[The Brazil Times nameplate] Light Rain Fog/Mist ~ 54°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 49°F
Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Kaelber takes over as commander

Friday, June 10, 2011

The American Legion Post 2 conducted its installation of new officers May 19, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1127. Randy Kaelber (second from right) was elected as the new Post Commander May 12. Courtesy Photo.
* Members still working to get American Legion back on its feet

A new man is in charge of the effort to get the American Legion Post 2 back up on its feet.

Randy Kaelber was elected Post Commander May 12, installed into the position May 19, and looks forward to bringing legion members together.

"The American Legion is still here," Kaelber said. "However, this is not just a one person decision. For our post to get back on its feet, it will take everybody."

Since joining the legion in 2007, Kaelber has served as a trustee the past three years, along with being the assistant director of the American Legion Riders for a short time before becoming its director, a position he also served for three years.

Due to financial issues, the American Legion closed the doors on its building at 1015 S. Forest Ave., Brazil, and have since been conducting business at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1127, 303 S. Depot St., Brazil.

Since that time, several fundraisers have been conducted for the legion, and more are being planned.

"We are still trying to get some bills paid off, which we have to do before anything else can happen," Kaelber said. "We have been fortunate the V.F.W. has allowed us to use their building and they have been great to us."

While the American Legion Riders will conduct a White Knuckle Ride Saturday, June 11, no other fundraisers have been set in stone.

"We have a lot of things in the works," Kaelber told The Brazil Times. "The Sons of the American Legion are trying to organize a golf scramble, and we are also planning a car wash along with other events. We are also looking into setting up a booth at the Fourth of July Celebration and Popcorn Festival."

He said one of his biggest goals as commander is to bring legion members together.

"We are trying to get everyone involved so they can have their say," he said. "If someone brings up an idea, we'll listen."

Kaelber served in the Marines from 1971-75, helping to support domestic training efforts while stationed in North Carolina. After his time in the service was over, he worked as a mechanic for a couple of years before starting his job at Great Dane, where he still currently works.

He added the support from Brazil residents has helped greatly, and while he is unsure of what will happen in the future, he looks forward to aiding the rebirth of the legion.

Randy Kaelber
"We have basically had to start all over," Kaelber said. "Maybe we will be able to find a smaller building to move to because I don't think we'll be able to get back into the building we closed, but stranger things have happened."

Some members of the legion are still questioning what is going on, which Kaelber said he is working on as well.

"We are trying to bring all of us back together as a family," Kaelber, who is taking over as commander for Nick White, said. "That includes trying to get answers for those asking what is happening because we are still trying to regroup."

Kaelber currently lives in Brazil with his fiancée Candy Thacker, who he will wed June 25.

Kaelber added members who would like to mail in their dues can send them to American Legion Post 2, PO Box 9, Brazil, Ind., 47834, and anyone with questions or suggestions may contact him at 812-251-3164.

"We appreciate any help provided as we continue backing veterans as much as we can," Kaelber said.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

The White Nuckle Ride was NOT set up as a fund raiser for the Legion. Nor was it set up to help with the Easter egg hunt. It WAS set up for Past , Present , Future Vets. Lets make sure the funds go where they were intended to go !

-- Posted by bettyboop@joink.com on Sat, Jun 11, 2011, at 8:53 AM

Commander Kaelber, congratulations on being installed as the newest American Legion Post Commander in Brazil, IN. As a 27-year Air Force, and Viet Nam/Desert Storm, vet I have supported the America Legion for many years. After reading the most recent article about the Legion, in the Brazil Times, my thoughts turn to what some may consider a sensitive question;

Randy, while you were a trustee for the past three years, did you not see any of the problems escalating? If you did recognize stumbling blocks, why were they no averted?

While the Commander may be the point man, the Trustee position has some oversight and responsibility for the operations of the organization. Ignoring that would be like saying The Congress and Senate have no responsibility for what the President sends out of Washington, D.C. Just a thought.


-- Posted by CAB (Concerns About Brazil) on Tue, Jun 14, 2011, at 7:59 AM

All valid points CAB. I truly wish them success though especially since they are the #2 post in IN. I would absolutely love it if the facility becomes smoke free.

-- Posted by indianamama on Tue, Jun 14, 2011, at 11:04 AM

I know my comment may come a bit late but here it is. I know everyone deseves to voice their opinions and I respect them but I don't think the blame needs to be put on one person they need to be addressed to every officer. Yes each and every officer tried to implement changes at the Legion but they were not taken seriously enough by the past Commander he done everything he could to force all the officers out of the decision making process. There had not been a finance report for several months and what they did see was so sparce on details and actual $$$$$ amount of what was owed that 90% didn't know that they were in that big of trouble. What they were presented with was a list of things paid and not a list of what was set aside to pay those other bills. The past Commander done what he thought was best to keep the doors open but he forgot that he had the greatest support system any Commander could ask for the other officers as well as the SAL, Legion Riders and the Auxiliary. I know that the Auxiliary had donated more than $10,000 over 3 years to keep the post open.

I know everyone deserves to have a place to go and have an opportunity to hear stories of the past wars and current war as well and they deserve to have a smoke free enviroment as well but most of these veterans are smokers and the place is actually for them to have a place to go and swap stories. I think it is up to them to have a smoke free. I did submit that the restaurant should be smoke free to help increase the revenue of the post but it made to many veteans mad and I'm a smoker.

-- Posted by jariksmom on Sat, Jun 18, 2011, at 12:40 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: