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Erie County Clerk Michael "Mickey" Kearns, Commander Ronald Puckett and members of American Legion Post 735 gathered after the Pearl Harbor Ceremony to dedicate the Combat Wounded parking sign in the Legion parking lot. The parking sign was donated by the Wounded Warriors Family Support to honor and recognize Purple Heart recipients.
Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns presented John Grahowski from American Legion Post 735, with a certificate recognizing John as a Purple Heart recipient. John Grahowski was wounded while serving in Vietnam.
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony, December 7, 2017
A cold, snowy December 7th marked the 76th Anniversary of the horrific sneak attack against the United States when on the quiet morning of December 7, 1941, Japan launched an attack on the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,400 military personnel and civilians were killed and 1,178 were wounded in the bombing raid, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt declaring December 7 "a date which will live in infamy". In addition to the tragic human toll, the Japanese attack sank or severely damaged 18 ships, including the 8 battleships, three light cruisers, and three destroyers. On the airfields around Pearl Harbor, the Japanese destroyed 161 American planes and seriously damaged 102 aircraft. Each year the number of survivors from that surprise attack on Pearl Harbor grows smaller, but their courage and determination to fight must never be forgotten.
American Legion Post 735 hosted its 30th Annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Remembrance Service at 12:00 Noon. West Seneca veterans groups and residents braved the weather to honor the survivors and those who perished at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
We were honored to have Captain Brian Roche (USCG Ret.) as this year's Guest Speaker. Captain Roche is the Executive Director of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. Post Commander Ron Puckett hosted the ceremony, while Mike Hart sang our National Anthem.
American Legion Post 735 Honors West Seneca Police Officer Jonathan Luterek
On April 11, 2017, American Legion Post 735 awarded one of West Seneca’s finest with the 2017 “Valor” award. The award is given to a West Seneca Police Officer who exemplifies outstanding qualities and professionalism during his course of duty. The 2017 Valor award was presented to Police Officer Jonathan E. Luterek, who through his dedication and quick-thinking actions was able to apprehend a suspect involved in several convenient gas station break-ins. Officer Luterek staked out the Kwick Fill convenience store located on Clinton Street, and confronted a male suspect behind the station, who was armed with a crowbar. Officer Luterek was able to persuade the suspect to drop the crowbar and the arrest was made without further incident. Officer Luterek showed immense courage in confronting an armed suspect alone and displayed an enormous amount of restraint in not using deadly physical force.Due to Officer Luterek’s initiative, diligence and decisive actions, West Seneca Police were able to take a serial burglar off the street.
The Valor award was presented to Officer Luterek by Walt Harrison, Law and Order Chairman and Commander Ron Puckett. On hand to see Officer Luterek receive his award were members of his family, Police Chief Daniel Denz, members of the West Seneca Town Board and American Legion veterans.
2016 Photo Gallery
2016 Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony, December 7, 2016
December 7th marked the 75th Anniversary of the horrific sneak attack against the United States by warplanes from the Japanese Imperial Navy. The first wave of fighters and bombers struck the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and pounded Hickam, Bellow, and Wheeler Fields, as well as the Marine airfield on Ford Island.
Within a few hours on that fateful morning, America had lost over 2,400 Naval, Army, Marine and Army Air Corp personnel, with more than 1,100 service personnel injured. In addition, eighteen American ships were sunk or damaged.
American Legion Post 735 marked the "Day of Infamy" with its 29th Annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Remembrance Service at 12:00 Noon. West Seneca veterans groups and residents joined together to honor the survivors and those who perished at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
The Guest Speaker for this year's Pearl Harbor Ceremony was David Shenk. Erie County Director of Veterans Services. Post Commander Ron Puckett hosted the ceremony, while Chaplain Ken Herkey sang our National Anthem.
American Legion Post 735 and Legion Riders Present Check to VALOR
The American Legion Post 735 and the Legion Riders sponsored its annual Motorcycle Dice Run in May 2016 to raise money and awareness for the disadvantaged Veterans in our local area. The funds that were raised from this event, $3,500.00, were donated to the VALOR Veterans organization.
Since its inception in 1986, the VALOR Committee has distributed more than $300,000 in cash and thousands more in food to the Western New York Veterans Food Pantry for needy veterans and their families.The food pantry is maintained by Western New York Chapter 77 of the Vietnam Veterans of America. The pantry provides assistance to any veteran in the Town of West Seneca, or surrounding communities, and his or her family, if they are in need of food.
The funds were raised by the Legion Riders ($2500) and the Sons of the Legion ($1000) with a great amount of assistance from the Legion.
American Legion Post 735 Honors West Seneca Police Officer
On April 12, 2016, American Legion Post 735 awarded one of West Seneca’s finest with the 2016 “Valor” award. The award is given to a West Seneca policeman who exemplifies outstanding qualities and professionalism during his course of duty. The 2016 Valor award was presented to Police Officer Matthew Leitzel who through his dedication and quick-thinking actions was able to detain and arrest two suspects who were connected to operating a “meth“ lab. The two high-level drug suspects were major distributers of methamphetamines throughout the eight counties of Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Due to Officer Leitzel’s high level of professionalism and competency during the course of his duties, a rolling meth lab was dismantled and the two drug distributors were placed behind bars. Through his effort, Officer Matthew Leitzel distinguished himself and the West Seneca Police Department by performing his duties in the highest traditions of Law Enforcement.
The Valor award was presented to Officer Leitzel by Walt Harrison and Commander Ron Puckett. On hand to see Officer Matthew Leitzel receive his award were members of his family, including his father West Seneca Police Detective Lieutenant William Leitzel, Police Chief Daniel Denz, members of the West Seneca Town Board and American Legion veterans.
2015 Photo Gallery
2015 Pearl Harbor Remembrance
At 7:55AM, December 7, 1941, on a calm, quiet Sunday morning 74 years ago, the Japanese Imperial Navy launched a horrific sneak attack against the United States. The first wave of fighters and bombers struck the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor and pounded Hickam, Bellow, and Wheeler Fields, as well as the Marine airfield on Ford Island.
Within a few hours on that fateful morning, America had lost over 2,400 Naval, Army, Marine and Army Air Corp personnel, with more than 1,100 service personnel injured.
On a mild Monday moring on December 7, 2015, American Legion Post 735 paused to remember and honor the men and women who were stationed at Pearl Harbor 74 years ago as it hosted its 28th Annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Rememberance Service. West Seneca veterans groups and residents came together to pay tribute to all those who died on that “date which will live in infamy” and plunged the United States into World War II.
The Guest Speaker for the Pearl Harbor Ceremony was State Senator Patrick Gallivan, who represents the 59th District. Past Post Commander Bud Wohlfiel handled the hosting duties, while Chaplain Ken Herkey offered a unique rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.
American Legion Color Guard Helps Open West Seneca Resource Center
On October 1st, members of the American Legion Color Guard presented the colors at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony opening the West Seneca Resource Center. The Color Guard and members of the West Seneca Stakeholder's Coalition opened the new Resource Center located at the New Hope Methodist Church, 2846 Seneca Street in West Seneca.
The Coalition partnered with community businesses, non-profits, residents, service organizations and municipal entities to increase the accessibility and availability of services and develop new programs for youth, seniors, families, and all residents of West Seneca. Members of the community who need assistance applying for HEAP, STAR, veterans benefits and food stamps, or who may need health screenings and career development, can come to the center on designated days to speak with a service network person confidentially and learn what benefits they are eligible to receive. As the center grows, the coalition will continue to review any requests for additional services and program interests expressed by the community to expand the number of providers available.
American Legion Riders Present Proceeds from Motorcycle Run to Altamont House
On September 25th, the American Legion Riders, led by Road Captain Ron Kelly, Legion Rider President Kevin Galligan, Pat Curtin, Ed Pfeiffer, Ed Tyczka, and Gail Kelly presented the proceeds from the Homeless Veterans Motorcycle Run to Altamont House in Buffalo. A $1,500 debit card was presented to fund "quality of life" events such as bowling nights and movie nights. The remainder of the funds will be allocated to various "wish list" items desired by the residents.
American Legion Post 735 Family Makes Donation to West Seneca Police Department
American Legion Post 735 is proud to offer assistance to the West Seneca Police Department. When the West Seneca Police Department purchased a Humvee, funds were needed to letter and detail the Humvee. The American Legion, Sons of the Legion and the Legion Auxiliary donated a check for one thousand dollars to help defray the cost.
The use of the four-wheel drive Humvee can be used in heavy brush and overgrown field areas of town where a regular police cruiser is not useful. The vehicle can also help our police department target some of the problems they been having in high brush areas like illegal dumping and underage drinking. The Humvee is a great asset for the Town of West Seneca when natural disasters such as snow storms or heavy localized flooding makes it impractical for other vehicles to respond to emergency calls.
American Post 735 Legion Riders take to the highway to visit the Thousand Islands
On August 22nd, a group of Legion Riders from our Post, took off on a journey to the Thousand Islands in Upstate new York. Seven bikes and two support vehicles made the scenic and relaxing trip. After stops in Geneva and Oswego, the Riders made it to Capt. Thompsons in lovely Alexandria Bay around 2:30PM.
After visiting the local American Legion Post and a stop at the Roadhouse Restaurant, the Riders ventured into Clayton where they visited a wine store and sampled the wine and craft beer. It was then on to the Clayton American Legion Post, followed by a ride along the St. Lawrence Seaway where they saw 2 ocean vessels passing each other. After some more wine sampling, the group headed back to Alexandria Bay for dinner and drinks.
The Riders left Alexandria Bay on Sunday morning around 9:30am and with good weather, the group made it back to West Seneca in a little over four hours. Tired, but a good time and good memories were had by all.
2015 West Seneca Memorial Day Parade
Under sunny skies, the American Legion Post 735 Marching Unit, along with the Legion Auxiliary Marching Unit, participated in the annual West Seneca Memorial Day Parade held on May 25th. The marching units, along with other veterans posts, Boy and Girl Scouts, Fire companies and various other community groups, marched from Southgate Plaza to the Vietnam Memorial in front of the West Seneca Library. A short memorial ceremony was held, followed by hot dogs and refreshments at the post.
2015 American Legion Post 735 Motorcycle Dice Run
The American Legion Post 735 sponsored its annual Motorcycle Dice Run on Saturday, May 23rd to raise money and awareness to the Homeless Veterans in our local area. The funds that were raised from this event will be utilized to purchase specific needed items at Altamont House in Buffalo which houses 34 individuals in transition.
The Dice Run started at noon when approximately 96 motorcycles and 116 participants roared out of the American Legion parking lot and started their run, stopping at the East Aurora Legion, Concord Legion, Gowanda Legion, Eden Legion and back to the West Seneca Legion where hot dogs, hamburgers and refreshments awaited the motorcyclists.
2015 Armed Forces Day at Canalside
Brilliant sunshine greeted the members of American Legion 735 Marching Unit as they participated in the Opening Ceremony of the 2015 Armed Forces Week. The ceremony to kick-off Armed Forces Week was held at the Buffalo Inner Harbor and military organizations from the region participated in a short procession.
The Armed Forces Opening Ceremony honored the Gold Star Mothers who lost sons or daughters in the line of duty. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
2014 Photo Gallery
2014 Children's Christmas Party
American Legion Post 735 held its annual Christmas Party for the Children on Sunday, Decvember 14th. The children had a chance to meet Santa Claus and receive a gift from him for being so good durning the year. This year Mrs. Claus accompanied the jolly one as he visited our Post Home.
In addition to visiting with Santa, there were crafts and activities for the children. Snacks were available to all.
2014 Pearl Harbor Ceremony
A calm and peaceful quiet Sunday morning on December 7, 1941 was shattered by an unexpected Japanese attack which killed 2,386 American service personnel and civilians. In addition to the tragic human toll, the Japanese aircraft sank or severely damaged 18 ships, including the 8 battleships, three light cruisers, and three destroyers. On the airfields around Pearl Harbor, the Japanese destroyed 161 American planes and seriously damaged 102 aircraft.
On a another calm and sunny, but not quite as warm, Sunday morning, American Legion Post 735 hosted its 27th Annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Service on December 7th, to honor and remember those who perished during the attack and those who survived the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. West Seneca veterans groups and residents came together to pay tribute to all those who died on that “date which will live in infamy” and plunged the United States into World War II.
The Guest Speaker for the Pearl Harbor Ceremony was Mr. Paul Rudnicki, a Vietnam veteran and member of American Legion Post 735. Paul Rudnicki was the recipient of the Bronze Star and the Air Medal for his service in Vietnam. The Honor Guard was provided by Legion Post 735. Guests were treated to chili and coffee after the ceremoy.
Snow Storm Buries West Seneca
A historic snow storm hit Western New York! Snow started falling on Monday, November 17, 2014 and continued through Thursday, November 20th. It was estimated that 70+ inches of snow fell on the Town of West Seneca. Known for being a town of "Good Neighbors", residents worked together and helped each other during this time of emergency. A travel ban, restricting driving, was in place for four days while the Highway Department worked to clear the streets for traffic. Our Post was reopened on Sunday, November 23rd after several volunteers shoveled snow from the doorways.
Legion Riders Deliver!
American Legion Post 735 hosted the 2014 Motorcycle Dice Run on May 24th to benefit Homeless Veterans. The Dice Run was a huge success as over $4,600 was raised to benefit 34 homeless Veterans through the Altamont house in Buffalo. On June 21st, Pat Curtin, Ed Pfeiffer and several other Legion Riders, delivered the first installation of items that the director of Altamont House had requested on its initial “Wish List”.
The Legion Riders delivered 32 window fans, one window A/C unit, flooring , trim and underlayment to resurface their porch and a coffee urn for their kitchen. They also paid ABC Locksmith to do some extensive modifications to the building lock system. There will be more to come in the future.
Legion Post 735 Hosts Homeless Veterans Motorcycle Run
American Legion Post 735 hosted the Homeless Veterans Motorcycle Run on Saturday, May 24, 2014. Registration started at 10:00am, as all types of motorcycles and riders signed-up to be part of this event. All proceeds from the Motorcycle Run went to help our Homesss Veterans.
The Motorcycle Run, in addition to the beautiful machines that participated, had a little something for everyone. The cyclists and guests were treated to entertainment, beverages, food and basket raffles.
2013 Photo Gallery
Legion Post 735 Hosts 26th Annual Pearl Harbor Rememberance Ceremony
Seventy-two years ago, a calm and peaceful quiet Sunday morning on December 7, 1941 was shattered by an unexpected Japanese attack which killed 2,386 American service personnel and civilians. In addition to the tragic human toll, the Japanese aircraft sank or severely damaged 18 ships, including the 8 battleships, three light cruisers, and three destroyers. On the airfields around Pearl Harbor, the Japanese destroyed 161 American planes and seriously damaged 102 aircraft.
American Legion Post 735 honored those servicemen and women who were there on that fateful December 7th with its 26th Memorial Service marking the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor Survivor Earl Wickett (seated)
The program started at noon on a chilly Saturday afternoon, December 7, 2013. Our guest of honor was Earl Wickett, who was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked by 360 aircraft from carriers of the Japanese Imperial Navy in 1941.
Guest Speaker Fran McLaughlin, Commander Ron Puckett, Chaplain Ken Herkey
The guest speaker for this year’s service was Francis McLaughlin, Director of Veterans Services, County of Erie. Fran served in the United States Air Force from 1969 thru 1972 as an Aircraft Mechanic. In August, 2013, the Erie County Poloncarz selected Fran as the Erie County Director of Veterans Services. Fran is also currently a Councilman on the Eden Town Board and a life member of the American Legion, VFW and DAV.
Wreath Presentation by Amana Garden Club of West Seneca
A special Wreath presentation was made by Ardys Lerch, President of the Amana Garden Club of West Seneca. As part of the Wreaths Across America program, Mrs. Lerch placed a wreath during the ceremony honoring all veterans who gave their life in the defense of their country.
American Legion Post 735 Honor Guard
The Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful were sung by Kate Truslow and Jeff Glaub played Taps on his bugle. The Legion Honor Guard, under the direction of Major Pat Curtin, fired a 21-gun salute to honor those at Pearl Harbor.
Legion Post 735 Participates in 9-11 Ceremony at St. Mary's School for the Deaf
Picture: From Left to Right
St. Mary’s School for the Deaf Superintendent Tim Kelly, American Legion members Jim Manley, Walt Harrison, John Grochowski,
On Tuesday, May 14th, Commander Ron Puckett presented Walt Harrison with a plaque naming Walt as the West Seneca American Legion Post 735 2013 Legionnaire of the Year. This distinctive and coveted award was presented to Mr. Harrison dring the Legion’s regular monthly meeting with Mr. Harrison's daughter in attendance.
Commander Ronald Puckett presents award to
"Legionnaire of the Year" to Walt Harrison
Walt Harrison thanks fellow Legionnaires
for honor as "Legionnaire of the Year"
Mr. Walt Harrison has attended all Post meetings and functions in the past year and has spent numerous hours working in and for the Post such as helping with the mailing of the Post newsletter and arranging speakers for the monthly Post meetings. This member has served on many Post committees and chaired the Law & Order Committee, the Scouting Committee, served as the Co-chairman of the Americanism Committee and is a member of the West Seneca Veterans Committee.
As an active church member, Mr. Harrison is very involved with his church, spending several hours a week working on bulletins and other church related duties.
As a former solder, Mr. Harrison has visited area schools and spoken to students about his experiences during his military tenure. This outstanding Legionnaire emphasizes the importance of Americanism, Patriotism, and Duty to Country to our young men and women. He continues to serve as a role model for the younger generation.
Walt Harrison’s name will also be submitted to the Erie County American Legion Committee for consideration as the Erie County 2013 Legionnaire of the Year.
On Tuesday, April 9, 2013, American Legion Post 735 held a special ceremony to honor some of West Seneca’s finest. Commander Ronald Puckett and Law and Order Chairman Walt Harrison presented five Police Officers and two Public Safety Dispatchers with certificates citing their outstanding public service which benefitted our community, state and nation.
Police Officer Robert Deppeler received the “Officer of the Year” honors for valor and heroism above and beyond the call of duty. Police Lieutenants Dave Szmania and Ed Baker, along with Police Officers Gerry Fibich, Sean Donohue and Public Safety Dispatchers Jeff Locher and Ricki Galli received Certificates of Recognition for their contributions to the community.
On September 4, 2012 a disabled 14-year-old West Seneca boy was separated from his mother in the Mill Road-Cazanovia Creek area. Based on information gained from the boy, these West Seneca Police Officers and Public Safety Dispatchers, along with members of the DDSO, began a massive search to find the boy’s mother. Although hampered by a thunderous rainstorm, the officers located the victim breathing but unresponsive about 10 feet from the creek’s edge. Because of the quick actions by the officers, the victim was stabilized the victim and transported to safety.
Through their actions, these five Police Officers and two Public Safety Dispatchers distinguished himself and their department by their efforts and dedication.
American Legion Post 735 salutes the Police Officers and Public Safety Dispatchers who not only keep our community safe, but help to make it a great place to live.
American Legion Post 735 hosted its annual Pearl Harbor Ceremony on Friday, December 7, 2012 at the Post. Seventy-one years ago, on December 7, 1941 history was forever changed when an unprovoked and surprise attack of 356 fighters and bombers launched from the Japanese Imperial Fleet lying hundreds of miles off the Hawaiian coast attached the American fleeet anchored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Although ill-prepared, the beleaguered Americans fought gallantly. Again and again, countless acts of courage were played out that fateful Sunday morning as the American forces mustered what they could to fend off the enemy aircraft. When the attack was over, 18 ships, including 8 battleships, 3 light cruisers and 3 destroyers were sunk or severely damaged. More thanr 260 planes were also either destroyed or damaged. Above and beyond the material loss was the terrible human toll. 2,386 American service personnel and civilians lost their lives that day. Although Japan struck a blow against the United States and plunged our nation into World War II on that fateful December 7th morning, it did not break the spirit or will of the American people.
American Legion Post 735 held its 25th annueal ceremony to remember and honor the sacrifice and courage of America's sons and daughters who gave their lives on that, the darkest of days, a day of infamy.
Mr. Earl Wickett, a Pearl Harbor survivor, was the guest of honor. The guest speaker for the event was Congressman Brian Higgins and the members of the various West Seneca veterans groups participated in the ceremony.
American Legion Post 735 participated in the West Seneca Veterans Day Ceremony held on November 11, 2011 at 11:00am. This year's ceremony and all future Veterans Day ceremonies will be held at the Walkway of Freedom in the West Seneca Veterans Memorial Park.
American Legion Post 735 purchased a bench for the "Walkway of Freedom". The six-foot bench is made from recycled plastic with a cedar back/seat and a black frame. The bench was installed on the cement pad directly in front of the walkway. Veterans and their families will have a place to reflect and rest when visiting the Walkway.
Serving West Seneca Veterans Since 1919