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Loyal to the Legion

Sid and Louise Carter ascend to higher posts in their respective American Legion organizations

by: LORI KIMBEL/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Louise and Sid Carter have long been involved in the American Legion Auxiliary and American Legion, respectively.

Sid and Louise Carter of Prineville will soon be traveling to Nashville, Tenn., to represent Oregon at the National American Legion Convention.
   Sid, who has been a member of the American Legion for 24 years, was recently elected Vice Commander for the State of Oregon. Louise has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for 13 years and was elected Auxiliary President for the State of Oregon in June.
   Although he is Vice Commander of the state, as well as Veteran's Service Officer, Sid claims, "There is no rank among us, we all serve as equals. Groups come together and work as a family. There is a lot of mutual helpfulness."
   After Sid serves this year as Vice Commander, he plans to run for Commander next year.
    Both Sid and Louise have held all offices at the local level at one time or another and are committed to the organization. During this next year they will be appointing committee chairmen, and will be involved in leadership and teaching. They will visit each of the 93 units in Oregon, and Louise, who has already been installed at the state level, will be installed at the national convention in August.
   "My project for the year will be to raffle off the quilt I am making," said Louise. The money raised will go toward something for the Veteran's Administration Hospital or the Veteran's Home.
   "The primary focus of the American Legion is to uphold and defend the constitution through their belief in God and Country. We get to socialize with people who said they'd die defending the Constitution," said Sid.
   The American Legion was formed in 1919 in Paris, France by a group of veterans. The group wanted to help fellow veterans who were less fortunate than themselves, veterans, widows and children who were victims of the ravages of war. Since that time, 85 years ago, the American Legion has continued to help out veterans as well as their communities, state and nation.
   The local post has 400 American Legion members and 240 Auxiliary members. Our local members supply the flags at the Y at the beginning of town, along with the flags for the rodeo, the races and the fair.
   The local American Legion and Auxiliary are involved in a variety of ways throughout Prineville. They work closely with the NJROTC, and are involved with the boy scouts as well as the girl scouts. Each year the American Legion holds an Americanism essay contest for students. They were involved in raising funds for the war memorial at the park, and are involved with the POW/MIA. In addition to all this, the hospital has a list of names, from the American Legion and Auxiliary who they can call in case of a disaster.
   Since 9/11 the American Legion and Auxiliary have held a 9/11 program on the steps of the Crook County Courthouse. They also hold a candlelight vigil at the monument to help raise awareness of what our service men and women have done for our country.
   The American Legion also sends high school juniors to `Boys State' and `Girls State'. Here juniors from all over the state spend a week together learning how to run their own government. They set up a city government, a county government, along with a state government. The students then hold elections, have debates, and create bills that actually end up on the Governor's desk.
   During the holidays the American Legion and Auxiliary hold a Christmas auction. This is their largest fund raiser in the area. The money they collect is spent in several ways, including buying items for the veteran's hospital, the veteran's home and buying gifts for the tree of joy.
   Recently Sid and Louise were involved in arranging a dinner for a woman and her five children. This woman's husband was stationed in Iraq, and the children had no idea their dad would be joining them for dinner. It is situations like this that keep Sid and Louise involved.
   "We get to meet so many people," said Louise. "Being part of the Auxiliary is a lot of work, but it is very rewarding."
   "It makes you feel good," adds Sid.