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The Legion Auxiliary is back in business in Clinton

Members are selecting delegates to Palmetto Girls State


PHOTO: State ALA officers and Unit 56 members are (l-r):  ALA District 7 President Brenda Collins, District 7 Secretary Louise Winesett, Post 56 Adjutant Lynn Boyd, Elizabeth Craven, Lisa Machione, Unit 56 President Jane Hanna, Vickie Cheek, Catherine Page, Post 56 Commander Rossi Hanna, Melanie Young, Rhonda Cantrell, and Deb Valiante.

March 12 marked the restoration of the unit’s charter with the South Carolina American Legion. The President, Jane Hanna, said member Catherine Page is carrying on tradition as she is the granddaughter of the late President Robbie Cruickshanks, a longtime Clinton Unit 56 member.

The group already has conducted interviews for the next local members of Palmetto Girls State, a summer program based at Presbyterian College, and intends to re-activate the City of Clinton’s Memorial Day observance.

The Legion Auxiliary will carry on a tradition of serving the veterans’ community. The Post 56 is believed to be one of the fastest growing Legions in South Carolina, officials said.

Membership is open to interested veterans of all wars and theaters, and spouses, daughters and granddaughter considering the Legion Ladies Auxiliary, with the next meeting scheduled for April 9, 6:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 301 S. Broad St., Clinton.

Veterans’ daughters who have joined the reconstituted Auxiliary are Jenna Livingston and Alyson Sword, and granddaughters are Savannah Livingston and Ella Jane Sword.

Because of Covid, the Legion and Auxiliary have not scheduled an honors banquet for Boys/Girls State delegates from Clinton and the surrounding area. The Auxiliary plans to bring back that tradition.

Announcement of Girls State delegates should be made around April 1. Nine young women have been nominated and the Clinton Post Auxiliary is authorized for two delegates. The group also can send young women to the Law Cadet Academy, a program similar to Palmetto Girls State.

In May, the group will have the Poppy Remembrance Sale, hopefully in all schools as Pennies for Poppy. The red poppy is a reminder from the sacrifice of World War I soldiers, memorialized in the poem “In Flanders Fields.”

“In May, we would love to bring back the Memorial Day Program to downtown Clinton on the square and, hopefully, have a Veterans Day Parade and Program in November,” Auxiliary President Jane Hanna told The Chronicle.

Rossie Hanna is Commander of Amercan Legion Post 56,  so keeping it in the family, Jane will be president of the Auxilary. Rossie has 24 years in the Air Force, retiring as a Chief Master Sergeant.

Their son-in-law, Kevin Sword, has served 25 years in the US AF and is a Lt Colonel, Commander of 56th, Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Also, son-in-law James Livingston has 11 years Active Duty and is in Reserve Duty USAF, as a Senior Master Sergeant (Facility Systems Superintendent, 94 Civiil Engineer Squadron, Dobbins Air Force Base).

Their grandson, Jay Livingston, has 3 years USAF, stationed in Hawaii, as Senior Airman Electrical Power Production Journeyman. Rossie’s brother is a member of Post 56 and a retired Colonel with the National Guard

“We have a long Air Force Legacy in our family,” Jane Hanna said.