Cushing American Legion Post 108 Commander Jim Hunter and Walk of Honor committee leader Ferrell Kleckner spoke to Cushing Rotary Club on Thursday.  Hunter provided the group with a brief history of the American Legion while Kleckner told them of an exciting new project the Post is undertaking.

Hunter spoke proudly of the accomplishments of the American Legion, including the fact that Post 108 was given the honor of being named the 2009 Post of the Year in the state of Oklahoma.

“Out of 270 posts in the state,” Hunter said, “we were named number one.”  The Donaldson-Walker Post 108 got its start in 1919 and is one of the original 6.  It currently boasts a membership of approximately 200 members and is an active participant in the community.  One of the most obvious things attributed to Post 108 is the “flying of the colors.”

“There’s nothing better to us than flying the colors,” Hunter said.  The post is responsible for the flags that fly in downtown Cushing, at City Hall, area cemeteries, Cushing Chamber of Commerce, Cushing Senior Citizen Center and more. 

Kleckner, taking the podium, pointed out what an integral part Hunter has played in the success of the Post.  “When Jim started going to the Legion there were only a couple of old geezers,” he said affectionately, “now we have 200 members.”

Hunter tried to dismiss the accolades but Kleckner went on to say that not only was Hunter named Legionnaire of the Year in 2007 but the post building was named for him that same year and in 2008, he was named Honorary Commander of Post 108 for the life of the Post.

Kleckner, who is somewhat of a newcomer to the group, said it became clear to him at the first meeting he attended that “these guys ought be remembered.” 

The idea for the Walk of Honor was born.

The Walk of Honor will consist of approximately 200 inscribed bricks lining the sidewalk to the entrance of the Legion building.   The building is one of three in the Cushing listed on the National Registry of Historical Buildings.  The walkway in no way will interfere with that status. 

Kleckner said they are also requesting a brief bio and photo if possible to accompany each brick order – to put a face with each name.  “We will keep a book about those veterans inside the building so visitors can read about each one,” Kleckner said.

Their goal is to have the walkway completed by Veteran’s Day, 2010. 

Bricks are $50 each and can be purchased from any Legion member.  “Just look for the cars with a ‘Post of the Year’ tag on it,” Kleckner said as a big smile crossed his face, “we won that you know…”