North Strand American Legion Post 186


Post 186 – Chaplain’s letter – June 2023 

I want to thank the members of the Post for their confidence in asking me to serve as your Chaplain again. This is the beginning of my eighth full year in this capacity. When Arlene passed away in July 2020, I moved North in August, to live with my daughter and son-in-law. After a 42-inch snow fall, I remembered why we moved South.  I returned in March of 2021. God guided my footsteps because He had a plan for me to meet my new wife, Nita. Like Arlene, she is a woman of God.  In September, we were married and settled in Calabash. The time was short regarding our courtship, but when you know, you know. 
June is remembered for the battle that turned the tide in the WWll European Theater, D-day, June 6, 1944. Thousands of soldiers never made it to the beach as their landing crafts were blown out of the water. Hundreds died at the edge of the beach or on the beach after leaving their landing craft.  Thousands more died before they could fire a shot since their gliders crashed, or they were dropped in the middle of enemy territory. The battleships had pounded the gun emplacements relentlessly, but they were so fortified, they were barely damaged. The battle was stalled, but the Germans did not plan for the bravery, determination, and ingenuity of the Allies. Inch by inch, piece by piece, ground was taken until the Germans were overwhelmed. The greatest generation came, saw, and conquered. God was in the midst of all of this as He directed the actions taken to overcome the evil acts of Hitler and his leadership. Evil is the only way to describe his team because they were responsible for thousands of Ally deaths and millions of innocent civilians, especially the Jews, Gypsies, and black people. It was Hitlers attempt to build an “Aryan Nation”. It was his obsession for “racial purity”. 
Two more noteworthy events took place in June. Flag Day on the 14th, to remember its creation by the hands of Betsie Ross, and the beginning of the Korean War on the 25th (It was never declared a war). 
We are facing a time when we are in a battle as great as D-day as our current government is pushing us towards communism. As Veterans we must never allow that to happen.  God favors those who protect His Country, so we must maintain constant vigilance.  
Sick call as of 6/29: None 
Taps as of 6/29: James McCullough  

Post 186 – Chaplain’s letter, May 2023 

“Oh, say can you see”, what it costs to defend our Nation. “By the dawn’s early light”, as we wake up with the freedom to choose the plans for our day. “What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming”, as we prepare to lie down with the knowledge that our military has our six. “Whose broad stripes and bright stars”, representing Valor, Virtue, and Vigilance. “Through the perilous fight”, by those who are willing to give their lives protecting us. “O’er the ramparts we watched”, from battle fields around the world. “Were so gallantly streaming”, wherever we walk as citizens of the U.S.A. “And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air”, as munitions explode on battlefields. “Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there”, did you know that men died keeping the flag from hitting the ground at Fort McHenry? “O say does that star spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”? It has been a standing tradition that it is never to stay on the ground in battle, so if one man goes down, another man picks it up to honor what they did at Fort McHenry. It flies over our Capitol and the White House 24/7.  
There is another flag that flies over our Nation, and that is the banner of the Lord. Yes, the dictionary translates banner as a flag.  He placed it there when He created our Nation. I know we see our founding fathers as the ones who created the constitution, but the reality is that He inspired these men to write this document in such a way that it has lasted throughout our history.  It took vision beyond the time frame of its inception to make it relevant.  It has been the stabilizing force that has kept us on track as a free Nation.  It is the deciding argument in most Supreme Court cases, and our Congress has been held in check by inspired language. This is what Paul wrote to the Ephesians in chapter 3:20,21: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever, amen”. Understand that God’s word is lasting from generation to generation.  
Let both flags fly high over our Nation, and our next generation will be as blessed as we have been. Amen. 
Take time to reflect upon the sacrifice that was paid by so many who laid down their lives for our freedom.  Pay honor to them by participating in this Memorial Day.
Sick call as of 5/24: None 
Taps as 5/24: Robert Cavanaugh   4/23: John C. Ardizzone   


Post 186-Chaplain’s letter, April 2023 

Nita and I just completed a 2000+ mile journey to visit family and friends this month. Every mile was worth it to renew fellowship and see new sights. We got to play with our Great Grandbaby and found out another is on the way. We got to see one of the seven wonders of the world, Niagara Falls, on the Canadian side. Yes, Canada lifted their covid restrictions, so I did not need a shot to visit. I want to reflect on the miles we traveled and take you back over 2000 years ago. Our Lord and Savior walked over 3,125 miles during His three years of ministry.  The territory He walked was not flat land. It was mountainous and rugged. Not unlike areas we saw as we traveled. It’s estimated in His lifetime, He walked over 21,000 miles. The Apostle Paul had over 10,000 miles that he walked ministering. Nita and I may have walked two or three miles together. Each mile these two men walked was with purpose to spread the Gospel, One who was the Gospel, and the other sharing His story. Come to Church and hear their story in living color brought alive in the written Word.
This month is known as the wedding month. Nita and I are in the second year of our marriage, and I would like to share some thoughts on how we must relate to be true to each other. It requires effort. Let it be of value in your relationship.
The physical relationship of a marriage is part of the equation, but the emotional, Spiritual, and psychological segments are the glue that holds things together.  Without them, arguments without answers break out; attitudes of selfishness enter in; my way or the highway prevails; wandering eyes and thoughts creep into your psyche.  Soon the harsh words; looks of disdain; snide remarks; questionable behavior; etc. become an everyday occurrence.  
With Christ at the headship of your relationship, you will be quickened to realize that what you say and do has a direct bearing on the health of your marriage. Scriptures that you have read or heard point to what is right and wrong in how you relate to each other, and if we are to please our Lord and Savior, we are gently reminded to “not let the sun set on our anger” when we’ve had a bad day.   
Prayer is absolutely part of the daily exercise needed to refresh how you relate to each other. Praying together often allows you to share thoughts that you might not express in casual conversation. Praying for others and their marriages extends the prayer field.  
Finally, respect your spouse by tempering your words.  How you talk to each other will make or break your marriage.  Ask for a clarification of something that was said if you’re not sure of how it was intended.  Do you know that the war against Japan was extended because the Emperor misunderstood a sentence spoken in the initial surrender talks?  Maybe the atomic bomb would never have been used?   If you don’t want things to go nuclear, chill.   
Sick call as of April 27th: None 
Taps as of April 27th: John A. Pienkos 

Post 186 – Chaplain’s letter, March 2023 

The old saying in March is: “Out like a lion, in like a lamb” as we enter April. Well, man’s sayings don’t always go according to plan, so we could have any type of weather pattern arrive.  I’ve been through gentle cycles and harsh cycles.  One thing is consistent, and that’s God’s Word. In 2nd Timothy 3:16, 17 it says: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good thing.” Think of it like field stripping your riffle.  At first it seems impossible, but as you listen to and watch your DI demonstrate how to do it, you eventually learn to do it in your sleep.  Christians have an instructor to help reveal God’s word, and that is the Holy Spirit who Jesus said He would send after His resurrection.  In John 14:15-17 it says “If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever-the Spirit of truth.”  There is great comfort in knowing you have someone to talk to through prayer who hears you and loves you unconditionally.  Someone walking along side you listening to every conversation.  Jesus said: Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).  Easter is going to be celebrated on April 9th this year.  Have you fallen away from the Church, or have you never attended a church?  Come and find rest this year.  There is a sunrise service held at the point in Cherry Grove each year starting at 6:00am.  A different Pastor leads the service and as many as 1500 people have attended.  If you don’t want to get up that early, I would like to invite you to attend the church that Nita and I are attending, It’s Faith Wesleyan Church in Little River, on Rt. 90 near the Robert Edge parkway.  Our service begins at 10:30am. 

How Irish were you for a day?  Do you know that the North Myrtle Beach parade is the fourth largest on the East coast? Were you one of the fortunate golfers to get into the Auxiliary Tournament?  Each month the Post is filled with activities of many varieties. Hope you’re taking advantage of them. The old saying is “He who hesitates is lost”, as those who were late with their golf entry form found out.  

Continue to pray for our Nation. We are in crisis in so many ways. Our Border Czar could care less that our border is non-existent.  Our government is out of control with spending, and our President will do nothing about it. We face a Nation of people of over 65% who no longer have a Patriotic view, and an equal number who have pushed God aside.  Take time to teach your family about our greatness and the need for Christ. They’re  not going to hear it in school because God’s been thrown out and our History is being rewritten by radicals.  

We are in the season of Lent.  What did you give up? He gave His life for us. Let the Easter celebration renew your relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 


Sick call as of March 29th: None   

Taps as of March 29th: None