Harold B. Jarrett American Legion Post 342 holds 75th anniversary celebration

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 17, 2021

SALISBURY —  On Sept. 18, 1946, a group of 92 veterans met at Cone Mills to organize an American Legion Post. The result was American Legion Post 342, which has been an active force in the Salisbury community for the last 75 years, serving veterans and the community.

The post is most well known for annual handicapped children’s parties at Christmas and Easter. Post 342 has a large and active Legion family that includes the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion.

On September 18, 2021, at 6:30 pm, Harold B. Jarret American

Post 342 celebrated 75 years of history on Sept. 18 with 125 guests in attendance and a catered meal by Debbie Suggs Catering. The only surviving charter member, Jack Kepley, provided the history of Post 342, which was named after Army Sgt. Harold B. Jarrett. He was killed on Aug. 19, 1944, at the Battle of Brignoles. Jarrett served in the 3rd Infantry Division Company C 601 Tank Destroyer.

Almost a year ago, Past Post Commander Charlie Frick and his committee began planning and working on the 75th celebration.  A special coin was designed to commemorate the event.

The event was attended by many American Legion department leaders, including Past Department Commander Evan Thompson and his wife, Shirley. Sons of the American Legion Squadron Commander Gene Bellando and his wife, Peggy, attended along with Past National Executive Committee member Patricia Harris. It was a special honor to have the Immediate Past National Commander Bill Oxford and his wife, Francis, attend.  Many local and state elected officials also attended.

Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander and Greg Edds, chairman of Rowan County Commissioners, presented proclamations to Post 342 Commander Harry Agner. The proclamations declared Sept. 18, 2021, the official anniversary of Post 342.

The keynote speaker was the American Legion Department Commander of North Carolina, Jim Quinlan. He told of the involvement of the Legion in the community and was presented a state flag that flew over the Capital by Sen. Carl Ford. Quinlan was also presented a U.S. flag that flew over the Capital in Washington D.C. by Sam Shuemate, a representative for U.S. Rep. Ted Budd.

Post 342 would like to thank sponsors Powles Staton Funeral Home and the law firm of Whitley, Jordon, Inge and Rary for supporting the event.

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