion Riders Unit 307, 2135 Shoal Creek Road, Buford, GA 30518.
CPL RICHARD SHAW, US MARINE CORPS
On the coldest day (Thursday 01/08) so far of the Winter of 2014/2015 United States Marine Cpl. Richard Shaw a two tour Vietnam Veteran was laid to rest at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA. With the temps in the mid 20's, a slight breeze and a sky without a single cloud, 27 Patriot Guard Riders, Marine Corps League and American Legion Riders Stood in Honor during the full Military Honors Ceremony conducted by the US Marine Corps Honors team. Sprayed so long ago on foreign soil in the Service of our Nation, Agent Orange finally took it's deadly toll after years of distress and irritation. Thirty two loving members of Family and Friends braved the shear numbing cold inside of Shelter #3 to emotionally say goodbye to one they loved. As most of you know, the playing of Taps is a very moving moment during one of these ceremonies, but it is always significantly more so when the Families sorrow and anguish are prevalent. That was the case today as my wife Lynn and I stood side by side in the Flagline not able to hold back the liquid emotions. Rest in Peace Corporal Shaw, the Lord himself has Welcomed you Home for the last time. Both our Gracie and a member of the Marine Corps League presented mementos to the Family. Thank you to all that participated today and may God bless all that continue to Serve. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill
CHIEF THIGPEN, USN (Ret.)
Today, Wednesday January 7th, 2015, we interred Chief Harry Thigpen, retired US Navy Veteran. He served our Country for over 20 years as a Air Wing Storekeeper. The day was overcast with the temps in the low 30's and with a heavy northwesterly wind. A Dozen Patriot Guard Riders stood in an Honor Flagline, while a full Military Honors Service was conducted by both the US Navy and US Army Honor Teams. The Navy Folded and Presented our National Symbol to the next of kin and the Army Rendered both the Rifle Salute and Taps. A Civilian Clergy conducted the memorial. Witnessed by a large gathering of loved ones, 61 members of Family and Friends endured the weather to say their final goodbyes. RIP Chief Thigpen, Fair Winds and Following Seas. Thank you to all that Stood in Respect. Cumming American Legion Post 307 was represented today. Live/Ride Proud. Ranger Bill