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June 2021 - News Letter

Updated: Oct 7, 2021


Dear Legionnaires, Spouses, and Friends,

This past weekend, the Department of North Carolina held its annual convention, in Raleigh. While there are new challenges facing veterans daily, one thing remained evident – The American Legion stands ready to support Veterans in every clime and place. We have a new District, Division, and Department Commander – all of whom I believe will lead our department strongly in the future.

At the Convention our Post was recognized as having the best newsletter. This is no small feat, and I would like to thank our Historian, Greg Ciesielski, for the work he does to make our newsletter shine.

During the Convention, two Posts in our District were closed. There are veterans in need of assistance and a home, and we now have two less Posts to serve them. This is a tremendous opportunity for Post #539 to fill the gap. I cannot encourage everyone enough to reach out to their neighbors, friends, and acquaintances. Invite them to a meeting. Welcome them home.

Our May poppy drive yielded $1,000 in donations – a number we should all be very proud of! This money will go towards our veteran service fund, to help veterans in need in the local area. Thank you to each Legionnaire that volunteered, your dedication to this Post is why we succeed.

At our June meeting, we welcome District Commander John Sotirkys, who will swear in our newly elected Executive Committee. This is an exciting time, as we not only continue the incredible programs that have been established, but work towards creating new programming to attract more members to our Post. I would like to congratulate each individual who was elected during the May meeting. I am eager to get to work and look forward to seeing what this team accomplishes!

Our upcoming meeting is open not only to Legionnaires, but their family and friends as well. Please come ready to eat, as Moore’s BBQ, desserts, and refreshments will be provided during our meeting. The bar will be open as well (reminder – cash bar). I encourage you to bring a friend, and I look forward to joining with each of you in fellowship Wednesday evening.

Semper Fidelis!

Liz Hartman Commander

Official Publication of the American Legion, Whitehurst-Ware Post 539, New Bern NC

American Legion Post 539

Officers 2021-2022

Commander: Liz Hartman

1st Vice Comm.: Mark Sandvigen

2nd Vice Comm.: David Hamill

Adjutant: VACANT

Judge Advocate: Bob Brinson

Service Officer: VACANT

Financial Officer: Jim Robinson

Historian: Greg Ciesielski

Chaplain: Archie Assadourian

Sergeant-at-Arms: Roy Grubb

Asst. Sergeant-at-Arms: VACANT

Immediate Past Commander: Dick Seale

NJROTC: Dick Seale

Facebook contact: Liz Hartman

Member at Large - Dave Nelson

Member at Large - Bud Van Slyke

Webmaster: Gary Guodace

Calendar of Events - June

June - PTSD Awareness Month

6 June 2021 - D-Day

9-13 June 2021 NC AL Dept Convention

12 June 2021 - Women Veterans Day

13-19 June 2021 - National Flag Week

14 June 2021 - US Army Birthday

14 June 2021 - US Flag Day

16 June 2021 - POST Meeting

20 June 2021 - Father’s Day

20-26 June 2021 - Tar Heel Boys State Program

23 June 2021 - Coast Guard Auxiliary Birthday

27 June 2021 - PTSD Awareness Day



National Commander: Bill Oxford

Department Commander: Jim Quinlan

Division II Commander: Chris Smith

District 6 Commander: John D. Sotirskys, II


Whitehurst-Ware American Legion Post 539

1822-6 South Glenburnie Rd., Suite 204 New Bern, NC 28562

Post Phone - 252-772-4327


First Vice-Commander Reports

Dear Legionnaires, Spouses, and Friends,

Legionnaires, in our post-Covid world, it is time for a little house cleaning and tidying up. We need you to update your account to assist both Post 539 and the American Legion in having records that adequately reflect our membership, service, and periods of service (Vietnam, Panama, Bosnia, Iraq, etc.). These records are used for everything from lobbying Congress to assisting our members with discount programs. This is easy, it takes less than 5 minutes to logon, go to your account, and verify or update your information.

Here are the steps:

Go to Login

<Locate> MY INFORMATION (top of left hand column)

<Click> on each topic, such as Name & Demographics

<Click> <Edit> next to each category

Save once you are done.

Due to restrictions around personally identifiable information, we cannot do this for you; only you can update your account. Thank you in advance as your help is very much appreciated.


Veteran of the Year and Lifetime Achievement.

Each year during the Veterans Luncheon, we present the Veteran of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards to two deserving veterans in Craven County. We are looking for your input for 2021. Many veterans went above and beyond during the lockdowns over the past year and a half, we would like to recognize them at this year’s luncheon. If you have someone that you know is deserving, please contact me, at or call (703) 434-0834 to get the ball rolling.

Recognition does not have to be one huge item, it could be a thousand little ones. For example, working at the food bank, volunteer work across multiple organizations, etc., being an advocate for legislative action, etc. You know these people because they are your friends and fellow service members.

For God and Country,

Mark Sandvigen

First Vice-Commander

Whitehurst-Ware Post 539

“We do not live in Viet Nam; Viet Nam lives in us.”

“The most notable fact is that 2.7 million Americans actually served in the Vietnam Theater of war. In the last census nearly 14 million Americans claimed they served in Vietnam. Four out of five are lying. I wonder why?”

Vietnam Facts vs Fiction.

For over 30 years many Vietnam veterans...seldom spoke of Vietnam, except with other veterans. These past five years I joined hundreds of thousands who believe it is high time truth be told about the Vietnam War and the people who served there. It's time the American people learn that the United States military did not lose the War, and that a surprisingly high number of people who claim to have served there, in fact, DID NOT. As Americans, support the men and women involved in the War on Terrorism, the mainstream media are once again working tirelessly to undermine their efforts and force a psychological loss or stalemate for the United States. We cannot stand by and let the media do to today's warriors what they did to us 35 years ago. Below are some assembled facts most readers will find interesting. It isn't a long read, but it will...I guarantee each you some things you did not know about the Vietnam War and those who served, fought, or died there. Please share it with those with whom you communicate.

Capt. Marshal Hanson, U.S.N.R (Ret.), Capt. Scott Beaton, Statistical Source Vietnam War Facts: Facts, Statistics, Fake Warrior Numbers, and Myths Dispelled. 9,087,000 (Million) military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975. 2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation. 261 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

1. The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.

2. 58,148 were killed in Vietnam

3. 75,000 were severely disabled

4. 23,214 were 100% disabled

5. 5,283 lost limbs

6. 1,081 sustained multiple amputations

7. Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21

8. 11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old

9. Of those killed, 17,539 were married

10. Average age of men killed: 23.1 years

11. Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

12. The oldest man killed was 62 years old

13. As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

14. 97% of Vietnam Veterans were honorably discharged

15. 91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served

16. 74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome

17. Vietnam Veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups 18. Vietnam Veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.

19. 87% of Americans hold Vietnam Veterans in high esteem.

20. There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group (Source: Veterans Administration Study)

21. Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes

22. 85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.

23. Interesting Census Stats and "Been There" Wanabees:

A. 1,713,823 of those who actually served in Vietnam were still alive as of August 1995 (census figures).

B. During that same census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country was: 9,492,958

24. As of the current census taken during August 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between '95 and '00. That's 390 per day. During this census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE Vietnam vets are not.

25. The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S. military personnel as having served in-country. Corrections and confirmations to this errored index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S.. military personnel confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible 24/7/365).

26. Isolated atrocities committed by American soldiers produced torrents of outrage from anti-war critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any media mention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy.

27. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations. From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and schoolteachers. - Nixon Presidential Papers.

Common Myths Dispelled:

#1. Myth: Common Belief is that most Vietnam veterans were drafted. Fact: 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers

#2. Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population. Fact: Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group.

#3. Myth: Common belief is that a disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War. Fact: 86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book "All That We Can Be," said they analyzed the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam "and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia, a figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time, and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war. ”

#4 Myth: Common belief is that the war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated. Fact: Servicemen who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers. Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better. Here are statistics from the Combat Area Casualty File (CACF) as of November 1993. The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall): Average age of 58,148 killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years. (Although 58,169 names are in the Nov. 93 database, only 58,148 have both event date and birth date. Event date is used instead of declared dead date for some of those who were listed as missing in action) Deaths Average Age Total: 58,148, 23.11 years, Enlisted: 50,274, 22.37 years, Officers: 6,598, 28.43 years, Warrants: 1,276, 24.73 years, E1 525, 20.34 years, 11B MOS: 18,465, 22.55 years.