BELLEVILLE, NJ — Jake Myers, age 7, a member of Sons of the American Legion Squadron 105, received the Ten Ideals Award at a regular meeting of the squadron in September. Following a course of study, Jake became only the second young SAL in New Jersey to receive the award in 2022.
Alternate National Executive Committeeman Henry Hasselhan, of Squadron 311 Atco, presented Jake with the award. Alongside the national delegate, Squadron 105 Commander Steve Sangemino presented the actual medal.
“There are a lot of older Sons who don’t have this,” Hasselhan said. “It’s very rewarding to see these young gentlemen come up, because they are the ones who will be replacing us.”
Sangemino said he recalled Jake as a very young child. “Now he’s winning national awards,” he said, adding, “He’s part of the future of the SAL.”
The award is given in recognition of completing a program of patriotism, health, knowledge, training, honor, faith, helpfulness, courtesy, reverence and comradeship. Jake completed the course with his dad, Rusty Myers, who is the adjutant at Squadron 105 in Belleville, but is also the Children and Youth Commission chairperson at the state level for the SAL.
“I’m so very proud of Jake, in that he is one of the very few who have gone through this course,” Rusty Myers said. “I would love to push this program at the detachment (state) level, and have squadrons throughout New Jersey do this with their younger members. It’s a great way to engage the youth in the organization and have them learn what it is to be a citizen and a member of the Sons of the American Legion, building tomorrow’s leaders.”
Following the meeting, with his garrison cap proudly adorned with his new medal, Jake received both a round of applause and shouts of “Well done!” at the meeting and downstairs at the club. Jake has been a member for three years as an SAL, which has its membership open to the male descendants of honorably discharged veterans at birth. Jake is eligible for membership through his grandfather Russ Myers, a 52-year American Legion member of Whippanong Post 155, who served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
Photos Courtesy of Rusty Myers