History of Service Girls Post 204
On the 55th Anniversary of Post 204, Doris Gross submitted a history for our newsletter. She did months of research to provide the following information. Enjoy!
1919 – The American Legion was formed. Service women were accepted since its inception. Many women veterans preferred to form their own posts due to the hesitant attitude of many men.
Women Posts in Washington State in 1948:
|169||World War Nurses||Seattle||1940||110|
|225||Margaret M. Billings||Everett||1947||20|
|203||Grays Harbor Women's||Aberdeen||1947||15|
A total of 1,045 Women Legionnaires in this Department during 1948, of these 363 were members of the 6 Women’s Posts and 692 members of other Legion Posts. Only Service Girls Post remains. Most of Yeoman and WW Nurses were WWI members. Later most of their members were barely able to actively participate. Several members were invited and did join Post 204 when they gave up their charters.
Why has Post 204 been so successful? Because it began with vision, energy and dedication. Inspired and prodded in the beginning by a little dynamo, Margy Parker, and carried through for these 55+ years by caring ex-servicewomen.
Early Spring, 1946 – EWACS Margy Parker, Jeannette Buxton Nelson, Jeanne Boyd and Ruth Morgan (Nordstrom) met to discuss Margy’s idea of an organization for girls who served in WAC, WAVES, SPARS and Marines of W.W.II (later the Air Force and nurses would be included).
April 9, 1946 – These girls and others who had been contacted met with the State Adjutant.
May 9, 1946 – Received Temporary Charter and became known as Service Girls Post 204.
June 3, 1946 – First large installation of officers at University Post 11. Thirty one girls were initiated by the 40/8 Initiatory Team. Margy Parker was the first Commander of Post 204.
September 21, 1946 – Received our permanent charter, forty four girls signed it. All girls joined prior to July 30, 1946.
May 13, 1947 – Post National Commander Stephen Chadwick dedicated our first flags.
August 1947 – Margy Parker and Jeannette Buxton Nelson represented our Post at the 1947 State Convention.
In the early days, the post members felt they had to participate in every Legion Program. Post 204 sent its first boy to American Legion Evergreen Boys State in 1946. Also in 1946, they sponsored a Junior American Legion Baseball Team, sponsored students participating in the Oratorical Contests, contributed American Flags to various organizations, and participated in parades particularly on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. In 1947, 25 girls attended the first parade.
The post also participated in:
- George Washington ceremonies
- Bought “Give Blood” pens for blood bank
- USO gift wrapping
- Gifts for the Yanks
- Christmas and thanksgiving baskets
- Christmas party for children at the Catholic Orphanage
- Toys for Tots program
- Christmas Gift Program at the VA Hospital
- American Lake Christmas Party for Women
- Chaplain visit to VA Hospital (no women patients)
- Donated to National League of Families of POWs and MIAs
- Flags for Graves
- Special Olympics
- Bingo parties at the hospital
- Recreation equipment for juvenile kids
- Lamps to servicemen’s lounge at airport
- Fashion show at Goodwill Industries Indian Center
- Salvation Army
- Abused Women
- Drug Addicts Rehab Center
- American Legions Vietnam Relief Fund
- Operation Show Your Colors
- Operation Sweet Tooth (packages to GIs)
- Illumination of Memorial in Washington DC
- Illumination of Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Olympia
- Freedom Trees Program on our National Bicentennial
- Furnished flag patches for Seattle Police
- Presented service uniforms to Seattle Museum of History & Industry
- Presented marble bench to Washelli Memorial Chapel (plate reads “In Honor of all Women who served in the Armed Services of the U.S.A.”
- Donated bench for under trees at the VA Hospital
Fund Raising Activities:
December 1946 – participated in the United National Bazaar by selling candy and a train car of bananas. They had many raffles, rummage sales, several inaugural balls, poppies before Memorial Day, and sold lollipops.
Post 204 formed the Legionettes who visited other American Legion Posts to promote good fellowship and comradeship between Posts and others. They had New Year’s Eve Parties, Halloween Spook Parties and annual Legion Birthday Party or lunch.
The Post made its first Resolution in June 1946 supporting a bill in Congress, regarding credit for service with the WAAC.
Members of Post 204 have continued to support many Legion programs including Boys State, Girls State, Oratorical, Children and Youth, etc. We continue to support abused women, Toys for Tots, and visit veterans in the VA hospital, providing gift bags to women vets at Christmas.
We have gained experience and personal satisfaction, but most of all, had the privilege of meeting and making wonderful, caring friends.