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St. Ignatius VFW post honored at state, federal levels

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ST. IGNATIUS — The St. Ignatius VFW Post 106 earned several state and federal awards this spring and summer.

The Montana American Legion association awarded the post with a plaque for the Best Consolidated Post Report for a small post. In addition, the post won a certificate of distinguished service from the National Americanism Commission for “Having conducted the most outstanding Americanism program in its department.” The post earned another award from the American Legion in recognition of post excellence. 

The post excellence award was given for demonstrating excellence in serving the community above and beyond all expectations, as the post and its members had displayed exemplary efforts through their devotion to mutual helpfulness. 

“This posts’ exemplary efforts deserve recognitions for their support of the program activities of the American Legion, all the while, being an asset in their community,” the award read. “Their allegiance to helping veterans is exemplary, and they should be commended for their efforts toward post excellence. The American Legion presents this certificate in appreciation to this post’s unselfish duty, devotion and compassion toward their fellow men and women.”

Mission Valley Honor Guard member and American Legion Post 106 member Homer Courville said Post 106 was the only post in the valley to earn these awards, and that he believes they won them because of all the things they do with the local youth, schools, businesses and organizations regarding

Americanism, flag ettique, and posting colors at various events. 

“I know there are a lot of posts that don’t do anything,” he said. “They don’t even have an Honor Guard, some of them. Taking care of the white crosses (along U.S. Highway 93) and all that stuff, I think that’s what (the American Legion) looks at at the state and national level.”

Courville said he thought earning the awards was great for the group, but that at times the post members feel like, “well, who cares?” Earning these awards and gaining recognition shows that there are people who pay attention to what the posts are doing, no matter how small or big the effort. 

The award for Americanism, as Courville described it, stemmed from the massive amount of work the post does going to schools and talking about the constitution, patriotism and flag etiquette. In years past, the Legion, Honor Guard and Auxiliary helped bring one of the last living Navajo Code Talkers to speak to children in St. Ignatius schools. 

“It was really neat to listen to his presentations and stories,” Courville said, “stuff about his experiences in Iwo Jima and the like.”

The award for Post Excellence was for going above and beyond for the local community — something that is just another day at the office for Post 106. The post regularly gives monetary donations to veterans and veterans families while organizing fundraisers for youth community organizations.

During the award ceremony, Courville said, “(These awards) are for the post and everything that you guys have been doing. Thank you.”

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