American Legion Post 33

Greetings from the Commander of Post 33!  You may have missed our ceremony and caking cutting by 104-year-old World War II veteran Mr. Francis (Kay) Killelea on March 16th when we celebrated the birthday to the American Legion!  On this date in 1919 the first American Legion caucus was held by members of the American Expeditionary Forces which convened in Paris and the American Legion came to life.  Post 33 also received its Charter in 1919 so now we are officially 105 years old.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers of Post 33.  It takes many volunteers to keep Post 33 operating.  From our weekly Bingo games on Saturday nights, to our Queen of Hearts raffle on Thursday nights, our Tenderloins Tuesdays, and our sharp Honor Guard that is on the road nearly every week conducting Military Funeral Honors and the many community events with their color guard – everyone is much appreciated by the Post and the Ottawa community.

It is spring and our post election cycle is about to begin in April with our Officer and Trustee positions opening for nominations in April and voting on Saturday June 1st.  I encourage anyone who may be interested in a leadership position to please put your name on the nomination lists posted in April.

The post leadership and a few members recently spent the afternoon of St Patrick’s day enjoying great corned beef sandwiches prepared by the Post 33 Auxiliary and looking at what our post should be doing to support the American Legion 4 Pillars – Veterans, Youth, Americanism, and National Defense.  We looked extensively at the strengths and weaknesses of our post and compared them to our opportunities and threats to our post. 

Post 33 has a lot of great programs supporting the 4 Pillars and we wanted to expand them and do a better job at supporting the 4 Pillars with the resources we have.  We are extremely lucky to have adequate financial resources and a reliable income flow to support our programs. 

What we don’t have is people resources.  To be totally transparent, we have over 440 veteran members of which it is estimated that out of those 400 members that only about 10% are actively involved in post volunteer activities on a regular basis.  That 10% cannot manage all the post activities.  WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Supporting your post is a community endeavor.  As a veteran’s service organization, we support veterans, their families, and the community.  What’s in it for you?  The satisfaction of reaching out and giving back to your fellow veterans and the community we live in.  I encourage you to join in and be a more active member.  Volunteer and encourage others to join and get involved.  Try it, there is personal satisfaction achieved by serving others and it is worth the effort. 

We are in immediate need for Committee chairpersons to lead 3 of our 4 Pillars and our Membership Committee.  Joe Tokarz has already stepped up to take the National Defense Committee Chair.  So, we still need Veterans, Youth, Americanism, and Membership chairs filled.  As the chairperson you are not on your own. Post officers will provide guidance and help as needed along with a small number of volunteers to help you accomplish the programs.  Each program has it’s individual needs.  Some are as easy as coordinating scholarships with the high schools or as complicated as organizing our Gifts to Yanks at Christmas time.  The post has the financial resources; we just need volunteers to put those resources to good use.

The 4 Pillars and their top prioritized programs are listed below:  Contact us for more details.

Four Pillars


  1. Veteran Home support
  2. Veteran reach-out help
  3. Homeless veterans
  4. Gifts to yanks


  1. Boys State
  2. Special Olympics summer – June 9th @ Bloomington
  3. Scholarships
  4. Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Academy
  5. Youth sports


  1. Flag Day – June 14th
  2. Chamber of Commerce

National Defense Chairperson – Joe Tokarz

  1. Tornado shelter designation
  2. Disaster preparedness
  3. Blood Drive


  1. Lead efforts in membership renewal
  2. Lead efforts in membership recruiting


If you have questions or want to join in helping our post and community, please contact myself or the Adjutant - John Duback.  We are looking forward to hearing from YOU!

Tom Shea, Commander, or 618-531-9287

John Duback, Adjutant, or 815-993-3956


Post 33 Members Lost in 2023


1. Corrigan, Jack                                            

2. Carrier, George

3. Anderson, Thomas

4. Leonard, Warren “Skip”

5. Reynolds, James

6. Bassing, Charles

7. Gerald, James

8. Riebe, Wayne

9. Cooper, Gary (Mort)

10. Halterman, Jerry

11. Hicks, Kenneth

12. Grammer, Mark

13. Goodchild, Harry

14. Troup, Harry

15. Magoonaugh James (Kelly) Jr

16. Lemke, Gary

17. Bower, Charles

18. Robert Cupples

19. Carr, Philip

20. Jerry Misselt

21. Robert Vonruden

22. Ronald Slafer

23. William Durdan

24. Edmund Thornton

25. Kenneth Lane

26. Donald Winslow

27. Brent Schueler

28. James Murphy Sr.

29. Meagher, Francis