Middlebury Legion seeks photos of two good men
Posted: 11/14/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Gloria E. Salavarria
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Dave “Koz” Kozlowski points to one of two empty picture frames of past post commanders at the Mark L. Wilt American Legion Post 210 in Middlebury. The post would like to complete this tribute to their commanders with pictures of Floyd Belt and Roy Packard, who served as post commanders from 1926 to 1927 and from 1938 to 1939, respectively. Anyone who has a photo (even of these men in their youth), the post would be grateful to copy it and return the original. (Truth Photo by Gloria E. Salavarria)
The photos are sought to complete the Legion’s tribute wall to its post commanders who have served from the beginning of the post in 1921 to the present. Dave “Koz” Kozlowski, who led the post from 1987 to 1988, has taken it as his personal goal to find at least one photo each of Belt and Packard.
“Mike O’Reilly started this project 15 years ago and up to three years ago we had all but five or six pictures,” said Kozlowski. “Frank Jenkins was one of the last ones that we got and we could only get a picture of him as a boy but still it is his picture. Now we’re down to the last two.”
The Middlebury post began in 1921 with Dr. Melvin Teeters as its first commander and since then a total of 48 men and one woman, Jodie Kauffman (1997-98) have served — each having a portrait on the tribute wall.
“They didn’t think about it back then, when the post began — having a picture of each of our commanders hanging on a wall. Donald Smucker (who served for many years as Middlebury’s pharmacist) and Steve Rathka worked hard on finding photos for the wall,” said O’Reilly, who served as commander from 2002 to 2003.
“They have gotten a lot of the pictures that we now have, but when it came to Floyd Belt and Roy Packard, we’ve hit a brick wall. I can take you to Roy’s grave but I can’t get a picture of him.
“We won’t keep the photo. We’ll make a copy of it — we’ll be happy to have that. We’d just like to get that (the wall of commander photos) filled in because every once in a while somebody walks in here and sees this and says, ‘Oh my great-grandfather built this ...’” Kozlowski said.
“You may even see somebody you know and had never thought of as a leader but there’s their picture up there and you realize they were a commander.”
Those who have a photo of Floyd Belt or Roy Packard should call Dave Kozlowski at 825-5942.