American Legion Post 595 in Perris is looking spiffier these days, thanks to a grant from Home Depot and elbow grease from volunteers that repaired a sagging roof on the pre-World War II building.
The Perris post, which in 2015 celebrates 70 years of service to American veterans and their families, benefitted from a $5.000 grant from the Home Depot, funding specifically set aside to improve American Legion Posts. Volunteers removed 10 rotted out ribs from the post roof, tore out molded roofing and replaced it with new wood and shingles.
“Six guys worked on it for eight hours,” said Post 595 Commander Jim Bieger. “They did a great job. We could not have done it without the help of the Home Depot. It looks beautiful. It was a big deal.”
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, a Navy veteran and Post 595 member for more than 15 years, pointed out that the post supports numerous worthwhile activities, including providing scholarships for local youths, hosting City events and organizing car shows and chili cook offs that benefit non-profit organizations.
“The American Legion is a very important part of our community and we appreciate the Home Depot supporting improvements to the post building,” he said. “The improvements look marvelous.”
Post 595, located at Sixth and D streets, consists of three buildings from the former Camp Haan, a coast artillery anti-aircraft training base before and during World War II. Located adjacent to March Air Force Base, Camp Haan also served as a prisoner of war camp for German and Italian prisoners of war.
Post adjutant and judge advocate Joanne Evans said the American Legion purchased the buildings for $1 each and moved them to Perris. She said that in addition to January’s roof improvements, further upgrades to the post also are planned. Those include new bathrooms, flooring, walls and painting.
Evans said post members are enjoying the recent upgrades.
“It’ a huge improvement,” Evans said. “We were afraid the roof was going to cave in on us.”