J. Thompson Wyatt Post 2, Inc.

Today, approximately 400 veterans are members of Post 2.  Members of the Post assist the community in the proper disposal of American Flags; place new flags on veteran’s graves prior to Memorial Day, and conduct a Post Everlasting ceremony to honor all departed Legionnaires.  Post 2 has sponsored the Citizens Flag Alliance, and the POW/MIA program.  A Chaplain is available to visit the sick.  Each year the members of Post 2 contribute to numerous charities to the benefit of the local community.  Members visit the Hunter McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond to provide necessities to the patients, and to give a little cheer at Christmastime.

It wasn’t until 1986 that Marie A. Shumate was the first woman elected as Post Commander.  She then became the first woman 4th District Commander in 1987, and Department Historian for 1987- 1989.  Since that time only one other woman was Commander.  Betty Hendrick was elected in 2000 – 2001. She later became the 4th District Commander also. 

John R. Shumate, I, was the first Vietnam Era Post Commander.  He held that position 4 times:  1979-80, 1988-89, 1999-2000, and 2002-03. 

The members of Post 2 have always been active at the District, Region, Department and even National levels.  J. Ray Edmundson was National Membership Chairman; Joseph Halloway, Donald Houser, and J. Ray Edmundson were all Department Commanders; Marie A. Shumate was Department Historian for 2 years; William Rose and Isaac Kelley were Department Vice Commanders.  There have been numerous 4th District Commanders from Post 2, to include all of the above and John Kelly, Marie Shumate, Isaac Kelley, John Todt, Steven Speta, Betty Hendrick, and Fred Hendrick.   

Post 2 has an active Jr. and Sr. Auxiliary Unit, a Sons of the American Legion (S.A.L.) Squadron, and the American Legion Riders, who support the programs and objectives of The American Legion, and who also contribute to local charities. 

The American Legion is recognized throughout the city of Petersburg by four markers or monuments presented to the City of Petersburg by the members of Post 2.  The best known is the Dough Boy Monument, recognizing WWI veterans, located on Sycamore Street.  The annual Veterans Day (November 11) ceremony is conducted there.  The second is a stone marker located in Blandford Cemetery, recognizing all veterans from the Vietnam War.  A ceremony is held each Memorial Day at this site.  An Eternal Flame is located in front of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Tabb Street, and a stone marker has been placed in front of the Petersburg City Hall. 

Post 2 has a meeting hall that can be rented by the public for special events, a social quarters which provides daily lunches, Friday evening dinners, Sunday morning breakfast, and other activities such as karaoke and pool tournaments. 

Social events include the annual American Legion Birthday Dinner/Dance; Installation of Officers Dinner/Dance; family picnics each 4th of July and Labor Day; children’s Easter, Halloween, and Christmas parties; and social evenings for the adults at Christmas and New Year’s Eve. 

In 1990, a fire destroyed the Post home, but a new building was erected where we meet today.   

The American Legion general membership meetings are held at the Post each month, on the second Monday at 7:00 p.m.  Members from any American Legion Post are eligible to attend these meetings.