Veterans’ group national leader speaks to Niles post members

Published 3:03 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

By By SPIROS GALLOS / Niles Daily Star
NILES - There's old saying, "Better late than never."
That saying was put to the test Monday night when the American Veterans Niles Post No. 1978 welcomed William A. Boettcher, the AMVETS National Commander, Monday night.
Boettcher, who arrived more than an hour late to the Niles post after an all day tour of AMVETS posts around the state, greeted veterans at the post with a smile and a handshake.
The National Commander arrived with the Michigan Commander, John M. Dowd, and several other AMVETS dignitaries, to discuss current issues of importance to veterans.
Before speaking to the veterans, Boettcher presented the post with an signed picture of himself for the post's display wall. Dowd presented Niles post commander Russell Hite with a certificate in appreciation of hosting the National Commander during his tour of the state.
Boettcher spoke to veterans about the need for adequate funding for health care, raising awareness of diabetes research, and protecting the United States flag from desecration.
Boettcher will continue his tour of Michigan the rest of the week before concluding his tour by attending the Michigan AMVETS 50th Annual Fall Conference in Grayling, Mich. Friday Oct. 1 through 3.
The American Veterans is the third largest veterans group behind the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion, which is the nation's largest veterans group.
Jordan, a former post commander and Army veteran who served in Panama and Grenada, said AMVETS welcomes family members of veterans and also works within the community.
Every year, the Niles post offers a $500 scholarship to a male and female senior at Brandywine Senior High School to attend the school of his or her choice.
The post also assists veterans through its White Clover Program. The post raises money to aid veterans in any way they need help, whether it's paying bills or helping a veteran get some groceries, Jordan said.
All veterans are welcome to join AMVETS, Jordan said.
Family members of veterans can seek membership in AMVETS through the AMVETS Auxiliary and the Sons of AMVETS groups.
The Auxiliary group is for mothers, wives, daughters, and other female relatives of veterans. The Sons groups is for fathers, husbands, sons and other male relatives of veterans.