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Category Archives: National

U.S. Flag Half-Staff Alert Notification

As a mark of respect upon the death of former U.S. Secretary of State General Colin L. Powell and his life of service to our nation, the White House has directed that the United States flag shall be flown at half-staff until sunset Oct. 22, 2021.

White House proclamations are available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/

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The American Legion Mourns Passing of Colin Powell

(INDIANAPOLIS—October 18, 2021) – American Legion National Commander Paul E. Dillard expressed condolences today concerning the passing of former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Powell was recognized by The American Legion in 1993, with the organization’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Powell addressed delegates at the 72nd National Convention of The American Legion in 1990.

“While our values have nurtured us, our power has protected us,” Powell told The American Legion. “Purpose and power, it’s an unbeatable combination, one that fascism could not destroy, one that communism could not defeat, one that has always been ready to meet aggression.”

Dillard added today that Powell’s leadership will be missed. “Colin Powell was not only a general, but a statesman and leader in every sense. He was a groundbreaker in so many ways,” Dillard said. “Not only was he the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but he was also America’s National Security Advisor as the Cold War ended. He served with distinction in Republican and Democratic administrations. We extend our condolences to his family and many friends. America is better because of his service.”

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Flag at half-staff

By a joint resolution approved Dec. 18, 2001, Public Law 107-89 designates Sept. 11 as “Patriot Day” and requests the United States president issue a proclamation each year calling for display of the United States flag at half-staff on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. This year Patriot Day is observed on Saturday, Sept. 11, marking the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

A section of the law is below:

”§ 144. Patriot Day”(a) DESIGNATION.-September 11 is Patriot Day.”(b) PROCLAMATION.-The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation calling on-
(1) State and local governments and the people of the United States to observe Patriot Day with appropriate programs and activities;
(2) all departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States and interested organizations and individuals to display the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001; and’
(3) the people of the United States to observe a moment of silence on Patriot Day in honor of the individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001.”

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New National Officers

National Commander

  • Paul E. Dillard, Texas

Vice Commanders

  • James T. Higuera, California
  • Jerry Wilson, Ohio
  • Angel O. Narvaez, Puerto Rico
  • Cory D. Bates, Rhode Island
  • Michael Mitrione, Virginia
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Veteran from Lake Kiowa, Texas, Elected National Commander of The American Legion

PHOENIX (Sept. 2, 2021) – Paul E. Dillard was elected national commander of the nearly two-million member American Legion today in Phoenix, during the organization’s 102nd national convention. He first joined the nation’s largest veterans organization in 1969.

A native Texan, Dillard graduated from Whitesboro High School in 1965 before joining the U.S. Navy and serving in Vietnam through four campaigns including the Tet offensive. He later received an honorable discharge as a radarman second class petty officer from the Navy Reserve before attending Grayson County Junior College and East Texas State University.

Dillard worked several years in the manufacturing business as an Engineer, Plant Manager and Director of Manufacturing in Tennessee. Upon returning to Texas, he accepted a sales representative position with Sherman Foundry and became its airplane pilot. A career change was made when he and his wife, Donna, began their family and he entered into the insurance business specializing in Employee Benefits and later forming Dillard & Gann Insurance.

As a paid-up-for-life member of Post 265, Lake Kiowa, Texas, Dillard served as post commander, vice commander, adjutant and judge advocate. He coached American Legion Baseball for more than 10 years and served as his post’s Boys State chairman.

He served the 4th District as commander and vice commander and served the department as sergeant-at-arms, Membership & Organization chairman, National Security chairman, Uniformed Organization chairman, Board of Trustees chairman, and he served on the Finance Committee and the Long-Range Planning Committee. He was elected as Department of Texas (state) commander in 2007. His theme as national commander is “No Veteran Left Behind.”

On the national level, Paul has served as Alternate National Executive Committeeman, consultant to the Insurance Committee, Distinguished Guest Committee, Children and Youth Committee, Media and Communications Council. He has served as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, chairman of the Veterans Employment & Education Commission and chairman of the Legislative Commission. He was elected as national vice commander in 2013.

He married Donna in 1983. They have two sons, William and his wife Allison, and Jonathon and his wife Karri and two grandsons Jarrett and Lukas. All are members of the American Legion Family. Donna has been an active and dedicated member of the American Legion Auxiliary for several years and has served in numerous positions of leadership at all levels of the organization, including department president in 2017 – 2018.

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National Awards Florida

National awards Florida with the J O’Connor Americanism Trophy, The Garland D. Murphy Jr. Award, and the U.S. “Udie” Grant Legacy Award.

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Florida Wins “Culture of Growth” Award

National wars Florida with the “Culture of Growth Award” for our exemplary efforts in developing and implementing strategies to increase membership within our Department.

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The American Legion Grieves Loss of American Heroes

PHOENIX (August 26, 2021) – James W. “Bill” Oxford, national commander of The American Legion, issued the following statement about today’s terrorist attacks in Afghanistan:

“As an organization of wartime veterans, The American Legion profoundly feels sorrow for the needless loss of life that occurred today. The United States has been blessed by the caliber of the men and women who served there. While we fully support their service, we recognize that nation-building is not the role for the U.S. military. It is time for us to leave and to evacuate all Americans, allies and their families as safely and efficiently as we can. We also support any efforts to strike back hard against those who committed these ruthless acts.”

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The American Legion 102nd National Convention Highlights

(Please note speakers, times and events on this agenda are subject to change without notice)

Thursday, August 26

  • 2:45 pmLegacy Run Arrival / Closing Ceremony. American Legion Post 58, 16837 E. Parkview Ave., Fountain Hills, Ariz., 85268.
    Hundreds of American Legion Riders arrive ending a 5-day scenic ride that began in Rogers, Ark., on Aug. 22. The American Legion Riders raised funds for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund.

Friday, August 27, 2021

  • 9-11 am – Media Availability, National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford, By appointment only, 15-minute slots, email kchrisman@legion.org or call (317) 630-1298.
  • 1 pm – TBI/PTSD/Suicide Prevention Task Committee, Phoenix Convention Center, North Bldg., Rm. 225, 100 Level.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

  • 8:30 am – Veterans Employment & Education Commission. Issues pertaining to Veterans
    Preference, veterans education, homelessness and benefits. Sheraton Valley of the
    Sun Ballroom, C, Second Level.
  • 8:30 am – Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission. Issues pertaining to health
    administration, national cemeteries and veterans benefits. Phoenix Convention Ctr., South Bldg, Ballroom.
  • 9 am – National Security Commission, Issues pertaining to POW/MIA, foreign relations, law & order, homeland security, aerospace, conventional armed forces, military benefits & quality of life, National Guard & Reserve, unconventional forces & intelligence. Phoenix Convention Center, South Bldg., Exhibit Hall F.

Sunday, Aug. 25

  • 9 am – Veterans Employment & Education Commission. Issues pertaining to Veterans
    Preference, veterans education, homelessness and benefits. Sheraton, Encanto, Second Level.
  • 9 am – Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation Commission. Issues pertaining to health
    administration, national cemeteries and veterans benefits. Phoenix Convention Ctr., South Bldg, Ballroom.
  • 9 am – National Security Commission, Issues pertaining to POW/MIA, foreign relations, law & order, homeland security, aerospace, conventional armed forces, military benefits & quality of life, National Guard & Reserve, unconventional forces & intelligence. Phoenix Convention Center, South Bldg., Exhibit Hall F.
  • 11 a.m. – Patriotic Memorial Service, Phoenix Convention Ctr., North Bldg., Exhibition Hall, A-E, 300 Level.

General Sessions: – Phoenix Convention Center, North Building, Exhibit Hall A-E, 300 Level

Tuesday, Aug. 31

  • 8:30 a.m. – Call to Order / Opening Ceremony
    James W. Oxford (NC)
    National Commander

    National Anthem
    Craig Morgan
    Country Music Artist and Army Veteran

  • 9:45 a.m. – Address
    Vice Admiral Yancy Lindsey, Commander
    Navy Installations Command
  • 10:05 a.m. – Address
    Bruce Crandall
    Medal of Honor recipient
  • 10:25 a.m. – Address Larry P. Arnn, President
    Hillsdale College
  • 10:40 a.m. – Chip Ganassi Racing – Fireside Chat featuring Chip Ganassi, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Kanaan.
  • 11:15 a.m. – Address
    The Honorable Denis McDonough
    Secretary of Veterans Affairs
  • 11:35 a.m. – Distinguished Service Medal
    To: Diane Carlson Evans, Veterans Advocate and Founder,
    Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation
  • 12:30m. – Presentation The American Legion Riders present American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund donations to National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford.
  • 2:10 p.m. – National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford’s Report to Convention

Wednesday, Sept. 1

  • 9 a.m. 2021 – National Law Enforcement Officer of Year Presentation
    To: Daniel Martin
    Omaha, Neb. Police Department
    2021 National Firefighter of Year
    To: Robert Nagle ,Gallitzin, PA. Fire Department
  • 10:10 a.m. – Address
    Matt Wetenkamp,
    Veteran Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment
  • 11:30 a.m. – Address
    Terry Hamby, Chairman
    WWI Centennial Commission
  • 12:30 p.m. – Philip Onderdonk Religious Liberty Award
    Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO
    First Liberty Institute
  • 12:45 p.m. – Address
    The Honorable Mark Takano, Chairman
    House Committee on Veterans Affairs

Thursday, Sept. 2

  • 8:35 a.m. – The American Legion Fourth Estate Award Presentations

  • 9:10 a.m. – Address
    The Honorable Mark Kelly
    United States Senate
  • Noon Election of New National Officers
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