Proceeds from the 250 tickets sold will fund selected projects such as the National Emergency Fund, Commander’s Project for Veterans’ Homes and Child Welfare, a national service project.
Georgia Department Junior Vice Commander Ken Temples said, “We fund two national projects but our Commander’s Project for Veterans’ Homes helps Georgia veterans with anything from socks to televisions. The benefits they receive from the government aren’t always enough to cover all their needs. We help fill in the gap and supply things they need.”
The Legion, which has a long-standing history in Cartersville, welcomes veterans of foreign wars.
The 524-member Legion was chartered in Cartersville on Oct. 9, 1919, and carries the namesake of World War I veteran Col. Carl Boyd. Pictures and memorabilia of Boyd’s service adorn the back wall of the Legion meeting hall. The chief adviser to Gen. John J. Pershing, the commander of American Expeditionary Force, Boyd was awarded posthumously the Army Distinguished Service Medal, which is displayed alongside six other medals he earned during his service.
A letter written by Pershing to the Legion describes Boyd as having “exceptional knowledge of the French language and the customs and psychology of the French people.” Pershing first met Boyd in a meeting with members of the U.S. Embassy and quickly realized he was an asset. Pershing worked to have him transferred and on Aug. 13, 1917, Boyd was named aide-de-camp. He was the chief personal aid and adviser to Pershing in relations with French leaders and an interpreter. Pershing wrote “his services were invaluable in the series of historic meetings of Inter-Allied leaders in the spring and summer of 1918.”
Boyd, a native of Bartow county, died of influenza 18 months after receiving the transfer to Pershing’s command and is buried in a French cemetery 50 miles west of Paris.
One aspect of the Legion’s function is to mentor youth, which is evident in their relationship with the EVYM. This youth educational service program, which is structured after the Marine Corps., accepts students aged 8 through the completion of high school. The EVYM focuses on discipline, leadership and teamwork. The organization works with Bartow County Toys 4 Tots, places wreaths and flags on veterans’ graves and serves at various events in Bartow County. The young marines are based at the Legion and assist Legionnaires with projects.
“These kids are indispensable. They are young, never quit, very dedicated and a super group of kids that make a difference around here,” said Temples.
Wayne Abernathy, a Legionnaire who prepared the barbecue for the event, said, “The Legion is a wonderful thing to be apart of; it makes you feel good to help others. Anyone who is a wartime veteran and is looking to make a difference, we hope they will consider joining us. It is a great group of people and we have some good benefits.”