May 2023

Flag retrieval from veterans graves at Grove Hill is this Saturday the 3rd at 9 AM.  Volunteers are appreciated.

Funeral for Bobby Frederick is on Sunday the 4th at 12:30 at Grove Hill.

Thirteen members at the meeting.

The Funeral Honor Guard performed a service at Bosma-Renkes for Sparky Forster and John Rollard, Sr on seperate days.

An abbreviated Funeral Honor Guard performed a service at Bosma-Renkes (Fulton Chapel) for Bob Jackson.  Abbreviated because a good number of the Honor Guard were planting flags at Grove Hill Cemetery.

Forty-Three volunteers from the Legion Post, Morrison High School, Sauk Valley CC Impact Program, Scouts (and parents), Civil Air Patrol and Citizens volunteered to plant close to 1,100 flags on Veterans graves at the Grove Hill Cemetery in Morrison: Eric Anderson, Linda Lee Anderson, Elliott Armstrong, Oliver Armstrong, Jemma Baldwin, Jessica Baldwin, Xavier Baldwin, Brian Bartoz, Ashley Belha, Bob Belha, Tom Belha, Anna Blevins, Hillary Blevins, Isaac Blevins, Marshall Blevins, Bill Brackemyer, Calem Bramm, Jim Bramm, Jack Brearton, Jerry Brearton, Jeramiah Callam, Adam Cossman, Christoper Cossman, Chelsey Cummings, Karen Icenogle, Noah Icenogle, Terry Jones, Barry Linder, Cheyenne Murillo, Ivern Murillo, Amaiyuki Perez, Ken Petersen, Ethan Richards, Lillian Richards, Vern Schroeder, Rick Smith, Mark Steele, Reagan Terry, August Ufkin, Stephanie Vavra, Shelby Veltrop (Legion Post Scholarship Winner), Alexander Westin and Korey Zigler.

Sgt-at-Arms Brearton presented the Legion Scholarship to 2023 graduated Erika King ($1,000 - 1st half - 2nd half will be presented once she assists with planting flags) and Shelby Veltrop ($500)

Service Officer (Adjutant in training) Zigler presented the Jr High Patriotic Award to Joshua McDearmon (boy) & Zayley Boonstra (girl) along with a $50 gift.

Memorial Day and Weekend were very busy as always.  Stations were manned with Poppies accepting donations on Friday and Saturday.  The parade kicked off on time at 10:30 with Bill Brackemyer, Bob Brands, Jerry Brearton, Amy Johannsen and Ken Petersen marching as the Color Guard. Several veterans rode the two hay racks pulled by Dave Damhoff. Commander Larry Zuidema presented an award to Mark Schuler for his years of driving in the parade with his antique Dodge and the Mayor in back.  Wes Haan was the keynote speaker and gave a very moving speech about the Gold Star program and several personal stories of the Haan family and the losses that they have suffered.

June monthly meeting is at 19:00 on the 12th with a cookout prior.  We will also celebrate the Army’s 248th Birthday and Flag Day. has been updated with the list of veterans that have flags planted on their graves in the Grove Hill Cemetery.  Updates are always in progress.

Other sites of interest:

April 2023

Monthly meeting had 10 Legionnaires present.  A little light but four of the Officers had excuses.  The election took place and was adjudicated.  A hard copy of the Post Schedule and the Post Officer / Committee members was mailed out to all members.

The Funeral Honors Team performed at three funerals this month:

Bob Vess an Army Veteran was buried in Albany

Ernie Carroll, a Vietnam Army Veteran and one of our own members had a small service at Grove Hill.  His granddaughter (who worked with the Sgt-at-Arms to coordinate the event) made this comment "Yes it was so great! My grandmother loved it so much. Thank you so much. We are so appreciative of you all!!!"

Legionnaire Clayton Pearson, a nineteen year member died on the 21st of April.  The Funeral Honors Team performed a service for him at Oak Knoll Cemetery (north of Sterling on 40) on the 27th.

Our May meeting is at 7 P.M on the 8th and then we commence our busiest month of the year.  Any and all participation and help is appreciated.  See the schedule you received via the U.S. Mail.

On March 9th we had a post on our Facebook page about needing members.  Since that post we have lossed five members and gained one.  We are heading in the wrong direction and have been for a long time.  I am aware that every organization from clubs to churches are facing similar problems.  Please be a recruiter to stave off the inevitable as long as possible.

Websites you should be familiar with:

Post availability:

Post Facebook:

Tablet inscriptions & Morrison Veterans Park & Memorial:

March Newsletter

Had a good turn out for the monthly meeting with 17 members present.  Which is good because we celebrated Bob Brands 93rd birthday and The American Legions 104th.

We also opened up nominations for Post Officer's for 2023 year.

We lost Legionnaire Roland "Rollie" Ebbers on the 10th.  The Legion Honor Guard performed his service at Grove Hill on the 18th.

We also lost 65 year Legionnaire Ralph Jacobs on the 19th.

New lifetime pass available for Military Veterans and Gold Star Families to access public lands.  Pass provides free entrance to national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.  More information is available here.

April Monthly Meeting and elections are on the 10th at 1900 hours (7 P.M.).  Please be there.

We have been renting the Post a few times.  Please keep it in mind if you hear of anyone looking for a venue.

February Newsletter

14 Members present at the February monthly meeting.  Dennis won the 50/50 raffle, and donated his portion to be included in Marches raffle.  Brownies and Ice Cream followed.

It was voted to double the Legion Patriotism Scholarship and add a runner up with half of that amount.  A caveat was put in place that for the students to receive the second half of their scholarship they must assist in planting flags at Grove Hill prior to Memorial Day and be present at the ceremony held at the American Legion / VFW pavilion to receive their check.

We had one funeral this month for Rich Barsema.  A short service at Grove Hill but it rained the whole time (even the family got wet because the cost for a tent is $600 from the monument company).

Senior Vice Commander Dennis VanZuiden was awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

One more request for more funeral participants:   We need younger Legionnaires (used loosely, age 50 and below) to assist with funerals, queen of hearts and other events.  If you can spare some time on an evening or on weekends it would be great.  I would like to postpone our honor guard demise as long as possible.  Currently Albany and Fulton can not support funerals.  We do not want that to happen to us any time soon.

The March meeting is on the 13th at 6 PM (last of the Winter time meetings, April through October will be 7).  Nomination of Officers (committee members) / The American Legions 104th Birthday.

The Post Queen of Hearts Raffle has performed very well and so far has more than made up for the loss of the Fair Booklet ads.  Remember, unless you are an Officer or a Legionnaire working the raffle that evening you may purchase tickets or

Morrison Fire Department and The American Red Cross have partnered to install free smoke alarms in Morrison residences.  Visit to submit your request.  The Rally Day is on the 25th of March.  Volunteer installers are also accepted by contacting Dave at or (815) 718-3684  Please see the attached flyer.

Websites of interest:

The Post:

Post Rentals:

Post Facebook:

Morrison Veterans Park & Memorial tablet inscriptions (the City tries to get it done each year prior to Memorial Day):  Tablets

January Newsletter

January Monthly Meeting on the 9th with 14 Legionnaires present.  Following the meeting we had cake and ice cream for Fred Steele's birthday.  Fred is 96 years old and has 78 continuous years with the American Legion.  If you are interested in sending something to Fred, his address is 403 Scenic St, Morrison, IL 61270-9290

Our third board of the Queen of Hearts Raffle is going well with only nine cards remaining in the deck.  The jackpot is up to $18,060 of which 75% will go to a winner if they are present at the time of the drawing.  They would get 50% if not present.

We had two funerals this month; James Entwhistle on the 28th at CottonWood Cemetery.  It was snowing and blowing pretty hard but our Honor Guard came through superbly.  The second one was today at Grove Hill for Calvin Wing in a balmy 7degF.  Fortunately the wind wasn't blowing and the sun was shining.

Our $200 bugle taps insert worked greatly on both occasions as Carolyn was unable to attend.

Our next meeting is on the 13th of Feb.  We have some leftovers of ice cream so there may be some brownies there as well.

We need young men (used loosely, age 50 and below) to assist with funerals, queen of hearts and other events.  If you can spare some time on an evening or on weekends it would be great.  I would like to postpone our honor guard demise as long as possible.  Currently Albany and Fulton can not support funerals.  We do not want that to happen to us any time soon.

December 2022

Legionnaire Korey Zigler's motorcycle club (the Immortal Knights Public Safety Motorcycle Club) rented the Post at the standard rate of $25 an hour.  During the January meeting a unanimous vote of returning the money was made.  Then in an unexpected turn - Korey returned the money as a donation.  Regardless of the donation back, the unanimous vote was cast because of what Korey does for the Post and not just because IKPSMC is a club he is a member of.  The Post is for rent by anyone at a rate of $25 an hour.  This is the website for it:

Bob Brands, Ken Petersen, Jim Prombo, Larry Saling and Garry Seaman marched in Morrison's Christmas Walk as the Color Guard in frigid temps.

Monthly meeting on the 12th @ 6:00 PM with 11 Legionnaires present.  As a reminder to all 328 Legionnaires - We have our Veterans Dinner at six PM in November and then December, January, February and March meetings are at six.  It has been this way for over two years.  We had to postpone the meeting an hour so we could accumulate a quorum.

Bob Brands, Jerry Brearton, Terry Jones, Ken Petersen, Garry Seaman and Larry Zuidema presented the colors at the Wreaths Across America ceremony in Albany at Lusk Cemetery.  Carolyn played taps.  It was also a frigid day.

The Honor Guard / Color Guard performed twenty events this year which included:  2 Funerals in Fulton, 1 Funeral in Sterling, 1 Funeral in Garden Plain and 7 Funerals at Grove Hill.  It is worth noting that Bob Brands (the oldest Legionnaire of our detail) and Ken Petersen were at every event in 2022.  Regardless of whether someone was at twenty or three - all is appreciated and ALL is the least that can be done for a falling veteran or other veteran related event.  Many events are on Fridays, Saturdays or National Holidays; so if you are off of work, your time is sought.

Here is our Queen of Hearts Raffle link:

Here is our Post hall rental link:

Here is our Facebook page link:

November 2022

Veterans Day at 11:00 the Honor Guard performed at the annual Veterans Day event (ALWAYS at 11:00 on 11/11) after a few brief words by the Sergeant-at-Arms along with reading a newspaper article about the same type of event on Main and Genesee St (circa 1970). Following that; several veterans joined the Milk House Gang for some tacos and chili and camaraderie.

On Thursday the 10th Morrison High School hosted area veterans for an event along with a meal provided by the FFA and some veterans speaking at various classes.

Annual Veterans (Member) Dinner was held at the Post in lieu of our November meeting. Of the RSVPs we had six no shows which is disappointing because we pay for the meals we reserve. The delicious meal was catered by Fulton Meat Locker and they did a great job, if you have a need to utilize them, you will not be disappointed. We welcomed our newest member Private Corrine Carroll of the 661st Engineer Company.

Members that were there enjoyed an evening of camaraderie and military stories. Our newest member Corrine Carroll won the 50/50 raffle.

The Honor Guard performed a funeral in Fulton on Friday the 18th in the frigid cold. Eight members performed.

The Post was rented on the 20th of November with a $100 profit. The Post is rentable at a very reasonable rate. Please visit

Please remember that starting with our Annual Veterans (Member) Dinner and going through March that our monthly meetings are at 6 vice 7 (3rd year of this, for those counting)

Here are our pages: Main Post page

Queen of Hearts Raffle page:

Post FaceBook page:

October 2022

Monthly regular meeting held on the 10th with 12 members present. Following the meeting we had some brownies to go along with some left over ice cream from our ice cream social.

Funeral Honors were performed for Don Smith. Eight Honor Guard performing and Carolyn playing taps.

Celebration of Life for Past Commander Dale Usterbowski at the Post and Funeral Honors performed with ten Honor Guard performing and Carolyn playing taps.

Funeral Honors were performed for Evelyn Raney. Seven Honor Guard performing and Carolyn playing taps.

Please remember and attend these three events specifically for Veterans but certainly all are invited:

Nov. 10 Veterans Recognition Assembly

5th Grade Veterans Concert And Slideshow November 10

November 11 Service At Grove Hill Cemetery

September 2022

We had a meal prior to our Monthly (last of Summer four (June, July, August & September) on the 12th.  Mark Steele brought in some delicious lasagna and french bread, Ken Brainerd brought in some angel hair cheesy stuff he made out at the Milk House.  Not sure what it was but it was pretty good.  19 legionnaires were present.  The 50/50 raffle was $34, Barry Linder won it and rather than take his $17 he rolled the whole amount over to the October meeting.

On the last Sunday of the month (always last Sunday of September) we held our annual flag retirement ceremony, we burnt 598 flags, the most yet.  For perspective, we burnt 307 last year.  It was a beautiful fall day.  I wish more of our legionnaires would attend these events.  Ten honor guard performed the rifle detail and Carolyn played taps.  A certificate of appreciation was given to the Morrison Lions Club for their hard work on the U.S. 38 / IL-78 flag replacement project.  Following the ceremony we had pie, cake & ice cream at the Post.

Through a lot of hard work by the Senior Vice Commander (Dennis VanZuiden) as the Building Committee Co-Chair working with the fire damage insurance company he was able to get an additional $7,640 for the Post.

Visit to rent the Post.  We have a lot of amenities and our rate is very reasonable.

Please remember that we are hosting the Celebration of Life for Past Commander Dale Usterbowski on Sunday the 23rd of October from 1-4 (I think, I may be off an hour on the times).  I am sure Nancy and Dale's family would appreciate a visit and a kind word.  The Honor Guard will also perform volleys at some point that afternoon.

Our October meeting is on the 10th at 7:00 P.M.  There will not be a meal.  Maybe a snack to use up some leftover ice cream :)

Hope to see as many of you there as possible.

August 2022

Monthly meeting on the 8th with seventeen members present.  It was the third of our four summer cookouts.  Travis Lewis had a taco bar and Ken Brainerd had Milk House grown sweet corn.  Several canned pickles, homemade salsa as well.  Mark Steele brought a sheet cake of brownies (interesting haul on his bike for sure) and Ken Peterson had fresh vegetables from his garden.  Mark Steele volunteered for the food for our final cookout in September.

We lost Frank Freas, a 26 year member and an Air Force veteran.  8 members of the Honor Guard performed volleys for the service with two active duty Airman from Scott AFB folding and presenting the flag and the Grandson-In-Law from Virginia (Don Sorah) played taps.

Hope to see you at the monthly meeting on the 12th (for a cookout prior to the meeting) and for our annual Retired Flag Burning on the 25th.

I want to let you know that the Legion (some Post, some Illinois but mostly National) is very slow in regards to data.  Have you ever paid your dues and then two weeks later received a notice to pay your dues?  That is a small example of what I am speaking of.  The Adjutant (Ken Petersen) and I deal with this kind of stuff all the time and try to take extra measures to prevent such.  It is really embarrassing when the widow of a deceased Legionnaire receives something in the mail well over two weeks later.  Rest assured that isn't a pleasant telephone call to get.

Ensure you check out our webpage for the Post at


Our webpage for the Queen of Hearts at


Our webpage for Renting the Post at


Our Legion FB page


Our Queen of Hearts FB page

July 2022

Nine Honor Guard and Carolyn provided honors at St Peter's Lutheran Church for their Independence Day Service.

We lost Legionnaire Larry Wiersema, a thirty two year member.  Nine members of the Honor Guard performed military rights.  Along with Carolyn performing taps.

Honor Guard performed last rights at the Fulton Marina with 7 present and Carolyn performing taps.  Commander Zuidema led the detail and presented the flag.  The Carroll County VA Director Wayne Leonard also joined the detail.

17 Legionnaires were at our monthly meeting.  It was the second of four cookouts.  Ken Brainerd and Travis Lewis volunteered to cook.  Ken did all the work, but Travis got a pass since his wife just had their fourth (all boys) child on Wednesday.  Mark Steele brought in some excellent brownies (that no doubt his wife made :)  Ken Petersen brought in some vegetables from his garden.

It was voted on to take suggestions through the end of September for what to do with the remaining $9,100 of the COVID grant.  The money is to be spent on building envelope projects.

NO new projects will be undertaken until the countertop along the west wall is finished.

August meeting is on the 8th with Travis Lewis getting a chance to redeem himself at cooking.

We rent the Post hall as a small venue:  $25 an hour.  We are currently booked for a rental on the 16th of August with the same outfit (First Mile Development) that rented on the 25th.

Jerry Brearton was awarded the Public Relations/Information Exchange Award at The American Legion Department of Illinois' 103rd Convention held in Springfield IL.  The award was presented due to Brearton's continued efforts in keeping the community aware of programs, presence, local activities and promotion of the renovated Post hall rental availability.

Our next major event is the Retired Flag Ceremony at Grove Hill Cemetery on the last Sunday of September (25th)

June 2022

Saturday the 4th at 9 A.M. - flags were recovered from Grove Hill where they had been planted for Memorial Day in record time and volunteers avoided getting wet by the onset of rain

Volunteers for flag retrieval were:

Legionnaires: W. Brackemyer, R Brands, J.W. Brearton, T. Jones, B. Linder, K. Petersen & L. Zuidema

High School Students: Mark Cyphers and Zayden Boonstra along with teacher B. Bartoz

Community: Lyndsay Workman

Sauk Valley Community College Impact Program Volunteers: Anna Blevins, Emma Christin, Carlee Hawkins, Samantha Hamilton, Brooklyn Hall & Ana Hall along with two of their moms.

Jerry Lyndsey wrote a nice article about Memorial Day -

Article about our ribbon cutting -

Four new members recently: Jaz Johnson, Travis Lewis, Austin Brands & Vern Latwesen

The Lions Club left some "gently used" flags that were replaced during the Avenue of Flags drive. They are available at no charge for yourself or others.

Monthly meeting on the 13th with 16 Legionnaires present. We ate pizza in lieu of a cookout due to schedule overcrowding. The Flags were sorted and bundled for next Memorial Day. One volunteer (and her mother) from Sauk Valley IMPACT program assisted. Sarah Wetzell and her mom Christina Wetzell.

Ron Wiebenga is now a Paid up for Life (PUFL) Member.

We lost Bob Landheer, a 35 year member of the Post. Nine participants of the Funeral Detail performed Military Rites along with Taps by Carolyn.

The Honor Guard will fire three volleys for St Peter's Lutheran Church Independence Day Service.

Visit our website often, I can assure you that it isn't static:

Sauk Valley CC Impact Program Volunteer assisted in setting up the Post for photographs for the rental flyer. Sarah Wetzell and her mom Christina Wetzell

On Tuesday the 21st Larry Zuidema, Dennis VanZuiden, Ken Petersen, Bob Brands & Jerry Brearton attended the Whiteside County Board Meeting to find out if our grant request for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) produced any positive results. The request was very painstaking because we are a nonprofit and we had to emulate a regular business in regards to the quantity of paperwork submitted. We received the amount requested so it was worth the effort!

Word on the street is that Georgia Pacific is low on paper needed to print membership cards. Please be patient.

We are set up to rent out the Post as a small venue for events like birthdays, Jr High graduation, meetings, etc . Visit