Walter Lees, a member of the American Legion and a retired naval commander, last night was elected commander of the state guard
unit for the Turlock area.|
The election came at a meeting held by Rex Ish post 88 of the Legion and attended by representatives from the VFW, DAV, Purple Heart and Company A of the National Guard. The meeting was called for the specific purpose of organizing the local guard unit.
Under plans laid down at the meeting, the guard will make its headquarters at the Company A armory and will use the National Guard facilities. Company A will assign several of its non-commissioned officers to help with the organization and training of the state guard.
The first meeting will be held in the armory at 8 p.m. Monday,September 11, at which time voluntary enlistments will be accepted. The guard is open to men from 17 to 70, and each volunteer will have to pass a physical examination given by a local physician. The physical is described as "not rigid" and can be passed by many men classified as 4-F by the regular army
Commander Lees announced that the guard would like "about 300 volunteers to start with." He appealed to men in Hilmar, Irwin Stevinson, Livingston, Delhi, Ballico, Denair, Hughson, Keyes and other neighboring towns to volunteer for the local unit.
Major Clement Cope, who commands the state guard area from Sonora south to Merced, was at the meeting to explain the work of the guard. As Cope explained it, the local group will meet once a week and will receive excellent trainng including basic infantry,training, rifle practice and military motion pictures. Some enlistees with previous military training will be put in Category 2 and will have to attend meetings only twice a month.
He also announced that the state guard is a strictly voluntary, non paying organizaton. However, the group has federal recognition, and uniforms and equipment will be provided. In the event they are called out for an emergency, members will receive full time military pay.
Although all interested men were urged to sign up at the Monday night meeting, it was also announced that Sgt. Samson would be on regular daily duty at the armory to accept enlistments.