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:


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​
​         ​                                                       ​         ​                                                                                                               ​ ​       ​         ​                                                                                                                                                                  ​ ​       ​         ​                                           HOME DEPOT MILITARY DISCOUNTS                                                                                                                                                                         They currently give 10% discounts to all Veterans ONLY on weekends, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Veterans Day. Must show Drivers License with Veteran on it. Disabled Retired Vets, with Military ID, all the time. Retired Military with Military ID, all the time.                                                       ​ ​       ​         ​                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Retired Lt Col Jill Henry, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist...CRNA; and a member of Post 635 and our Honor Guard, is featured nationally for her work of getting women in the military to tell their story. 
Watch a podcast of what this is all about and how Jill is very involved:

                                                             2017 CALENDAR

​                                                                   Early Bird Dinner     

Oct 26th, Thursday; which is our next meeting, is the Early Bird Dinner at 6:30 pm. It is for all who have paid their dues for this coming year. If you haven't paid yet, you may pay that evening before 6:30 pm and enjoy a catered dinner. 
The dinner is for member and guest. 
No potluck is required. All food and drinks will be supplied by Post 635.
Members of the Boys and Girls Club who attended this years function will tell of their experiences.
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 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 is an honor and a privilege for me to serve as your Commander this term. 
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 next meeting, Oct 26th at 6:30 pm, and the annual Christmas Party coming next month with children and grandchildren of Post members.
Projects this year included sealing the outside of the east wall and the scraping, sealing and painting of the Post building inside east wall. Many thanks to Project Chairman Dave Toland and his volunteers for a job well done. 

Jim Nagel has again done an outstanding job with the Boys and Girls State Program. Many thanks to Jim!

The Honor Guard and Color Guard have been very busy again this year. The Honor Guard performs military rites for as many as 110 fallen Veterans. The Color Guard has as many as 69 events; like parades, presenting colors at Special Olympics,  games, and other functions. Honor Guard and Color Guard are composed of the same members. 

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 9 years. 
​Clayton James, Color Guard Commander for 22 years.
Butch Ekstam, who does all the calls for each event! Thank goodness for Butch! 9 years.
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! 
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.

                                                             A view of Post 635 

                                                       Here are photos of our Post 635