Our Post received our charter in December
21, 1995 as Paradise Valley
Post 149, at a time when the Las Vegas Valley was beginning its massive growth. At the time, there were two major Posts
the valley; Post 8 in downtown Las Vegas, and Post 40 in Henderson. Missing
was a Post to operate in the growing town of Paradise, the area that
encompasses the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, and the University of Las Vegas,
The original Charter Members were Alpha
Ailer, Joseph Alford,
Danny Bounds, Chester Daniels, Frank Feil, Raymond Hergenreder, Herbert Hinkel,
Keith Krul, Edward Lee, Ward Matthews, Aura Norton, Jim Olson, Robert Phillips,
James Sutton, Peter Tsacoyeanes, Richard Volk, and Merle Waisanan.
Although the Post grew modestly, its
lack of a permanent home
hampered its ability to expand its membership beyond 100 members. After moving its meeting locations several
times, the number of active members dropped to a point that the Post ceased to
function. In late 2006, District 2
turned Post 149’s charter back to the Department of Nevada.
A Post Reborn with a Vision
In February 2007, a group of American Legion Riders (ALR), who were members of another
Post at the time, decided that they wanted to do things differently and focus
on community service, as the American Legion is supposed to do. A representative from that group approached
the Department of Nevada for guidance on starting a new ALR chapter. However, because no other Posts were
interested in hosting an ALR chapter at the time, the Department Commander
suggested that the riders take over and revitalize Post 149 … but with
The original members of a revitalized
Post 149 could not be exclusively
an ALR Post, and the riders had to establish at least one Veterans Affairs and
Rehabilitation (VA&R) program and one Americanism Program. As such, the Post focused its efforts on
helping wounded troops returning from battle, and donating money to American Legion Boys State.
Members soon became active in a multi-state
project called American Legion Operation Wounded Warrior, a
project to collect comfort items and raise money for those recuperating in
military and VA hospitals. Literally,
tons of comfort items have been delivered and money raised has helped military
members and Veterans in a variety of hospitals, including Brook Army Medical
Center (Texas), Landstuhl Regional Hospital (Germany), Balboa Naval Hospital
(San Diego), Walther Reed Army Hospital (Washington), and VA medical systems in
Las Vegas, Reno, and Loma Linda, California.
Shortly after establishing the Post,
a representative from Special Assistance
for Family and Youth (SAFY) contacted the Post, asking for assistance
in a fundraiser to help foster children.
Post 149 riders jumped at the chance to help such a great cause and
coordinated the SAFY fundraiser on short notice. The efforts raised several thousand dollars
and established the Post’s first Children and Youth (C&Y) program.
The original members who revitalized
the Post were Ron
"Renegede" Anctil, "eBay" Bob Bencsko, Jim Bishop, Glenn
Christian, Richard Christian, "Tiny" Jim Dancy, Art Goldberg, Mike
Groves, Paul Lambert, Ralph Melancon, Vic "Doc" Moss, Craig Norton,
Phil Perlman, Jim "Kimo" Solmarin, "Big" Joe Webb, Chris
Wise, and Lori Wise.
Some people think that we are an American
Legion Rider Post; but that
is not the case. We are an American
Legion Post with many of our members participating as American Legion Riders.
We focus on supporting American Legion programs in a way that is
enjoyable to the majority of our members ... our riders. However, everything we do is open to anyone
regardless of what they ride or drive.
Why We're Different
Since those early days, and against all
odds, Post 149 has grown into
an active Post with exponential growth, growing to 400 members in 2012. Yet, we have stayed true to our beginnings.
We are a Post that does things a bit
differently than others, and as such, prefer to work alone to support the Aims
and Purposes of the American Legion. We
have built a reputation of being highly involved in the community, and the
go-to Post to get things done.
Yes, the majority of us are leather-clad
riders, but we are American
Legionnaires, helping our fellow Veterans.
We are proud that we are a group of young-minded Veterans, looking
forward to support our community.
Our success is by helping
as Veterans Helping Veterans. If
you fit with us, we're glad to have you, if not, there are other Posts in the
area that may suit your needs.
Why we changed our name:
Our area of responsibility is the town
of Paradise, an unincorporated part of the Las Vegas Valley that includes the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The town
of Paradise Valley is actually located 50 miles north of
Winnemucca, NV, near the Idaho border. None
of the original members contacted could remember why the Post was named Paradise
Valley, and could only guess that the Town of Paradise may have been called
Paradise Valley because of its proximity to another unincorporated town of
Spring Valley. Because of that, the Post
voted to change its name to Paradise Post 149, which more accurately describes
who we are.
On the day that our new charter arrived,
the Post Commander just
happened to stop on Swenson St. just
south of Tropicana Ave., directly in front of a U.S. Post Office. On the wall is a sign that reads, “Paradise
Valley, 89119.” Go figure.
Still not sure if you fit, read our Code of Conduct before joining.