In the spring of 2009, three veterans, John Brewer, Oscar Outen and James Hood, met with James Mungo, American Legion North Carolina District Commander and Ryan Stafford, Vice-Commander to discuss the possibility of forming a new American Legion post in Unionville, NC. The new post, initially, Unionville Post 535, would be a faith-based organization with an emphasis on community service and the inclusion of all veterans.
In June of 2009 a temporary charter was requested and subsequently issued in July of that year. At the first full meeting of Unionville Post 535, officers were elected and various committees were formed and members assigned. At the initial meeting on, the following officers were elected:
· John Brewer – Commander
· William Chadwick – 1st Vice Commander
· James Hood – 2nd Vice Commander
· Thomas Cobb – Historian
· Oscar Outen – Finance Officer
· Oscar Outen – Adjutant
· Jack Campbell – Service Officer
· Jose Rosa – Chaplain
· Richard Stone – Judge Advocate
· Wayne Collins – Sgt at Arms
· William Raum – Publicity Officer
The first meeting of the Post was held at Unionville’s Fire Station One. As membership increased, meetings were moved to the larger Station Two, and were held there until 2011. In 2012 meetings were moved to Benton’s Crossroads Church where they are currently being held.
In 2012, the Keziah family of Unionville generously donated two acres of land on Highway 601 which would be used to construct a permanent home for the Post.
Since the issuance of the Post charter in 2009, membership has grown from 30 members to over 165.
The Post’s commitment to the Unionville community is a keystone to its existence. Since its establishment, the Post has:
· Sponsored the local American Legion baseball team
· Worked with the award-winning Piedmont Junior High School Shooting team
· Sponsored both Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops
· Established a Legion Riders group
· Held an annual Bar-b-que
· Held an annual golf outing
· Sponsored the Miss Unionville Scholarship Pageant
· Sponsored the annual Unionville Christmas Parade and tree lighting ceremony
· Assisted in the annual Unionville 4th of July parade and festivities
In 2009 the Post’s Honor Guard was established. Since then the Guard, in association with VFW Post 2423, has participated in over 120 ceremonies a year in honor of fallen veterans.
In October 2010, a Post Auxiliary was established and in 2014 a Sons of the American Legion (SAL) chapter was chartered. Membership in both of these groups have grown since their inception with the Auxiliary having over 50 members and the SAL having over 40 members.
The ground breaking ceremony for the new Post headquarters was held on May 28, 2016. The headquarters is over 7,800 square feet and includes a state-of-the-art kitchen, two meeting rooms and a large auditorium.