SPOTSWOOD, NJ - On Sunday, September 13, American Legion Post 253 Commander William Baum received a certificate of appreciation from Master Sergeant John Nitch of the United States Air Force at a special ceremony. The ceremony was held outdoors at the American Legion's pavilion. Members of Post 253, the American Legion's Auxiliary Unit, the Sons of the American Legion, the American Legion Riders and residents were in attendance for the noteworthy event. Baum's certificate recognized his commitment to Operations Freedom's Sentinel and Inherent Resolve.

"There are 16,551 NATO troops in Afghanistan as of June 2020," explained Arlene Baum, the Secretary and Treasurer of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Post #253. "For the men and women of the 17th Special Tactics Squadron, since their initial response to the GWOT in October 2001, there have been no breaks in deployments and combat operations for more than 6,900 days in support of operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Freedom's Sentinel Resolute Support."

Under the leadership of Commander Baum, American Legion Post 253 has shipped more than 30 packages overseas to military personnel. Nitch shared at the presentation that without the support of American Legion Post 253, members of his unit would be wondering when "their next package of goodies and joy" would arrive. He was also confident more packages from the post would be making their way overseas during the upcoming holiday season.

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Baum and American Legion Post 253 were recognized for their contributions and support of Nitch by Lieutenant General USAF, Commander, USAFCENT Joseph Guastella Jr. and USAFCENT Air Reserve Component Advise Edwin Tuhy, Col, USAF.

Nitch added there were so many packages sent from the post that the entire squadron of men and women were able to share with other troops stationed overseas, bringing "many smiles and delight to our military."