American Legion Post 343 honors member for 60 years of service

Published 5:42 pm Friday, March 8, 2013

One of the founding members of the American Legion Post 343 in Clanton was honored for 60 years of continuous service on Friday.

Hilton Lane Jr. was presented with a certificate from the Legion to commemorate his faithfulness in not only being one of the members of Post 343, but also serving it for 60 years.

Commander of Post 343 Ocie Williams said it was an honor to recognize Lane who has remained loyal to the post and is one of the few living members who originally founded Post 343.

“I appreciate this man who has served his community well,” Williams said. “It is a tremendous honor that we recognize him today.”

Lane briefly spoke at the end of the ceremony thanking those in attendance for supporting him for many years.

“I appreciate this very much,” Lane said. “We have struggled and we have been faithful and today I am honored and blessed.”

Lane, who will turn 86 on Sunday, said he served in the U.S. Army during World War II in Europe working for the gas department.

“I went into the Army when I was 18 years old,” Lane said. “At that time when you turned 18 it was either work or go fight and I chose to go fight.”

Lane said he doesn’t foresee slowing down in the future and hopes to serve the Legion for many more years.

“The reason I have served for 60 years is my love of country and love of this community,” Lane said.

Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver attended the ceremony and thanked Lane for his service.

“I go way back with you and have memories of you being a young tot,” Driver said. “I appreciate everything you have done and what you mean to the city of Clanton.”

First Cmdr. Barbara White of the American Legion 23rd District said the purpose of the American Legion is for veterans of all ranks of service to come together and help the community.

“We support one another and we support the community,” White said.