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2017


Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2017 9:26 PM
Article for Newspress

For Immediate Release

Troy C. Courtright and Family Celebrate 50 Years as a Member of The American Legion Stillwater

Troy C. Courtright was having a family reunion when Commander Richard Opdyke and Historian Gerald McClain presented a plaque celebrating 50 years in The American Legion Post 129 Stillwater. Troy a longtime dedicated member of Post 129, Department of Oklahoma has been certified to have been a member in good standing continuously for 50 years.  Such consistent loyalty to The American Legion merits the honor of being cited as an outstanding contributor to the programs of the American Legion. In 2019 The American Legion will have its Centennial Celebration 1919-2019 100 years. Details of the Centennial Celebration for Post 129 can be found at http://centennial.legion.org/oklahoma/post129 .  Post 129 Stillwater started in 1919.  Troy joined the Army in the 1950s for two years thinking he would be in Korea, but Uncle Sam wanted to send him to Germany.

Post 129 was named Hanner-Sharp American Legion Post 129 after Carter C. Hanner from Stillwater who was killed in action Oct 8, 1918 in the Meuse-Argonne drive in WW1 which cracked the German Hindenburg line. Mamon G. Sharp, Died 19 April 1942 in WW2. Captain Mamon was the 1st soldier from Stillwater's to make the supreme sacrifice for his country and mankind during World War II. Sharp now rests at Fort McKinley U.S. Military Cemetery, Manila, Philippine Islands.

Post 129 Honored Troy C. Courtright by attending a family reunion at his farm SE of Stillwater and presenting a plaque for his many years as a Legionnaire.  The Legion meets monthly at 611 S. Main, Stillwater on the first Thursday of the month except August.  Next meeting is September 7, 2017.

Attached Picture 1: Gerald R. McClain, Historian Department of Oklahoma, Troy C. Courtright with Honor Plaque and  Richard Opdyke, Commander Post 129 Stillwater presenting plaque for 50 years’ service to The American Legion.

Attached Picture 2: showing Courtright Reunion with Historian Gerald McClain, Nancy McCoy, Brenda O’Neal, Barbara Courtright, Troy Courtright, Commander Richard Opdyke and  Tammy Olson

Gerald McClain
Historian Post 129
 


Bob L. Barnes Completes 70 years as a Member of Post 129 Stillwater


Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2017 4:42 PM
Article for Newspress

For Immediate Release

POW/MIA Empty Chair Featured at all American Legion Meetings

Resolution 288, adopted at the 67th American Legion National Convention, calls for designating a POW/MIA Empty Chair at all official meetings of The American Legion as a physical symbol of the thousands of American POW/MIAs still unaccounted for from all wars and conflicts involving the United States. On first Thursday of the month, May 4, 2017, Hanner-Sharp American Legion Post 129 Stillwater featured OSU Professor who Worked to Recover MIA WWII Remains in Tarawa.  Oklahoma State University anthropology professor Stephen Perkins spent part of his summer 2016 in a blue-water tropical paradise, much of it digging in sand for traces of the long fallen U.S. Marines. For three weeks, Dr. Perkins helped recover the remains of U.S. Marines who died in November, 1943, during a three-day battle with Japanese forces for control of Tarawa, a sandy atoll in the central Pacific.  Tarawa was bloody. The battle claimed the lives of nearly 1,700 U.S. Marines and 4,000 Japanese soldiers. The engagement marked the first large offensive by U.S. forces in the central Pacific and the first Japanese opposition to a U.S. amphibious landing. 

Dr. Perkins worked with History Flight, an organization that has been tasked with recovering World War II remains by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.  He earned a PHD from Arizona State.in Anthropology.  The May issue of the American Legion Magazine featured an article about the three-day battle with Japanese forces to control Tarawa.  All veterans and guest are welcome at the American Legion meetings held the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm.  A steak dinner is always prepared for veterans and guest before a short presentation. 

Memorial Day May 29, 2017 the Hanner-Sharp Post 129 will put up 50 American Flags at Fairlawn Cemetery starting at 7:30 am plus small American Flags will be placed on all veteran’s graves.  A short program will be presented by the Commander Richard Opdyke at 9 am plus laying of wreaths followed by the Fairlawn Preservation Society at 9:30 am providing a brunch.  All Legion members and guest are encouraged to attend.

Photo Vice Commander Stan Witte, OSU Professor Stephen Perkins and Tom Yant Legion Executive and Facebook Controller

Gerald McClain
Historian Post 129
 


Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 9:52 PM
 

For Immediate Release

Val Castor Storm Chaser Reports to Post 129 “How he makes the state safe.”

Val Castor from Stillwater is a Storm Chaser or StormTracker for NEWS 9 presented to the American Legion Post 129 Stillwater what he and his wife Amy do to make the state of Oklahoma feel safer when storms, tornados, hail, fire and even earthquakes are around us.  Devastating hailstorm near Woodson, Tx April 5, 2003 destroyed his vehicle.  Val Castor is NEWS 9's senior StormTracker.  He joined NEWS 9 in the spring of 1991 and was the first StormTracker hired by the station. He has chased storms for NEWS 9 for the past 15 years, and as you might expect, has seen some of the most extreme weather imaginable.  Near Purcell in 1992, a rain-wrapped F-2 tornado passed within 100 yards of his vehicle while tree limbs and other debris were passing overhead at an estimated 100 mph. Val has had lightning strike as close as 20 feet, and has seen hail larger than softballs, which smashed car windshields and bouncing eight feet off the ground. On May 3, 1999, for over two hours, Val and his wife Amy tracked and reported on the F-5 tornado that devastated parts of central Oklahoma.  Val and Amy Castor have been featured on numerous television and radio productions both nationally and internationally, including the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, History Channel, Weather Channel, National Geographic, CNN, CBS, BBC and others.

Oklahoma native, Amy Castor was raised in Mangum where her love of weather began. The wide open plains offered much in the way of viewing storms, and her love for severe weather started at a very young age.  Having an interest in computers and electronics, she chose Oklahoma State University and majored in Electrical Engineering Technology with a minor in Computer Science. In 1998, while planning a weather-related project for school, she met Val Castor, Senior StormTracker for NEWS 9; she was hired as a StormTracker that same year.  The two teamed up both professionally and personally and together have reported and filmed over 300 tornadoes. These experiences include the May 3, 1999 F5 tornadoes, which occurred just one month before their wedding!

Since then, Val and Amy have reported on other twisters including the May 24, 2011 El Reno tornado, the May 20, 2013 tornado in Moore, and the historical 2.6 mile wide tornado which occurred on May 31, 2013 near El Reno.

Val is a native Oklahoman. He was born in Ardmore and raised in Tulsa where he graduated from Nathan Hale High School. He holds a bachelor's degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in geography from Oklahoma State University. He resides in Stillwater and attends Eagle Heights Baptist Church where he is actively involved. He owns and operates Castor Weather, Inc., a weather consulting service that provides forecasts and weather information to a variety of clients. When he is not out chasing storms, he spends time with his family: wife Amy and 6 children.

Find attached 6 photographs:

1-Devastating hailstorm near Woodson, Tx April 5, 2003 Hail as large as 4 inches broke almost everything on my truck... antennas, anemometer, lights, turn signals, rear window, even my inside rear view mirror. My windshield was so smashed up that I couldn't see to drive. Had to smash out part of the window to drive back home.

2-StormTracker Val Castor explaining a hailstorm that destroyed his vehicle in 2003

3-Val Castor Installing a new camera on his StormTracker vehicle.

4-Vice Commander Stan Witte, StormTracker Val Castor, Past Commander Leroy Folks and Legion Treasurer Dewey Clapp

Gerald McClain
Historian Post 129

 




Monday, February 13, 2017 12:42 PM

Subject: Article for Newspress

For Immediate Release

A work of love and devotion to honoring veterans and honoring the American Flag lead Sarah Wheatley and Melinda McAfee to help the American Legion repair large and mean large American Flags.  American Flags get tattered in the Oklahoma wind and when completely worn, faded, torn or soiled, it should be retired and replaced with a new flag.  There are several ways to respectfully dispose of the American flag without showing disgrace. The most common method is burning the torn or tattered flag in a special ceremony.

The American Legion collects flags for proper disposal.  You should repair a flag only if you can fly it without the mended area showing and there is no distortion in the flag's shape or design. You should replace a flag that is tattered, worn, faded, or has water damage.

Sarah Wheatley was contacted by the Hanner-Sharp American Legion Post 129 concerning several large American Flags that the ends were tattered, but could still be repaired by trimming the ends of the flags the proper length and proper hemming the ends without distorting the size of the flags.  Sarah Wheatley and Melinda McAfee are both members of the Cimarron Quilters - Quilts of Valor, as well as, the Cimarron Chapter - Daughters of the American Revolution.

After some consideration and deliberation by Post 129 Adjutant Lawrence Roy, the Commander Richard Opdyke and Sarah Wheatley the large flags would be reborn by repairing the ends of the flags.  With all of Sarah Wheatley and Melinda McAfee experience making Quilts of Valor for veterans and with the historical perspective of being daughters of the American Revolution the die was cast to repair the beautiful American Flags.

The Hanner-Sharp American Legion Post 129 can order flags for anyone in the Stillwater area. Please order American Flags from Post 129 in Stillwater. Post 129 will earn 1 Point for every dollar Sponsors spend on American Flags bought.

Find attached 6 photographs:

Left is Melinda McAfee right is Sarah Wheatley (in all photos except the last one)

(Last photo) Backrow left is Adjutant  Lawrence Roy and Commander Richard Opdyke

Seated Melinda McAfee and Sarah Wheatley.


Gerald McClain
Historian Post 129

Melinda McAfee and Sarah Wheatley Overview FlagMelinda Pinning BindingSarah Pressing BindingSarah Stitching on the Binding Commander Opdyke Observing

Melinda McAfee and Sarah Wheatley Hemming FlagLawrence Roy, Richard Opdyke, Melinda McAfee, and Sarah Wheatley 

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