2014 National Oratorical Champion: Ashwath Kumar

For 77 years, The American Legion has hosted its National High School Oratorical Program “A Constitutional Speech Contest”. This year’s finals was held on April 6th with 53 contestants competing for the title of national champion.

When the three rounds of the competition had ended, the winner of The American Legion 77th National Oratorical Contest was Ashwath Kumar of Columbia, Missouri. Kumar is a senior at David H. Hickman High School and was sponsored by American Legion Post 202.

Kumar not only claims the coveted title as winner of the contest, but he also claims an $18,000 college scholarship for his work. His winning oration is titled, “This Great House”.

Congratulations on a job well done to Ashwath Kumar!

American Legion Post 304


In case this one got by you, April is designated as “The Month of the Military Child”. The children of our military and veterans are our, “Littlest Super Heroes” and it’s time to give them the recognition they deserve. They face so many challenges…parent’s deployment..frequent moving to new locations….new schools….making new friends, and so much more. So please, on April 15th, wear something purple to honor them.

On May 3, the Army National Guard Family Services is holding a fun day, for our “Littlest Super
Heroes” at Piedmont Church. This event is open to all families of active duty, reserves and veterans. See the
Flyer in this edition for more information. Yeah, I know, it is in May and not April…..scheduling for the venue
ended up in May.

Written by Post 304 Commander, Ron Asby

Boys and Girls State Programs

Boys and Girls State Programs

Post 304 has sponsored Rising High School Senior Boys for Boys State for many years. Also, since we do not have an Auxiliary, we have been responsible for sending girls, to Girls State recently. In the event you didn’t know it, Boys and Girls State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instructions for U.S. high school students. Participants learn the rights, privileges and responsibilities, of franchised citizens. The training is objective and centers on the structure of City, County and State governments. The programs are operated by students, elected by their peers to various Offices and include Legislative Sessions, Court Proceedings, Law-Enforcement presentations, Assemblies, Bands, Choruses and Recreational programs.

The Girls State Program is held at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and runs from Sunday, June 8, 2014 through Friday, June 13, 2014. Boys State starts Sunday, June 15th and runs through Saturday, June 21st. It is held at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga.

The programs are provided at no cost to the students. For the sponsoring American Legion Post, the tuition costs for each Program participant is $265 for Girls State and $200 for Boys State. As your Post works closely with eight different High Schools in the North Cobb County area, you can see that the costs can be substantial, even if we send as few as two to four students from each School. We strive to obtain funding for the Programs from Businesses, Churches and Civic Organizations, but contributions from Post members for individual sponsorships are always welcome. If you would like to Sponsor a Boy or Girl, or would like more information about the Programs, or to help us with them, please call Adj. David Burdette, at (770) 428-0400 or e-mail him at, d.burdette@post304.org


Oratorical Season is Here and It’s In High Gear!

FEB2014 Saturday, February 1 was the start of the North Cobb Post 304 Oratorical Season. The mandatory local Post contest was held at 1:00 p.m. at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, 2385 Acworth Due West Rd., Acworth 30101.
The contest was conducted by Post and District 5 Oratorical Chairman, Sr.Vice-Cmdr Ron Mazzola and Post Adjutant and Department Oratorical Chairman, David Burdette, who besides the 5 contestants, had 4 judges, 2 timers, 2 Sgt-at-Arms, 2 Tabulators, and a Chaplain, as well as a briefing consultant each, for both the judges and the contestants. The students represented Allatoona High School, Kennesaw Mountain High School and a home-schooler, from Soaring Eagles Co-Op Home-School Organization.
If you have never attended an American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Contest, you really don’t know what you’re missing. Each contestant delivered an 8 to 10 minute prepared oration on any aspect of the U.S. Constitution, their choice, without notes, podium, or amplification. Points are deducted if they speak less than 8 minutes or more than 10 minutes, on their chosen topic.
The audience is instructed not to take flash pictures, applaud and/or otherwise disrupt the speaker while he/she is delivering their speech. After each contestant has delivered their prepared speech, each is then required to deliver a 3-5 minute speech on one of four “Assigned Topics”, which is selected during the contest. The Assigned Topics are amendments to, or Sections of, the U.S. Constitution. The contestants had to familiarize themselves with the each of the Four possible Topics and prepare a 3 to 5 minute speech on each of them, not knowing which one will be selected, until 5 minutes before the last contestant has delivered his/her presentation. Points are also deducted for speaking less than 3 or more than 5 minutes.
Cash prizes are awarded to the first, second and third place finishers of $300, $200, and $100, respectively, and all contestants are presented with a beautiful Certificate of Participation. The winner will advance to the Fifth District contest, to be held on Saturday Feb. 15, at the same location and time. There may be as many as 6 to 8 contestants in the District competition. The District winner will compete in the Area IV contest (consisting of Districts 4, 5, and 7) on Saturday, February 22, at Smyrna Post 160.
The Area winner will advance to the Department (State) contest, which will be held on Saturday, March 1, at the Houston County Board of Education in Perry, Ga. There will be four Area winners competing in the State finals. The State winner will represent Georgia at the National Finals in Indianapolis in April and be eligible for top scholarship prizes of $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000. Cash awards are presented at all contest levels. All expenses for the State winner and a chaperone are paid for.
If you were among the 50 or so Veterans and family members who did attend our Post 304 Competition,, I’m sure like me, you appreciated the efforts and hard work these 5 contestants put forth for their task. And I know you were glad to be able to see and hear these fine young men and women, highschoolers really, the future leaders of our Country, speak about our Constitution. And certainly, learning about our Founding Document couldn’t come at a better time.

Written by:
David Burdette, Post 304 Adjutant and Dept. Oratorical Chairman
Ron Mazolla, Sr. Vice Commander and Post 304 & District 5 Chairman
North Cobb Post 304

Happy New Year!

Greetings all and a Happy New Year!

Now that the New Year has officially begun, it’s time for each of us to consider setting some time aside to assist your Post, in the myriad of programs that we participate in.

The next “Big One” coming up will be the Big Shanty Festival in Kennesaw, on April 12th and 13th. Graciously, John Dowdy, Buddy Inlow and Frank Cullins are doing the major legwork on this one, including conducting a “Rifle Raffle”.

We are looking for members to step up and help, by participating in the “Parade”, as well as manning the booth for 2 days. I will be leading the Booth Functions, including Recruiting New Members, Military Cap sales, as well as a separate 50/50 Raffle. Please let me know if you can assist us with some of your time. We will have a short work schedule available for sign up.

There are a number of other programs coming up that many of our members have already signed up to participate in, and their strength only comes from our combined support. So please consider their efforts and let us know that you will be there to help.

I know it’s early on, but please consider getting involved with another huge crowd pleaser, the Kennesaw “Pigs and Peaches Festival”, when August rolls around. Please let me know of your willingness to head up, and/or assist with our program involvements and I will send you a listing of our projects, along with indicating our needs of your support.

Serving the Youth and Veterans in both of the cities we serve, Kennesaw and Acworth is truly a worthwhile and arduous job, but it is amazing how well we are accepted and appreciated, by the Residents.

God Bless you. Wishing you each a Happy and Prosperous 2014!

Written by Bob Kozora
Jr. Vice Commander and Programs Chairman
North Cobb Post 304