American Legion 
Carl S. Martin  Post 635  Normal, Il. 
108 ½ North Street / PO Box 402,  61761-0402
Phone: 309-452-1671

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Monthly Meeting Schedule
Monthly meetings of the American Legion are held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, at 7:00 pm in the American Legion Building (Entrance next to the Garlic Press) 108 1/2 W. North St. Normal, Illinois 61761  Click here for directions.
chair lift is provided, for second floor access to disabled persons.
News & Events     


Attention Members:  Please email us your email address so we can keep you updated this way. We can save a lot of money by reducing the number of letters sent via USPO.   Our email address is:


y 12, 2016 Open nominations for Officer positions and Executive BoardMay 12, 2016 Open nominations for Officer positions and Executive Board positions

May 26, 2016 Final nominations and election of Officers and Executive Board members.

June 9, 2016 Installation of new Officers and Executive Board members at the end of meeting. positions

May 26, 2016 Final nominations and election of Officers and Executive Board members.

June 9, 2016 Installation of new Officers and Executive Board members at the end of meeting.​

Click for Directions
​Scroll down for 2016- 2017 Calendar
Your Post 635 Officers for 2017/18                  Vince Sanzotta swearing in 
​                                                                                        New Officers for 2017/18
Commander: Tom Laskowski                 
Sr Vice Commander: Chris Riley                         
Jr Vice Commander: Mike Ellsworth
Adjutant: Jerry Vogler                               
Finance Officer: Carl Powell

++++++++American Legion offers help after emergencies++++++++++

As a member in good standing, you are eligible to receive immediate money for expenses after a tornado, fire, etc. This will be $3000 in 2017. So please make sure your dues are paid before 31 Dec. 
​Details on the National American Legion site:   
​ Alliegiant Air Flights.....Go here for Vet specials:


                                          IMPORTANT NEWS

Military Funerals and Color Guard Functions
One of the most important functions we do as an Honor Guard is perform military rites at a veterans funeral.
In 2015, Post 635 and Post 56 had jointly given military rites to 110 fallen veterans.
When performing military rites, we are the Honor Guard. When presenting colors at functions; like ball games, marching in parades, opening ceremony for the Special Olympics; and many other functions; we are the Color Guard.
The Color Guard are members of the Honor Guard. As of that same date, the Color Guard has performed 65 times. We are all volunteers who are privileged and honored to do both of these.  We are indeed fortunate to have these veterans volunteering for these important tasks.
Go to Honor Guard section for more info


Please go to the Honor Guard section to view photo from the Annual Honor Guard Dinner for 2017​


                                                        2017 Memorial Day Parade 

The Memorial Day Parade was a big hit again this year. The weather was great.  
Up front was Normal Post 635 carrying flags with VFW 454.  
Greg Struve and John Schroder, rode their motorcycles in the Parade. 

Please go to the Honor Guard section for Memorial Day Ceremonies and a video of our 21 gun firing. 
                                                             2017 CALENDAR

April 27, 2017 Awards Banquet to be held at Post 635, 108 1/2 North St, above the Garlic Press. 6:30 PM Spouses and families are invited. Commander opens meeting with normal ceremony. Normal Business will be suspended for dinner. Dinner is catered. Executive Board will eat first so that they can clear the tables. 
Commander will make decision as to the winner of the Legionnaire Of The Year, and The Service Award.
​Parking available north of the Post building or in the North or South Uptown Parking decks..or curbside.
                                       * THIS IS NOT A POTLUCK. IT WILL BE CATERED*

May 11, 2017 Regular Meeting 7:00 PM  Nominations for new Post 635 Officers and Executive Board Members will open at the end of regular meeting. 

May 25, 2017  Regular Meeting 7:00 PM Nominations are reopened and closed. New Officers and Executive Board Members are elected. 

June 8, 2017  Regular Meeting 7:00 PM  Current Officers run first part of meeting. At end of meeting new Officers are sworn in.  After installation, new Commander will close meeting following remarks from out going Commander. Photo of Past Commander will be placed on the Commander's Board. New Commander will give a brief speech and set stage for what he wants in the coming 12 months.
May 9th, 2017, Eugene (Rick) Dalton was presented the Combat Infantry Badge by Congressman Rodney Davis. It took almost 49 years for Rick to be awarded this. A very special thanks to Congressman Davis and his staff for researching this and getting Rick the Badge he so richly deserved. 
It was an honor for some members of Post 635 to witness this tremendous event. 

The 95th Annual Department of Illinois Convention
July 10th - 13th 2016, Springfield, Illinois​

This years attendees were: Tom Laskowski, Jerry Vogler, Jimmy Nagle, Rich Moran, Jerry Monical, Nancy Elder, and Roger Cann. 
Here are a few photos from the event.

​Rich Moran              Background is Post 635 Commander              Jerry Monical receiving the 17th District
                                Tom Laskowski  looking toward camera.                   "Chaplin of the Year Award"
                                ​ Foreground is Roger Cann

Governor Rauner                   
Signing Bill to expand                      
Illinois Veterans Drivers                  
License Designation

                                                     HONOR FLIGHTS
Most of you know about the Honor Flights. They are now flying out of Peoria. For WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam Veterans. Get your name on the list. Find more info at their website: 

​Boys and Girls State was held again at Eastern Illinois University. This is one of our major ​ programs sponsored by the American Legion.

​Jim Nagel is the 17th District Chairman who runs this program in this District. He had 5 participants this year. One student went on to Boys Nation and won a Scholarship.   
Ian McCormic was that student. Congratulations to him for a fantastic job! 
The other four students who also did an outstanding job are:
Parker Alexander
Isaac Hagberg
Conner Lucey
Carrie Swartz

Carrie and Isaac attended our meeting to tell about their experiences.  Jim Nagel presenting.


Dec 7th was the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. 
​Post 56 and Post 635 Honor Guard performed a ceremony at the Old Courthouse in Bloomington. Post 56 Sr Vice Rick Ross was master of ceremonies.  A flag was folded and presented to Pam Bishop, wife of Post 635 member Lee Bishop. It was in remembrance of her father: Russel Dwy, a WWII Coast Guard member who passed away Nov 30th and never received Military rites. She was accompanied by their daughter
Presentation was followed by a 21 gun volley, then Taps. 
Special thanks to Butch Ekstam and Rick Ross for putting this together.

​Photos courtesy of Betty Toland
Our "Gifts To The Yanks" program was a success again this year. For two days in the summer, we post outside Walmart in Normal and hand out Poppies. Donations are accepted, which are used to purchase the gifts for the Veterans. Members of the Post 635 Honor Guard gather to give gifts to our Veterans that are currently residing in nursing home facilities.  We look forward to this each year, and is humbling to visit and listen to their stories. We wished them all a Merry Christmas and a speedy recovery....and to thank them for their service to our country.


How to navigate your Post website. 

I have been asked to post a short "how to navigate" concerning our website. When you go to, the first page you see is the home page. The home page has many links to view. 
From the "Home" page, you will notice at the top there are 5 areas to view. 
       Photo Gallery        American Legion Riders        News & Events        Honor Guard
Most info is under "News & Events"; where you are now. Each area has a lot to view. Please visit each area. If a photo is shown, click on it and it will open into a larger photo. 

​ A Message from Our Post Commander 

  Tom Laskowski

​It has been an honor and a privilege for me to serve as your Commander this term. 
I would like to wish all members and their families a Happy New Year.
Our Post has been a busy place the latter part of the year. Early Bird Dinner with the Boys and Girls State Delegates and their families, and the annual Christmas Party with children and grandchildren of Post members; making it a great success.
Projects this past year include the painting and sealing of the Post building outside east wall. Many thanks to Project Chairman Dave Toland and his volunteers. 
The next project is the tuck pointing of the lower front wall of the building. The basement front wall also needs tuck pointing. 
Jim Nagel has again done an outstanding job with the Boys and Girls State Program. Many thanks to Jim!
At the American Legion State Convention, Jerry Monical was recognized as the outstanding Post Chaplain in Illinois. Congratulations to Jerry! Jerry is also our Service Officer, and our Honor Guard Commander. Outside of Post activities, Jerry was recognized by the American Red Cross for his volunteer work and donating many GALLONS of blood over the years!
The Honor Guard and Color Guard have been very busy again this year, working with Evergreen Cemetery on The Vietnam Traveling Wall. The Honor Guard has performed military rites for 80 fallen Veterans. The Color Guard was involved in 69 events. 
Bill Warren, a member of both the Honor Guard and Color Guard, has retired at the end of 2016, after 23 years of faithful service. A very special thanks to Bill for his dedication to this cause!
Also, thanks to all members who volunteer for these services. Performing Military Rites at these funerals means so much to the families of our fallen veterans. We are indeed privileged to honor each of them. 
We need to also honor those that made this possible: 
Jerry Monical, Honor Guard Commander for 8 years. 
​Clayton James, Color Guard Commander for 21 years.
Butch Ekstam, who does all the calls for each event! Thanks goodness for Butch! 8 years.
Many of you may have noticed a member of the KodaRoamers Camera Club taking photos of our activities this past year. Betty Toland, wife of our member Dave Toland will continue taking photos until May of this year. These photos document what we do as a Post and what it is like to be a member. They will be presented at the Summer Art Show at the McLean Art Center this summer.
We have some members who have shown an interest in being involved with a Boy Scout Troop. I think this is a great project and good for our Post.
If you have not already done so, please contact Greg Struve via our Post email:
with your email address. Letters from the Commander, and pertinent information will be sent via email instead of postal. This saves the Post a considerable dollar amount. 
Many times when we get our membership dues, we put it aside to pay later...and forget. When you get your due notice, please hold it in one hand and grab the checkbook with the other hand and send it in. Done; you don't have to worry about it now.
We thank you for your early you are eligible for the Early Bird free dinner with a guest! For questions concerning Membership, please contact your Post Vice Commander, Chuck Downs via post email. 
It's been a great year and I thank you for all your support.

For God and Country

Tom Laskowski
Post 635
Normal, IL
​You might want to check the Pantagraph each Monday for some good information.

The Veteran’s Corner is published by the Pantagraph and appears in every Monday edition of the paper on page A4. It is a Veterans General Information site which covers current important information about Veteran’s Benefits or possible laws and regulations which will affect Veterans. It also covers subjects like “How do I get a copy of my DD214”, “What is the Illinois Veteran’s Grant and how do I find out if I am eligible?”
Thanks to Jerry Vogler, VAC Officer for this Region. 

​A special award was given by our Post Commander; Tom Laskowski, at our July Post 635 meeting. It was given to Butch Ekstam for his relentless dedication to our Honor Guard. Butch makes all the arrangements for having the Honor Guard perform military rites at Veterans funerals. We congratulate Butch and thank him for his continued service to our Post and to Veterans.

​Betty Toland; wife of member Dave Toland, is featured. 
Mark your calendars!  
When: Aug 4 – Sept 2
Where: McLean County Art Center
Friday reception 5-7

Art Exhibit to feature the American Legion and other area clubs/groups. 
Images of American Legion will be part of a large photo exhibit at McLean County Art Center starting August 4 with a 5 p.m. reception at the Art Center. Members of KodaRoamers camera club chose 12 clubs/groups to spotlight the interesting and charitable endeavors in which their clubs’ participate by photographing their activities through a one year time span. Often groups share a common purpose, and that is to give back to the community. KR members chose the clubs by affiliation and common interests. The photographers who took American Legion pictures are Betty Toland, Denise O'Brien, Vandana Bajikar and Charlene Zimmerman. . The following clubs are part of the show: 4-H, Master Gardeners, American Legion, Boy Scouts, Central Illinois Radio, Habitat For Humanity, International Women’s Club, Lake Run Club, McLean County Court House Quilters, McLean County India Association, Twin City Cruiser, and Young Men’s Club. 
We shared a sense of excitement as we photographed the clubs. We loved the partnership within our teams, as well as with the clubs we photographed. It was exciting to learn about the clubs, attend their meetings and events, get to know their members, appreciate their cultures and their activities. Many groups expressed appreciation for the visibility this show will bring to their members. Please come to the show which runs from August 4 through Sept 2 at the Art Center, 601 N. East Street, Bloomington, Il.