Gazebo Gazette

On August 3, the American Legion Family assembled to witness the installation of its 2021-22 leaders and to present awards.  American Legion Post 1995 is named in honor of deceased United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Donnie Levens who died in a mid-air collision off Djibouti during Operation Enduring Freedom.

The American Legion’s activities are based on “Four Pillars”:  Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation; National Security; Americanism; and Children & Youth.  The Post and Auxiliary participate in programs in the local communities related to these “Pillars”.  

The new Post officers tasked to continue these efforts are Rik Dew (Commander), Russell DeStefano (1st Vice Commander), Tina O’Shields (2nd Vice Commander), Kevin McKenzie (Adjutant), Ray Ruffo (Financial Officer), and Executive Committee Members-at-Large Bill Moran and Ron Oman.  Officiating was Ivan McAllister, a past Department (state) Commander.  

The new Auxiliary officers are Margaret Levens (President), Glynda Vice (1st Vice President), Brenda Bellamy (2nd Vice President), Irene Brown (Secretary/ Treasurer), and Jean Shedden (Chaplain).  Officiating was Anita McAllister, a past Department President.

The Legion also recognizes members for years of continuous membership.   Post members with 5 years of continuous membership are John Crosswhite, Ronald Durham, and Tina O’Shields.  Joe Fleming and Charles Jackson have 10 years. Ray Chavaree and Kevin McKenzie have 15 years.  

Finally, Russell DeStefano and Charmain Woods received the National Commander’s 2021 Membership Excellence “A Foundation For The Future” incentive pin.

Since Pass Christian does not have an American Legion Post, the Long Beach American Legion Post also represents veterans in Pass activities such as partnering with Pass High in sponsoring rising seniors at Boys and Girls State.  If Pass veterans or active duty military are interested in helping to further the American Legion’s “Four Pillars”, they are welcome to contact Charlie Martinek at or (228) 236-4200.