There are nearly 2 million members of the American Legion, which has more than 12,000 posts across the country and is celebrating its 100th year.

"Cope is the closest we have to the beginning of the American Legion," said Sen. Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls. "He's the Duracell battery of Coeur d'Alene with what he's managed to do in one lifetime."

Tim Kastning, regional director for U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, said Gale has left a great example to follow. On behalf of Fulcher, Kastning honored his fellow veteran with a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on May 28.

"Cope, you are a true hero for us," Kastning said while reading a letter from Fulcher.

Author: Brian Walker

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