On Sunday, April 3, 2022 at 4 PM, American Legion Post 34 will honor several Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipients at the Post’s headquarters, which is located at 6272 E. Cave Creek Road. The event is part of the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation-AZ Chapter (MCLEF), which promotes the annual Gathering of the Heroes. MCLEF also will host a golf tournament fund-raiser at Wildfire Golf Club on Monday, April 4 with a 7:30 AM shotgun start. The golf club is located at 5350 E. Marriott Drive, Phoenix, Ariz. Golf sponsorship information and registration can be found at mclefaz.org. This event is open to the public.
The Medal of Honor ceremony kicks off when American Legion Post 34 riders escort the Medal of Honor recipients, who earned the nation’s highest medal during different wars, to the Post for a deeply patriotic ceremony in the presence of their peers and friends. In addition, a Color Guard will be on hand to present the colors. There are only 67 living Medal of Honor recipients in the country.
The ceremony begins Sunday, April 3 at 4 PM with the Color Guard, the playing of Taps and a prayer followed by a presentation honoring Medal of Honor and Purple Heart recipients. The entrance fee is $15, which includes a meal ticket. In addition, there will be a raffle, a silent auction, a live auction and live music, which will begin at 7 PM. All fund-raiser monies go directly to MCLEF.
The Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation-AZ Chapter establishes a $35,000 educational scholarship for every child who loses a parent serving in the United States Marine Corps or any federal law enforcement agency. Since its founding in 1995, MCLEF has awarded more than $85 million in educational scholarship accounts and other humanitarian assistance to more than 4000 children and families of fallen Marines and federal law enforcement officers.
In addition, following the Gathering of Heroes event at Legion Post 34, Keith Burns, founding member of the Grammy-nominated ACM & AMA award-winning platinum selling group Trick Pony, will sing and play for veterans and guests. Burns has had three Top 10 songs for Trick Pony and Joe Diffie and has written several Top 40 songs with artists including Hootie & The Blowfish, Sammy Kershaw, Burns & Poe and Mo Bandy. Burns was nominated in 2018 for the NIMA Best Country Male Solo Artist and Best Country Entertainer of the Year.
Artists Rob West and J. Michael Harter will follow Burns. West, a country star and patriot, is an ambassador for the Folds of Honor Foundation and The Veterans Golfers Association. He will sing the song Drink ‘Em Quiet, an ode to a friend who lost his battle with PTSD. Harter, an American country artist who signed with Bow Records in 2002, released his debit album, Unexpected Change, produced a single on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks with his song Hard to Make. He now has his own label, Big Al.
The American Legion, formed in 1919, supports and advocates on behalf of veterans, active military and their families. The 501 (c19) also supports the initiatives and programs of the American Legion while fostering patriotism and responsible citizenship. The American Legion is a non-secular, non-political organization.