Post 80 bestows honors

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 18, 2003

When the American Legion, Post 80 gathered for its annual meeting Monday night in Andalusia, not only was the spirit of America present, but the spirit of "Americanism" was in full display.

As the night got underway, the Legionnaires were honored by the Post 80 baseball team for the continuous support of the Legion in helping give the young men an activity to showcase their athletic prowess.

"We've sponsored a baseball team for two years in a row now," said Commander Byron Nichols. "The team won the district, and they're going to state."

Throughout the season, the team worked hard to honor the memory of former member, Michael Couch, who died recently. The team raised $6,826.38 in the name of Post 80 for the Michael Couch Memorial Scholarship Fund at LBW Community College. To show their appreciation to the Legion, the baseball team, along with assistant coach Chris Copeland presented the Legionnaires with a plaque to commemorate the year.

In a surprise for the night, Adjutant J.T. Raley was bestowed several honors from the state American Legion and the City of Andalusia.

Raley was honored by Sr. Vice Commander Byron White and Deputy Adjutant Braxton Bridges for more than 30 years of service to the United States - as a soldier in W.W.II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War and now as a member of the American Legion.

Andalusia City Council member Harry Hinson was also on hand to present Raley with a proclamation proclaiming the day J.T. Raley Day in Andalusia.

"I'm completely surprised and speechless," Raley said. "This is a great honor."

Commander Nichols then presented the annual report to the members, announcing the numerous good works Post 80 had conducted recently.

"We've awarded more the $52,000 in scholarships, sent 23 boys to Boy's State and sponsored the baseball team," Nichols said. "That shows the work and dedication we've all put in through our activities, including the bingo games. I thank you all and congratulate you all."

With all of that hard work and community service, Post 80 was awarded a Certificate of Recognition at the Alabama State Convention this year.

"We were recognized for our work, and it's something we should all be proud of," Nichols said.

Following the presentation, new officers were installed. They include, Jack Horton, Aubrey Owens, Byron Nichols (now past-commander), Marlon Bass - Commander, Willie Ed Peters, Ben Reynolds, J.T. Raley and Mack Williams.