CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – It’s one of the newest American Legions in the state of Texas and it’s located in Canyon. It’s American Legion Darren Tate Post 425 and the Post does a multitude of things to help veterans in the area.
Chris Holt, American Legion Darren Tate Post 425 Commander said the reason the Post came about was that there was a need for it in Canyon.
“There were no veteran services organizations really servicing the Canyon area for our veterans or the community. The American Legion offers so much, not just for our veterans, but for our community,” said Holt.
Some of the services the American Legion offers include assisting veterans with Veteran Affairs matters.
“The American Legion, we work hand and hand with the VA and we can also help get our veterans to and from the VA as well, so that’s one thing. I mentioned the homeless veterans, we work with them too. We also got scholarships for the kids in high school through the oratorical programs,” said Holt.
Holt said the American Legion wants to be a hand up to the Canyon community.
“Veterans have taken an oath to support and defend and we just want something to do to help and most time that’s just volunteering and just keeping up with the community and saying ‘hey, we are still here to help, where do you want us at?'” said Holt.
Another thing the American Legion has been working on is security buckets for Canyon Independent School District, for these to be used in case of an emergency.
“Anything from a natural disaster to power going out, you know whatever, the teacher can actually sustain a classroom for 24 hours with injuries,” said Holt.
Holt added that all campuses across Canyon ISD should have security buckets by the end of the year.
Holt added the American Legion Darren Tate Post 425 officially kicked off last August and they currently have 63 members.
The American Legion Post is named for Darren Tate, a Canyon resident, and Navy Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Darren Tate who passed away in Afghanistan due to pneumonia.
“His name has a lot of recognition in Canyon, so when we were getting ready, when we were getting ready to name the post after somebody, we had a couple of names in mind, but the one that kept coming up was Darren…We could have named it Randall County Post 425, we could have named it the Top of Texas 425 Post, I don’t think it would have the same meaning behind it,” added Holt.
Holt said naming the Post after Tate carries on his legacy.
“We are just trying to do right by Darren’s name and it gives us a sense of pride by doing that, honoring one of our fallen brothers,” said Holt.
Darren’s mom Barbara said it means a lot to have the post named after him.
“The post stands for everything Darren stood for. He had a big heart and a big smile to go with it. He was always there for anybody that needed anything, if he saw a need, he tried to do something about it. If he couldn’t do it, he always found somebody that could…For his name to live on and be honored the way it’s honored, we feel like he was very deserving of that and it really shows the love of the community that they would remember him for the things that he did,” said Tate.
Holt said the American Legion meets the second Tuesday of every month at the Canyon Country Church located at 2600 Hunsley Road FM3331 in Canyon at 6:30 P.M.
Holt added if you would like to make a donation to the American Legion, those donations will go towards the Veterans Resource Center to help with homeless veterans in the area.