Our Post History
Our Post received our charter in December 21, 1995 as Paradise Valley Post 149, at a time when the Las Vegas Valley was beginning its massive growth. At the time, there were two major Posts in the valley; Post 8 in downtown Las Vegas, and Post 40 in Henderson. Missing was a Post to operate in the growing town of Paradise, the area that encompasses the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, and the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The original Charter Members were Alpha Ailer, Joseph Alford, Danny Bounds, Chester Daniels, Frank Feil, Raymond Hergenreder, Herbert Hinkel, Keith Krul, Edward Lee, Ward Matthews, Aura Norton, Jim Olson, Robert Phillips, James Sutton, Peter Tsacoyeanes, Richard Volk, and Merle Waisanan.
Although the Post grew modestly, its lack of a permanent home hampered its ability to expand its membership beyond 100 members. After moving its meeting locations several times, the number of active members dropped to a point that the Post ceased to function. In late 2006, District 2 turned Post 149's charter back to the Department of Nevada.
A Post Reborn with a Vision
In February 2007, a group of American Legion Riders (ALR), who were members of another Post at the time, decided that they wanted to do things differently and focus on community service, as the American Legion is supposed to do. A representative from that group approached the Department of Nevada for guidance on starting a new ALR chapter. However, because no other Posts were interested in hosting an ALR chapter at the time, the Department Commander suggested that the riders take over and revitalize Post 149 ... but with stipulations.
The original members of a revitalized Post 149 could not be exclusively an ALR Post, and the riders had to establish at least one Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation (VA&R) program and one Americanism Program. As such, the Post focused its efforts on helping wounded troops returning from battle, and donating money to American Legion Boys State.
Members soon became active in a multi-state project called American Legion Operation Wounded Warrior, a project to collect comfort items and raise money for those recuperating in military and VA hospitals. Literally, tons of comfort items have been delivered and money raised has helped military members and Veterans in a variety of hospitals, including Brook Army Medical Center (Texas), Landstuhl Regional Hospital (Germany), Balboa Naval Hospital (San Diego), Walther Reed Army Hospital (Washington), and VA medical systems in Las Vegas, Reno, and Loma Linda, California.
Shortly after establishing the Post, a representative from Special Assistance for Family and Youth (SAFY) contacted the Post, asking for assistance in a fundraiser to help foster children. Post 149 riders jumped at the chance to help such a great cause and coordinated the SAFY fundraiser on short notice. The efforts raised several thousand dollars and established the Post's first Children and Youth (C&Y) program.
The original members who revitalized the Post were Ron "Renegade" Anctil, Bob "eBay Bob" Bencsko, Jim Bishop, Glenn Christian, Richard Christian, Jim "Tiny" Dancy, Art Goldberg, Mike Groves, Paul Lambert, Ralph Melancon, Vic "Doc" Moss, Craig Norton, Phil Perlman, Jim "Kimo" Solmarin, Joe "Big" Webb, Chris Wise, and Lori Wise.
Some people think that we are an American Legion Rider Post; but that is not the case. We are an American Legion Post with many of our members participating as American Legion Riders. We focus on supporting American Legion programs in a way that is enjoyable to the majority of our members ... our riders. However, everything we do is open to anyone regardless of what they ride or drive.
Why We're Different
Since those early days, and against all odds, Post 149 has grown into an active Post with exponential growth, growing to 400 members in 2012. Yet, we have stayed true to our beginnings. We are a Post that does things a bit differently than others, and as such, prefer to work alone to support the Aims and Purposes of the American Legion. We have built a reputation of being highly involved in the community, and the go-to Post to get things done.
Yes, the majority of us are leather-clad riders, but we are American Legionnaires, helping our fellow Veterans. We are proud that we are a group of young-minded Veterans, looking forward to support our community.
Our success is by helping our community as Veterans Helping Veterans. If you fit with us, we're glad to have you, if not, there are other Posts in the area that may suit your needs.
Why we changed our name
Our area of responsibility is the town of Paradise, an unincorporated part of the Las Vegas Valley that includes the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The town of Paradise Valley is actually located 50 miles north of Winnemucca, NV, near the Idaho border. None of the original members contacted could remember why the Post was named Paradise Valley, and could only guess that the Town of Paradise may have been called Paradise Valley because of its proximity to another unincorporated town of Spring Valley. Because of that, the Post voted to change its name to Paradise Post 149, which more accurately describes who we are.
On the day that our new charter arrived, the Post Commander just happened to stop on Swenson St. just south of Tropicana Ave., directly in front of a U.S. Post Office. On the wall is a sign that reads, "Paradise Valley, 89119." Go figure.