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Tropical Storm Harold damages building of local non-profit veteran organization

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Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-25 19:21:32-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The American Legion Bill Roper Country Post 364 had its 85th Anniversary celebration on Aug. 19.

"This has been one of the best celebrations that we've had, as far as crowd and unity with all the members," Post 364 Commander David Sauceda said.

However, the high spirits following that event didn't last long. In a matter of days, the scene of the room that hosted people paying tribute to military members drastically changed after Tropical Storm Harold made landfall in South Texas.

"It brought a lot of rain in here and pulled down all our tiles basically and in the front lounge also, the tiles came down," Henry Pena, an executive board member with the group said.

He showed KRIS 6 News the damages on the ceiling and roof. The non-profit has been working to upkeep the 70-year-old building. They've also been making efforts to repair the roof which was initially damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

Pena said they were able to receive a grant from government funds which could've helped them completely repair the issue this year. However, Tuesday's tropical storm dented the progress.

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Group members have been coming together to fix what they can and clean up the aftermath of the storm. Pena said they will still be able to resume their normal operations. However, they are concerned about the damage's long-term affects and they hope to get it addressed as soon as possible.

"We're going to have to raise funds to replace the insulation that's underneath because it might have mold. We just don't know right now," he said.

Post 364 is hoping people will consider donating funds, services or time. They are also raffling a 65 inch television to encourage people to donate.

Pena said it's important to preserve the building. He explained its significance and said it has helped Post 364 uphold a legacy of patriotism.

The American Legion is the largest wartime veteran organization in the country with several posts established accross the nation. It was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.

The veteran-run group devotes time serving past and present military members and the general public. Members organize programs throughout the community, including programs involving youth.

Although service is a calling for many of the group's participant's it has also become a home-away-from-home for many veterans. An estimated 400 veterans are associated with the group according to George Sandor, Post 364's 2nd Vice Commander.

"It's very family orientated," Sauceda said.

To help the group, you are encouraged to call (361) 852-9115.


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