BEEVILLE – This year, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 274 in Beeville has existed for 93 years.
For 50 of those years, Teresa Holland has been a member, which is why she was honored at the unit’s anniversary dinner held June 12 in Referees Sports Bar & Grill.
“We thought we might as well celebrate now because we don’t know how many of us will be around in seven years,” she said.
Holland, a past president of the unit who now serves as the current secretary/treasurer, is a member of other community organizations including the Beeville Garden Club. But what is it about the Auxiliary that has kept Holland coming back for half a century of her life?
“It’s the self-gratitude I get from helping other people – whether they’re in a nursing home or they’re a widow, taking someone to the doctor,” she said. “It makes them feel good, and it makes me feel good.”
Additionally, since the auxiliary unit does not have its own building, Holland hosts its meetings in her home.
American Legion Auxiliary District 14 President Patsy Harlan said that, contrary to what some might believe, the organization is not ladies only anymore. It is open to spouses or partners – male or female – of veterans who served in the U.S. military.
Holland said she joined the Auxiliary when her late husband, Eugene, became a member of Beeville’s American Legion Post No. 9170. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army who served in World War II under Gen. George S. Patton.
In addition to promoting patriotism and working to enhance the lives of the area’s veterans and their families, Beeville’s unit also works throughout the year to spread cheer throughout the community.
“We bake cakes and cookies for city employees as a thank you for all they do for us because a lot of these people don’t get paid a lot,” Holland said.
During the Christmas holiday season, the unit goes into high gear with its outreach. According to their yearend report, in December 2019, the unit sent out 120 troop boxes to active duty military members overseas, delivered Christmas gift bags to veterans in three nursing homes, delivered toys to 45 children of veterans, assisted two families with food, toys and furnishings and more.
Anyone wishing to find out more about American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 274 can call Holland at 361-358-1550.
William J. Gibbs Jr. is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 361-358-5220, or by email at email@example.com.