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Veterans hope to build a center

Serving those who served

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POSTED: August 24, 2011 8:39 a.m.
Photo by Katie McGurl/

American Legion Post 27 Commander Bill Helms of stands at the site of the land donated for a post building. The Legion is asking the community to donate services, time and money to help them clear the land and build a facility.

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American Legion Post 27 Commander Bill Helms is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He proudly served his country in the Air Force, and now, he proudly serves his fellow veterans.

Helms, along with the rest of the officers and members of Post 27, is hoping to garner community support in order to build a facility for veterans in the area.

The post is the only one of its kind in Richmond Hill and does not have a building of its own.

“We want to be able to hold functions, veteran functions, provide veteran services and have someplace for the vets to go to,” he explained.

A member and his family recently donated a two-acre parcel of land, located next to the Bryan County Sheriff’s Complex off of Highway 17 South, for that purpose. Post 27, however, needs help clearing the land and putting up a building.

“It’s great that we’ve got the land now,” said Helms. “What we need to do is get some assistance financially or human help.”

Helms is seeking volunteers with expertise in clearing land, planning, construction, plumbing, or other related fields. 

“This facility is very important – we need it bad,” the commander said. “We want to put the building in and get it going for the veterans of Richmond Hill … they can hold picnics here and stuff like that, we’re going to have dinners, bingo, and we’ll hold veterans’ events in here.”

There are roughly 2,000 veterans currently living in Richmond Hill and most are Vietnam War veterans, according to Helms. American Legion Post 27 has over 40 active members. They hope that acquiring a post building will allow them to serve more of their fellows.

Currently, the post’s monthly meetings are held in the Richmond Hill – Bryan County Chamber of Commerce offices. 

American Legion Post 27 was revitalized in the late 1990s after a 30-year lull in participation. Helms, who has been involved in the organization for about a decade and has served as commander four times, said the old post building was given back to the city when the group disbanded in the 1960s.

“We’re trying to do a lot of good,” Helms said, adding that he and other local veterans participate in groups such as the Patriot Guard Riders and American Legion Riders, which provide motorcycle support at veteran funerals.

Helms and the rest of the group are grateful for the land donation. He said the organization has been waiting for an opportunity like this since they were re-chartered.

Monetary donations for building the new facility are welcomed and appreciated.

“Any amount helps,” said Helms.

Please send donations to American Legion Post 27, P.O. Box 2767, Richmond Hill, GA 31324.

 

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