Good morning Legionnaires and veterans advocates, today is Tuesday, August 20, 2019 which is National Lemonade Day, National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day, National Radio Day and National Bacon Lover’s Day*.
REMINDER: In the American Legion World Series, Idaho Falls Post 56 will face North Dakota, represented by Fargo Post 2, in Tuesday’s final, which airs live on ESPNews at 6:30 p.m.
This Day in Legion History:
Aug. 20, 1950: A new American Legion National Headquarters building is dedicated in Indianapolis. The 100,000-square-foot $2.5 million structure greatly expands capacity for the nation’s largest veterans organization, on State of Indiana property known as “American Legion Mall.”
*As a long-time devotee of the Baconic Arts myself, I’d like to share a poem with you in lieu of this Day in History:
JOHNNY BACONSEED: A POEM FOR THE HOPELESS ROMANTICS
by Joel Chmara
When strips of pork Godliness dance-crackle-curl on the pan,
I will be there,
puffing my chest
accepting pops of grease on my shirt
like a Deputy Ditka badge.
Garments perfumed with slight bacon splatter is no call for stain-lifter.
Nay, it simply ensures that one will carry the greatest foodstuff essence
for the rest of the day.
Take heed dear readers,
to love bacon is to carry the smokey scent with you
as an am-bad-ass-ador of the fine piggy belly brine.
I am that breed of bacon lover
spreading its virtues
as Johnny Baconseed.
Baconology mentored to friends
of how to incorporate it into every dish.
Caramelized, Hickory Smoked, Peppered, Mapeled
Sweet or Savory
Lardon or in Bits
I can baconate any menu
for the better of humankind.
When the final bite of a bacon treat
crunches in my mouth
leaving the perfect salty smoke sensation
I whisper to no one in particular,
“That’ll do pig. That’ll do.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Military.com: Afghanistan Vows to Crush Islamic State Havens After Attack
- Stripes: Barksdale dedicates facility to slain airman, addresses safety after string of off-base murders
- Star Tribune: Veteran salutes veterans by cleaning their gravestones
- Military Times: Millions more will be soon be allowed to shop on military bases. But some veterans wonder how they’ll get access.
- TAL: ALWS Game 14: Idaho walks off in extras to secure title game berth
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Military.com: Afghanistan Vows to Crush Islamic State Havens After Attack
19 Aug 2019
The Associated Press | By Rahim Faiez
KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s president on Monday vowed to "eliminate" all safe havens of the Islamic State group as the country marked a subdued 100th Independence Day after a horrific wedding attack claimed by the local ISIS affiliate.
President Ashraf Ghani’s comments came as Afghanistan mourns at least 63 people, including children, killed in the Kabul bombing at a wedding hall late Saturday night. Close to 200 others were wounded.
Many outraged Afghans ask whether an approaching deal between the United States and the Taliban to end nearly 18 years of fighting — America’s longest war — will bring peace to long-suffering civilians. The bomber detonated his explosives in the middle of a dancing crowd, and the IS affiliate later said he had targeted a gathering of minority Shiites, whom it views as apostates deserving of death.
Both the bride and groom survived, and in an emotional interview with local broadcaster TOLOnews the distraught groom, Mirwais Alani, said their lives were devastated within seconds. Even as victims’ loved ones mourned, there were fears that funerals and memorials could be targeted, too.
A sharply worded Taliban statement questioned why the U.S. failed to identify Saturday’s attacker in advance. Another Taliban statement marking the independence day said to "leave Afghanistan to the Afghans."
More than anything in their nearly year-long negotiations with the U.S., the Taliban want some 20,000 U.S. and allied forces to withdraw from the country. The U.S. for its part wants Taliban assurances that Afghanistan — which hosted al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden before 9/11 — will not be a launching pad for global terror attacks.
The U.S. envoy in talks with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, on Sunday said the peace process should be accelerated to help Afghanistan defeat the ISIS affiliate. That would include intra-Afghan talks on the country’s future, a fraught process that could take years.
But Ghani on Monday asserted that the Taliban, whom the U.S. now hopes will help to curb the ISIS affiliate’s rise, are just as much to blame for the wedding attack. His government is openly frustrated at being sidelined from the U.S. talks with the insurgent group, which regards the Afghan government as a U.S. puppet.
The Taliban "have created the platform for terrorists" with their own brutal assaults on schools, mosques and other public places over the years, the president said.
More than 32,000 civilians in Afghanistan have been killed in the past decade, the United Nations said earlier this year. More children were killed last year — 927 — than in any other over the past decade by all actors, the U.N. said, including in operations against insurgent hideouts carried out by international forces.
"We will take revenge for every civilian drop of blood," Ghani declared. "Our struggle will continue against (ISIS), we will take revenge and will root them out." He urged the international community to join those efforts.
He asserted that safe havens for militants are across the border in Pakistan, whose intelligence service has long been accused of supporting the Taliban. The ISIS affiliate’s claim of the wedding attack said it was carried out by a Pakistani fighter seeking martyrdom.
Ghani called on people in Pakistan "who very much want peace" to help identify militant safe havens there.
Last month after meeting with President Donald Trump, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan insisted he will do his best to persuade the Taliban to open negotiations with the Afghan government to resolve the war.
Trump on Sunday told reporters he doesn’t want Afghanistan to be a "laboratory for terror" and he described discussions with the Taliban as "good." He was briefed on Friday on the progress of the U.S.-Taliban talks, of which few details have emerged.
Some analysts have warned that Trump’s eagerness to bring at least some troops home ahead of next year’s election could be weakening the U.S. stance in the negotiations as the Taliban might see little need to make significant concessions.
In a message marking Afghanistan’s independence and "century of resilience," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the weekend wedding bombing "an attack against humanity." It was one of many international expressions of condemnation pouring in following the attack.
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 19, 2019
A building at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., now bears the name of a former Spangdahlem airman who was murdered last year outside his Louisiana home, one of five Barksdale airmen and civilians to be killed in the last 14 months.
Tech Sgt. Joshua Kidd’s family, including his wife and young son, unveiled the new name — “TSgt Joshua L. Kidd Weapons Load Training Facility” — at a dedication ceremony last week, the Air Force said in a statement.
Kidd was killed by a gunshot to the chest on the morning of Sept. 25, 2018, after he interrupted two youths who prosecutors say were trying to steal items from his car outside his Bossier City home.
Two Louisiana teenagers have been charged as adults in connection with his death.
“I would wish more than anything that Josh could see this,” the Air Force statement quoted his wife, Alyssa Kidd, as saying at the ceremony Friday. “There are no words to describe what it’s like to see all of you come out and support Joshua. It’s a true testament to how he impacted each and every one of us.”
Final approval for dedicating the building in Kidd’s name came from Gen. Timothy Ray, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, the service said.
Kidd was recognized during the ceremony for his “unwavering leadership and influential legacy,” the Air Force said.
A GoFundMe campaign created last year, which raised nearly $44,000 for Alyssa Kidd and the couple’s young son, Beckham, said Kidd went out of his way to assist deployed airmen and their families and often mentored younger airmen.
Kidd enlisted in the Air Force in March 2008. Before his assignment to Barksdale, he was assigned to Osan Air Base, South Korea, and Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, where, from 2009 to 2012, he was a weapons load crew chief.
Kidd was one of five members of the Barksdale community to be murdered since June 2018, according to the Air Force.
The spate of murders prompted 2nd Bomb Wing commander Col. Michael A. Miller to issue a statement last month expressing concern about the safety of airmen and civilians assigned to the wing, home to three squadrons of B-52H Stratofortress bombers.
“I’ve been stationed at eight installations in my 25-year Air Force career and I have never experienced as many murders involving” airmen and their families, Miller wrote in the statement, published by local news outlet BossierNow.
Besides Kidd, Tech. Sgt. Kelly Jose, a reservist and civilian employee for the 307th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and his wife, Heather Jose, were killed in November after giving a man a ride while shopping at Mall St. Vincent, in neighboring Shreveport.
Their bodies were found in a parked car, burned beyond recognition. A suspect was arrested after a six-hour standoff with law enforcement, according to the Shreveport Times.
In June, postal worker Antonio Williams, the spouse of a civilian employee at Barksdale, was gunned down while delivering mail in Shreveport.
Also in June, Tech. Sgt. Perry Bailey, the noncommissioned officer in charge of education and training for the 2nd Medical Group, was slain in an apparent murder-suicide in a Shreveport residence, according to the Shreveport Times.
“I am deeply concerned for the safety of the military members and their families assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base,” Miller said in the statement. “Not only am I concerned about their personal well-being, but also our ability to recruit and retain the necessary talent to complete our mission to defend our nation.”
Local news radio station KEEL reported Miller sent an email to Shreveport provisional police chief Ben Raymond, saying that the “overwhelming consensus” of most airmen assigned to Barksdale was that Shreveport and Bossier City “are not safe places to live.”
Star Tribune: Veteran salutes veterans by cleaning their gravestones
By CHRISTINE SPANGLER Associated Press
FORT ATKINSON, Wis. — Dale Reich frequents cemeteries. But the graves he visits are those of people he’s never met, and in lieu of flowers, he brings a bucket, scrub brush and bottle of Dawn.
The 72-year-old Vietnam veteran has made it his mission in retirement to clean the headstones of veterans across Jefferson County and beyond. He’s surpassed the 1,150 mark and recently completed nearly 200 at Fort Atkinson’s Evergreen Cemetery.
"I love these guys, the veterans here, and the wives who suffered along with them when they got back home again or maybe suffered because they didn’t get back home again," Reich said as he washed the inscription of "Edward G. Hausen," a veteran of the Spanish-American War. "They deserve a clean headstone as much as as the guy that served. Mrs. Jones gets one just like Captain Jones gets one."
It all started a few years ago when the Watertown resident went to Oconomowoc to pay his respects to his grandfather, Reinhold, who was blinded by mustard gas during World War I. Placing flowers on his grave at Summit Cemetery, he noticed how dirty the headstone had become, so Reich called Archie Monuments in Watertown to ask the best way to clean it.
"And the nice lady said, ‘just get some Dawn detergent and a soft, sturdy brush and get to work and that’ll do it.’
"And she was right," he said. "So I did my grandfather’s grave and my grandmother’s grave. Then I looked around and saw other veterans’ gravestones that were dirty and I thought, ‘you know, they deserve the same respect Grandpa and Grandma get. So I’m going to get to work.’"
And get to work he did. After finishing at Summit, he moved on to Oconomowoc’s La Belle and St. Jerome cemeteries.
His efforts caught the attention of then-Assembly Rep. Joel Kleefisch, who invited Reich to the state Capitol and presented him with a legislative citation.
"Well, I thought ‘that’s cool. But I’ve got to quit there because I have done my thing,’" Reich recalled thinking. "Then I thought ‘gotcha.’ I was hooked on cleaning gravestones.
"I just couldn’t sleep knowing that there are dirty gravestones of veterans in this area."
So he moved on to Watertown’s Oak Hill and Lutheran cemeteries. Living right across from Oak Hill, Reich cleaned 300 headstones there.
"I walked across the street every night with my 5-gallon bucket ’til I got done," he recalled.
After Watertown, Reich washed 25 markers at Greenwood Cemetery in Jefferson, and this past July, he logged 150 at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Atkinson . . . despite soaring temperatures and a beating sun.
"I can do about 10 graves an hour if I hustle," he said. "It depends on the status of the grave. Some are very, very bad and some are not too bad. They just need to be scraped, cleaned and kind of polished a little. Some of them have been cleaned before, but it’s been years, while some were power-washed but have fallen back into disarray."
Bird droppings, black walnuts, grass clippings, pine sap and dirt all create what Reich calls "a little terrarium." And then there are the green lichens that take up residence in the hollows of the engraved letters and numbers.
Yet, they are no match for Reich. A squirt of Dawn, bucket of water and a lot of elbow grease removes the grime.
"The ones I clean are usually World War I and II; often they lay flat and are especially susceptible to becoming dirty," Reich explained.
Even though Evergreen Cemetery covers 25 acres, cleaning headstones there was easier than at some graveyards because it has water spigots throughout the grounds. Reich’s 5-gallon bucket of water goes dry after only two graves, so he gets a workout toting it from spigot to grave and back.
"There’s a cemetery in Watertown that just gets a little bit limited," Reich said of spigots. "So I’ve had to put water in my car and drive it down the road in the cemetery to get to where I had to go. But here, I don’t have to do that. Yet, it’s just a lot to haul in water, no matter how you put it."
Reich noted that he only cleans the gravestones that are dirty, and periodically will miss one because it is not marked with a flag-holder or service inscription. And cemeteries such as Evergreen are not small.
"I go randomly. I do a walk to get the lay of the land and then start in," Reich said. "I kind of survey the property while I clean graves. And then I go back and I say, ‘OK, I’ve got more here, I’ve got more there.’ It’s not systematic, but eventually, I get them all."
Reich estimates that the oldest headstone he has cleaned was that of a veteran of the War of 1812. And the newest: those of servicepersons killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Daily Jefferson County Union reported.
"Sometimes I do extra ones, too, because I’ll see they have a child: ‘There lies little Susie and she lived five days.’ Or maybe it’ll be the mother or father of a veteran and they’re next door. I am trying to be respectful with them, as well.
And if this is about anything, it is about respect.
Upon cleaning each headstone, Reich walks to the foot of the grave, turns, stands at attention and offers a funeral salute, his right hand rising and then lowering ever so slowly.
"We forget how much of a sacrifice military people make for us, and it isn’t just those who die or are wounded . . . Nobody comes back from Vietnam, for example, the same as when they went."
He continued: "The reason why I do this is respect. Many of these guys made greater sacrifices than me and I recognize that and I appreciate it. Every community should show their respect for these veterans and their allies by restoring their markers to a reasonable level of cleanliness."
The reason why I do this is respect. Man of these guys made greater sacrifices than me and I recognize that and I appreciate that.
He said there is nothing more satisfying that this task.
"You’re cleaning a gravestone and you realize, ‘Oh my God, this guy died in 1943 and he didn’t die of natural causes. He was killed and he was young. He may have been only 23. Oh, how heartbreaking. It’s just awful.
"So you don’t do this for fun, but it is very satisfying."
He wears a T-shirt he designed honoring his father, Fred R. Reich, who spent three years in the South Pacific in the Navy during World War II. The back reads, "Thank you, veterans."
Reich said that by washing away the grime on the gravestones, he is uncovering the past.
"I’m a history teacher, right? So this is a historical museum. And it provides historical information about real life. People who may have lived next door to your family who went off to war and did extraordinary things.
"Out here is a hell of a book. And so I help to uncover information that is hidden, just like a teacher would teach her students how to understand history."
And that "book" does end up in a card catalogue of sorts.
"I have all 1,014 men and women on my computer back home as proof of what I’ve done," Reich said, adding quickly, "not for anybody else because nobody knows what I did. This isn’t going to be in the Guinness Book of Records."
Reich will be moving to Adams-Friendship in September, but he plans to finish Evergreen and then wash veterans’ gravestones across town at Lakeview and St. Joseph’s cemeteries before he leaves.
And perhaps, after getting settled in, he will tend to some graves around Adams-Frienship, as well.
"It depends," he said. "This takes time and energy, but it’s not expensive. It’s practically nothing but a little detergent and a little bit of gas.
"Do you want to hear the irony?" Reich asked. "I’m going to be cremated. "I will not have a marker. Nobody can ever clean up my marker because there won’t be one for me."
But that’s OK, he said, because there are countless more veterans in need of care.
The reason why I do this is respect. Man of these guys made greater sacrifices than me and I recognize that and I appreciate that.
"I would like to encourage others to do exactly what I’m doing in their own cemeteries all over the country. It’s a hard sell, for some reason. People say ‘it’s a great idea, but I don’t want to do it right now.’ It’s just not something people are interested in."
Reich said that when he does die, he does not want his last words to echo those of the late David Cassidy, the lead singer of the Partridge Family: "So much wasted time."
"I don’t want to be David," he said.
"I’m a service guy. And I think when God gave me the strength and the time and the interest to do what I’m doing, I just have to keep going," he said. "Yeah, I love golf, but you can’t play golf every day. And I don’t think God intended for me to play golf every day as long as I am capable of doing stuff like this.
"Anybody could do what I’m doing," he added. "It’s just that I chose to do it. Yeah, there’s nothing special about me. I’m just the guy that thinks you ought to do something for others while you can."
An AP Member Exchange shared by the Daily Jefferson County Union.
Military Times: Millions more will be soon be allowed to shop on military bases. But some veterans wonder how they’ll get access.
By: Karen Jowers 20 hours ago
As defense officials get ready for 3 million more people who will be able to shop at military stores on base, some veterans are wondering whether they’ll be able to use their new benefits.
Some veterans have contacted Military Times to say that they are eligible for the new benefit that takes effect Jan. 1, but are concerned they won’t have access to the stores. That’s because they don’t havethe specific credential required ― the Veteran Health Identification Card, or VHIC, issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Based on responses to Military Times queries, there are no answers yet for these veterans. Information was not immediately available about how many veterans could be affected.
Under a 2018 law, Purple Heart recipients; former prisoners of war; veterans with a service-connected disability from 0 to 90 percent as documented by the Department of Veterans Affairs; and certain primary veteran caregivers will be newly eligible to shop at commissaries and exchanges. It applies to all military bases, including Coast Guard.
Medal of Honor recipients and veterans with a VA-documented service-connected disability rating of 100 percent and their authorized family members have long been authorized these privileges, under DoD policy.
Commissaries sell discounted groceries. Military exchanges sell a variety of items ranging from clothing and shoes to toys, furniture, home appliances and electronics. They have on-base gas stations and stores that sell alcoholic beverages.
This newly eligible population will also be able to use certain morale, welfare and recreational, or MWR, facilities such as golf courses, movie theaters, clubs and certain other programs and facilities that are self-sufficient, generating enough revenue through fees and/or sales to pay their operating costs.
The departments of Veterans Affairs, Defense and Homeland Security have been working together for months on plans for how the program will be implemented. A crucial part of that is the credential required to get onto the base and to shop at the stores, because most veterans who aren’t retired don’t have access to installations.
Defense officials are working to enable technology at the front gate to scan those veteran cards so veterans can get in to use those benefits. Commissary officials are working on adjusting their technology to enable systems to read the cards.
Some veterans have said they are eligible for the new benefits because of their disability rating, but don’t qualify for the VHIC, for various reasons. One veteran said she has tried to get answers from VA about what she can do to be able to shop, but has been unsuccessful. “I hope the VA and DoD will work together to ensure that no veterans with a service-connected disability are overlooked on this benefit,” said the veteran, who asked to remain anonymous.
“The VHIC is the only credential that DoD resale and MWR facilities will accept from veterans authorized privileges solely under the Purple Heart and Disabled Veterans Equal Access Act of 2018,” said DoD spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell. “Specific questions about who can and how to obtain a VHIC should be directed to the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
For their part, VA officials say DoD is in charge of this benefit expansion. "We are working with DoD to accommodate all eligible veterans,” said VA spokesman Randy Noller.
For veteran caregivers who are newly eligible, the process will be different, initially, since caregivers aren’t directly affiliated with DoD or VA, other than through the annual appointment to be a caregiver. The benefit applies to the primary caregiver of wounded/injured veterans who are registered in the VA caregiver program. The VA will post a memo to VA.gov for caregivers, to be used for access at the front gate, along with driver’s license or other authorized form of ID. The VA process will later transition to a caregiver-type ID card, which will have scanning swipe capability.
Some other questions from readers:
Q. How do I apply for the VHIC credential?
A. The VHIC is issued only to veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system, according to the VA website. You can complete an application by telephone by calling 877-222-8387, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern. You can also apply for VA health care benefits online at www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll, or in person at your local VA medical facility.
Q. Are spouses and other family members of the newly eligible veterans and caregivers able to shop and use the MWR facilities?
A. No. Family members of these eligible veterans and caregivers who aren’t eligible for privileges in their own right are not authorized to shop, according to DoD, and the law.
Here’s how 3 million more people will get military shopping benefits
Officials are working to make sure these veterans can get access to base.
By: Karen Jowers
Q. What if I don’t live near a military base, with its commissaries, exchanges and MWR facilities?
A. One option is that all honorably discharged veterans can shop online at military exchanges.
Second, there may be some extra opportunities in certain areas for commissary shopping where there isn’t a nearby commissary. DoD spokeswoman Maxwell confirms that the newly eligible veterans and caregivers of veterans will be authorized to shop at the Defense Commissary Agency’s on-site Guard and Reserve sales.
The commissary agency periodically holds these on-site sales at Guard and Reserve units around the country. This program allows Guard and Reserve members and other authorized customers who aren’t close to a commissary to order items and have them delivered to that location during the specific scheduled sale date.
Q. Where do I get information on locations of commissaries?
A. Click here.
Q. Where do I get information on locations of exchanges?
Those are the Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores, www.shopmyexchange.com and click “Find a store”; Coast Guard Exchange stores, ; Marine Corps Exchange stores, and Navy Exchange stores, https://www.mynavyexchange.com/storelocator/storesearch.jsp.
Authorized shoppers can shop at any of these stores — or will be able to Jan. 1 — regardless of which branch of service they are or were affiliated with.
TAL: ALWS Game 14: Idaho walks off in extras to secure title game berth
By Jeremy Field
AUG 20, 2019
We are guaranteed a first-time national champion at the American Legion World Series as Idaho, represented by Idaho Falls Post 56, walked off as 4-3 winners in the ninth inning, besting Danville, Ill., Post 210.
Idaho will face North Dakota, represented by Fargo Post 2, in Tuesday’s final, which airs live on ESPNews at 6:30 p.m., and reairs on ESPNU following the conclusion of the game on ESPNews.
Idaho scored three runs on just one hit in regulation play and got their only other hit in the ninth inning to eventually walk off as winners.
It was Danville that had the upper hand early as Ernest Plummer walked and went to third on an error before coming around to score on a Kotah Broeker single in the first.
Danville got two runners on in both the second and third, but Austin Charboneau got a big strikeout to get out of trouble in the second and Caden Christensen came on in relief to end the third with a groundout.
Idaho loaded the bases with two out in strange fashion in the third. A dropped third strike, a steal on a pickoff attempt, a walk and a hit by pitch filled the bags for Randon Hostert. The first baseman fell behind in the count 1-2, but a wild pitch tied the game and two pitches later Hostert drilled a double to left field, scoring two for the team’s first hit of the game.
Danville nearly got a run back in the top of the fourth when Lucas Hofer pulled a ball down the right field line and hit the top of the wall but just foul. Hofer struck out two pitches later but a wild pitch allowed him to reach after a walk put two on with just one out, Christensen got a strikeout and groundout to hold the lead.
In the fifth, just at the stroke of midnight, Tavyn Lords made a key diving catch down the left field line for Idaho, sending his hat, sunglasses and hair flying in the process.
Down to the last out in the seventh, Danville rallied to get two crucial runs. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases and Logan Spicer fell behind 0-2 in the count but battled before lining a single into left-center, bringing home two and tying the game.
In the bottom of the frame, Mason Ecker battled and got a huge strikeout with his 105th and final pitch, finishing the game with just one hit allowed in 6.2 innings pitched, striking out eight. Dalton Dalbey came on in relief and closed out the inning, sending the game to extra innings.
In the eighth, Danville got a one-out single from Jake Stipp into right center and moved Stipp into scoring position with a bunt. Bruer Webster made a tough play sticking with a hard grounder just in time to second to finish the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth Idaho got its second hit of the game and it was a key one. Andrew Gregersen singled and stole second, then advanced to third on a fielders choice.ALWS Game 14: Idaho walks off in extras to secure title game berth
“It’s surreal,” Gregerson said. “We have a great group of guys I have been playing with since I was eight and I’m just soaking up our last games together.”
Charboneau and Christensen combined for 9.0 innings, seven hits allowed and just two earned runs.
“[Christensen] has been pitching great all year and [Charboneau] started us off and gave us a chance to win and that is all you can ask of your pitchers,” Gregerson added.
Idaho Falls joins Lewiston and Pocatello as the only teams from Idaho to reach the American Legion World Series title game.
“This whole year this team has been checking boxes,” manager Ryan Alexander said. “It is the winningest team in Idaho Falls Bandits history, the first team to win a regional and now we have a chance to be the first to win a World Series.”
Idaho Falls will hope to fare better than their other Idaho counterparts. Pocatello lost, 23-6, in the first-ever World Series in 1926 against Yonkers, N.Y., in Philadelphia. Lewiston Post 13 dropped a 5-2 decision to Brooklawn, N.J., in 2001 in Yakima, Wash.
“We want to go down in the record books with our group of guys,” Gregerson said.
“These kids have worked hard,” Alexander said. “We have played a lot of baseball and these kids have had to grind and grind. We have gone from Denver to Arizona to San Diego to Shelby. We have traveled over 14,000 miles this summer and they have worked hard and they deserve the right to compete for the national title. But we are going to have to play good baseball to get it done.”