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Future not decided for Post 2

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nick White
It's been a frustrating last few days for members of the Clay County American Legion Post 2.

On Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, Post Commander Nick White confirmed to The Brazil Times the post would be shutting down effective Thursday, Dec. 23, due to financial issues.

On Sunday, White told The Times the post has not surrendered its charter, but has not finalized plans for its future.

"The state commander (Leland Baxter) called me two or three days ago and would like to meet," White said. "He indicated he may have some help for us, but it's a little late as far as the building is concerned."

The legion has called the current building, located at 1015 S. Forest Ave., Brazil, home for approximately 10 years. Prior to moving to the location, the legion was located at 22 S. Sherfey St., Brazil.

For now, White said the legion has been offered space to conduct meetings by other organizations, including the V.F.W. Post 1127 and the Brazil Elks Lodge.

"The V.F.W. has offered to let us meet there and the Elks offered temporary (space) to meet there," he said.

White wanted to make it clear the legion still exists.

"We still have the charter," he said. "It's just a matter of we couldn't meet our obligations as far as the mortgage and the taxes. We were behind and the mortgage owner foreclosed on us.

"I, as a commander, could have a meeting out in my garage. We don't have to have a bar. We just don't have any money at all. We've got tax issues that will have to be met. But you don't have to have a license. We can meet in a house or a garage."

The Brazil post is the oldest in the state, having operated since 1920.

White said currently, it has approximately 560 members, not including the women's auxiliary, the sons of the legion, legion riders and others.

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WHAT ???? hell yes we want it back

-- Posted by donlee on Sun, Dec 26, 2010, at 8:49 PM

The Terre Haute Tribune reported out on this on Thursday the 23rd. Why is it that Terre Haute (30+ miles away) has more up to date information than the town it is reporting on??? This is big news in the Brazil community and it takes 4 days (Legion closed the 22nd) for it to make news print?

-- Posted by Bzlobserver on Mon, Dec 27, 2010, at 9:16 AM

I am a SAL and have been in that place a few times over the years and the only people I ever saw in there were the regular "drinkers" nursing a bottle. Start with a MAJOR maid cleaning and then have some activities that attract the public or better yet the members would be a good idea.

Another idea that comes to mind would be a complete house cleaning of business decission makers. Put some people in place that are knowledgable of how a modern business should be ran. Maybe seek some advice from the decision makers at the VFW or other successful clubs in town. There is room for another club in Brazil but not a dirty, dingy smoke filled place.

-- Posted by jddriver4960 on Mon, Dec 27, 2010, at 11:17 AM

Bzlobserver, there was a brief article in the Brazil Times last week, Tuesday I believe.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Mon, Dec 27, 2010, at 2:33 PM

Bzlobserver: I believe your suggesting this is the first story in reference to the Legion closing. It is not.

Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010:


-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Mon, Dec 27, 2010, at 2:58 PM

My father was past commander of the Post, and a proud supporter and tireless worker for it, and for freedom. Out of respect for him, and all other past commanders, members and supporters, I'd appreciate it if each of you would remember what we stand for, and what we fought to uphold....and still do.

Yes, it's sad when things get to this point, but nothing changes the fact that freedom and patriotism don't take vacations or holidays.

-- Posted by Rick Hendrickson on Mon, Dec 27, 2010, at 5:19 PM

Well said Mr. Hendrickson! My grandfather is also a past commander and much more that I won't even go in to. Thank you for your comment!

-- Posted by Kayk on Mon, Dec 27, 2010, at 6:41 PM

This is why I like observing this little town - for the comments. Reread my post. I didn't state Terre Haute had the first posting, what I said was Terre Haute had more up to date (and detailed) information than what the Times had. All the Times said prior to the Tribune article was the place was closing. Two sentences -- that's it!

-- Posted by Bzlobserver on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 7:10 AM

I find it amazing that the commander of the oldest American Legion post in Indiana would still feel he is capable to run anything. Post 2 had been at the presently forclosed location for ten years and made it through trouble times before but nothing can survive when we have a commander,financial officer and trustees who are obviously inept. We need to know who was at fault for our taxes not being paid. Foreclosures are a present day event but this happened faster than the norm and makes one wonder why those that foreclosed were in such a hurry and why our commander gave up so quickly. As for as the building being lost I think it is to early, for our commander, to give up on something so important to those, in the Brazil area, that served our country. I feel that there are a lot of people around here that would move mountains to help keep this building in the American Legions hands. Lets all make it happen!

-- Posted by vietnamvet66 on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 10:06 AM

Hello Brazil,

I like the fact that everyone is so concerned about our American Legion. I want to clear up one thing to begin with; we are the oldest post in the United States not just Indiana. When the American Legion was formed in the 1920 our charter members were the one who helped make it happen so they were prepared and had their charter ready so we would be the first one every in the United States. As for who to blame!!! I don't hold any one person responsible for the failure. Even though I was a big part of this post and it hurt me tearable to loose the building; I do not wholey blame the Commander or the Trustee. I feel as if the members were a big part in the failure. I know this may outrage some of you but the truth is how often did you come to the legion, how often did you come to breakfast, lunch or dinner. If the seats are empty the revenue to maintain a post of this size is not available. I hold each and every Legionnaire officer responsible for the failure they should of listened to others and not their egos. Well I have said to much and I hope that every member will stay with us to help us locate a new post. I do know the ladies Auxiliary will be holding their meetings on the 4th Thursday of very month at 7 pm at the VFW

-- Posted by jariksmom on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 12:33 PM


With all due respect I'm not sure where your infomation came from, but it is confirmed by The National Library of the American Legion and its official supporting documents, that the first post of the American Legion is George Washington Post 1 in Washington, D.C. Organized March 7, 1919, it obtained the first charter issued to any post of The American Legion on May 19, 1919.

Many posts throughout claim this title, but I've been a member of Post 2 almost a helf a century and I've never heard it was the first in the U.S.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 1:30 PM

I appreciate jariksmom's comment but I do not feel the membership should shoulder any of the blame. I went to the legion quite often and the food was the best in town, however, the entertainment left much to be desired. The singing contest drew well but we failed to capitalize on the opportunity this presented. I would have liked to see more social activities such as internet dating site meetings, dj's, country line dance lessons,Zumba classes, bingo and Saturday night line dancing just to mention a few. Karaoke drew some interest but it was used too frequently as the only weekend entertainment. We could have drawn more ideas by polling members, customers, employees, visitors and military service members. People have less money these days and this could work to our advantage. They stay closer to home but still have the basic need to socialize.

-- Posted by vietnamvet66 on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 2:17 PM

loss of cherry machines and pull tabs where it all started

-- Posted by buddry55 on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 5:31 PM

OK, lets get something straight and if you have something to say about this, dont hide behind a screen name. The American Legion Post 2, here in brazil, has been in bad shape financially for a long time. Long before Nick White ever took over as Commander. He assumed command with the taxes being past due. If any of you know Nick as well as I do, then you will know that he took the appointment as commander so the legion didnt go under, over 8 years ago. Nick has been under ailing health the past few years himself. To all of you that place blame on him and the staff, maybe you should look in the mirror and ask yourself "what could I have done to help prevent this"? To you 'vietnamvet66' you call yourself a veteran. last i knew, veterens were team players, not accusers. raise your hand and tell someone you have an idea. tell someone that you care and dont want anything to happen to the club. With the market going down over the last couple of years, and the past history, the legion was in a deep hole. I personally know that Nick had talked to the bankers and the IRS. He had made advanced payments on the taxes to try to catch up. He was working on a new mortgage to try to lower the payments. but, like any business, if the revenue isnt present and you have payroll to distribute as well as bills to pay....ie mortgage, food, drink, electric, water, trash...you get the picture....then its only a matter of time. Who is to blame, there isnt a single person to point the finger at. How many people have lost homes to foreclosures in the brazil area? Too many to count. thats because people have lost jobs, which impacts business by not bringing in the revenue, which closes doors on the businesses. If you know anything about history, you know that this inst the first time this has happened in this great country that we live in. Lets just hope that Mr Baxter, our state commander, can bring some assistance to Post 2. I know that Nick wants to see the doors open again. I know this because ive been a member of the SAL and American Legion for 31 years. I also know this because Nick White is my father and he has been a member of the Legion for a lot longer. If you have advice or opinions about something, raise your hand and tell him. If not, keep your mouth shut. If you're not a part of the solution then you must be a part of the problem. Dad, I love you and I will be home soon. God Bless,

Jeromy White

from Combat Out Post Terezayi,



-- Posted by knight55 on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 7:35 PM

Although I am a veteran, I'm not a member of the American Legion nor do I ever plan to rejoin. That is not because of any difference with Post 2 but I hold an aversion to anyone lobbying Congress in my name unless I agree with what they are trying to do and then they must back that cause as I do, "to the hilt".

That said, I'm familiar with service clubs and some of their challenges. When I was growing up, my father was a member, several times the Quartermaster, at least once that I remember the Commander of VFW Post 7117 in Worthington, In. After I joined the Marines, he served as the Commander of the Seventh District for the VFW in Indiana.

Sometimes, elections are more of a popularity contest or a matter of name-recognition than an informed and knowledgeable choice of who can and will do the job. That can, will, and does happen in all elections and is part of the risk of running a democracy, period. However, there is always a core group of people who work behind the scenes who know what needs to be done and are willing to sacrifice their time and efforts to see that it gets done without holding titles.

I don't know what happened to AL Post 2, but I know that it can recover. It must be looked at as a business as well as a social group. The expenditures cannot exceed the revenues and the bills must be paid before any discretionary expenditures are even considered. If the bar is losing you money, close it and forgo the liquor license. If the bands are not drawing a crowd, consider other bands. If you are coming up short, start running bake sales. Whatever it takes to bring in the needed money as long as it is legal. (I do believe the comment on machines and pull tabs steps over that line as those things have been dealt with in service clubs since, at least, the 1960's that I know of.)

Post 2 has not vanished, the Post is not the building but the membership. Post 2 has a problem, but it is a solvable problem.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 7:53 PM

What a sad time for an Post to be in. I am unaware of the condition of the post however this seems to be a time when the forces, members need to rally and keep this post alive. I am not a member of this specific Post but am a member of Post 340 which also has closed it doors.

Lets rally members and lets keep this post alive. It does not have to be at the same location. Nuff said !

-- Posted by Nosredna Retep on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 7:59 PM

As an active member of American Legion Post 2 I know for a fact that "we" tried everything we could think of to bring in supporters (fundraisers,golf scrambles, dinner specials, drink specials etc...) But the fact of the matter is, we could only count on about 10 to 20 at most regular legion members to come in each and every day to support this club. This by far, is not enough support to keep this post going! I really hope that the American legion will be able to overcome this setback and be able to relocate. So for each of you that are commenting on this article, if you truely care about the American Legion as you say you do, Then don't just comment on the article, Get involved!!

-- Posted by frustratedinbrazil on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 9:04 PM

I do not participate in things at the post, nor have I for several years. I am a paid-up member though and if I was aware that the Legion was in trouble, I would have tried to spend a little more money there by eating out more often. My wife and I did do that, but not often. Had I known about the financial burden, I maybe could have helped.

I'm not blaming Nick inparticular because as a past commander (in the 80s) it was the Trustees who controlled the club. I can see in my mind as they knew the club was beginning to fail, and they no doubt knew a long time ago, that they would back away and say it's all the commanders' doings.

Nick's the scapegoat doing his best. I still think all members should have been made aware of what was coming down.

I hope it's not too late.

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Tue, Dec 28, 2010, at 9:38 PM

frustratedinbrazil did the legion made room for the non-smoking veteran. no it did not and thats why i did not go into the club.the legion needs to have a smoke-free area like they have at bw-3's in terre haute and draw the non-smoking veterans dollar into the club. its fact the restaurants that went smoke-free have seen a increase in business. i do not like to eat next to someone who smoke's at the table next to me.

-- Posted by po-po on Wed, Dec 29, 2010, at 6:30 PM

po-po.. You have no idea what you are talking about. You must not have been following the story of a smoke free brazil. and the businesses REGRET going smoke free because they have lost business. and they may even go back to smoking. You must be related to the idiot at the VFW.

All you need to do is install a good exhaust system to take care of your smoke.

-- Posted by (B_b) is an idiot !! on Wed, Dec 29, 2010, at 9:19 PM

Of course Leo L. Southworth is familiar with service clubs and some of their challenges. He invented them.

Sometime when you a minute from your busy schedule, why don't you tell us how you created Man?

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Fri, Dec 31, 2010, at 9:51 AM

The Legion, Started by men who'd seen things no man should see or do....who could rub elbows and without a word each know the others dilema.

-- Posted by reddevil on Sun, Jan 2, 2011, at 11:17 AM

Mr white sorry about the blg when GoD takes away one thing he can send a better building .Thanks to all the men and women at the legion that fought for our freedom and the bikers. that helped with the home for the vet he is happy in his home and i pray he will injoy it until GOD makes a change. Hold up your head and thanks to all the ones that tryed to keep the bld going

-- Posted by arkey on Sun, Jan 2, 2011, at 2:21 PM

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