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Early/Nemaha American Legion donation benefits Sac County Sheriff's Department

Funds to purchase two ballistic shields given to law enforcement agency


The Merton V. Hair Post of the American Legion, with members from Early and Nemaha, recently donated funds to purchase two ballistic shields for the Sac County Sheriff's Department. The shields cost nearly $7,000.

“We are pleased to support local law enforcement with the purchase of these ballistic shields,” remarked Post Commander Brad Thorpe. “We are happy these are available to the department for use in incidents where officer safety is a concern, we also hope they never need to deploy them.”

On July 1, Sac County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Trailer attended the regular monthly meeting of the Merton V. Hair American Legion Post, showing members the shields. He noted they will be kept in vehicles on patrol, ensuring their availability as needed. The shields are made of ballistic material, include a powerful light, as well as glass breakers. Their relatively light weight ensures offers using the devices will remain agile and able to carry out their tactics in an intense situation. Deputy Trailer also noted that certified officers receive training with this type of shield during their time at the Law Enforcement Academy.

The Merton V. Hair American Legion Post remains committed to the ideal of  mutual helpfulness, one of the organization’s stated missions, by serving veterans and their families as well as the community as a whole. The purchase of ballistic shields comes after the Post reached out to the Ridge View Middle School in Early and paid past due lunch balances for students attending the facility. This contribution made in December 2023 fills the gap for families struggling to meet this expense and reflect the Post’s interest in youth success.

Local Legionnaires annually send high school junior boys to Boys State, among the most respected and selective educational programs for government instruction in the nation. During Boys State, students become part of the operation of local, county and state government. Participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities of franchised citizens. The Merton V. Hair Post pays individual expenses for selected participants. Another youth-oriented program supported by the Merton V. Hair Post involves baseball. Monetary donations help ensure the success of this long-time program serving youth from local communities.

Every Memorial Day weekend, you will find the primary streets of Early lined with American flags put up by Merton V. Hair Post members as a tribute to those who have served in the U.S. armed forces. The post also conducts services at the Early Union, Sacred Heart, and Nemaha cemeteries on Memorial Day as another sign of honor and appreciation for those service members who sacrificed their lives in defense of their nation. The post’s Memorial Day missions also led to cemetery clean up activities as well as improvements at Sacred Heart cemetery’s veteran’s memorial. When veterans pass away, their service is acknowledged with a Merton V. Hair Post honor guard at burial. The post also collects retired, worn out U.S. flags for proper disposal. Beyond these efforts, the Merton V. Hair Post makes annual donations to the Early and Nemaha Fire Departments, the City of Early, and Early FOCUS.


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