Partnership in Patriotism
B. Leo Dolan Post 410 - American Legion
The present color guard (2001) was formed in late 1980 by Clarence ("Moke") Reynolds. His main objective in forming the guard was to use it as a means of setting the Post back in the public eye, and perhaps to draw in new members to the Post. It also serves as a means by which our Legion ceremonies are more meaningful and to serve as a color guard for Dolan Past Commanders when they pass away.
The color guard was initially funded by the Post to buy shirts and equipment, but since that time the new equipment, as well as uniforms, has been purchased by the guard itself through fundraisers - the main one being a chowder sale every January.
June 1981 was the first official parade of the Dolan color guard known as the "Road Runners". It took place on the rain swept streets of Cheekowaga, NY. The event was the American Legion Convention. The members who marched that Saturday were: Captain "Moke" Reynolds calling commands, John Lyons and John Basis on rifles, Dave Garlock the American Flag, Bill Burnett the Post Flag, Peter Bartholomew the City Flag, Steve Salameri the NYS Flag, Bob Madden the Canadian Flag, and Don Thompson was the equipment manager. The color and uniform that day was gold helmet, gold dickie and braid, white shirt, black pants, and black jump boots. This would remain the uniform of the color guard until 1986.
I July of 1981, the guard under "Moke's" leadership entered it's first Department of NY American Legion Convention Parade in Syracuse, NY. The guard would be competing against Post color guards units from throughout the state.
At the end the guard started an annual "color guard picnic" for guard members and their wives, children and families received color guard tee shirts and baseball caps.
In August of 1982, the guard began another tradition when they made their first appearance at the Erie County Fair on veterans weekend, and the guard has participated in every one since.
November 1982 saw the guard traveling across the border to Canada to join with Canadian veterans of Branch 322 in Ajax, Ontario, remembering their fallen veterans on Rememberance Day festivities. This has led to a long friendship and happy memories between the two Legions and one which has seen Ajax color guard members joining with us to march the streets of Lockport on Memorial Day.
July, 1984, at the Department of NYS convention parade, the members of the Dolan Post color guard achieved it's greatest award. Under commands of color guard captain "Moke" Reynolds, guar members John Babibs Jr., Peter Bartholomew, Bill Burnett, David Garlock, Steve Johnson, Dan Lopez, Bob Lyons, John Lyons, Bob Madden, Mike Madden, Sid Parish, Don Whitehead along with equipment managers Don Thompson and Paul Tracy marched down Broadway in Buffalo and garnished themselves and Dolan Post with the first place trophy in Post color guard category, making the Dolan Post color guard number one in New York State.
September 1985, color guard captain "Moke" Reynolds and guard marchers Dave Garlock, Peter Bartholomew, Bill Burnett, and Rodsel Jerge journeyed to New Orleans to march in the color guard's first parade at a national convention.
In 1986, the parade season began with the color guard wearing new uniforms consisting of black helmets, black dickies, black braids, white shirts, black pants and black boots. This uniform remains the color guard trademark to the present time.
In 1987, following the NYS convention in Lake Placid, NY, the guard had it's first change in captains when John Babbis Jr. replaced "Moke" Reynolds. The guard also created the new positions of Color Guard President Don Ruberto, Financial Officer David Garlock, and Secretary John Lyons. These positions were created to help with the every day workings of the guard and in planning the guard's many activities and parades.
1989, "Moke" returns from a leave of absence to once again become captain of the guard.
1993, under the direction of"Moke" Reynolds, a competition guard is formed from members of the color guard to enter the closed military competition for Post color guards which is held each year at the National Convention. In competition in Pittsburg that September, the members of the competition guard placed 4th i the Nation.
1995, In July the guard had just finished marching at the convention in Rochester, NY and the competition guard is practicing for the National Convention when the guard suffers a tragedy and captain "Moke" Reynolds passes away. The competition guard decides to go ahead and enter the National Convention in "Moke'" memory and places 3rd in the nation.
Since "Moke's" passing in 1995, the color guard has been captained by Bill Burnett.
The members of Dolan Post and the Post color guard remain committed to the high standards of competetiveness and showmanship that was started under Captain "Moke" Reynolds.
An aside from the editor. You have served us well.
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