LATHROP – Charles McGonegal is looking to boost membership at the Sharpe General Depot American Legion Post 632.
He’s the commander of the veterans organization based in Lathrop. At last count, Post 632 had 66 members. But those numbers may have dipped.
“Most of our members served in World War II or the Korean War,” said McGonegal, who has served as the post commander for the past two years.
He indicated that some have since passed on.
“We’re now working to attract new members,” he said Friday while preparing for the Memorial Day events at Manuel Valverde Park.
Post 632 is inviting newcomers to regular functions such as the 6 p.m. gathering on the second Friday of each month at the Metro Air Park, 1542 Northrop St. (Stockton Metropolitan Airport), or the monthly potluck from 7 to 9 p.m. (same location) on the third Friday of each month.
“Bring a dish,” McGonegal said. “If not, just come on by and we’ll fix you up.”
The American Legion is a veterans organization that provides financial, social, and emotional support for those who served in the armed forces and their dependents.
“We’re open to anyone who served in the armed forces and living within the Lathrop community,” McGonegal said.
Post 632 has been existence for about 65 years, with its prior home at the Sharpe Army Depot south gate since 1951.
In 1970s, the local American Legion moved to the World War II era mess hall on the Sharpe Army Depot Field Annex.
McGonegal is veteran of the Vietnam War. He was once stationed aboard an LST (landing ship tank) along the coast of Vietnam for 45 days.
McGonegal grew up in the Alameda County town of Sunol, moving to Alaska, where he lived for 20 years.
He came to Lathrop to be close to his aging parents about four years ago. As for the American Legion, McGonegal has been an active member for the past 20 years. Besides the Veterans Memorial Wall at Valverde Park, the Legion is also active in community events such as Lathrop Days, the barbecue competition, and grand openings.
In addition, Post 632 has been active in events hosted by Lathrop High’s Junior Reserve Training Officers Corps program and the Brown Bag Day at the Lathrop Senior Center. For more information, contact McGonegal at 209.482.3669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.