KIRBY STEWART POST 24
THE HISTORY OF POST 24
Kirby Stewart POST 24 was chartered on June 5th, 1919 with fifteen members. They endured plenty of growing pains simply to keep moving forward.
1920 saw several more VETERANS join along with a new Commander and progress began as a reality for POST 24. Located at 1209 6th Ave. West, in the downtown center of Bradenton, POST 24 was at the center of the action.
POST 24 membership was instrumental in contributing to the many improvements throughout the city of Bradenton and Manatee County. They helped to pay for lights on the 'Green Bridge' that connects downtown to the town of Palmetto. The VETERANS are credited with assisting in constructing the first aircraft landing strip in Manatee County.
During the depression years, POST 24 VETERANS and other volunteers within the POST helped to feed thousands of children insuring they would not go hungry. I guess POST 24 had their own 'USUAL SUSPECTS' back then.
After WWII, POST 24 helped many homeless VETERANS by allowing them to come in and spend the night in hopes of getting a good night's sleep. An American Legion POST is like a beacon in the night to a VETERAN. POST 24 and its membership is no different. Not then, not now.
Bradenton was growing and so was POST 24. As a result, it was decided to purchase property and move out to 2000 75th Street West. Membership continued expanding to where now POST 24 has nearly the largest number of members in the state of Florida.
Times change, as they do, and needs change, as they do, to keep pace. Each change of command desires to leave its mark. They are credited with some of the success and blamed for all of the failures during their tenure. They are never more popular than the day they are sworn in. A year later, most only hear the door slam as they exit. In between those two dates they are expected to right all the wrongs in and around the POST while dodging the rocks being thrown by those on the sidelines. Each one wrapped with an opinion, but no signature.
Volunteers are the catalyst of any nonprofit organization, and POST 24 is no exception. The 'USUAL SUSPECTS', for whom I am referring, are the ones who are always on hand when something is going on. They step to the front to offer their support. They arrive early and stay late to insure that the objective is achieved. At the end of the day, these are the individuals who turn out the lights. And, they are the ones who enable POST 24 to keep the lights on.
POST 24 has been in need of a new roof and a plan was developed to instead of attempting to secure a loan for the expense, why not ask the general membership along with merchants of the community if they might assist financially in a new roof. One has only to check the many names on the website of folks who came to the front of the line to contribute to this worthy cause. As a result, a new roof was installed without any type of loan. POST 24 is so very thankful to all who support us and our various programs.
As with most organizations, the task of finding new members is a difficult one. A lot of the 'old guard' are enrolling in that great spirit army. Therefore, it takes even more commitment and dedication from our 'USUAL SUSPECTS' to continue the cause.
POST 24 finally made the turn and began accepting credit card transactions in 2015, plus the digital world came to life within the confines as now most transactions throughout the post are handled with the new age method. Takes away most of the guess work and improves accountability.
Members voted to sell a portion of the POST 24 property in 2015.
For GOD and Country,
Drew Thomas, POST 24 Historian
I wish to thank Past Commander and Historian Len Sirotzki for his contribution to this article.