The nation’s largest network of wartime veterans, American Legion has 12,000 posts across the United States, according to the American Legion website.
Frisco is home to Post 178, one of the largest in Texas that serves Frisco and surrounding communities, including McKinney and Plano. Each post’s goal is to serve community veterans through financial aid, advocacy and other forms of support. Among the many programs, the post provides the Color and Honor Guard at community events, mentors youth and advocates for patriotism and citizenship, per the website.
Fred Rogers is a founding member of Post 178, a U.S. Air Force veteran and serves as a resource to the post’s leadership.
“Our membership is our lifeblood,” Rogers said. “We’ve grown from 15 members when we started in January 2014 to more than 600 members today who represent all branches of service and all wartime eras since [World War II].”
Ed Reed, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and vice commander of public relations, is responsible for fostering public support of the post’s mission through the promotion of its programs.
Reed says the community can help this post of the American Legion by spreading awareness of its programs, which helps boost participation. Donations are also critical to the post’s mission, Rogers said.
“Post 178 operates on an extremely frugal budget. When we started, one thing we all agreed on was that 100% of a donor’s gift would go to the item or program specified,” he said.
Rogers also shared that he is particularly proud of the post’s youth programs, which, in his words, “change lives.”
Years ago, when Rogers learned that most children are not exposed to civics until their senior year in high school, he said he knew the post needed to develop youth programs that teach responsible citizenship.
To that end, the post sponsors an Oratorical Scholarship Contest each year, an academic speaking challenge for high school students that encourages deeper knowledge and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution. The post also sponsors Frisco students in the Boys State leadership program and supports local scout troops.
The level of active participation is up to each member.
American Legion Post 178
The Grove at Frisco Commons
8300 McKinney Road, Frisco
Effective Oct. 18, 2021, membership meetings are held on the third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 16 | Veterans appreciation event
The event will feature a keynote veteran speaker and serve to honor veterans. 11:30 a.m. $50 minimum donation to attend. Embassy Suites, 7600 John Q. Hammons Drive, Frisco
Dec. 11 | Oratorical Scholarship Contest
High school students under age 20 are invited to participate in this contest for a chance to earn a scholarship. 9 a.m. Free. The Grove at Frisco Commons main auditorium, 8300 McKinney Road, Frisco
Dec. 18 | Wreaths Across America
Post 178 will coordinate the recruiting of volunteers to assist in the distribution and placement of wreaths on each grave at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery. Times and other details are to be determined.