The 61 Annual Turlock Memorial Day will take place on Monday from 9:30 a.m. where Admiral Mike Seward of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5059 in Turlock will speak. A luncheon at the Post will follow at 1405 East Linwood Avenue.
While Memorial Day allows locals to take a moment to thank veterans for their service and sacrifice, several veteran organizations continue to contribute year-round to the community. From supporting sober graduate nights to hosting flag retirement ceremonies, veteran societies such as the American Legion support and further the goals of the community through their financial contributions.
Founded in 1919, the American Legion Rex Ish Post 88 is named after Rex Ish, the first World War I causality from Turlock. Originally downtown, the Post moved to its current day location at 75 Bothun Road in Turlock about 40 years ago. Featuring a kitchen, meeting hall and bar, Post 88 offers veterans a place to gather and socialize.
“It gives me a place to go. It’s a place of comradeship. We like to give each other a hard time,” said Commander Wardee Bruce, a Navy veteran who served for 30 years.
Throughout the year volunteers from the American Legion and its affiliates, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans, spend time raising money to contribute to community needs. One of the most popular fundraisers is the beer booth at the Stanislaus County Fair located near the Budweiser Variety Free Stage. “We take 10 percent of all the money that we make over those 12 days and give it to the city of Turlock,” said Bruce.
The American Legion also makes several other charitable donations including supporting a local animal shelter, junior rodeos, Boy Scouts troops, little league teams, sober grad nights and more. The American Legion also teamed up with its affiliates to purchase more than 15 flags to replace tattered ones at the Turlock Memorial Park. The circle of flags in front of the new Police and Fire Departments building in Turlock is also largely in thanks to the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans $30,000 donation.