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Remembering Joel Melvin Hauck, American Legion Department of Missouri Commander 1996-1997

Joel Melvin Hauck was born July 3,1935 in St. Louis. He attended Cole and Riddick Elementary Schools and graduated from the renowned Charles Sumner High School on January 24, 1954.

Five days after his high school graduation, Hauck left for the United States Air Force basic training in San Antonio. He served during the Korean War era as a weapons mechanic on the B36 aircraft. He achieved the rank of Airman First Class and was awarded the Good Conduct Medallion and the NDS Meritorious Service Award. Upon his honorable discharge from the Air Force, Hauck became an employee of the United States Postal Services where he served for 38 years.

Hauck dedicated his life to God and Country and joined the American Legion. He became a "Legionnaire of Legionnaires," holding leadership positions in all aspects of the organization. He served as post commander for 11 terms. He was elected commander of the Tenth District in 1990. After that term, he began to serve the American Legion at the state level. He served on numerous committees and commissions and was also assistant sergeant-at-arms for many terms. In 1996 Hauck was elected to the highest position in the state, Department Commander.

He did not stop his service to the American Legion after serving as commander. He spent a week each summer at the American Legion Missouri Boys State where he would coordinate two to three bus loads of boys to go from St. Louis to Warrensburg to attend the program. He was a dedicated staff member for 35 years. His family knew not to say anything about his service as it would only make him more determined.

Hauck was also an avid volunteer outside of the American Legion. He was a member of Gateway Voiture 448 of the Forty and Eight, a fraternal organization for members of the American Legion. He also volunteered at the Missouri Veterans Homes, USO, and the Westside Missionary Baptist Church.

Joel Melvin Hauck passed away on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023 leaving behind many memories that all who knew him will cherish forever.

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