The Gilroy Post is the oldest American Veterans organization in Gilroy and the American Legion nationwide also stands as the oldest and largest. Chartered in Gilroy on June 10, 1921, the original Legion building is still standing on the corner of Eigleberry and 5th Street with the original plaque dated March 13, 1927 near the front door. Meetings were held there until the present building was built in 1951. It moved to the present location at 74 West 6th street, one block south to 6th and Eigleberry where the post continues to meet on the first Thursday of the month with dinners/socials on the third Thursday of the month.
As one can imagine, there have been many commanders in the past 97 years including some of the early Gilroy movers and shakers. Those names are listed on the past commanders board inside of the building. The entry breezeway also has plaques with the names of veterans from Gilroy who made the supreme sacrifice during the past wars along with veterans from early years.
The Gilroy post provides services to veterans through their service officer’s connections and contributes generously to the community. Members are recognized for their contributions to programs such as Boys State, Youth Environmental Conference. There are members who participated in Legion programs as teenage students. [Text Box:] Each year member representatives present certificates and medallions to deserving middle school graduating students at Brownell, South Valley, Solorsano and St Mary School. Scholarships are awarded to Gavilan College students majoring in mathematics, science, business, nursing and liberal arts. The coming year will see the post expanding their scholarship awards to the two local high schools.
Scholarship fundraising events include golf tournaments, renowned city wide Enchilada sale, annual yard sales, World Greatest Bake Sale, Christmas Holiday Boutique Sale and the highly successful Tamale Sale.
The Gilroy Post provides Color/Honor guard presence at military funerals locally and in surrounding areas including the veteran’s cemetery in Gustine and the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery in Seaside. Colors are presented at many city functions. These members can be found leading the Memorial Day Parade and at the Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Building. Their presence is often requested by local schools, Little League opening day ceremonies, The Walk for Life, Garlic Festival, St Louise Hospital and many other events.
Veterans are invited to contact the Gilroy American Legion for membership information. Adjutant Ray Sanchez 408-607-3280 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 1st Vice Commander Joe Loquiao 408-465-6142 or visit our website www.americanlegion217.org.
American Legion Gilroy Post #217
74 West 6th St. #D Gilroy, CA 95020