by Bob Shumer
American Legion Post 284
Three members of American Legion Post 284 in Colonial Heights were honored at the 2012 American Legion Department of Virginia Convention held in Richmond from July 19 to 22. Don Dobrick was named the Post 284, the 11th District, and the Eastern Region’s Legionnaire of the Year. Out of 17 Districts in Virginia, 11th District Commander Rick Oertel was named the District Commander of the Year. Department Vice Commander Bill Feasenmyer was named Vice Commander of the Year. Vice Commanders are in charge of five to six Districts. All three Legionnaires were personally recognized by Department of Virginia Commander Doug Ramos for their dedication and selflessness.
Additionally, Post 284’s Sons of the American Legion Squadron won awards for their Americanism and Children and Youth programs. Post 284’s Auxiliary won awards for their Education program and Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation program. Post 284’s Commander, Terry Brentlinger, commented that outstanding Legionnaire’s like Don, Rick and Bill, as well as the Post’s vibrant veterans and community service programs, make Post 284 among the very best in Virginia.
The Department Convention brought together Virginia Legionnaires and members of the Legion Family to include the American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion, and the American Legion Riders. During the four days of the convention, Legionnaires participated in organizational business and committee meetings in support of their many veteran and community-based programs. The Legion also elected new Department and District officers for 2012 - 2013 and recognized achievements from 2011 - 2012.
A highlight of the convention was the election of the new Department of Virginia Commander, Isaac “Ike” Kelly of Petersburg’s American Legion Post 2. Guest speakers included former Governor George Allen, former Governor Tim Kaine and General Keith Alexander, Director, National Security Agency.
The American Legion is made up of veterans nationwide, who continue to serve their country at the community level through their membership and active promotion of the Legion’s four pillars of service – a strong national security, veterans advocacy, Americanism and patriotic youth programs.