EAST BEND — They’re often called “the Greatest Generation” and none of that generation are more celebrated than those who fought during World War II. One of that generation was recently honored during a meeting of American Legion Post 336. Clyde Wall served with the 10th Mountain Division from 1944 to 1946. On May 3 he was presented with special recognition for continuous membership in the American Legion for 70 years.
Post Commander David Shore presented Wall with the certificate which read, in part, “in grateful appreciation for faithful and dedicated allegiance to the ideals of the American Legion.”
Wall, who just recently celebrated his 95th birthday, was joined by his sons Jerry and Randy and nephew Jim for the ceremony.
“We’ve come a long way,” Wall said of the post, recalling the early days when there were only 20 or 25 members. American Legion Post 336 now has 310 members on its roster from Yadkin County as well as Wilkes and Surry Counties and even out-of-state members as far away as Alaska.
The very building in which the ceremony took place is a testament to Wall’s years of service and dedication to the organization as he was part of the group who helped to build it in the early 1950s.
“The members laid this floor,” Wall said. “It was a combined effort.”
“I’m really proud to be a part of the American Legion,” Wall said.
Wall’s two brothers Ray and J.W. Wall also served in the armed forces during World War II.
After completing Basic Training in Florida, Wall said he left from Virginia on a boat to Italy.
“We were in a convoy and I think it was 22 days we were on the water,” Wall recounted. “And it was rough the whole time.”
At one point during the voyage there was a fire in the engine room and the soldiers had to abandon ship. Luckily the fire was put out before any major damage occurred.
After serving during the war, Wall returned home to East Bend where he had a career as a brick layer and carpenter. The American Legion is something Wall said he has a lot of pride in being a part of.
“I always enjoyed being with other veterans. It’s well organized here but we have a lot of fun together,” Wall said.
American Legion Post 336 is currently raising funds to build a veterans memorial monument near the flag pole in front of the post building. During the May meeting, Wall gave a $500 check, the second donation he has made, towards the project. Shore said the family of a deceased member of the post has also given a sizable donation towards the project. Shore said they hope to break ground soon on the memorial.
To donate towards the veterans memorial, checks made out to American Legion Post 336 may be mailed c/o David Shore, 1308 Charity Church Road, Boonville, NC 27011.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-258-4035 or follow her on Twitter @news_shewrote.