With our sincerest condolences, we are sad to announce that Madeline (Lindy) Jordan passed away yesterday, July 17, 2022, at 5:00 pm in Charlotte, NC. Lindy was Past Commander of Flagler Post 115, Past Commander, 17th District, served on Department Committees, and the nurse at Boys State during my tenure as Director.
Several years ago, she sold her home in Palm Coast and moved to Charlotte to be near her family. She was very active in Legion work prior to her departure from Florida. She traveled extensively participating in Legion golf tournaments. She was a high-spirited, fun lady, but also very dedicated and committed to Legion work.
Anyone wishing to send condolences to the family may do so at the following address:
Clifford D. (Skip) Collins, Jr. Vietnam Veteran, U.S. Navy
Loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend passed away peacefully Wednesday June 15, 2022 in Ocoee, FL after a long illness at age 76. Born in Davenport Iowa to the late Clifford D. Collins, Sr. and L. Elaine (Handley) Collins. He was predeceased by his sister Cheryl (Collins) Sargent and nephew Joseph (Joey) Platt. He is survived by his wife JoAnn (Flannery) Collins of Ocoee FL, his son Clifford D. (Dean) Collins, III, his sisters Barbara (Barbie) Platt and Mary Helen Collins-Weldon all of Jacksonville FL, his stepsons Gregory Blotzer of MA, Brian and Kevin Blotzer both of FL, 6 grandchildren, Christopher Brock of AL, Aryette and Emilyn Collins of FL, Ethan and Ava Blotzer of FL and Esme of MA.
Growing up the son of an Insurance salesman his family moved several times from Iowa to Pennsylvania to Florida before settling in Jacksonville when his dad began working for the US Postal Service becoming President of the Postal Union. It was while living in Pittsburgh that he became a lifelong fan of (in this order) the Pirates, the Steelers and the Penguins. He joined the Navy in 1967 during the Vietnam war where he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and Meritorious Unit Commendation. After Honorable discharge he briefly attended Georgia Tech and the University of Florida, Gainesville before starting to work for Seaboard Coastal Railroad which later became CSX Railroad. After leaving the railroad he opened King Video in Jacksonville and when Blockbuster took over the video scene he sold it and started a home renovation business where he bought run down houses and brought them back to their original beauty. He enjoyed turning houses into homes. Sadly, that business came to an end when we moved to Ocoee. He gained employment with the American Legion, Department of Florida working with what began as the Gilchrist Fund and evolved into what is presently Project VetRelief. He assisted countless Veterans obtain financial assistance with rent and utilities. He also had the privilege of being on an Honor Flight, being the escort of a WWII Veteran. In his time working at The American Legion he made several lifelong friends. He never met a stranger. Cliff was a kind and caring soul, he will be forever loved and missed.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to your local Humane Society or Project Vet-Relief, both organizations were special to Cliff.
A gathering of family and friends to Celebrate Cliff will be held at The American Legion, Department Headquarters 1912 A Lee Rd., Orlando FL 32810 on Saturday, August 13, 2022 from 11am to 4pm.
(INDIANAPOLIS—June 29, 2022) – American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard called for President Biden to authorize a state funeral for Woody Williams, the last Medal of Honor recipient from World War II to pass away.
“Delegates at our national convention in 2018 unanimously passed a resolution calling for a state funeral to honor the last of these remarkable heroes,” Dillard said. “Even before Woody’s passing today, our Washington staff has been working with Congress to permit the last World War II Medal of Honor recipient to lie in honor in the Capitol rotunda. All Medal of Honor recipients are extraordinary and Woody Williams was particularly special to The American Legion. He was a proud Legionnaire who demonstrated legendary valor at Iwo Jima and then spent a lifetime serving veterans and Gold Star Families. He was a true American hero in every sense of the word. We extend our condolences to his family.”
WASHINGTON (June 16, 2022) – The head of the nation’s largest veterans organization praised the Senate for its passage of legislation that will provide comprehensive benefits to veterans suffering from conditions linked to toxic exposure during their time in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“Today, the U.S. Senate has saved lives and truly delivered for veterans,” American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard said. “By passing the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act, the 117th Congress has put substance behind the phrase, ‘Thank you for your service.’ The American Legion is grateful for the service of millions of veterans who were exposed to burn pits, atomic radiation, Agent Orange and other environmental poisons. Thanks to the U.S. Congress, these men and women will be able to receive the care and benefits they have earned. The PACT Act is an historic bipartisan achievement. The American Legion thanks not only those who voted for this legislation but the thousands of Legionnaires and advocates who worked to make this happen. We look forward to President Biden signing the Honoring Our PACT Act into law.”
The Honoring Our PACT Act, which had already passed in the House of Representatives, will provide health care for millions of veterans who were exposed to contaminants emanating from open-air burn pits. It establishes presumptions of service connection for 23 respiratory illnesses and cancers linked to burn pits and other hazards. It will also provide additional resources and staff to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
WASHINGTON (May 18, 2022) – The head of the nation’s largest veterans organization is calling the bipartisan agreement by Senate leaders to assist veterans who have been exposed to environmental toxins “historically impactful.”
“The work is still not yet complete, but the agreement between Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., and ranking member Jerry Moran, R-Kan., is proof that Democrats and Republicans can achieve great things for veterans when they work to put country ahead of partisanship,” American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard said.
“The Honoring Our PACT Act would deliver needed benefits for up to 3.5 million veterans who were exposed to the poisons of war due to the prevalence of burn pits, radiation, contaminated water, Agent Orange and other toxicants during deployments and military assignments. The House of Representatives deserves great credit for passing this legislation, and I am confident that with the continued support of The American Legion, the Senate will now follow suit. This is an historic opportunity for the 117th Congress to pass the most meaningful veterans legislation in a generation. I am asking all Americans to tell their senators to vote for the Honoring Our PACT Act.”
We are pleased to congratulate the following who placed in the 2021 contest of The American Legion Media Alliance. Judges selected entries in the Social Media – Posts over 750, Visual Media – Dept. and Visual Media – Posts over 750 categories. Overall, 95 entries were received in this year’s contest. Below is a list of your Florida winners, Congratulations!
Posts over 750:Theodore Clark, American Legion Post 90 of Southwest Florida, Cape Coral
Posts over 750:Edward Lewis, Augustus Ruser Post 273, Madeira Beach, Florida
Posts over 750: Edward Lewis, Augustus Ruser Post 273, Madeira Beach, Florida
Posts over 750:Theodore Clark, American Legion Post 90 of Southwest Florida, Cape Coral
It is with deep sorrow and regret that I must announce the passing of Post Commander of 139, Mark Wilson. He passed away yesterday May 4th. As more details on his services become available I will inform everyone. Please keep his family and the Post 139 family in your thoughts and prayers.
We mourn the loss of our 2nd District Commander, Steve G. Mears, Jr. Steve passed away on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 3, 2022, after a plane crash at Calhoun County Airport. On behalf of the entire Florida Legion Family, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his son, Steve “Trace” Mears, III, and to his family, friends, and colleagues.
Steve was a forty-eight-year-old Veteran of the U.S. Army during the Iraq War. He was a member of Blountstown Post 272, with twenty-two continuous years of membership. Steve served as Post Commander since 2019, he also served as Post Commander from 2004-2006 and Post Adjutant from 2009-2010.
While serving in the U.S. Army, Steve was awarded many achievements, including the following:
The Army Achievement Medal for his selfless service and outstanding dedication to duty while conducting detainee operations in Iraq contributed to the overwhelming success of the command’s mission.
The Army Commendation Medal for his outstanding duty performance during combat operations in Iraq contributed greatly to the overwhelming success of the Brigade’s mission in support of Multi-National Corps and Multi-National Force Iraq.
Honorary Lifetime Member of the 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne) for his dedicated service in support of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” on September 25, 2007. His patriotism, hard work, and selfless service contributed to the safe and secure environment provided to all detainees.
Steve was a true Patriot and a valuable member of The American Legion and his Community. His absence will be felt by all.
At this time, there are no details regarding services or where to send condolences. Any new information will be communicated to you through email as well as posted on the Department’s website.
INDIANAPOLIS (April 24, 2022) – A junior from Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham capped a busy weekend of competition in Indianapolis by earning a $25,000 college scholarship and first place in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program – “A Constitutional Speech Contest.” Emma Noble’s winning prepared oration was titled “The Power of the Executive Order: Because I said so.”
Noble, who lives in Birmingham, started the weekend as one of 50 state or department champions in the 83rd annual contest. She advanced to the championship through three rounds of intense competition. Noble was sponsored by American Legion Post 555 in Pelham, Ala.
Ashley Tuell, a senior from Johnson City, Tenn., earned a $22,500 college scholarship with a second-place finish, while Jackson Boone, a 12th grade student from Calvert City, Ky., earned $20,000 and third place in the competition. The scholarships account for a small portion of post-secondary scholarships that The American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans organization, awards annually.
In her prepared oration, Noble compared the use of presidential executive orders to the common parental admonishment of authority “because I said so.” She pointed out positive examples of its use, such as the Emancipation Proclamation and the desegregation of the military but also mentioned that it was used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to establish Japanese American internment camps during World War II.
Noble encouraged people to consider the use of executive orders when they vote. “Executive orders are an extremely valuable tool because they are much faster than passing a law through the legislative branch; however, they are not trivial to undo so you must have confidence in the person making them. It is a citizen’s responsibility to vote. Not only that, but to vote for someone you trust with the power of executive orders. Because I said so.”
In each round of the weekend competition, orators delivered a rehearsed 8- to 10-minute address and a randomly assigned 3- to 5-minute oration on a constitutional topic, each without the benefit of notes and in front of a live audience, including the judges. The nearly 2-million-member American Legion developed the contest to encourage young people to improve their communications skills and to study the U.S. Constitution. More than $3 million in scholarships have been awarded over the history of the contest.
(INDIANAPOLIS—April 24, 2022) – American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard issued the following statement today concerning the passing of former Sen. Orrin Hatch:
“The American Legion is saddened about the passing of Sen. Hatch. He was a true champion for veterans and an ardent supporter of a constitutional amendment to protect our American flag. His willingness to put patriotism ahead of partisan politics earned him friends across the political aisle. In 2000, The American Legion proudly presented him with our organization’s Distinguished Service Medal, our highest honor. His voice is already missed.”
As a presidential candidate during the primaries of 2000, the longtime Utah senator expressed dismay at those who disrespected the American flag. “I really believe that if we don’t protect the values that we have, if we can’t stand up for the flag of the United States, our national symbol, what can we stand up for?” Hatch told The American Legion Magazine.
INDIANAPOLIS (April 23, 2022) – Out of an original 50 contestants, only three remain as finalists in The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program, “A Constitutional Speech Contest.” The three survived two intense rounds of competition today and will vie for the championship during tomorrow’s finals which will be webcast live at 10 am Eastern Time on www.legion.organd on Facebook live at The American Legion National Headquarters page.
The top prize, a $25,000 scholarship, will be awarded to Emma Noble of Birmingham, Ala.; Jackson Boone of Calvert City, Ky; or Ashley Tuell of Johnson City, Tenn. The second and third place winners after tomorrow’s competition will receive $22,500 and $20,000 scholarships respectively. Each of the 50 competitors are department (state or regional) champions.
The other 15 semi-finalists who competed in this afternoon’s competition are Mattingly Watson (Ark.), Caleb Rasor (Ariz.), Anna Lichtenberg (Conn.), Eden Wood (Ind.), Olivia Scott (Iowa), Jha Diya (Md.), Megan Blonigen (Minn.), Valerie McDonnell (N.H.), Ian Chung (N.Y.), Ian Holdman (Okla.), Anwen Hefner (Pa.), William Sander (S.C.), Thomas Haar (S.D.), Aya Kasim (Texas) and Erin Mitchell (Wash.).
The contest, now in its 83rd year, encourages young Americans to improve their communications skills and study the U.S. Constitution. Approximately 6,000 high school students begin competition annually at The American Legion post-community level. More than $3 million in scholarships have been awarded since the inception of the program. The national contestants all competed in Indianapolis, the headquarters city for The American Legion. Previous champions include former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, the late Sen. Frank Church and writer Brent Bozell.Jr. Former Vice President Mike Pence and commentator Lou Dobbs are past state champions.
In preparation for the coming impact of Hurricane Ian, our office will be closed Wednesday, 9/28, through Friday, 9/30. Our staff will be working remotely but may have limited access. Please stay safe and take necessary precautions during this impending storm.Hurricane Relief