American Legion post welcomes new commander
By Emily Sorensen
There’s a new post commander at American Legion Post 479 for the next year. Powegian Chuck Cross was installed as the new post leader at the June 7 meeting held at the Poway VFW Post 7907.
Post 479, which was given a permanent charter in 1982, serves the Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos and Scripps Ranch area.
The American Legion is more than just a place for veterans to come together and share their experiences.
“It’s a great brotherhood,” said Bob Hylton, one of the charter members of Post 479 and a former post commander. “We all went through the same thing.”
Hylton, a World War II veteran who not only survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, but was also part of the Invasion of Normandy at Omaha Beach on D-Day, helped form the charter of Post 479 in 1981. “I thought they should have their own club here,” said Hylton. He joined the Navy in 1938, and served 25 years before leaving the service, working for the Air Force as a civilian. Originally from St. Louis, Mo., he attended boot camp in San Diego after joining, and fell in love with the city. “I wrote my mother and said, ‘this is where I’m going to retire,’” said Hylton.
The members of Post 479 range from World War II veterans all the way to the present day. Darvin Dalrymple, who spent 26 years in the Navy, left the reserves to return to active duty in Sept. 2001 through May 2003 as a chief cryptologist for the National Security Agency, supporting new operations and exercises in the global war on terror.
The outgoing post commander, Mick Styron, recently retired from 20 years of Navy service, starting off working with a reactor generator on a submarine. Styron worked as a Navy career counselor for many years before retiring, and now works as a civilian Navy education counselor. He served in Yugoslavia, in Korea and in Iraq in 1995.
The members also work to serve their community and help their fellow veterans, sponsoring junior ROTC programs at Scripps Ranch and Westview High Schools, as well as sponsoring Boy Scout Troop 479. The post also sponsors the American Legion Boys State, High School Oratorical scholarship program, a constitutional speech contest for high school aged boys.
The members of Post 479 also work to support their fellow veterans as well, providing counseling and assistance with the Family Support Network, an American Legion program that works with service personnel and military families to help with monthly expenses and everyday tasks they need help with. They also help with VA applications for veterans and their families, and provide bingo to the Wounded Warriors and veterans at the La Jolla VA Hospital once a month, among other projects and programs.
In addition, Post 479 holds a Memorial Day service in Dearborn Memorial Park, and a Veterans Day service in Veterans Park in Poway every year. They also assist in flag-retiring ceremonies.
As post commander, Cross will be expected to conduct the business of the post’s activities, including the youth ROTC programs, the oratorical contest, and the veterans’ advocacy.
Cross, a 28-year resident of Poway, has been part of the American Legion for 14 years, and has been active in Post 479 for three years. He served in the Coast Guard for four years, from 1970 – 1974. He has helped run the Poway Midland Railroad volunteers for 20 years. His wife of 30 years, Mary, is the vice president of financial administration.
For more information on the post or how to join, visit www.calegiondistrict22.org/posts/post479info.htm.
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