BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) – A celebration of new beginnings. It was three years ago when the oldest American Legion Post in the state closed their doors.
“We just accumulated too much debt and the building we were in was too expensive to maintain,” said Lonnie Boyce, a member of the American Legion.
Legion Post 2, which was then on Indiana 59 near Brazil’s Forest Park, would only exist on paper.
“It was very disappointing because we had one of the finest facilities in the state,” said Boyce.
However, Indiana’s oldest post formed in 1919 was able to survive, and retain its charter.
Now the Brazil post is open for businesses in a new location.
Less than a block North of U.S. 40 on North Deport Street is what used to be a biker bar that has been newly remodeled.
“We support the economy, and the main thing is we support the veterans, and we didn’t want that to go away,” Boyce explained.
Neither did the more than 340 regular veteran members. For a year members of the post volunteered their time and labor to completely gut the building, and refurbish the inside from the ground up.
“It’s a proud day for the American Legion. We thought when we lost the other place it was the end, but this is just the beginning,” said William Lynch, a member of the Legion for 66 years.
A new beginning for the new post they call home.
“It’s a place for the comradery, to be friends, that’s the whole thing right there for me,” said Randy Kaelber, Commander of Post 2.
“We fought for the right for people to be able to speak and live like they want, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Boyce.
The Legion hopes with the new building they’ll expand by bringing in new members.