Heavy rain and strong winds swept through Jackson, Mo., last Friday, June 21 and ripped off the middle section of American Legion Post 158’s roof. As rain poured in, members of the post arranged buckets across the floor to collect water and to prevent further damage to the building.
Post 158 Finance Officer Larry Koehler thought a tornado came through the town because of all the damage to homes and businesses and trees down. “It was just straight-line winds but it sure did a lot of damage. Until we get a roof put on we will have to be meeting somewhere else,” Koehler said.
While the post is currently in the clean-up process, VFW Post 3838 in nearby Cape Girardeau offered their meeting hall for the Legionnaires to meet and conduct business. Post 158 was chartered in 1919 and has been at its current building since the early 1950s, where members hold their monthly meetings and rent out the hall to community members for weddings, blood drives and more. A wedding reception was to be held the Saturday following the storm and Post 158 had to sadly share the news with the bride and groom to be that the building was too damaged to host their reception.
Koehler said the post will see what it’s going to cost to get a whole new roof “because that’s about the only option we have at this point.”
To help offset the cost of a new roof, Post 158 is applying for an American Legion National Emergency Fund grant.
NEF grants provide immediate financial assistance for American Legion and Sons of The American Legion members who have been affected by the natural disaster. Legion posts also qualify. The NEF provides up to $3,000 for Legion and SAL members with an active membership who have been displaced due to damages to their primary residence, and up to $10,000 for posts that have been damaged by a natural disaster and whose programs and activities within the community are impacted.