Dozens of people ate dinner, played ball, and listened to music at the American Legion's first Independence Day celebration. The group partnered with the U.S. Army to honor America and educate East Texans about serving their country and their community.
Leamon Ligon, American Legion, Post #73, said, "They take a big part in the working of the community and the building of the community; working with youngsters, boy scouts, girl scouts, most anywhere we can get involved in."
The American Legion includes veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who served during a period of war as defined by Congress. Right now, the Lufkin group has about 40 members and wants more.
"It's also a membership drive," said Army Recruiter Michael Zachary. "We have veterans all over East Texas that don't know about the American Legion and that we exist, and it's just something to let them know that we do have a place here in Lufkin, Texas."
The Jones Park celebration didn't get as much attention as some of the other local Fourth of July events, but organizers were proud of the turnout and know they have plenty of support from East Texans.
Tuesday's celebration was a fundraiser for the American Legion's building project. The Lufkin group collected donations to help build a new facility and increase its membership.