American Legion report

Jon Chitwood

The American Legion White-Bell Post 273 and Auxiliary met March 2, at Schnell Hall with Leon and Bonnie Hackley as hosts. Tables were set in a patriotic/St. Patricks theme. Guests included Hazel Kimmel, Jim and Kay Meler, and Jon Chitwood.

The meeting opened with introduction of guests followed by Commander Adams leading the pledge to the flag. Chaplain Holst gave the invocation. The traditional red poppy boutiniere, made by Lucille Stout, was pinned on program presenter Jon Chitwood by Auxiliary president Bonnie Hackley. A delicious meal followed.

Mae Schlotzhauer introduced Jon Chitwood, claims representative for the Social Security office in Columbia. Chitwood, a 2002 graduate of MU in business administration, has worked as a claims rep for five years.

He began his program with a history of Social Security. President Franklin Roosevelt initiated the concept in 1935 and the first payment was an annual one of a few dollars. By 1940 payments were changed to monthly. Now a person who works to age 70 is eligible for the maximum payment. Presently there are 38 million people on Social Security and it’s estimated that by 2030 this will increase to 70 million.

In 1965 Medicare was established. This is health insurance for people age 65 and older or under 65 with certain disabilities, such as dialysis or a kidney transplant. The amount one pays in is deducted from the Social Security benefit and helps cover care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, etc. (part A) as well as doctor’s services and outpaitient care (part B). Some Medicare plans also include prescription drug coverage (part D).

There is a “cost of living” increase in the Social Security benefits when applicable and also a possible increase in Medicare premiums. Death benefits for a spouse are now $255 per individual.

During the meeting, Commander Adams again emphasized that high school seniors going to college should apply for the $500 scholarship offered by the Post. Application forms are available from the school counselor. Also, the selection process for delegates to Boys State  has been completed and a total of six boys from the junior classes of Fayette and New Franklin High Schools will attend.

Auxiliary president Bonnie Hackley called the auxiliary meeting to order followed by the invocation given by Eula Holst. Mae Schlotzhauer called roll and read minutes of the last meeting. Treasurer Martha Holman gave the financial report. It was decided to order 750 poppies for Poppy Day in May. Cards were signed for Ilene House and Lucille Stout. The meeting was adjourned with the benediction by Eula Holst.

The next meeting will be April 6 at 6 p.m. at Schnell Hall. A musical program will be offered by the Zero Hour Jazz Band. All veterans and spouses are encouraged to attend.

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