Lloyd Drees, commander of the American Legion Maurice Dunn Post in Carroll, displays one of the flags the family of a deceased veteran has donated to the Legion. The flags are displayed at the Legion hall. Names of more than 530 deceased local veterans will be read at the Memorial Day program Monday at Carroll Cemetery.
Lloyd Drees, commander of the American Legion Maurice Dunn Post in Carroll, displays one of the flags the family of a deceased veteran has donated to the Legion. The flags are displayed at the Legion hall. Names of more than 530 deceased local veterans will be read at the Memorial Day program Monday at Carroll Cemetery.
May 23, 2014



"We're looking forward to Memorial Day, and the participation of the community in the American Legion parade and observances is an appropriate time to remind us not only of our loved ones, but of the services of local veterans," according to Lloyd Drees, local commander of Maurice Dunn American Legion Post 7.

"This year," Drees continues, "the American Legion would like to invite all local veterans to participate in the parade, which is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Southside Park shelterhouse. Veterans may assemble by 10 a.m. at the park.

Featured speaker will be Scott Schaben, a Navy veteran of Operation Infinite Reach and Operation Desert Fox. Schaben is a son of Dan Schaben, formerly of Carroll and now living in Harlan, and the late Darlene Schaben. Scott is a Harlan native and graduated from Kuemper Catholic High School in 1993. Scott served in the Navy six years and then earned a bachelor's degree in marketing at Iowa State University. He's been been an auto sales manager in Ames and is now a candidate for the Republican Party nomination for U.S. Senate.

More information on the Memorial Day program is available by calling Drees at 792-1801.

Following tradition, American Legion members will prepare the Avenue of Flags and decorate the graves at the cemetery and with the help of Boy Scouts set up flags in the downtown business district.

The local post also invites the public to attend an open house from noon to 2 p.m. Memorial Day at the American Legion clubrooms, 1124 Heires Ave., to view pictures of past commanders and various memorabilia of veterans' service and learn more about the post's activities.

This Memorial Day season is also a good time to invite local veterans to become members of the post and share in the many activities and community projects.

The Maurice Dunn American Legion Post was chartered on May 12, 1919, as only the seventh post in the United States with 25 original members. Judge F.H. Cooney of Carroll was the post's first commander. The post was named in honor of Maurice Dunn, who was killed by machine gun fire in the Battle of Chateau Thierry in France in July 1918 at age 19. Born in Boone, Iowa, Dunn enlisted in the service on July 15, 1917, at age 17. His grandparents Mr. and Mrs. W.F. Dunn are buried in the Carroll cemetery. Dunn is buried at Walnut Hill Cemetery in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Some of the many community activities in which local members participate are:

- Provides an honor guard that honors deceased veterans at their funeral and burial, with the playing of taps and a gun salute. Flags are presented to the family, and a plaque for the headstone is provided.

- Provides an honor guard to present the colors at public events, such as football games and the annual American Cancer Relay for Life.

- Sponsors high school juniors to American Legion Boys State camp, which provides hands-on experience on local, state and national government.

- Provides a local service officer to help navigate veterans through the Veterans Affairs (VA) system.

- Provides a local club room for members and public rental.

- Sponsors a Boy Scout troop.

- Maintains the Avenue of Flags at the Carroll Cemetery, displays and stores burial flags.

- Sponsors the American Legion flag essay contest for middle-school students.

- Provides at no cost a $1,000 accidental death/dismemberment insurance policy with paid-up membership.

- Sponsors state and national lobbyists to keep veterans issues in the forefront.

- Sponsors an appreciation event for local fire department volunteers, ambulance personnel, sheriff's department, police and highway patrol and conservation officials.

Additional local benefits to veterans include:

- American Legion Auxiliary, which sells poppies for funds to assist disabled veterans and the Legion post.

- Veterans receive homestead and military exemption on property taxes.

- Facilitates home loans for veterans.

- Carroll now has VA clinic at St. Anthony Regional Hospital.

In recent years, local post members have been responsible for updating the war memorial in the Memorial Circle in Carroll Cemetery, which was sponsored by the local American Legion post and VFW and dedicated to Ralph Neppel, a Carroll County native who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism in World War II. Other projects include: establishing an additional memorial in Veterans Park in the Collison Addition; providing a flagpole at the old Chicago and North Western depot location, which was renovated into the Depot Plaza and is now the site of the Carroll Chamber of Commerce; and providing a mural related to the veterans in the VA Center at the St. Anthony Regional Hospital.

All veterans who have served at least one day of active service training during war times or conflicts are eligible to join.

Being a member of the local American Legion post has been cited by members as the "American thing to do" when they return from active duty. Members join to recognize the service of all veterans and to be a part of community activities.

Post Commander Drees invites anyone interested to call for more information about the post and its activities and also anyone interested in joining the post or the auxiliary. Contact him at 712-792-1801.