Tuesday, August 28, 2012

N.Y. Legionnaire receives rare honor by American Legion
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 28, 2012) – An Owego, N.Y. native today has become only the eleventh person in the history of the 93-year-old American Legion to be named “Past National Commander of The American Legion,” without actually serving a term as national commander. Richard M. Pedro joins legendary New Yorkers Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., and longtime U.S. Representative Hamilton Fish in receiving the rare honor.
Delegates at the organization’s 94th Annual National Convention unanimously passed Resolution 1, which officially bestowed the office upon the adjutant for The American Legion Department of New York.
“I am absolutely floored,” Pedro said after being sworn in as a past national commander by the current National Commander, Fang A. Wong, also of New York. “The American Legion is a great organization. I am honored and proud to be a part of it.”
Pedro joined American Legion Post 401 in Tioga, N.Y., 67 years ago after serving in the U.S. Navy.
While presenting Pedro a plaque commemorating the honor, North Carolina Executive Committee member Jerry Hedrick said, “These plaques are usually given to men who are about to do great things, but you have already done great things, a lifetime full of great things for your fellow veterans, your country and The American Legion. We know that you will continue to serve The American Legion and all of us will continue to be far better because of it.”

OCW delivers gifts 

to wounded warriors

Pennsylvanian elected

SAL national commander

Legacy Run nets $668,421

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Band contest

crowns repeat winner

Photo by Tom Strattman

The music may have changed, but the results were largely the same. The Band of the Tonawandas, based in Tonawanda, N.Y., successfully defended its 2011 win in The American Legion National Convention Band Contest on Saturday afternoon with a total score of 95.

Second place went to the American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City, from Kansas City, Mo., with a total score of 89.7. This year marked the ensemble’s 62nd consecutive appearance in the Senior Band competition.

The Oconomowoc American Legion Band of Oconomowoc, Wis., claimed third place with a total score of 89.2. Fourth place went to the Joliet American Legion Band, with a total score of 88.1.

The contest can be seen in its entirety on demand at www.legiontv.org.

A word of thanks

for a lasting Legacy

Legacy Scholarship recipient Taylor Curry gives thanks to the Legion Riders during a candlelight vigil Aug. 25 in Indianapolis. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

As the sun set on downtown Indianapolis Aug. 25, the large crowd gathered at the Indiana War Memorial was reminded how bright America’s future is – and of The American Legion’s role in keeping it so.

A candlelight celebration on the north steps of the memorial honored recipients of The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. Many of The American Legion Riders – who spent Aug. 21-23 raising more than $211,000 for the Legacy Fund during the 2012 Legacy Run Home’s National Commander’s Ride – were in attendance at the ceremony. They, along with the Legion, were thanked for their efforts in growing the fund; their efforts in seven Legacy Runs have netted nearly $3 million to help provide college scholarships for the children of U.S. servicemembers killed on or after Sept. 11, 2001.

“I’m here to thank The American Legion for financially contributing to my education,” said Taylor Curry, the son of former 23-year Air Force veteran David Curry and a Legacy Scholarship recipient. “I stand here now not because of my intelligence … but because of my father’s service to America. My father would have wanted my education to continue, and he would be so grateful for the contribution received from The American Legion.”

Jennifer Clapp’s father, Chief Warrant Officer 5 Douglas V. Clapp, 48, was among seven Army soldiers killed in 2004 when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed while flying from Fort Hood, Texas, to check on progress in repairing vehicles damaged in Iraq. Also a Legacy Scholarship recipient, she now works in the banking industry.

Clapp told the audience that her father’s service, “gives you a better comprehension of duty, honor and courage.” She said she felt like a part of the Legion family and thanked the Riders for their efforts.

“It means so much to me that the Riders raise this money for me to go the college,” she said. “All I can say is thank you.”

Past National Commander Robert W. Spanogle, the program’s master of ceremonies, was the Legion’s national adjutant when the Legacy Fund was established. “The American Legion Riders accepted that challenge, and we started the Legacy Run,” he said. “It’s been a success ever since.”

National Commander Fang A. Wong, Auxiliary National President Kris Nelson and Sons of The American Legion National Commander James Roberts also spoke during the ceremony. Also in attendance were members of the 5th Special Forces Group out of Fort Campbell, Ky. The soldiers joined The American Legion the previous day during The American Legion Riders Expo.

Country music singer Autumn Letendre sang two songs during the program, including the national anthem, and later told the story behind her song “Raise Your Flag.” In 2006, Autumn’s husband, Marine Capt. Brian Letendre, was killed in Iraq. Autumn gradually put her thoughts down about the experience and about the respect and love she had for her husband; the results became the lyrics for the song.

Traveling across the country as an advocate for military families, Letendre promised to bring the Legion’s message with her. “Thank you for your hard work and your patriotism,” she said. “Be sure as I speak across the country that I will speak of this moment.”

Following the ceremony, dozens of Legion Riders took to the streets of Indianapolis for a night ride. Calling it a possible first, Spanogle said that wasn’t surprising. “As we know, The American Legion is always first,” he said.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

COMMANDER 2012-2013

 John J Knapp
Detachment of New York
3572 Route 79
Harpursville, NY 13787-

John joined the U.S. Marine Corps in March of 1969. He was deployed to Vietnam and during his tour he was wounded in both arms and had permanent damage to his hearing. John was awarded The Purple Heart for the injuries he received and has been awarded 90% disability. John is an active member of Post 1390 as a dual member of the Sons & Legion.

John received his eligibility for membership in the Sons through his father, Kenneth Knapp, who served in WWII. Ken was a member of Post 1596 in Harpursville, NY. He was a very active member at the post level and above.

John has been a member of the Son’s for thirty years and is a member of Squadron # 1390 in Maine, New York. John has been active, and held various offices at the Squadron, County and District levels. He has been Assistant Sergeant of Arms for the Detachment and has served on the Children & Youth and VA & VR committees. John recently completed two years as Detachment-Vice Commander for the 5th & 6th Districts.

In June 2011, John received his Diploma from the American Legion College of New York, where he “satisfactorily completed the prescribed and approved course of study in Leadership.” In addition, he completed both Level I and II of the National Management Institute of the National Sons of The American Legion.

John is a true supporter of his community. He has been a volunteer firefighter with the Harpursville Fire Department for five years and with the Sanitaria Springs Fire Department for three years. John has been a driver of the Colesville Ambulance Squad for thirteen years. In addition, John has actively supported the Harpursville Schools Marching Band for over twelve years. He is a long standing member of the Harpursville Methodist Church.
In 2010, John retired from Rogers Trucking after twenty-five years of service with the company as an over the road trucker.
John is married to his loving wife Ida. They have a combined total of 6 children, four daughters and two sons, 14 grandchildren and one great grand-daughter. Ida has also been very involved with the American Legion Auxiliary for many years at the Unit, County and District levels.

Commander's Project

The American Legion National Emergency Fund
You may present your check directly to Commander Knapp when he visits your County, or you may wish to mail your contribution to:
SUITE 1300
ALBANY, NY 12207

Make Checks Payable to:
Sons of The American Legion

Detachment of New York
and note on memo line NEF or Commander's Project

For information about this project connect to National Site