American Legion Post 172

2023 Activities in support of the 4 Pillars


• (Veterans, National Security, Americanism) Post 172 sponsored well-attended community

ceremonies for Memorial Day, Patriots Day, and Veterans Day. We have especially strong support

from our local firefighters and law enforcement professionals, and local city and school district

leaders also attend.

• (Veterans, Americanism) During the Post 172 Veterans Day Ceremony, we dedicated the new “Bud

Hawk Memorial Park” on our Post property. The park consists of a garden area, distinct signage, and

a plaque dedicated to John D. “Bud” Hawk, long time Bainbridge Island resident and recipient of the

Congressional Medal of Honor and four Purple Hearts for his heroic actions during WWII. Over 30 of

Bud Hawk’s relatives attended the dedication event including his daughter and son. The Memorial

Park is a great addition to our Post’s collection Bud Hawk memorabilia on prominent display in our


• (Veterans, Americanism) Post 172 made full-size photographic copies of our original oil

painting portrait of Franklin D'Olier, the American Legion's first Commander from 1919-1920. The

painting was donated to Colin Hyde Post 172 in 2021 by Frank Stowell, Bainbridge Island resident

and grandson of Franklin D'Olier. One photographic copy was presented to Department of WA and

another presented to National Headquarters.

• (Veterans) Post 172 jointly with our Auxiliary unit organized and sold poppies at several Bainbridge

Island locations to support Veterans programs. The poppy sales resulted in over $7,000 dollars of


• (Veterans) Our Commander and Post Service Officer Gary Sakuma has provided incredible support

to over 90 veterans in need and continues to offer a tremendous amount of his time and personal

expenses monthly to this vital endeavor.

• (Americanism, Veterans) Post 172 placed U.S. flags along our main street for each significant

national holiday. During Memorial Day weekend, we work with our local scouting units to place U.S.

marker flags at all veteran’s graves throughout Bainbridge Island cemeteries. Our post Colorguard

led the annual Fourth of July parade.

• (Veterans) Several Post 172 members attended a birthday celebration for member Vince Matson, a

WWII veteran, who turned 100 years old on August 7, 2023. Vince was a navigator bombardier, B[1]17, 15Air Force, Italy and flew combat missions over Southern Germany, Hungary and Romania.

• (Veterans) Led by our Auxiliary Unit, Post 172 supports the Retsil Washington State Veterans Home

in Port Orchard during the holiday season. We wrap gifts for Christmas Presents and set up an

activity for the veterans living at Retsil to choose and send gifts to their loved ones. We also provide

gift packages to the veterans themselves.

• (Americanism, National Security) Post 172 presented an engraved fire nozzle trophy to retiring

Bainbridge Island Fire Chief Hank Tehran, a long-time and ardent supporter of Post 172. Hank is

relieved by the new Fire Chief, Jared Moravec, a member of the SAL at Post 172 and another long[1]time supporter.

• (Americanism, National Security) Post 172 member General David de la Vergne gave a presentation

on the life and legacy of Major Ted Goastas, USA, who was a POW during the Vietnam War, from

1967-1973. Major Goastas was recognized with a Bronze Star for "his continuous showing of

resistance to an enemy who ignored all international agreements on the treatment of POWs."

• (National Security) Post 172 nominated a local law enforcement officer, firefighter, and EMT for

Washington State Law and Order awards.

• (Children and Youth) Post 172 sponsored three very successful scouting units, which saw a total of

five scouts that earned and were promoted to Eagle Rank in 2023.

• (Children and Youth, Americanism) Post 172 sponsored a citizen at the Boys State program who was

elected as Chief Justice on the State Supreme Court. Our Legion Auxiliary also sponsored a citizen in

the Girls State program who was elected as a U.S. Congresswoman. Both students gave

presentations to the Post and Auxiliary members about their experiences.

• (Children and Youth, Americanism) Post 172 presented scholarships to two Bainbridge High School

students during their annual awards night ceremony. One scholarship is named to honor Vietnam

Veterans and the other scholarship is named for Mo Nakata, a Bainbridge Island resident and WWII

veteran who fought in the Army's famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed almost

entirely of Japanese American soldiers.

• (Children and Youth) Post 172 sponsored a food drive during National Family week which collected

over 230 pounds of food donated to our local food bank and a Halloween safety event in downtown

Bainbridge Island.