by Terry Rogers
About five years ago, the American Legion Post #3 in Milford sold its building on Rehoboth Boulevard near Milford High School. The funds they received from the building were placed in an interest-bearing account until the post decided what they wanted to do for a meeting location.
“For a while, we met at the Ruritan behind I.G. Burton,” Jeff Crouser, Post Adjutant, said. “It was off the beaten path, so our membership began to fall. It got to the point where we barely had enough for a quorum at meetings. If one person was sick, we couldn’t make decisions. We talked to the Blue Hen VFW Post 6483 and they allowed us to use their facility. Our membership began to grow significantly, to the point we were crowding the VFW. We decided it was time to get our own place with the money we had tucked away.”
The American Legion provides assistance and guidance for veterans, military personnel, their families, and communities in thousands of ways every day around the world. Help comes in the form of personal assistance, cash grants, donated goods, disaster relief, labor, networking, volunteerism, and advocacy. The American Legion’s network of more than 2,000 accredited service officers helps veterans understand their benefits, apply for them, and appeal decisions they dispute. These services are provided free of charge.
Crouser explained that the local organization chose the location in Milford Plaza because of the ample parking, access to handicapped parking, and the visibility. He stated that they looked around Milford and this was the best fit for what they needed.
“Our meeting hall is in what used to be Best Cleaners,” Crouser said. “We took over the old Mama Maria’s location which already had a kitchen. There is a unisex bathroom in the former cleaners and handicapped parking right out front for our handicapped veterans. Another benefit is that we do not own the building. There is no maintenance or upkeep. If something goes wrong, we simply call the landlord.”
In order to join the American Legion, someone must be a veteran who served during a wartime era. There is also an auxiliary for the daughter, sister, mother or spouse of a veteran. The post also has a Sons of the American Legion group made up of the direct male descendants of a veteran.
“To join the Sons of the American Legion, you must have a father or grandfather who served,” Crouser said. “It cannot be an uncle or brother. The Sons are not a stand-alone entity. They are a program under the American Legion. Right now, we have applied for new charters for the Auxiliary and the Sons as we allowed them to expire since we really had no meeting location. Once we have those, the official titles will be American Legion Auxiliary Post 3 and Sons of the American Legion Post 3. We are also in the process of establishing the American Legion Riders. This is open to anyone who owns a motorcycle that has a 750cc or larger engine. You can’t join if you ride a moped or Vespa.”
During Phase 2 of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pool tables and dance floor are closed per Governor John Carney’s State of Emergency. Masks are required unless seated and social distancing is practiced. The board also voted to make the post a non-smoking facility. The American Legion Post 3 is open seven days a week from 11 AM until 9 PM.