Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October 2010


Sat. Oct. 2: Oswego County Auxiliary meets at Pulaski Congregational Church on Church St. in Pulaski, NY at 10:00 AM sharp. President Elaine Johnson will chair this meeting.

Sat. Oct. 9: HALLOWEEN PARTY at Phoenix Post 418 for special needs children from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Call Sherry at 695-1212 for more info. Donations welcomed.

Sun. Oct. 10: 5th District American Legion meets at Beaver River Post 1663 in Croghan, NY, Lewis County at 2:00 PM. Commander Jamie Brassard will call the meeting to order.

Wed. Oct. 20: Oswego County American Legion meets at New Haven Post 1532, Route 104, New Haven at 8:00 PM. Sponsor is Mexico Post 384. Commander Dick Palmer will preside.

Tue. Oct. 26: Voiture 895 of the 40 et 8 Prom at Hannibal Post 1552 - 8:00 PM. All voyageurs are urged to attend. We need more participation NOW.

Mon. Nov. 1: Department Commander Jim Troiola makes his official visit to Oswego County. Check with your Post for dinner tickets. Social hour at 6:00 PM; dinner at 7:00 PM at Cleveland Post 858, Route 49 in Cleveland. Price is $12.00 each.

Sat. Nov. 6: Oswego County Auxiliary meets at Parish Unit 601, Route 69A, Parish at 10:00 AM. President Elaine Johnson presides.

Sun. Nov. 7: Daylight Savings Time ends. Turn your clacks BACK one hour.

Thu. Nov. 11: Veterans Day

Wed. Nov. 17: Oswego County Legion meets at Central Square Post 915 at 7:00 PM for the Annual Boy Scout Awards presentation. ALL Legionnaires are expected to attend. There will be refreshments for the scouts and parents. Regular county meeting will follow at 8:00 PM with Commander Palmer in charge.

Thu. Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Day 2010.



by Phoenix Sons of the American Legion
on Thursday, September 30, 2010

ALL YOU CAN EAT for just $7.00

4:00 PM until ??
at Phoenix American Legion Post 418

9 Oswego River Road, Phoenix


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Salt Lake Tribune

Traumatized female vets battle to get care
By Matthew D. LaPlante
The last time she saw him alive, he was begging to be saved.

“I don’t want to die,” the soldier pleaded as hospital medics tended to burns all over his body. “Please, don’t let me die!”

Later, when they would meet in her dreams, the soldier wouldn’t say anything at all. And though she wanted to talk to him, she never knew what to say.

“I’d just watch him go about his life — the life he had before he died,” she said.

It has been nearly four years since Marie returned home from the war. She is still haunted by her experiences there.

But the ghosts of those she saw dead and dying in Iraq are only a small part of her distress. Far more painful, she feels, has been the way she has been treated since coming home.

Civilian friends, unable to understand what she went through in Iraq, have distanced themselves from her. Some military comrades have mocked her, sexually harassed her and — when she complained to her superiors — cut her out of her most vital social support network. Government officials, responsible for assessing her psychological wounds, have told her she’s unworthy of compensation.

Nearly a quarter of a million women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Female veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD, at about the same rate as their male counterparts ­— and some studies have suggested that women may be more vulnerable to war-related psychological trauma. But military culture — and a post-military support system designed by men, for men — can make it difficult for women to access the help they need.
So they often suffer alone.

Marie, a junior enlisted woman in her mid-20s, still serves in a Utah-based reserve unit. The Salt Lake Tribune agreed to identify her by her middle name because she fears retribution from military superiors for speaking out.

She mourns for the woman she used to be. But she insists she doesn’t regret her decision to join the military.

“I had the privilege of serving my nation,” she said. “That’s the one thing, maybe the only thing, they can’t take away from me.”

‘If they won’t help me, who will?’ » After offering to spend her off-duty hours helping at Air Force Theater Hospital at Joint Base Balad in northern Iraq, Marie realized hospital work wasn’t for her. But after a boisterous argument with another member of her unit, her commanding officer sent her back to the hospital as punishment.

“He specifically ordered me to work in the emergency room,” she said. “He said it was to remind me of how good I had it.”

Among her duties: Cleaning up the body of an Iraqi soldier mutilated in a bomb attack.

Army Spc. Jennifer Crane

For more on traumatized female veterans, check this out
It is Jennifer's experience.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Something to think about - - - -

This art really moved me - hope it does you also.

Click here and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Past Presidents Dinner

 The Past Presidents Dinner was held Thursday Sept. 16th at Canale's Restaurant in Oswego with 12 Past Presidents in attendance (Mary Ann Trouskie (with her personal chauffeur), Sandy Crain, Dianna Spinner, Elaine Johnson, Betty Rowlee, Lois Pohwat, Sherrie Lovell, Carol Mills, Barb Richards, Ruth Farrell, Helen Day and Rose Gilbert).

 Betty Rowlee, Past County President and Elaine Johnson, 2010-11 Co. President

Sherry Lovell, Pres. Aux. Unit 418 and Carol Mills, Past Pres. Unit 418

Lois Pohwat, Past Oswego Co. President
Oswego Unit 268

 Rose Gilbert, Cleveland Unit 858 and
Dianna Spinner, Parish Unit 601

Mary Anne Trouskie, Central Square Unit 915 and
Helen Day, Past Co. President, Cleveland Unit 858

 From our White Elephant auction we raised $100 to be sent to the new Women's Veterans home. 

Ruth Farrell, President, Hannibal Unit 1552, 
Sandy Crain, Past Oswego Co. President,
Barbara Richards, Past Pres. Hannibal Unit 1552

A good time was had by all and look forward to next year and hope more Past Presidents will attend.


The American Legion wins long fight on behalf of Gold Star parents
Congress awards state veterans home privileges to all parents of fallen warriors

   WASHINGTON (Sept. 21, 2010) – After a decades-long campaign waged by The American Legion and sympathetic advocates, the U.S. Senate last night cleared legislation that will grant state veterans home care privileges to all Gold Star mothers and fathers; parents who have lost sons or daughters during military service.  Heretofore, since the post-Civil War era, only parents who had sacrificed all of their children in service were eligible for veterans’ home residency. The passage by unanimous voice vote followed overwhelming passage of similar legislation at the end of June. 
        “To lose one’s child to the service of our country is the ultimate sacrifice a parent can make,” said Tim Tetz, Director of The American Legion’s Legislative Division. “We owe them much more than a debt of gratitude.  It is heartening to see that Congress is now making an honorable payment on that debt.”
        Tetz, formerly the Executive Director of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services, was among those who urged Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.) to introduce enabling legislation into the Senate making that state one of the prime driving forces behind the move to open veterans’ home care to more Gold Star parents.  Tetz credited Ensign as being “hugely supportive” of the Senate measure. Nevada’s Gary Bermeosolo, Legislative Chairman of the National Association of State Veterans Homes, also offered his thanks by saying “(we) appreciate the efforts of Senator Ensign and Congressman William “Mac” Thornberry of Texas (who introduced the House bill in late January) to correct the inequity created by the onerous definition requiring Gold Star Parents to have lost “all” of their children to wartime service in order to be considered for admission to a state veterans home.  We prayed that they would be successful with their efforts.”
        The American Legion’s effort to honor all Gold Star parents with much deserved care goes back many years. It was a special project of Paul Morin, who served as the Legion’s National Commander in 2006-2007 and was superintendent of a veterans home in his native Massachusetts.  “The contribution of Commander Morin and fellow American Legion movers and shakers in correcting this inequity cannot be overstated,” concluded Mr. Tetz.
        The House and Senate bills will now be presented to a joint conference committee for reconciliation of any differences with the final version to be forwarded President Obama for his signature.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


National Commander Jimmie Johnson

has a Facebook page where you may follow his travels. Just click here to view it.

National Commander Jimmie Johnson from Alaska

 There, Legionnaires and Facebook users from all over the world can connect with the commander, allowing them to receive updates from him as he travels the country and represents the nation's largest veterans organization. Visit his page and click the "Like" button in the top right corner of the page to become a fan. "Fans" of the commander can receive status updates from him in real time, view his personal photos from the road, follow his schedule in the events calendar and interact with him and other Legionnaires.

Just as they were during Hill's tenure, Legionnaires are asked to follow the commander's example and embrace social media. Not only are social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook good avenues to attract younger veterans, they're also mediums that facilitate interaction among fellow members and instill a sense of unity within the Legion's membership ranks. Connect to the commander on his Facebook page and join up with Foster and Legionnaires everywhere.


Bad luck hits Freedom Car at Toledo

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Saturday, September 11, 2010


Come on, Legion family! 

Where are the votes?

Job Fairs for Veterans is competing
for a $250,000 grant.
Voting ends Sept. 30.

You can vote every day.
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Serving American Veterans Every Day


Serving America’s Veterans Every Day
The American Legion - September 2, 2010

Following is an excerpt from the acceptance speech delivered by Jimmie Foster of Alaska after he was elected national commander of The American Legion on Sept. 2:
I firmly believe in the Four Pillars of The American Legion.

First, that this country has an adequate national defense to protect those who live within our country. This not only means that all service members have the proper training and equipment needed to accomplish their missions, but the elected officials ensure that they all properly funded to accomplish their tasks at hand.

Second, that after we have served our country, that those whom have borne the battle are properly taken care of. I personally believe that no matter what war or conflict you served in, if you acquired a disability during your period of service, this country has an obligation to take care of you for that disability, until you die or this country goes broke.

Third, that we continue to promote Americanism within our country. We can do this in many ways. Ceremonies on Flag Day, Memorial Day, The Fourth of July, Labor Day, American Legion Day, Veterans Day and many other ways. But when we do this, we need to toot our own horn. Don't just go to the Legion post for the function and back home. Call some media or public-relations personnel and inform them of your accomplishments.

Fourth, that we continue to enhance the children of our country to ensure they have a better life than we had. We do this in many ways, such as Boys and Girls Scouts, Boys and Girls State, the Oratorical Contest, Junior Shooting Sports, Sons of The American Legion and Junior American Legion Auxiliary.

Technology continues to be a major part of everyday life, and our organization is no different. If your post is not wired for Wifi, I suggest you invest the best $19.95 that you can spend and get up to date. You may not be interested, but some prospective young new member may be. Please think beyond yourself.

For those states that have military installations nearby should consider going on a Reconnect trip. Don't talk about how you did it in 1945, 1965 or 1985. Go see what the servicemembers are doing in 2010. I am sure you will be amazed at the new technology and innovation that exists in all branches of the military today.

Don't forget the Reserves and National Guard members. Never before have they been deployed on multiple rotations as they are now. Make sure you invite them into The American Legion and show them you care by having a Heroes to Hometowns function upon their return.

Over 15 percent of the total force is a female. We should be seeing one in five females with a Legion cap on at Legion functions.

Approximately one third of the force meets a minority status. Females are included in that number. We need to become more diversified. Look around and involve every former service member in our organization.

One of the greatest programs to come along in awhile is the Legion Riders. If the numbers hold true with this National Convention they will have raised over $2.3 million with their Legacy Runs to the last five National Conventions. I have heard them referred to as "Another Renegade Biker Group." With those numbers, I think they are a bunch of veterans who like riding their bikes for a good cause, and the American Legion Legacy Scholarship meets the bill.

You may have heard VA Secretary Eric Shinseki state that the V.A. adjudicated over 900,000 claims this past year, but they took in over 1.1 million. They ended the year over 200,000 in the hole. We have to continue to push for a better way to adjudicate and monitor the claims process. As a former Department Service Officer, you can bet I will advocate on a daily basis to make this happen.

We must continue to require advance funding for the VA budget and insist on a quick passage of all other budgetary bills that affect American veterans, the military and their dependents. They need our support to keep Congress accountable for their actions.

The Flag Amendment bill has been introduced in the 111th Congress by Jo Ann Emerson from Missouri and Jim Marshall from Georgia on the House side and David Vitter from Louisiana on the Senate side. It is high time that this proposed legislation passes.

My membership incentive award is going to be called "The Lucky 7 Award." You have to sign up two new members and five renewals to attain this pin. We have a limited number of these pins, but I want you to force us to purchase more pins because that means we are signing up more members in The American Legion.

My motto or slogan, is the word SAVED, meaning "Serving America's Veterans Every Day." I don't care how you do it, but I want you to ensure that you take care of our veterans in any way possible. It does not have to be something momentual. Just say, "Thank you for serving our country." That will work.

The year starts here, but the success of a term of office will be determined in the end, not the beginning. I ask for your support now and during the year. It is an honor and a privilege to represent you and The American Legion for the next year.

And finally, most of the time a simple "thank you" will be sufficient to most members for their participation in any event or situation. Remember, never have your members do anything that you haven't done, or wouldn't do, yourself. Lead by example, not by position.

May God Bless this great organization, and may God bless America!


The Armenian Reporter
American Legion's Boys Nation
passes Genocide resolution
Published: Wednesday September 08, 2010

Tro Panosian meets Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Washington - Last spring, Tro Panosian, 17 year high school student at Notre Dame Preparatory in Scottsdale, Arizona, was nominated as one of two students from his school to attend the American Legion Boys State program in Flagstaff, AZ in June 2010.
Each state (except Hawaii) holds a Boys State program, enrolling the top two leaders from every school in the state. After a week full of politics, partaking in a mock state-government, and an extensive interview process, Panosian was selected as one of two students, of 350 young men from Arizona, to attend the annual American Legion Boys Nation Program, held in Washington, DC.

Representing his high school and Arizona as a "senator," Tro traveled to Washington, joining 98 of the nation's best. From July 23-31, these young American leaders received an education on the structure and function of federal government through hands-on experience. Panosian was proud to be part of the program which graduated great leaders such as Bill Clinton, Michael Jordan, and Tom Brokhaw.

During the course of the week, the youth leaders had the opportunity to visit the Lincoln, Iwo Jima, Vietnam War, Korean War, and World War II Memorials. The group also traveled to Arlington Cemetery and partook in the laying of the Wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The Boys Nation Senators also visited Capitol Hill where Panosian met with Arizona senators John McCain and John Kyl. He also visited the office of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who sponsored Armenian Genocide S.Res.316. Panosian sought to thank the senator for his work for the Armenian cause and to voice his concern for Matt Bryza's nomination as ambassador to Azerbaijan. Although Panosian was unable to personally meet with Menendez, he was ensured by the Senator's secretary that the message would reach Mr. Menendez.

"Unanimous consent"

The most integral part of the weeklong program was the mock federal government-the "senators" held elections and legislative sessions and debates. Each of the Boys Nation participants was required to present one bill or resolution in Washington to be debated, discussed, lobbied, and voted on the ‘senate' floor.

"As soon as I knew there was a required bill or resolution, I was focused on passing a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide," Panosian said.

The ninety-seven remaining senators responded to his resolution with full support. "Support of the resolution was unanimous," Panosian said.

The resolution, which formally affirmed the U.S. Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, was the longest piece of legislation introduced at Boys Nation.

As the final Senate session came to a close, S.Res.7 was the last piece of legislation to be introduced to the floor. It was the only bill to pass unanimously through the Boys Nation Senate, with a tally of 98-0 in favor of Recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

Without the politics, and with 98 young, common-sensed leaders, irrefutable historical evidence, and the spirit of true American humanitarianism, the resolution was one of only eleven pieces of legislation passed at Boys Nation 2010.

"It was truly a great victory for the American Youth and for Armenians across the world. This gives us hope for a promising future," Panosian said.

Upon conclusion of the program, every bill was placed for review on the desk of President Obama, whom the young senators had the honor to meet at the White House on their last day in the nation's capital.

The other Armenian "senator"

In addition to the memorable and humbling experiences at Boys Nation, Panosian became acquainted with New York Boys Nation "Senator" John Hartunian. The two met in Washington D.C. and instantly became friends, bonding over their common heritage.
As soon as Panosian's resolution, S.R.7, passed on the "Senate" floor, Hartunian was seen on the live-stream webcast walking across the room, ready with a handshake and hug for Panosian; the history of their ancestors was recognized by the young leaders of the United States.

Tro Panosian plans to study Business and Political/International Affairs in college. He has been invited to apply for an internship to the office of Senator John McCain and hopes to engage in politics in the future.

Having been selected as Youth Leader of the Year by the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley Rotary Club, Panosian will be attending a leadership conference at the University of Washington in St. Louis in October.

For now, he is enjoying his senior year of high school, serving as Student Government President and preparing for college.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010



The sign for our American Legion Post has finally been approved and permanently mounted in front of the Minetto Town Hall. This is the result of much controversy and differences of opinion on the part of the Town Board and the American Legion, but those differences have been ironed out and peace resumed in our little community.

Many thanks are due to the diligent efforts of a few American Legion members. We are currently seeking new members who have served since August 2, 1990. Any service member currently serving is eligible as well as veterans who have had service since that date and are currently at home.

We meet on the first Tuesday of each month at the Minetto Town Hall at 7:00 PM. If you are a veteran or are currently on duty, we invite you to stop in and attend a meeting. We might even have refreshments!

God bless the U.S.A.

The focus: SAVED

The focus this year: SAVED
By Steve B. Brooks | The American Legion - September 2, 2010

Jimmie L. Foster is sworn in as American Legion National Commander 
during the organization's 92nd National Convention in Milwaukee.  
Photo by Tom Strattman

Newly elected American Legion National Commander Jimmie Foster of Alaska expressed thanks in Milwaukee after delegates to the 92nd National Convention made him the leader of the nation's largest veterans organization. Now, he wants thanks expressed to as many veterans as possible during the 2010-2011 Legion year.

"My motto or slogan is the word SAVED, meaning ‘Serving America's Veterans Every Day,'" Foster said during his acceptance speech. "I don't care how you do it, but I want you to ensure that you take care of our veterans in any way possible. It does not have to be something monumental. Just say, ‘Thank you for serving our country.' That will work."

A U.S. Army and Marine Corps veteran and member of Spenard Post 28 in Anchorage, Alaska - expressed his firm belief in the Legion's four pillars: national security, veterans affairs and rehabilitation, Americanism, and children and youth. He also urged Legion posts to become equipped with WiFi Internet access. "You may not be interested, but some prospective young new member may be," he said. He also encouraged Reconnect visits with local military installations.

"Don't forget the Reserves and National Guard members," Foster said. "Never before have they been deployed on multiple rotations as they are now. Make sure you invite them into The American Legion and show them you care by having a Heroes to Hometowns function upon their return."

Foster also called for a focus on recruiting female and minority veterans into the Legion and praised The American Legion Riders for their efforts in raising funds for The American Legion Legacy Fund. This year's Legacy Run brought in more than $524,000 for the fund. He vowed to keep pressure on VA to reduce the claims backlog, saying, "As a former department service officer, you can bet I will advocate on a daily basis to make this happen."

Legislative priorities for Foster include continued advance funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs and passage of the flag amendment. He also explained his Lucky 7 Award membership program.

"You have to sign up two new members and five renewals to attain this pin," Foster said. "We have a limited number of these pins, but I want you to force us to purchase more pins because that means we are signing up more members in The American Legion."

And returning back to expressions of thanks, Foster asked that thanks be passed out to every Legionnaire who volunteers during the course of the year. "Most of the time a simple ‘thank you' will be sufficient to most members for their participation in any event or situation. Remember, never have your members do anything that you haven't done, or wouldn't do, yourself. Lead by example, not by position."

Foster was administered the oath of office by Past National Commander Daniel Ludwig of Minnesota. Following Foster's ceremony, the five national vice commanders for the year were elected. They are John M. Mella of Gladwin, Mich.; Eugene R. Pytka of Cumberland, R.I.; Russell J. Henry of Sulphur, La.; Carlos Orria-Medina of San Juan, Puerto Rico; and William F. Schrier of Sedro-Woolley, Wash.

National Historian James Fratolillo of Quincy, Mass.; National Sergeant-at-Arms Ernest L. King, Sr., of Anchorage, Alaska; and National Chaplain Rev. Daniel J. Seehafer of Beaver Dam, Wis., were appointed to their positions by Foster following the close of the national convention.

Outgoing National Commander Clarence Hill was presented a plaque and the colors by Past National Commanders Ron Conley and Jake Comer.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


David Dew Elected Commander

Sons have elected David Dew of Plano, Texas, Harding Blaine Squadron 321 as their newest National Commander at the thirty-ninth National Convention of the Sons of The American Legion, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 27 - 29, 2010. A thirty year member of the Sons of The American Legion, Dew and his wife of seventeen years, Charlie, have four children and six grandchildren - all members of The Legion Family.

David’s membership and service to the Sons of The American Legion spans over thirty years of continuous service for God and Country. He is a Charter and Life member of Harding Blaine Squadron 321, located in Plano, Texas.

David’s eligibility in the Sons of The American Legion is through his father, Hal Ray Dew, who proudly served in the United States Air Force during Korean War.

The American Legion Family is a great part of David’s life. His wife of seventeen years, Charlie, is a member of Unit #321, has served as President Department of Texas and is serving on the Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Committee at the National level. They have four children and six grandchildren, all of which are members of the American Legion Family.

David is retired after twenty-five years as a contractor in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

David has always been active in the programs and activities of the Sons of The American Legion. Service to God, Country and America’s veterans has always been the forefront of David’s years of membership in the Sons. He is not only a Charter member of his Squadron, but was instrumental in starting his District and Divison within the Detachment of Texas. Veterans have always been and will always be his main focus, because without our Veterans there would be no Sons of The American Legion or even an America as we know it.

David also believes in educating our children about America. If children are not taught patriotism at home then we must move forward within the schools to promote the programs of the American Legion.

The American Legion Family is a great part of David’s life; his Detachment, Division, District, Squadron, Post, Unit and Department of Texas has endorsed David L. Dew for the high office of National Commander of The Sons of The American Legion.



Carlene Ashworth
2010-2011 National President

Carlene Ashworth, of Pasadena, Texas, was elected national president of the American Legion Auxiliary during the organization’s 90th National Convention in Milwaukee Aug. 28 – Sept. 2.
Ashworth holds the Auxiliary’s mission of serving veterans, their families and their communities near and dear to her heart. For her theme as national president, she has adopted “The Power of One.”

“One thought, one word, one smile, one attitude, one action--one idea can launch a transformation; the collective power of one Auxiliary can change the world,” Ashworth said in front of convention delegates and members of The American Legion Family.
“As we begin our 91st year of service, we will continue to focus on our mission and our programs,” Ashworth said. “For years we have been involving ourselves in many great programs, but they are not our programs. They are not part of the mission of our organization. Everything we do should involve, in some way, our veterans, our military and their families.”
At her installation address, Ashworth encouraged Auxiliary members to return to the organization’s roots by involving the community in activities that will make them more aware of who members are and what they do.

“Become that center of activity once again just as those American Legion posts and Auxiliary units were in the early years, and the members will come to you,” Ashworth said.
She also urged Auxiliary members’ continued support of the Ride 2 Recovery program.
“I have seen firsthand how this program, which has been endorsed by the VA as a premier rehabilitation program for our wounded warriors, has made a huge difference in the lives of our men and women who thought they had no future after suffering the loss of limbs, or severe PTSD, and it is not only the soldier who suffers but the entire family,” Ashworth said. “Our support can help repair these minds and bodies and the families.”

Ashworth is a 45-year member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She is eligible for membership through husband Ray E. Hall (deceased); husband Richard Ashworth (deceased); father, Harold Morgan (deceased-WWII veteran); son, Kerry L. Hall, life member of The American Legion and granddaughter, Petty Officer 3rd Class Kathryn L. Hall.
Ashworth is a member of Edward H. White II Unit 521; Pasadena, Texas and has held a number of leadership roles in the Auxiliary at the unit, district and department levels. At the national level, she served as national vice president and chairman of the following committees: Membership, Community Service, National Security, Education, Legislative, Leadership, Junior Activities, Children & Youth and Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation. She is a current board member of the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation.

Retired as an accountant in 2009 from Dooley Tackaberry Inc., Ashworth has children Stewart Greenwood and Kerry L. Hall and daughter-in-law Sylvia; grandchildren Katy, Emily, Sierra and Caleb; five siblings and 1 brother—all members of The American Legion Family. She has been an active member of Lakewood Church in Houston since 1989, currently serving as congregation prayer partner and also a weekly facilitator with the Women’s Ministry. She also is a partner of the 8&40.

Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary is the world’s largest patriotic women’s service organization. With a membership at nearly 850,000, local American Legion Auxiliary units have a strong presence in more than 9,500 communities nationwide. The American Legion Auxiliary’s mission to serve veterans, their families and their communities is carried out through its hundreds of outreach programs delivered by its members, volunteers and National Headquarters.

National President's theme: "The Power of One"

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Alaska Veteran Elected Leader

of The American Legion

  Jimmie L. Foster of Anchorage, Alaska

MILWAUKEE (Sept. 2, 2010) – A retired U.S. Army and Marine Corps veteran has been elected national commander of the nation’s largest veterans organization.
             Delegates to The American Legion’s 92nd National Convention here chose Jimmie L. Foster of Anchorage, Alaska, to lead the 2.5 million-member organization of wartime veterans for a one-year term. 
             A native of Delaware, Okla., Foster is a 1972 graduate of Northeastern A&M College in Miami, Okla., with a degree in agriculture education.  After working in the textiles and grocery business, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he served at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Calif. from 1973 to 1976. Following a short break in service, he reenlisted in the U.S. Army, ultimately retiring with 20 years of military service on Aug. 1, 1994 as the chief legal noncommissioned officer at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
        Foster’s 29 years of American Legion experience include offices and appointments at all levels.  He served American Legion Spenard Post #28 as adjutant for many years, as well as other offices, ultimately serving a post commander in 1989-1990.  He served on many state –level committees including Americanism, the Citizens Flag Alliance, Economics, Veterans Employment, Internal Affairs, Legislative, Membership & Post Activities, Military Affairs, National Security and Naval Affairs.  During his term as membership chairman, the Dept. of Alaska finished number one in the nation for membership.  He served as state commander in 1999-2000.
        Nationally, he served on the organization’s board of directors as National Executive Committeeman from 2002 to 2006 for the Dept. of Alaska as well as the National & Homeland Security Council, Economics, Internal Affairs and Legislative Commissions and, most recently, served as chairman of the National Legislative Commission from 2006-2008.
        Foster and his wife Rehta have two sons, Christopher and Michael and five grandchildren who have been active members of The American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion in Anchorage.  Rehta is a past American Legion Auxiliary unit, district and department president in Alaska.
        Cmdr. Foster took the oath of office along with five other national officers.  Serving as national vice commanders are  John M. Mella of Gladwin, Mich.; Eugene R. Pytka of Cumberland, R.I.; Russell J. Henry of Sulphur, La.; Carlos Orria-Medina of San Juan, Puerto Rico; and William F. Schrier of Sedro-Woolley, Wash.   
        National Historian James Fratolillo of Quincy, Mass.; National Sergeant-at-Arms Ernest L. King, Sr., of Anchorage, Alaska; and National Chaplain Rev. Daniel J. Seehafer of Beaver Dam, Wis., were appointed to their positions by Cmdr. Foster following the close of the national convention.