SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Members of the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge Program have a new mission — to give the Lowe-McFarlane Post 14 a fresh look for its 100th birthday.
The Lowe-McFarlane Post will celebrate its 100th birthday with a barbecue for members and their families Sunday, Sept. 22.
“I’m really blessed to be apart of this," said Commander Sean Armstrong.
Armstrong was elected as Post 14′s newest commander just a month ago — but says this post is something pretty special.
“Unless you’ve been part of this organization, you may not understand it," he said. "But to be able to spend time with individuals that know what you’re doing and know what you’ve been through, it really is amazing.”
September 22, 1919, is when Post 14 applied for its charter just six days after Congress granted the American Legion a national charter. The post was named after Sgt. Robert Francis Lowe and Private Sidney Edwin McFarlane — two Louisiana soldiers who died serving this country.
Willie McDonald serves in a variety of roles at the post including finance director, and chaplain and says this post is much more than people realize.
“We’re here for the community and the main purpose behind our veteran organization is veterans taking care of veterans," he said. "We take care not just veterans but widowers, officers and the neighborhoods.”
But as everyone gets ready for this big day, there’s one person that won’t be there to share it with them — former Commander Dennis Engdahl.
“We use to tease about how he had red white and blue blood," McDonald said.
“He’s been so incredible to me, bringing me up through the organization…after losing him it was like we lost part of our family," Armstrong said.
Engdahl was a face you couldn’t miss at the post, but back in July, he passed away at the age of 75.
“He contributed a lot," McDonald said. "He did so much not just for the post but for the community.”
A big birthday celebration will honor not only Commander Engdahl but other veterans and first responders too.
So while the outside of this building gets a little facelift, members inside are excited for what the next 100 years will bring.
“I feel that it will get better," McDonald said. “It’ll get better.”
Post 14 will also host a benefit-fundraiser Saturday, Nov. 2. The fundraiser will take place at the post on 5315 South Lakeshore Drive in Shreveport from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
There will be a pancake breakfast, gospel singing, an auction, B-52 flyover, a K-9 exhibition by Barksdale Air Force Base, as well as a program and dance with the Parker James Band performing.
Tickets to attend the program and the dance are required and can be purchased at the door the day of the event or in advance at the legion office for $10.
The money raised will go to support Post 14′s various community and veteran projects.