Last month both Bill and I received letters from the American Legion Post 28, of which we are members, requesting donations to fix their roof.
I thought it was an odd request since the American Legion Post 28 is the fourth largest American Legion in the United States. Whenever we're down there (we only go to put our name on a ledger to reserve a ride to the Veterans Medical Center in Wilmington - we would spend more time at their facility in Millsboro but smoking is permitted on the premises because they are a private club and we can't take the second hand smoke) we note that the parking lot if full and the facility itself is full, with veterans' playing pool, hanging out at the bar (yes Virginia, veterans hang out at the bar at even 10 AM in the morning - private club don't you know), and eating at their restaurant facilities.
|Photo I took of the American Legion Post the time I tripped on that yellow strip and fractured my arm.|
I correctly assumed that this American Legion post was flush with money. They have several fund raisers during the year. Our membership costs $39 a year. And, they have gambling on the premises and you know that the house always wins when there is gambling.
So it was with some puzzlement that I read this letter from the American Legion begging for money. What really caught my eye was the sentence:
"The why of the lack of funds is not important at this point."
WTF? (excuse the French)
My first thought was someone has embezzled money from the American Legion. This coming from me who adult working career was accounting and control in the trust department of several different banks. Yes, I was the guy who made sure the debits and credits matched. My last jobs at several different banks I was brought in as a consultant to reconcile out of balance situations. And in doing so I often uncovered "sticky fingers" that took advantage of those out of balance situations. So of course my first thought reading "The why of the lack of funds is not important at this point."
SOMEONE STOLE THEIR MONEY.
Yesterday, while I was on the computer, Bill appeared at my home office door with his iPad and said "Look at this Ron." Of course I was irritated being interrupted from my online Scrabble game but these days I try to be more patient, as people are often patient with me.
This is what I saw on Bill's iPad:
Yep. Five officers of the American Legion Post 28 were charged with STEALING $641,000!
Actually, there were six of them stealing, one has since died after stealing $218,040.
Folks, I cannot emphasize enough how disappointed I am in this development. Actually I was sick to my stomach when I read it. With all the thievery going on today; from the top 1% taking even more from the rapidly disappearing middle class, to lying politicians, to identity thieves, to our outrageously expensive medical system, to harassment by telemarketing calls, to . . . . . . well, so much more. The one institution I could count on was the American Legion, especially this American Legion post which gave us free rides (Bill and I always paid them anyway) to the VA in Wilmington
I am reminded of that old Johnny Carson/Ed McMahon show before Johnny hit it big time with the "Tonight Show."
"Who Do You Trust?"
Header photo on this blog Bill took of me butching it up by the tank outside the American Legion Post 28 last summer