American Legion Post 164, Katy Texas, was originally the idea of several members of VFW Post 9182 and other area Veterans not eligible for VFW membership. In 2001, knowing a need existed for a Veterans Service Organization to fill the void of war time veterans not otherwise eligible for the VFW, they set out to create an organization that would offer an opportunity for those veterans to have an organization of their own where they could share the same camaraderie and opportunities to help the community as the VFW did. Out of this effort, American Legion Post 164 was born.
The Post held their first organizational meeting in Mary Jo Peckam Park in June of 2001. The decision to hold the meeting in the park, with the park being located in the Harris County portion of Katy, ensured Post 164 would be a member of the 22nd District, Department of Texas, American Legion. Richard Mueller was the first “Volunteer” Commander of the Post. Other original members who were in attendance included Mark Kuhn, Todd Spiller, Jim Blande, Roy Miller, Will Miller and others. The Post was now off and running, gaining members on a regular basis and achieving 100% Goal Post status each and every year. As of this printing, Post 164 stands at 225 members.
Since its founding and under the direction of Todd Spiller the first elected Commander, Post 164 began to participate in the Katy community events that put Post 164 on the local map. The Post also received permission to hold their monthly meetings at the Katy VFW Hall and Community Center and remained there until December 2006.
On July 17, 2004, an idea originated by 2003 Commander Mark Kuhn became a reality. On that day, then Commander George Berg presided over a Post naming ceremony. During that ceremony, the Post officially changed its name to the Jonathan D. Rozier Post 164, Katy Texas and received their new charter. Lt. Jonathan D. Rozier, U.S. Army, was the first Katy area resident to be killed in action in the battle against global terror. Rozier was the recipient of the Bronze Star for Valor in the Battle of Al Hillah in Iraq.
As the Post grew, so did its responsibility to the community. Since its beginning Post 164 has participated in several notable events in Katy and continues to do so today. Together with VFW Post 9182 and the Tri County Military Order of the Purple Heart, in a loosely based coalition of area Veterans Associations working together, the Post participates in the Katy FFA Rodeo Parade, Memorial Day events, the Flag Day ceremony with the Katy B.P.O.E. (Elks), City of Katy 9-11 Commemoration, the Rice Harvest Festival Parade and information booth, Veterans Day visitations to area nursing homes, Veterans Day school programs and Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration. Since many of our members also hold memberships in either the VFW or Military Order of the Purple Heart or both, coming together with these two groups was a natural way to contribute.
Programs unique in the community held by Post 164 are the annual Flag Retirement Ceremony, annual Ice Cream Social, American Legion Boys State Program and the decorating of the Oaks Nursing Home in Brookshire for Christmas. As the Post continues to grow, so will the opportunities to do more.
Feeling the need to maintain a separate identity for Post 164, then Commander William “Bill” Barry set out to find an event for the Post that was unique and had one goal in mind, “Let the Community know we exist.” Out of that desire, the Annual Ice Cream Social was born and in July of 2005, the first event was held.
In November of 2006, the members of Post 164 felt a change was due in the meeting location. Finding a new location could be a financial benefit to the Post and help keep our identity separate from the VFW. Several inquiries were made and with the help of Adjutant Will Miller, the Post entered into negotiations with the B.P.O.E Lodge of Katy. Commander Paul Dudkowski signed an agreement with the Elks for the use of their meeting room once a month. As the Elks are a patriotic organization, we believe this agreement would prove beneficial to both groups. In January of 2007, Post 164 held their first special meeting at the Lodge. After a passage of a by-law change, the Post began to permanently meet at the Elks Lodge in March, 2007.
One of our proudest accomplishments is the annual selection of area high school Juniors to participate in the American Legion Boys State program. Held each year in early June at the University of Texas, Austin, the Post has the privilege to interview and ultimately select a candidate from each high school to represent the school and Katy. To date, the program which takes the best and brightest future leaders of our country has sent over 35 boys (as of 2009) to Austin for an intensive one week leadership program. One Citizen of Boys State received an appointment to West Point and another to Annapolis. We are very proud of all the young men we have sent to Boys State.