The American Legion Auxiliary Department of Nebraska partners with veterans at NSP

The American Legion Auxiliary Department of Nebraska partners with veterans at NSP

The American Legion Auxiliary Department of Nebraska featured a story in their newsletter about the partnership, installation of a new flagpole and first flag raising at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Read more about it on page 9 in Words from the President:


The Nebraska Legionnaire
The American Legion Auxiliary Department of Nebraska
January - February 2020


Happy New Year to everyone. Time to come out of our turkey comas and begin the new year with enthusiasm. Fall Roundups have finished, and it is time to begin planning for District Conventions. Seems impossible, but true. Cornhusker Girls State packets are out and ready for each unit to find those young ladies who will have the experience of their lives in Lincoln. Poppies are being counted and put into orders to be picked up at the district conventions. Speaking of poppies --- On a cold, windy November 12, 2019, Secretary/Treasurer Lisa Moore and I were privileged to represent the Department at the first flag raising of the new flagpole at the Nebraska State Penitentiary paid for by the Department of Nebraska, American Legion Auxiliary. What a wonderful ceremony. Several veterans saluted as the flag made its way up the pole and began to wave in the steady wind. We were able to see the proposed plaque that will be placed at the base of the pole. All the while they were thanking us for the flagpole, I was thinking how many veterans, military, and families had been helped with the poppies these men made for the Department. Following the ceremony, Lisa and I were invited into their living quarters. You see, this was no ordinary ceremony. This ceremony was held at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. The veterans have their own section in which they live. They have their own “Code of Ethics” they must live by in order to remain in these rooms. Colorful paintings of each branch of the service cover the walls as well as scenes from each of the conflicts beginning with the Revolutionary War. I was told they do have some residents with PTSD, but they are a family; and they have learned how to help them through these difficult times. They talk with great pride about how they help each other out. One of the men told us he was waiting to hear when he would be able to go on work release. I couldn’t help but feel pride in each man in attendance. I couldn’t help but feel pride in our organization as well. You see, these men are not paid for the poppies they make. The flagpole was a way to pay them back. I imagine when the project started there was a great deal of discussion of what members would think about working with convicts. So, I say thank you to the Past Department President who took the chance, the members who taught the men how to make the poppies, and all the Department members who made the decision to make the flagpole happen. I smile when I remember that the flag will be raised every morning and will be treated with the respect due our country’s emblem. (PS, sorry there are no pictures, but we were barely able to take our hats, gloves, and coats in with us.)

Elizabeth Paes Department President