AMERICAN LEGION posts provide valuable services to our nation's veterans. St. Clairsville Post 159 is certainly no exception.
The local post was cast in the limelight of controversy last week when it was revealed that it purchased some furniture from Vietnam.
Such a move certainly cuts across the patriotic grain. Buying items from a country that was a war opponent does not sit well with many veterans. That was played out Friday when a small protest was staged outside the Belmont County Courthouse.
The dispute may have been nothing more than a misunderstanding and a lack of communication.
A Legion official this week offered Post 159's side of the issue. The acting commander said the purchase was made from a national retailer without knowing the origin. Due to the American Legion emblem being lacquered on the tables, they could not be returned.
The official took responsibility for the error and issued an apology.
With that being the case, it was a situation that couldn't be reversed. A meeting of the parties involved could have averted a public display of dissatisfaction.
The purpose statement of American Legions is, "to serve the needs of veterans of all wars, their widows, and dependent children. We are also active in developing and promoting legislative activities that establish or protect the rights of veterans."
With that said, it would be foolish to think Post 159 did anything intentional to alienate its membership as well as veterans in general. St. C. Legion members have donated thousands of dollars to worthwhile local causes.
American Legion Post 159 should be remembered more for its countless good deeds rather than one unfortunate mistake.