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American Legion Post 159 Serves Incarcerated Vets

American Legion Post 159 Serves Incarcerated Vets

Several members of American Legion Post 159 spent their morning serving pancakes to 29 incarcerated veterans at the Belmont Correctional Institution (BeCI).  Warden David Gray expressed how pleased he was with the American Legion members taking their time to give back to an often forgotten population of veterans.  “Make no mistake about it, these guys made mistakes in life but before they made those mistakes, they were veterans who served our country,” said Gray.  American Legion Post Commander Larry Barnes echoed those words by saying, “We wouldn’t give up on these guys if they were in a homeless shelter or a treatment facility.  We certainly are not going to give up on them because they made a mistake and ended up in prison.  These men fought for their country first.”   

BeCI and American Legion Post 159 have been community partners for well over two years now.  Belmont Incarcerated Veterans Organization (BIVO) has donated over 2,500 dollars to the post through food sales and other fund raising activities.  BeCI staff and inmates have completed over 700 hours of community service including projects to repair seating at the post, the refinishing post signage, the donation of corn hole boards to be auctioned off and the donation of benches to help improve the post. The partnership will continue with efforts to help improve the post’s landmark sign in the near future.    “Working with Post 159 is one of the highlights of my job,” said BIVO staff advisor Mike Kolvek.  “Post 159 veterans have been very generous with their time and energy.  They come to monthly meetings and treat the incarcerated veterans with respect and dignity,” said Kolvek.  

Pictured are Post 159 members Cheryl Barnes, Betty Perkins, Larry Barnes, Marty Martin and Rick Johnson along with BeCI Major Ryan Clark and BIVO staff advisor Mike Kolvek.  

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