American Legion state commander coming to area

LAKE LINDEN – The Michigan American Legion commander will be stopping by Lake Linden as part of his annual trip through the state.

Raymond Moore, of the Jackson-Koster-Gray Post 300 in Lake City, will be the guest at a dinner at American Legion Post 90 in Lake Linden 6 p.m. Thursday. Moore was named to the one-year commander position last summer.

A week of Moore’s statewide tour takes place in the Upper Peninsula, including stops in Newberry, Rapid River and L’Anse. Friday, Moore will head to Crystal Falls and the Veteran’s Affairs hospital in Iron Mountain. The Legion Congress will then hold a meeting in Iron Mountain Saturday and Sunday.

The dinner is open to the public. It costs $5.

Dan Judnich, commander of the Lake Linden post, said the tour has stopped in Lake Linden annually for at least the 15 years he’s been at the post. He said the dinner is valuable both for the local community and the visiting delegation. In most cases, the commander is visiting from lower Michigan; the last U.P. commander was William Hafeman of Powers, who served in 2010-11.

“This commander is from downstate, and you get the chance to see the U.P., and also meet the veterans from the U.P.,” Judnich said. “We definitely have different concerns in the U.P. than what they do downstate.”

The U.P. is fortunate to have a Veterans Affairs hospital and a home for veterans, Judnich said. But Legionnaires in the area are still working on getting a memorial cemetery in the Upper Peninsula. Ideally, Judnich said, it would be centrally located, so that no U.P. military family would have too long a drive.

“If a veteran wants to be buried in a memorial cemetery, I think the closest one is in Wisconsin,” he said.