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American Legion gets help from next generation

Somerset Sons of the American Legion Post 111 Commander Mike Davis (right) and treasurer Jim Gallagher (left) stand in the Somerset American Legion building. The Somerset Sons of the American Legion is a relatively new chapter of the organization, dedicated to supporting the Legion and the Somerset community.

When memberships began to dwindle in the Somerset American Legion Post 111, Legionnaires brought in the next generation.

Legionnaires spoke with five or six interested people, including Mike Davis, and together they formed the Somerset Sons of the American Legion.

The Sons of the American Legion (SAL) is a national organization that was founded in 1932, but it came to Somerset just two years ago, according to Davis, who is now the commander of the Post 111 Sons.

"The American Legions aren't really getting the members like they used to, so we hope to try and keep things going at this one," Davis said. "It's a great place."

SAL is an organization for men and boys who have a parent, grandparent or other relative that is a military veteran. Davis' father was in the Navy during the Korean War.

"I couldn't fathom some of the things that they saw, some of those things that they did wouldn't hold a candle to what we have to go through in life," Davis said. "I just feel real obligated to somehow keep things going for them."

Right now, the Somerset Sons of the American Legion has around 26 to30 members, according to Davis. About 10 to 15 of those are active members, he said.

In addition to helping the American Legion, the Sons have been trying to help the community. Around the time the Somerset Sons formed, a local family's house burned down. The Sons gave the family gift cards.

"To go to the movies or something just to get their mind off what was going on," Davis said. "We wanted to get something to help them out right away."

More recently, the Sons held a meat raffle that raised $750 for Jacqueline Carlson, infant daughter of Tera and Chad Carlson. Jacqueline has an unidentified form of cancer.

In order to support the community, the Somerset Sons have several fundraisers throughout the year, including a monthly bacon raffle, which Davis said has been very successful.

The latest fundraiser for the Sons was a concession stand at the Somerset American Legion's Barstool Race on Saturday. The stand brought in about $900, which Davis said will be put right back into the Somerset community.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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