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35 E. 18th Street, National City, California 91950

Larry E. Bennett Post 255




By Diane DeVries, Law & Order Co-Chair, Post 255 Finance Officer

and District 22 Judge Advocate

On the 23th of February 2019, The American Legion Larry E Bennett Post 255 held its fifteenth annual Law and Order Dinner and Award Ceremony.  The Post provided the National City Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers and their spouses a free dinner and an appreciation gift for their services throughout the year.   Also honored were Post members who retired from the Police or Fire Departments.  In attendance this year were twenty-six active-duty Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters, six retired Safety Officers and thirty-two spouses, family members and people representing the city of National City, The American Legion District 22 and Post 255.

The planning for Post 255’s Law & Order program begins immediately after the previous program ends.  It takes about $1,200 to put on this program, so fundraising begins immediately.  For example, Profits from Post 255’s Tuesday lunches, as well as various other fundraising events and donations are the key source of funds.  Many members and local merchants donate the appreciation gifts.

In September the date for the event is scheduled and the Law & Order Chairperson delivers the criteria packages to the Police and Fire Departments.  Once the nominees for awards are received the plaques are ordered from Emblem Sales.  The Chairman then sets up volunteers, inventories hall decorations and fine-tunes all details.

This year we honored Detective Camilo Gutierrez (Meritorious Service Award) and Dispatcher Mae Adamos (Meritorious Service Award) from the National City Police Department and Captain Derek Jones (Heroism Award), Firefighter Nick Black (Heroism) and Firefighter Zachary Stout (Meritorious Service Award). from the National City Fire Department.  We also honored National City Chief of Police Manuel Rodriguez for his dedication and support to Post 255.  Chief Rodriguez will retire in March 2019.

The Law & Order dinner and Award ceremony was a huge success and would not be possible without our great volunteers (sorry if I missed anyone).   A BIG THANKS to:   Co-Chairs – Rick & Diane DeVries; Commander – Paul Patricio; Chaplain – Juanita Corica; Sergeant-at-Arms – Ken Dibble; Photos – Lillian Moss and Diane DeVries; Hall Set-up – Richard & Lorraine Ensign, Rick & Diane DeVries, Joe Bonilla; Hall Decorations – Richard & Lorraine Ensign; Program folding – Richard Ensign and Diane DeVries;  Tickets/Greeter – Thess Dull; Kitchen Crew – Wayne Dull, Larry Baldwin, Chris Walker, Desiree Dull, Aisha Nerritt, Sylvia Ortega; Salad and Cake duty - Jill Johnson; Servers – Gloria Jean Nieto, Grace Patricio and some of the kitchen crew; Door Prize distribution – Mary Saenz; Clean-up – Servers + whoever wasn’t busy; and finally, Bartender – Gigi Subers.  

Thank you to the many folks who help us amass the appreciation gifts, namely:   American Legion Riders Chapter 255; Ball Honda; BJ’s Restaurant; Goulet Industries (engraving); H&M Landing and the boats Producer, Malihini, Premier and TopGun80; Napoleone Pizza House; National City Car Wash; National City Golf Course; Sam's Club; Starbuck’s; Taco Salsa; Von’s and Walmart.   Also, thanks to Jimmy Dorsey & Doris Haynes, Richard Ensign, Jo Helen Grant, Melissa Johnson, Virgie Munoz, Gloria-Jean Nieto, Evelyn Posada, Harry Smith, Gigi Subers and Harry Woods.

The hall was beautifully decked out in red, white and blue. 

Live flower centerpieces were provided by EBoard Member Richard and Lorraine Ensign.


Post 255 Commander Paul Patricio welcomes everyone to the

Post's fifteenth annual Law and Order Dinner and Award Ceremony

Post 255 Chaplain Juanita Corica offers the Invocation.

Law and Order Chairman Rick DeVries calls for the

designation of the POW/MIA Empty Chair.

Post 255 Sergeant-At-Arms places the POW/MIA flag on the Empty Chair.

Law and Order Co-Chair Diane DeVries presents

the POW/MIA Remembrance Ceremony.


Servers getting organized (left to right) Desiree Dull,

Auxiliary President Jill Johnson, Aisha Nerritt and Sylvia Ortega.

Also serving, but not pictured Gloria Nieto and Grace Patricio.

Second Vice Commander Wayne Dull organized the kitchen

in the preparation of the dinner of roast beef or chicken

with mash potatoes, gravy, green beans and roll.

Kitchen crew (left to right) Larry Baldwin, Chris Walker and Wayne Dull.

Tickets and check-in by Teresa and Desiree Dull

Can’t forget the wonderful bartender Gigi Subers

Cake was donated by Sam's Club thanks to Virgie Munoz.

After dinner special guests were introduced.  This year’s ceremony was attended by the following dignitaries (some pictured below):

American Legion District 22 Commander Chris Yates

American Legion District 22 1st Vice Commander Sam Flores

American Legion District 22 Historian Lillian Moss (Who took the majority of the pictures for this event)

American Legion Department of California Membership Chair Harry Woods

National City Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis and her representative JoAnn Fields

Vice Mayor Ron Morrison

National City Council member Mona Rios and her husband Tony

National City Council representative Claudia Gonzales

National City Chief of Police Manuel Rodriguez and his wife Irene

National City Fire Department Battalion Chief Larry Silva

National City Police Department Lieutenant Greg Seward

Retired Police Officers:  Bill Devaney and his wife Elsa; and Frank Chenelle and his son Lance and Lance’s wife Tandy; Frank Chenelle

Retired Firefighters:  Harry Woods, Don Miner and his wife Denise and daughter Savannah, and Kevin Kollacky and his wife Susan.


(Left to right):   National City Fire Department awardee Nick Black and National City Fire Department awardees Camilo Guttierrez, Mae Adamos and Chief Rodriguez.

(Right to left):  Law & Order Chair Rick DeVries reads the citation for Heroism while Post 255 Commander, National City Fire Department Battalion Chief Larry Silva and Heroism awardee National City Fireman Nick Black look on.

(Right to Left):   Rick DeVries reads the Meritorious Service award citation while Chief of Police Manual Rodriguez and Mae Adamos stand bye. Mae is a dispatcher for the National City Police Department.


Rick DeVries reads the Meritorious Service Award citation for Police Officer Camilo Guttierrez as Police Chief Rodriguez looks on.

Rick thanks Police Chief Rodriguez, retiring soon, for his dedicated service to the city of National City as Chief of Police and gave a special thanks for Chief’s support of Post 255.


Following the award presentation Police and Firefighters (both active duty and retired) were presented a gift of appreciation for the service.   Family members in attendance were presented a gift of appreciation for the support throughout the year.

Richard Ensign made these beautiful wooden flag wall hangings –

            one for a Firefighter and one for a Police Office.

Sons of the Legion member Bob Taft (left) donated a 3-1/2 day fishing trip on his TOPGUN80 sport fishing boat to the event.  Only active police and firefighters are eligible for the drawing.  This year’s recipient was firefighter James Young (right).

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