The idea was conceived to form this Post in the minds of several members of the John Rich Pentecost Post #53, Winder, Georgia. When these members, who resided in or near Statham decided to organize a Post in Statham for the benefit of themselves and the future Legionnaires from World War II veterans. These few men held their first meeting in the old Court House Building. They elected Buddy Walter Green as their first Commander.
The name JOSEPH T. HARRIS was selected as the name for the new Post 163. This was in honor of the memory of the first soldier of World War II from Statham killed in action. Permission for his name to be used was secured from his parents, who in turn gave $50.00 to be used in establishing this new Post. The Charter was issued on May 17, 1944. Charter members were as follows:
WALTER GREEN, JIM JOHNSON, ROBERT JACKSON, W.D.COBB, B.C.HENDRIX, LUTHER HEAD, N.W.JACKSON, F.C.THURMOND, JESSE DOOLY, STEPHEN AUSTIN, JOHN H.JONES, JEFF AKINS, P.L. HUTCHINS, H.C.SIMS, CARL J. HALE, EDWARD THOMPSON, CLAUDE HUFF, W.E.McDONALD, THOMAS R. LEE, ROBERT C. SIMS, PAUL T. BARRETT, ROBERT DIAL, WILL H. GRIZZLE, GRADY ALLEN, RALPH HEWETTE, JOHN H. DIAL, JIM DIAL.
From these humble beginnings, with the able leadership of the many Post 163 Commanders throughout the years following, we have welcomed many Veterans from all branches of America's Military Services. Under the leadership of our current Commander Rick Baugh, our Legion membership, now 297 strong, have all worked tirelessly achieveing many accomplishments in support of the four Pillars of the American Legion. Commander Baugh believes "What We Do Defines Who We Are" As a result of his leadership, Post 163 has received the esteemed Post Excellence Award for the past two membership years.
A Women's Auxiliary of American Legion Post 163 was Chartered on 28 June, 1944. The Legion has every reason to be proud of it's Auxiliary. Auxiliary members are always anxious and willing to co-operate in every Legion activity.
A Sons of the American Legion (SAL) for American Legion Post 163 was Chartered on 3 May, 2001. The Legion has every reason to be proud of it's Sons of Legion unit, which has always suported the post's programs of service to the community.
An American Legion Riders (ALR) for American Legion Post 163 was Chartered on 11 November, 2011. The Legion has every reason to be proud of it's Legion Riders, which has gained statewide recognition because of it's programs of service. When ask, why do you keep pushing yourselves to do more? Our Post Vice Commander who is also our District 10 ALR Directer responds, he says “We are here for the cause not the applause”.
MEMORIAL DAY has always been an outstanding occasion in this community. In addition to memorial events throughout the Statham community, the goal of every Veteran to it's last person is to keep MEMORIAL DAY sacred to the memory of our war dead of all of the wars of the country; and all graves are decorated on this National Holiday.
ARMISTICE DAY, now called VETERANS' DAY, originally marked the end of fighting in World War I. It is an important holiday on the calendar of Legionnaires everywhere and in the hearts of all Veterans. It has been in Statham, Ga. Annually the Post sponsored the Armistice Day Parade. An important tradition was established when the Post led in the memorial exercises at 11 o'clock on the morning of November 11, marking the exact hour of the cessation of hostility on the war fronts. Post 163 Veterans participate in Veterans Day Programs at several local Schools.
Scholarships and Community Projects
American LegionPost 163 sponsors various scholarships for the further education of our children. We also sponsor and financially assist many worthy community projects and programs initiated by the National American Legion.
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