American Legion Post 295 in the News

We have tried to include instances of American Legion Post 295 appearing in the news and copies of our Newsletter.

Document Library

DocumentDateline 10.7.2012Dateline: Veterans Day Open House & Stand Down
DocumentDateline: 10.02.2012Dateline Post 295: Responsible Gaming
DocumentDATELINE: 8.23.2012DoD Identifies Maryland Casualty
DocumentDATELINE: 09.07.2012New Veterans Benefit Guide
DocumentDATELINE 12.9.2012Remembering Those Who Served
DocumentDATELINE 12.16.2012Holiday greetings and a Soldiers Christmas a poem
DocumentDATELINE 01.04.2013Happy New Year
DocumentDATELINE 01.11.2013Children Youth Programs
DocumentDATELINE 01.14.2013Beacon of Hope Burns Brightly
DocumentDATELINE 1.24.2013Urgent Legistlative Action MC 5-13
DocumentProgram UpdateVietnam Veterans Memorial Golf Tourney 2013
DocumentDATELINE (Online) 2.5.2013Veteran Benefit Update

Montgomery County delegates will be reviewing a bill to bring gaming into veterans halls.

When lawmakers voted to expand gambling in Maryland, they included a provision to allow veterans organizations west of the Chesapeake Bay to sell lottery machine tickets.

Montgomery County didn't make the list. Now there's a push to reverse that decision.

Members at American Legion Post 86 in Rockville have the option of playing bingo, but it wants to add another game of luck - pull tab machines.

Robert Garagiola, D-District 15, said, "There's paper involved, and they are games of chance. It's almost like a cross between lottery and a slot machine."

When Maryland lawmakers passed the gambling expansion measure in Aug. during a special session, they included a provision for pull tabs at certain veterans facilities like American Legion and VFW posts.


"We passed the legislation in the Senate initially, and it went over to the House of Delegates, came back and allowed every county except Montgomery County," Garagiola explained. "...I've never been able to figure out the responsible legislator for excluding Montgomery County."


Monday night, American Post 295 Post Commander Bob Ouellette told leaders, like Senator Garagiola, that the extra dollars from gaming will continue to help the American Legion provide funding for scholarships, outreach and post operations.


As the bill stands right now, there would be a limit of five machines at each hall, and only members and their guests would be allowed to participate in the gaming.


Ouellette said, "It's not going to create a casino in someone's backyard."

He added a similar measure has been in place on the Eastern Shore since the 80s. It has generated thousands for other non-profits.


"This past summer, they donated $85,000 to one of the Maryland organizations," Ouellette continued.


The measure has been presented to the General Assembly in the past as a stand alone bill, but it didn't go through until this past summer.
Opponents have argued that pull tab machines are designed to be very addictive.

Read more:

Introduction and Testimony on SB 5-13, Gaming Veterans Organizations

On December 3rd, the Montgomery County State Delegation met in Rockville to hear the introduction of SB 5-13 by Sen. Garagiola and Del. Hixon. More than 50 members of The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars were on hand to support the bill, which would allow Montgomery County to Opt-In to the Maryland Gaming Bill. The Gaming Bill authorized the Maryland Lottery Commission to allow certain veteran organizations to operate instant ticket machines in their halls under their supervision. Commander Bob Ouellette, Post 295, testified along with Dan Bullis, Post 41 Vice Commander, and several others from the Montgomery Veterans Collation on Responsible Gaming.

The following is a summary of Commander Ouellette’s testimony. The American Legion is a powerful force for the nation. All veterans who served honorably during a wartime period, and those currently serving on active duty, are eligible to belong to The American Legion. Congress chartered The American Legion in 1919 as a veterans service organization. The American Legion was founded upon four pillars of service in 1919. Today we continue to pledge ourselves to...

Our Veterans…

Our Youth…

A Strong National Defense…

And Americanism.

These four pillars shape our work and what we do for America. The Legion is more than simply a veterans organization – it is very much a community-based service organization.


  • The American Legion has changed American more than any other organization. Past National Commander Harry W. Colmery wrote in longhand, on Mayflower Hotel stationery in Washington, the first draft of what will later become the "GI Bill of Rights" – considered the Legion's single greatest legislative achievement. Some have called the GI Bill the 2nd Greatest Bill every passed. The 1st was the Bill of Rights.
  • The American Legion’s Child Welfare Foundation donates over a quarter of a million dollars each year to worthy children and youth programs.
  • The American Legion’s National Emergency Fund provides immediate financial assistance to fellow Legionnaires and their families displaced by natural disasters.
  • Legionnaires record over a million volunteer-hours annually in VA medical facilities throughout the nation and they reinvest millions of dollars back into local communities through cash donations.
  • The American Legion continues to provide gifts and recreational items to servicemembers recovering in U.S. military hospitals and warrior transition units around the globe.
  • The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund enables the children of military members killed in action after Sept. 11, 2001 to receive a college education while its Family Support Network helps families of deployed service members.

Most of all The American Legion is more than a bar where veterans go to drink, we are a large organization of men and women who have stood to defend our nation in times of war and who continue to stand for a strong national defense in a changing world. These members steadfastly work to preserve the fabric of the United States of America.

POW/MIA ‘Missing Man’ Motorcycle Run

American Legion ‘Vietnam Veterans Memorial’ Rider Chapter 295 will be conducting a sponsor based “POW/MIA ‘Missing Man’ Motorcycle Run” to highlight the plight of those still Missing in Action and highlight National POW/MIA Recognition Day scheduled on September 21st. Individuals with vehicles may also participate in the run.


The POW/MIA ‘Missing Man’ Run will be held on Saturday September 15th and will honor Col Robert A. Govan and Col David R Williams who disappeared over Laos in 1967. In 2002, the Department of Defense identified both Col Govan and Col Williams based on circumstantial evidence. In 2003, the identification was rescinded and both were placed back onto the POW/MIA List as Body Not Recovered (BNR). We have asked Col Govan's sister and niece to be the starters of the run. 


The funds raised by the run will be used to benefit American Legion Post 295’s Operation Provide Comfort.


Each rider is responsible for securing pledges to support their ride (goal should be $100 or more). The amount pledged is based on each individual’s ability to obtain sponsors to pay a per mile pledge for the 200 mile run and are based on the participate completing the ride (rain or shine). Full details are at the Missing Man Run web page. 


Please consider either riding (open to the public) or sponsoring a rider for this run and know that your tax deductible donations will provide assistance to the brave men and women who fought for our freedom. If you have any questions please contact me by either email ( or by calling my cell (301) 466-3775 (evenings) or contact Commander Bob Ouellette by email at (

SMD End of Year Report

Southern Maryland District

End of Year Report


I am honored to report that “The Great Southern Maryland District” has logged another successful year across the board in support of The American Legion’s “Four Pillars.”  Our success came from the hard work of over 19,000 Legionnaires, representing our 49 Posts.  Their continued commitment and support to American Legion programs such as: American Legion Riders; Special Olympics; American Legion Baseball; Honor Guards; Providing serving Veterans and VA Hospitals; Heroes to Hometowns; Blood Collection; Legislative Affairs and many more programs ensures SMD will remain a force to be reckoned with.  Together we achieve greatness and cannot be ignored.  

Among Southern Maryland’s many successes this year I would like to take a moment to highlight a few.  Upper Marlboro Post #115 sponsored both our Law Officer of the Year (LOY) Sgt Suzzie Johnson from Hyattsville and Career EMS of the Year Steffanie Buffam from Prince Georges Fire Department. Sgt Johnson went on to be selected as the Department and Central Region and National Runner-up as Law Officer of the Year.  Fire Fighter/Medic Buffum was selected as the Department Career EMS of the Year. Damascus Post 171 sponsored the District’s Oratorical Contestant Logan Jackonis, who went on to represent Post 171, Montgomery County, Southern Maryland, and the Department in the National contest.  

Commitment to the American Legion and the continued success of Southern 

Maryland’s membership can be attributed to those Legionnaire’s who recruit and retain member in the American Legion. Of particular note are three Legionnaires in who achieved Gold Brigade by recruiting more than 50 new members. The three Gold Brigade achievers are: William Groves, Post 233; Kathy Linkenhoker, Post 136 and Bob Ouellette, Post 295. Another recruiter of note is Jack Custis of Post 206, who recruited 30 new members. Legionnaires who recruit 25 but less than 49 are eligible for Silver Brigade. All Posts should recognize those who work to ensure their Post and American Legion membership continues to thrive.  In addition to recruiting, we must retain those who have already joined. Reaching out to delinquent and past due members can work in reversing the slide in membership.

I am honored to have served as the Southern Maryland District Commander. It has been challenging covering a district with and area of 2,400 square miles. I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you throughout the district and the state. In almost every case, I have found that the aims and goals of the American Legion were well understood and I am a better Legionnaire for having done so. Thank you all for your support, and I hope to have the pleasure of working with you in the future.

Robert “Bob” Ouellette, Sr.

Commander, Southern Maryland District

LOGAN JACKONIS ~ 295 SAL Member wins Maryland Oratorical

There are those who conspire to eliminate freedom from the world today, they are the Wolves. Thanks to Logan Jackonis, a Junior in Poolesville High School’s Global Ecology Program, we have the solution to keep the wolves at bay, The United States Constitution.


Thomas Jefferson wrote to Edward Carrington in 1787, "If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions." He was speaking of the Constitution and the need for the new country to pay attention to their responsibilities thereto. Jackonis participated in the American Legion Maryland High School Oratorical Contest this weekend. He competed against representatives from 3 other Maryland Districts and was judged the winner of the Maryland Contest earning $2500 for college. The next step will be participating in the national contest in Indianapolis.


The overall national contest winner gets an $18,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $16,000, and third gets $14,000. Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest’s first round receives a $1,500 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $1,500 scholarship. The American Legion’s National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States.

High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers.


Logan Jackonis reached the state finals by selecting a subject that pertains to some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. The prepared speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three- to five-minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.


Preparation for the 2013 oratorical begins in the fall, however, it is never too early to prepare. For more information email

Published: Tuesday, August 16, 2011
 by James Peters
Staff Writer

After helping to start and guide the Gaithersburg Post 295 American Legion baseball team since the program's inception in 1984, Rick Price, the owner of three Maryland State American Legion titles, has decided to hand the team over to junior legion coach Steve Cononie.

Price plans to continue to manage next summer but this time leading the Rockville Express, a member of the Cal Ripken Baseball League, which plays on the same field as his Montgomery College-Rockville program.

“They asked me to do it and I thought it might be helpful for the college team,” said Price, who has won 11 Montgomery Division titles, including four straight. “I felt that if we could get some players that could transition over to the Express after they've already done two years at MC; that could get us a better level of players at [MC-] Rockville.

“I thought it would be something that might be attractive. We have lights now and they can stay on the same field.”

The job offer came after the departure of Express coach Angelo Nicolosi following this past season that saw Rockville compile a 17-24 record, placing it sixth out of nine teams. Hoping to land Price for a long time, Express president/general manager Jim Kazunas said he was thrilled when Price accepted.

“We're very excited,” Kazunas said. “It's something very good for the organization … and for the college. Rick is an incredible coach [and] it was one of those things that the timing was right for Rick to come on board.”

Kazunas added that Price's arrival will also bring in local talent from his coaching days at Post 295 and his current Montgomery College position that he took on last year along with another former long-time county coach, Bill Wright. Rockville experienced a similar situation when former MC-Rockville coach Tom Shaffer ran the Express.

“Everybody is excited about him,” Kazunas said. “He relates very well with the college players. There's a buzz in the area.”

Looking to keep Post 295 atop the Montgomery Division standings will be Cononie, whose son Charlie pitches for the Tampa Bay Rays organization. Cononie helped set up the Gaithersburg Post 295 junior legion team and served as the manager all four years of its existence.

“It is a great honor to be named Post 295 Senior Legion manager,” said Cononie, who guided the junior legion team to the semifinals of the National Amateur Baseball Federation World Series in Tennessee last month and a 26-11 record overall. “This team has an annual tradition of putting out great teams and I will hope to continue the tradition and bring home a few more county and state titles to Post 295.

“I really enjoyed working for him, and getting the Post 295 junior team up and running and developing players to move up to the senior team. Coach Price always found a way to bring out the best in players when it came down to winning the big games. We will miss that.”

Both Price and Cononie said a new junior legion coach is still being sought. Many members of this year's junior team will likely man spots on the senior legion team that went 2-2 at the state tournament held at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown. Post 295 finished the 2011 season with a 22-10 record.

“If this was my last year at 295, this year's group of kids was a wonderful way to go,” said Price, whose mostly new squad breezed through the Montgomery Division tournament after finishing second to Damascus Post 171 in the regular season standings. “I can't think of a better group of kids. It was a wonderful experience for me.