By Lonnie Huhman,
For the past 70 years, the Dexter American Legion Auxiliary Post 557 has dedicated themselves to one important goal.
“We’re here to support our veterans and in turn their families,” said Auxiliary member Krystal Hall.
And they said it’s their hope and plan to continue that mission.
This year marks a big moment for the group at the legion. It was in 1949, that the Dexter Auxiliary was founded to fulfill that mission. The national group of the Auxiliary was founded in 1919 to support the American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of veterans, military and their families, both at home and abroad.
It is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization.
Gladys Dettling, a charter member of the Dexter Auxiliary, said they’ve always been focused on three areas: veterans, community and youth.
She said they’ve worked hard in many ways throughout the community. Their work includes educating school children about the U.S. flag, providing scholarships to local students, assembling care packages for the troops, helping local social services and volunteering at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor.
Hall is one of those VA volunteers and said they’ve helped with such things activities as bingo and the hospital gift shop, music therapy program and many clothing donations.
In recognizing all that the group does, the city of Dexter issued a proclamation to honor them.
“Now therefore, by the virtue of my office, I hereby proclaim the City’s support and appreciation for Dexter American Legion Auxiliary Post 557 and congratulate them on their 70 years of service to the Dexter Community,” the proclamation signed by Mayor Shawn Keough stated.
When sitting down recently with a handful of members, each one told The Sun Times that they want the veteran community, both in Dexter and surrounding areas, to know the Auxiliary and Legion are here to help veterans and connect them and their families to helpful resources.
“Many people still don’t who we are and what we do, but I think we’ve done a lot over the years and still do,” Dexter Auxiliary member Kathy Ratliff said.
Fellow Auxiliary member Beth Chamberlain said their home at 8225 Dexter-Chelsea Road is a working, vibrant location and veterans/families are more than welcome to visit and see what they are all about.
“We are here to help,” said Auxiliary member Christine Gatward.
To learn more about them go to their Facebook page or call them at 734-426-4511. Or as they would say, just stop by.