By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer
An American Legion post set to open in Oktaha will bear the name of a fallen area solider.
American Legion Post 403 will be named for Spc. Joshua Seals, a National Guard member who died in Afghanistan in 2011. He was 21.
Pat Davis, a member of the post involved in its organization, said Seals is a fitting soldier to be memorialized.
“All our American Legion posts are named after someone outstanding in the military,” Davis said. “So that’s who we chose for this one. It’s a good way of honoring him and honoring our veterans from the area.”
Seals, a 2008 Porter High School graduate, died Aug. 16, 2011, from noncombat-related injuries while serving in Paktika province, Afghanistan. His body was flown to the Tulsa Air National Guard Base nine days later and buried Aug. 27, 2011, in Porter.
Lanny Cartwright will officially be named the post’s commander during its Jan. 12 dedication.
“(Seals) and my grandson used to show chickens and ducks and geese together in 4-H,” Cartwright said. “He was kind of like an adopted grandson to me. He was a good kid. He was a real good kid.”
At the time of his death, Seals was in F Company, 700th Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
Cartwright said Seals’ parents, Stanley and Rhonda Seals, will attend the dedication.
The new post will have its meetings at the Oktaha Town Hall until a building can be completed. Davis said the post is a new venture, so a building is a way off.
“But we’ve got several members already,” he said. “It’s starting off with a pretty good bang.”
Cartwright said the post has the names of about 500 veterans who live within 35 miles of Oktaha, making it a prime spot for a new post.
“A lot of them are older guys that can’t see well after dark and don’t need to be going all the way to Muskogee when we can have this post right here in their backyard,” Cartwright said. “We wanted to have a place close by where they can come and have the camaraderie of veterans.
“We’ve all done stuff that only we can relate to.”
Davis said officers and members of American Legion Post 403 “just want to help.”
“Our motto is ‘Veterans helping veterans,’” Davis said. “And that’s what we’ll be here for.”
The post’s first official meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Oktaha Town Hall.
Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
WHAT: American Legion Post 403 dedication.
WHERE: Oktaha Town Hall, 202 S. Main St., Oktaha.
WHEN: 3 p.m., Jan. 12.
INFORMATION: Call Post 403 Commander Lanny Cartwright, (918) 781-3136, or (918) 577-5865; or e-mail: Americanlegionpost403@mail.com; or write to American Legion Post 403, P.O. Box 81, Oktaha, OK 74450.