American Legion’s Earl Graham Post 159 Becomes Historic Landmark
BRYAN, Texas – American Legion Earl Graham Post 159 has served and connected veterans for more than 100 years. Now they have the plate to prove it. The Texas Historical Commission has officially recognized Post 159 as a historical landmark with a large plaque that just arrived at the post last week.
“The literature we collected was actually quite extensive, and it was probably about 30-40 pages of material,” said Post 159 member and former post commander Tom Marty. “We had to prove everything we had in there to talk about the position.”
Marty noted that the designation was actually confirmed in 2020, but due to equipment shortages caused by the pandemic, the historical plaque could not be tampered with at that time. This designation gives the site certain state protections. For the members who love it the most, it’s a way for the state to affirm what they already know: that this place is special.
Dale Hutchcraft is the second female Commanding Officer in the history of the Earl Graham Post 159. For her, the American Legion has been a place of welcome.
“Even if you’ve only served a short time, you don’t realize there’s this connection of having served until you’re with other veterans,” she said. “…Some of my friends are from WWII, Vietnam [war], and some of them are currently in service. We are all veterans and we all have that connection,” Hutchcraft said.
Marty and Hutchcraft said the local was recognized this year as the position with the most volunteer hours in all of Texas, with individual members serving in nonprofits and churches in the Brazos Valley. Local members were given leadership positions at the state level, they said.
Marty said the American Legion has a history of inclusiveness for various types of people, including their population when the organization was established before World War II. Whether it’s supporting children’s education programs, advocating for the rights of veterans in the capital, or simply enjoying a donut and a cup of coffee on Thursday mornings, this group of more than 700 veterans local combatants carry on the legacy of brotherhood and service that has endured for a century.
Earl Graham Post 159 will hold a dedication ceremony open to the public in the near future.