Kemmerer’s American Legion Post 55 recently raised money to give back to the community with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a Wyoming deer, antelope, or elk tag in any open unit with any legal weapon across the state. The Commissioner Tag was awarded by Kemmerer’s Clerk of District Court Kenneth Roberts. Roberts, who is also the Game and Fish Commissioner for District 3, said, “I get two or three requests a day for this tag.” He said he wanted to give the award to nonprofit organizations that are civic-minded and give back to the community and the American Legion does that. He added, “They do amazing things for the community.” Roberts said, “I’m a vessel to give money from the state to organizations like the American Legion that give to charities. Everybody is a part of it.”
The Legion offered this rare and very coveted license at a raffle. Wyoming Game and Fish allows the holder of this tag to have an experience chasing trophy class big game in an area of their choice that would otherwise be nearly impossible to attain because of the high demand for these hunts. This incredibly rare opportunity allows the hunter to choose the species—elk, deer or antelope. The American Legion sold 25 tickets at $1,000 apiece. Roberts says he plans to award the Commissioner’s Tag to the Legion in 2023 as well.
Kemmerer’s American Legion focuses on service to veterans, servicemembers and the community. The group’s commander, Robert Bowen said they really rely on each other and the services they provide. Such services include fundraisers, donations, supporting local nonprofits, and military honors, to name just a few. They also host parades as well as perform flag retirement ceremonies on Flag Day.
Money raised from American Legion goes to several beneficiaries including scholarships to students attending trade schools. They also donate to the Senior Center in Kemmerer twice a year, once during Thanksgiving and once during Christmas. Funds also go to providing 500 flags placed on veterans’ graves in the three local cemeteries on Memorial Day. They have contributed to Paws and Claws, the local animal adoption and care center, as well as Angel Tree where citizens can pick an ornament with a child’s name on it to ensure the child receives a Christmas present. They also donate money to the organization so they have the funding to provide presents for families that come in too late to be added to the trees.
The Legion provides military honors at veterans’ funerals with a 21-gun salute and taps played on the bugle. Every year, there is a flag retirement ceremony on Flag Day where the Legion will collect unserviceable flags and take them to the Triangle downtown. Bowen said, “We fold the flags and follow proper procedure by placing them on a fire while doing a 21-gun salute and playing taps.” This is a procedure done out of respect for the flag and those who serve our country. The Legion teaches flag etiquette to students as well as Rotary Club members. Other services include helping all veterans, as well as members of the Legion. Bowen said, “We rely on each other and, since Wyoming is so spread out, we end up providing rides to our veterans to appointments and other places, like the airport.”