- Business Advocacy
The American Legion is a U.S. war veterans organization that was founded in 1919 following the First World War. Veterans from Alhambra formed Post 139 the following year and named it after San Gabriel resident John Howard Strain, of the 5th Marine Regiment. Mr. Strain was killed at the Battle of Belleau Wood. He was the first American from the San Gabriel area to give his life in World War I.
In 1927, soil from San Gabriel was sent to France and laid atop Mr. Strain’s grave. France reciprocated and sent French soil to the U.S. where it was enclosed in a metal box that became part of the cornerstone of the building that still serves as Post 139 headquarters at 24 N. Stoneman Ave.
Today the Post includes 232 member veterans, a dedicated Women’s Auxiliary unit, and an active Sons of the American Legion (SAL) that includes the children of members who organize events in support of the Post.
Post 139 has continually been of service to Alhambra since its founding. In 2009, Post 139, working closely with the City of Alhambra, was instrumental in creating the Veteran’s Memorial on the Northwest corner of Alhambra Park. Congressman Adam Schiff was present to open the Memorial. Since then, the Post has partnered with the City to host the annual Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day observances at the site.
These events now draw hundreds of veterans, families, friends, City, County, State, and Federal officials. Following the bi-annual observances, the Post and its Women’s Auxiliary invite all present to a luncheon at the American Legion headquarters.
The Post 139 headquarters is open seven days a week to serve its members and their guests. They host Monday night football viewing parties as well as other sporting events. The Post is also active in service to the community, collecting for Toys for Tots at Christmas time, offering the free use of their hall for the Alhambra High School baseball team dinners, and sponsoring a team member to attend Boys State.
The Legion also contributes to Relay for Life,a community based fundraising event of the American Cancer Society. Rental of the Legion hall for outside events help with fund raising and building upkeep. Help out by renting the hall for an event. Phone 626-458-2723 for details.
Post Commander Gil Cardoza is justly proud of comradery and service that the Post undertakes. “Above all,” he said, “we are a family.” Post 139 is a place where men and women who have shared the experience of military service are welcome and invited to a brotherhood with one another.