American Legion Post 181 Post Commander Sahlbom retiresNew American Legion officers sworn in
At a banquet held last Saturday, over 80 people were present to honor Sahlbom and to be part of a new chapter in the Lake Stevens American Legion Post, the swearing in of the new officers.
Sahlbom has served as Post Commander since 2000 and it was his goal to take the membership of the Post from 23 to 181 the same number as the Post.
It was announced at the banquet Saturday night that Sahlbom had surpassed that goal with 184 current members.
When Sahlbom took over as Post Commander he and the other American Legion members decided they wanted to build a war memorial for all of the fallen soldiers from Lake Stevens and they wanted to be able to dedicate it by the next Memorial Day, a year away.
“Jack was the inspiration and driving force in getting the War Memorial in downtown Lake Stevens fully funded and constructed within one year. The dedication was on Memorial Day, 2001, just months before the attacks on September 11,” Tom Thorleifson, Adjutant of Post 181 wrote.
The war memorial has become an important part of Lake Stevens with an annual Memorial Day service and over 60 flag-lowering ceremonies held to honor local veterans who have passed away.
Members of Post 181 have a great admiration and respect for Sahlbom and all that he has accomplished in the last eight years.
“He has a passion for helping veterans and helping the community,” Thorleifson said.
“You have been a pillar in this organization and you have made your post an example to all,” added Vince Schmitt, Past Department (state) Commander from Lynnwood.
Tony Morea, the new Post Commander for Post 181, presented Sahlbom with a few special gifts to thank him for all he has achieved. One of those gifts was an American flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol for Salhbom at the request of Rep. Rick Larsen. It also included a certificate and letter from Larsen thanking Sahlbom for all of his efforts on behalf of veterans.
After receiving the gifts, Sahlbom spoke of his gratefulness and admiration for all members of the Post.
“I look at each of one of you as a hero. To think that each one of you were willing to lay down your life if asked,” he said.
“I don’t mind being part of any organization where people are willing to reach down into their pockets and help others,” Sahlbom added.
With a smile on his face, the new officers for American Legion Post 181 were sworn in.
The following are the new officers for 2007-2008: Commander, Tony Morea; First vice Commander, Robert Bechtloff; Second vice Commander, Steven Hobbs; Adjutant, Tom Thorleifson; Assistant Adjutant, Robert Johnson; Finance Officer, Dick Qualey; Judge Advocate, Alan Butterfield; Service Officer, Chad Kent; Chaplain, Dale Smith; Historian, Howard Negaard; Sergeant-At-Arms, Ron McEntire; Assistant Sergeant-At-Arms, Gary Wolfe.
Many awards were given out that evening including the Legionnaire of the Year award which was awarded to incoming Post Commander Tony Morea who has also been a Post Commander at a post in Ohio,
For more information about The American Legion, contact Jack Sahlbom at 425-334-6520, Tony Morea at 425-377-8347, or visit their website at: www.post181.org.