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

Veterans Day (time frame) Events

Friday the 10th - Morrison High School presents a Veterans Day Recognition Assembly starting at 11:40 and concluding about 12:30 with a light lunch put on by Morrison High School’s National Honor Society Chapter - Then an opportunity for veterans to speak in some classrooms about their service experience and what caused them to join the service

Saturday the 11th - Homestead of Morrison (formerly Windsor Manor Assisted Living) will serve breakfast to veterans and guests at 09:00

Saturday the 11th - The American Legion Post Honor Squad will fire three volleys and play taps at Morrison Veterans Park and Memorial at exactly 11:00 (11th Month / 11th Day / 11th Hour)

Saturday the 11th - The Quilt of Valor Foundation will be presenting a Quilt of Valor to Legionnaire Bill Brackemyer at the Post at 1:00 PM.

Saturday the 11th - The Clinton Pizza Ranch appreciates the sacrifices and dedication of our veterans and current military personnel.  To honor your service, we're offering an exclusive Veterans Day buffet special. All veterans and current military personnel can get a FREE BUFFET on Saturday, November 11th during our regular buffet hours!  We look forward to serving you a legendary meal.  Buffet hours are:  11:00 AM - 2:00 PM and again 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Saturday the 11th - Several restaurants are offering free or discounted meals to veterans. https://news.va.gov/.../2023-veterans-day-discounts-free.../

Monday the 13th - Post 328 Veterans Meal (in lieu of November meeting)

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 http://328rental.com 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 https://www.morrisonamericanlegion.org/


Our webpage for the Queen of Hearts at http://post328.com


Our webpage for Renting the Post at http://www.328rental.com


Our Legion FB page https://www.facebook.com/AmericanLegionPost328MorrisonIllinois


Our Queen of Hearts FB page https://www.facebook.com/Queen-of-Hearts-for-Morrison-IL-Legion-Post-100311355792099

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:  328rental.com  $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 - http://thecity1.com/memorial-day-2022/

Article about our ribbon cutting - http://thecity1.com/american-legion-post-328-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. https://www.bosmarenkes.com/obituaries/Robert-J-Landheer?obId=25192531#/obituaryInfo 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: https://www.morrisonamericanlegion.org/

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 http://www.328rental.com

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

Post 328 celebrated Legionnaire Bob Brands 93rd birthday and The American Legions 104th birthday.

Post Commander Larry Zuidema (left) presented a cake to Bob to commemorate both birthdays.  Even at 93, Bob is very active in the Post to include performing at funerals, parades, flag placements (just to mention a few) regardless of the weather. 

Dennis VanZuiden is awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

AWARD OF THE MILITARY OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE MEDAL to Builder First Class (Seabee Combat Warrior) Dennis R. VanZuiden, USN

Pursuant to SECNAVINST 1650.1J you are awarded the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal for outstanding public service while serving as the Senior Vice Commander and Building Committee Chairman for Morrison American Legion Post 328 from August 2018 to August 2021.  You selflessly devoted over 680 off duty hours in support of the American Legion in which you established a team and oversaw the renovations for the Post.  With your experience and skill you ensured the renovations of a full kitchen, foyer and furnace room were completed despite several obstacles and COVID-19 restrictions.  Additionally, as a member of the Posts Honor Guard you rendered 28 military funeral honors, marched in numerous parades and honorably laid wreaths for both Wreaths Across America at the Lusk Cemetery in Albany IL and Morrison Memorial Day Assembly at Grove Hill Cemetery.

Your dedication and tenacious commitment to the community during your off duty hours is an inspiration to all.  Your actions have helped to ensure the continued success of the Legion Post and the positive development of military-community interaction.  Your genuine concern for others and generous spirit reflect your high regard of the Navy's core values of Honor, Courage, Commitment as well the Preamble to the American Legion's Constitution.  Presented on behalf of Navy Commander S.L. Brown by Post Commander L.J. Zuidema.

Wreaths Across America

(L to R) Jerry Brearton, Terry Jones, Bob Brands, Garry Seaman, Ken Petersen and Larry Zuidema presented the colors at the Wreaths Across America ceremony in Albany at Lusk Cemetery.  Carolyn played taps. 

Retired Flag Burning

598 Flags were retired and burned pursuant to United States Flag Code and Resolution 440 of the 19th National Legion Convention

The American Legion Post 328 in Morrison IL celebrated the Legions 103rd birthday along with Bob Brands 92nd birthday.  Brands is very active with the Post, in 2021 he performed in twenty-three funerals and color guard events.  That was the most of any Legionnaire and he only missed one due to a prior commitment.

Pictured left to right are:  Bob Brands, Dale Usterbowski, Barry Linder, Ken Gooley, Dennis VanZuiden, Andy Schroeder, EH Stralow, Ken Petersen, Larry Zuidema, Korey Zigler, Ken Brainerd, Jeff Steele and Jerry Brearton.

Independence Day

Independence Day (often called the 4th of July, this is the day it is - not the name of the holiday) is more than just a three day weekend full of picnics, boating, get togethers, etc.  It is celebrating our independence from Great Britain & the commemoration of the passage of our Declaration of Independence.

We are a proud Volunteer Partner of the SAUK IMPACT PROGRAM

Excerpts from the Preamble of the American Legion go hand and hand with the mission of the SVCC Impact Program, examples include:

To learn more about the IMPACT program, visit https://www.svcc.edu/impact/

To see available volunteer opportunities sponsored by Morrison American Legion - Click HERE

The SVCC Impact Program will harness the collective power of Sauk Valley partners and communities to create an effective, supportive, sustainable path for students to pursue a college education and achieve career success through lifelong learning, public service and economic advancement. 

Morrison Lions Club and the American Legion co-sponsor of the overdue upgrade of flags and poles for Morrison's Avenue of Flags.  Click here to download a booklet with acknowledges of generous donors and other contributors.

Grand Re-Opening / Open House

On January 29, 2018, the Building Committee purchased Sawzall (reciprocating saw) blades, which officially kicked off The American Legion Post 328 in Morrison, IL, remodel project. Forward to Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2022. After a lot of pauses in the middle–due to ice storms, illness, COVID-19, fire, smoke damage, and a myriad of other hiccups–the Post finally made it to the Grand Reopening.

Over two hundred visitors enjoyed seeing an up-to-date Legion Post with all of the amenities. They were treated to pork chop sandwiches, sides, dessert, and beverages.

Morrison Department of Fun was involved by hosting a Block Party to celebrate the grand opening and Main Street renovation completion.

In addition to having an attractive and up-to-date Post for our Legion meetings, Post 328 is available to rent for small venues. Visit www.328rental.com or call 815-310-0333 for information

The photograph of the Ribbon Cutting had Morrison Chamber of Commerce members and Legion Members alike holding the ribbon. Left to right on the ribbon or immediately behind are Myra Huizenga; Chamber Executive Director Faith Rumfelt; Past Commander Terry Jones; Tiffany Tipton; Legionnaires Barry Linder and Ken Petersen; ribbon cutters Sgt.-at-Arms Jerry Brearton and Commander Larry Zuidema; Past Commander Dale Usterbowski (initiator of the remodel project); Senior Vice Commander and skilled craftsman Dennis VanZuiden; Legionnaires Vern Schroeder and Bob Brands; Chamber Board of Directors President Kevin Schisler; Legionnaires E. H. Stralow and Bill Brackemyer.

Johannsen and Matlack laid a memorial wreath in front of the pavilion. The Color Guard retired the Colors: left-to-right, Johannsen, VanZuiden, Matlack, and Brackemyer. 

Memorial Day

Left-to-right are Color Guard Lori Matack, U. S. Coast Guard; Flag Bearers William Brackemyer, U. S. Army, and Amy Johannsen, U. S. Air Force; Color Guard Dennis VanZuiden, U. S. Navy.  Bob Brands (92), Ken Petersen (80s) and Jerry Brearton also marched.

Service Officer Korey Zigler presents the Junior High School Patriot Award to Samuel Williams and Sarah Wetzell.  In additon to the award, they received $25 from the Post.

Pictured left to right are: Chad Hudson, Bill Brackemyer, Rip (on all fours), Ken Brainerd, Larry Zuidema, Blake Adams, Shane Adams, Barry Linder, Ken Petersen, Rob Hudson, Lindsay Workman, Ken Gooley, Danielle Fulton, Terry Jones, Sarah Stralow and Paige Leighton.  Volunteers not pictured are:  Brian Bartoz, Jim Bramm, Bob Brands, Jack Brearton, Jerry Brearton, Vern Schroeder and Rick Smith.  Additionally, Mrs Donna Geerts and her family continue the tradition set forth by Al Geerts and other Legionnaires of planting about 200 flags in over a dozen rural cemeteries.  Many miles are accumulated and some for just a couple of veterans' graves.

Funeral Honors Service

for sixty-two year Legionnaire John Reed in Sterling IL at Oak Knoll cemetery.  It was a blustery snowy day for the first Saturday of April 2022

The Commanding Officer of the Navy Operational Support Center in Rock Island is standing with Justine & Brandon Doyle while Brandon is holding their son Rhett.  Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Doyle reelisted in the United States Navy under the Full Time Support program.  Both Justine & Brandon are Legionnaires of Post 328

Color Guard give the Rifle Salute for the Wreaths Across America at the Lusk Memorial Cemetery in Albany IL.

December (and some year-end) accomplishments:

Sgt-at-Arms Jerry Brearton, Commander Larry Zuidema, Adjutant Ken Petersen and Senior Vice Commander VanZuiden pose with the Posts newest member Jacob Andrews

The Post held our annual Flag Retirement Ceremony on the 26th of September 2021 (on the last Sunday of September per our annual calendar).  307 Flags were burnt.

Meet Copper and his handler LT Cavalos

Wreaths Across America
Gifts to the Yanks who Gave

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month - The Honor Guard of the Post will honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.  This short ceremony will be at the Veteran's Park & Memorial across from Northside School.

Windsor Manor Assisted Care & Memory Care Community will provide hot chocolate, coffee and light snacks prior to and afterwards at the Veterans Park & Memorial for veterans.

Illinois Premier Boys State

The American Legion Post in Morrison is interested in sponsoring a High School Junior or Senior (eligibility is slightly broader) to the 86th Session (11 - 17 June) of Illinois Premier Boys State hosted by Eastern IL University in Charleston.  Costs will be covered by Morrison Post.  Being a resident of Morrison or attending MHS is not a requirement.  If you are within 30 (give or take) miles of Morrison and interested, please contact us.


Illinois Premier Boys State website: https://illinoisboysstate.org//

Boys that have attended this have grown into fine young men and become successful in life and society.


American Legion Illinois Premier Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. It is a participatory program in which students learn by doing and become part of the operation of city, county, and state governments. Now a national program of the American Legion, Boys State was founded in Illinois in 1935 to counter the socialism-inspired Young Pioneer Camps. The program was founded by three Illinois Legionnaires, Hayes Kennedy, Harold Card, and Matthew Murphy, who organized the first Boys State at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. That is why we use the moniker “Premier” as part of our title; we are Premier.

American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a separate but similar program for young women called Girls State.


At Boys State, participants learn the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of citizenship. Although fictional political parties are created and the citizens are randomly assigned to one, Boys State is nonpartisan in the sense of U.S. or Illinois political parties. The hands-on political and governmental elements of the program center around creating and facilitating city, county, and state governments. Boys State activities include various levels of legislative sessions, political party caucuses, four different election cycles, general assemblies, band concerts, law enforcement presentations, recreational programs, and so much more. We truly believe that the lessons learned and the informal interactions in this program create a week that shapes a lifetime.

American Legion posts select high school juniors to attend the program in June right after their junior year. In most cases, individual expenses are paid by a sponsoring Legion Post, a local business, or another community-based organization. Parents and grandparents are also able to sponsor a citizens.


Boys State and Girls State programs currently exist in every state of our union. As separate corporations, Boys State and Girls State programs vary in content and method of procedure, but each adheres to the same basic concept: teaching government from the city to the state level. Two participates from each Boys State and Girls State program are selected to go on and participate as Senators at Boys Nation and Girls Nation.

Fred Steele, Larry Saling, Ron Wiersema (American Flag), Mike Allen (Legion Flag), Garry Seaman, Terry Jones, Ken Petersen, Jim Prombo, Bob Brands, Jeff Steele, Larry Zuidema, Dennis VanZuiden and Jerry Brearton

RIP Dale

DALE R. USTERBOWSKI, 79, of Morrison, IL, died  on September 8th, at OSF St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford, IL.  Cremation rites have been accorded. There will be no visitation or funeral service.  A Celebration of Life will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on Sunday, October 23, 2022, at Morrison American Legion Post 328.  Memorials have been established to Bethesda Lutheran Church and Morrison American Legion Post 328.  Dale was born July 10, 1943, in Chicago, IL, to August and Laura (Kuberski) Usterbowski.  He was educated in the Chicago grade schools and graduated from high school in Chicago.  He served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam era.  Dale married Nancy V. Menne on April 20, 1968, in Bartlett, IL. He was a sheet metal worker for 35 years for the Local 73 in Chicago, IL.  He was a member of Bethesda Lutheran Church in Morrison. He was also a member of the Morrison American Legion Post 328, where he served as Commander for seven years.  Survivors include his wife, Nancy; two daughters, Karen (Mauro) Apostoli of West Chicago, IL and Lisa (Keith) Seyller of Maple Park, IL; one son, Matt (Kristi) Usterbowski of Sophia, NC; seven grandchildren, Evan, Andrew and Alyssa Apostoli, Danielle and Nathan Seyller, Zack and Lukas Usterbowski; one brother, Ralph (Pat) Usterbowski of Johnsburg, IL.  He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Marlene Sinagra, Shirley Sopper and Thelma Nee; two brothers, Kenneth and Norbert Usterbowski.