Our Post History
Post 256 was formed by a cadre of 56 veterans, many already Legion members, who were seeking a local American Legion post within their retirement communities near the western shores of the Little Tennessee River locally known as Tellico Lake. Their request for charter membership was approved on 22 July 2003 and Roger K. McKnight, an Army veteran of the Korean war, was elected as our first Post Commander.
History records that the year 2003 witnessed the continuation of combat operations in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) and the beginning of combat operations in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom). These campaigns were the result of America’s response to the Global War on Terrorism following the events of 9/11. Our nation was filled with a patriotic fervor not witnessed since WWII and organizations such as the American Legion quenched that “call to action” thirst of those who had once themselves served in uniform.
By April of 2004, the post had increased its membership to 74 and included veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. Several members served on the Loudon County Honor Guard and events that year included: a dignified disposal of unserviceable flags observance with the Tellico Village Volunteer Fire Department, a “Meals on Wheels” delivery to shut-in veterans, support for a veterans monument in the village of Vonore, and a “Christmas in July” program for troops Iraq. The post also started a tradition of inviting guest speakers to give presentations at their general membership meetings. This practice continues today!
Post 256 does not own or rent a facility as do many other posts. Nor do we manage a bar where members gather to tell war stories. Instead, our members meet on the first Thursday of every month (except in December) for breakfast and fellowship beginning at 0830; and to listen to an informative guest speaker and conduct our General Membership meeting at 0900. Initially, these breakfasts were held in the dining room of the Rarity Bay Country Club. But as our numbers grew, we relocated in 2018 to a larger room located in the First Baptist Church of Tellico Village. In 2020, we moved again and gathered in the banquet room of the Little Italy restaurant in Tellico Village. Then in 2021 we returned to the renovated Rarity Bay clubhouse.
Today, Post 256 numbers over 200 members and is growing. We pride ourselves as being an integral part of the Tellico Lake community and a proud advocate for veterans at the local, state, and national level. Our 2020 membership included residents of 13 cities in 7 counties of TN, together with 6 cities in 4 states outside of TN.
Thanks to our uniqueness as a post which lies within an area where many residents come to retire, it is not surprising that every branch of the armed services is represented in Post 256; as are veterans of every era. This diversity, not often found in other posts, allows us to draw upon the many skills, experiences, and backgrounds of our members -- which we then use to our advantage for offering a wide range of program offerings.
Past Post Commanders
Post Commander 2020-2020
Post Commander 2018-2020
Ellison (Vic) Vickery
Post 256 Commander 2012-2018
Post 256 Commander 2011-2012
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