Mary Ellen Piotrowski Post 94

Commander Jack Coyle 219-746-0360
First Vice Commander: Doug Miller 623-882-5974
Second Vice Commander: Dennis Benjamin 602-316-8856
Adjutant:              Jim Heller 623-975-4300
Finance Officer:      Bob Hasbrouck 360-281-1393
Chaplain:              Paul Van Rooy 608-669-0595
Judge Advocate:        Ron Ripley 253-973-5652
Service Officer:           
Public Relations Officer:                                    
Sergeant-At-Arms:     Larry Fulcher 623-377-6213
Trustee:              Rod Martinson 623-777-0747
Trustee:               Dennis Benjamin 623-214-7252
Honor Guard Commander: Jack Coyle 219-746-0360
Contact for Flags:    Ron Ripley 253-973-5652

thumbJack Coyle, Commander: July 1, 2021 - Present

I graduated from high school in June of 1970 and received my induction notice in January 1971.  Reported for physical in February and went for basic training in May to Ft. Lewis Washington and Ft Gordon for AIT telephone and switchboard maintenance.  Then a thirty-day leave to get ready to go to Viet Nam; instead, our whole group was sent to Korea to begin our thirteen-month tour.  After sitting in Kimpo Air Base for three days waiting for an assignment, a Sargent walked in and said he was looking for a volunteer with a Signal MOS.  Not thinking anything of it, and what everyone had told me, “Never volunteer for anything in the Army,” I raised my hand and said, “here, Sergeant.”  As we were walking to the processing room, the Sergeant said: “I have good news and bad news; the bad news is you just volunteered to go up on the DMZ; the good news is you will get an extra sixty-five dollars a month for hazardous duty pay”. 

I had just volunteered to be part of the JSASG-UNC (Joint Security Area Support Group-United Nations Command) in Pan Mun Jom on the 38th parallel; this was an all-volunteer unit.  On days of MAC meetings, you would come face to face with the North Korean soldiers, and they would never smile at you.  Besides maintaining the telephone lines between guard posts, one of the duties was recording the meetings between the North and the South on reel-to-reel tape decks. I also entered North Korea twice during my time there to do routine maintenance on the TA-312 field phone that was kept in the North Korean building known as Panmon Hall.  This field phone was used for the UNC to contact the North to set you meetings between both sides.  I would go into this building escorted by two North Korean soldiers to clean the contacts and change out the batteries.  After my thirteen months were up, they were offering us to extend there to get a 5-month drop.  I extended another two months to get my five-month early out and arrived home before Christmas, December 16, 1972.  I then served two years of active duty in the reserves and two years in-active in the reserves

I stayed in communications my whole life working for a couple of different contractors installing voice/data infrastructure systems, mostly in new construction environments.  Retired on February 27, 2015, and moved from Illinois to Sun City West, Arizona, in June 2015.  I have been a member of the American Legion for 16 years, 6 of those with Post 94.

My wife and I have been married for fifty years and have two daughters, five grandsons, and five granddaughters.    

Doug Miller, First Vice Commander: July 1, 2021 - Present

I enlisted in the US Air Force in March of 1973 as the last draft call was on 7 December of 1972, and I was missed in the call. I was fresh out of High School, working in retail in a small town where my family was closely tied with many service organizations, including the local American Legion Post which was named after an uncle and had my father and grandfather as past officers.  It was time to strike out and make my own way.

I was assigned a career in aircraft electronics and after basic training attended training at Lowry AFB.  The 3415th Technical Wing eventually had an opening in the in-shop avionic maintenance course for various aircraft, and I was deposited into the FB-111 class.

After training I was assigned to my first and only duty station, Plattsburgh AFB. The day I arrived and attempted to report for duty in October of 1973 the base was on alert for the Yom Kippur War. That was as close to any excitement as I was ever around during my tour of duty. A few years later I had orders to report to Thailand as our own war was winding down, but as I didn’t have enough time left in my enlistment, and was not going to extend, I stayed at Plattsburgh AFB. I worked on various avionics systems, in shop, until my discharge in March of 1977.

I utilized the GI Bill benefits to attend college and further my electronics education. I continued to work on electrical systems, but instead of aircraft the platform changed to medical imaging equipment. I worked for a few hospital groups and a few manufacturers of imaging systems, and retired to Arizona in 2015.

I volunteered at our local hospital as a way to provide Service to the community, but I felt there was more I could do. A chance conversation with our Honor Guard Commander convinced me that I needed to join Post 94 and provide service to Veterans and their families. I am happy to serve again, in any capacity, to honor our Veterans.

Dennis Benjamin, Second Vice Commander: 


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