New York State American Legion Commander Kenneth Governor brought a message of “Service First” to the Legion Family in Steuben and Livingston Counties Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 8-9), and honored two area Legionnaires.
Governor presented the Department Commander’s Award of Excellence to William Miller, a member of Theodore R. Van Tassel American Legion Post 408 in Wayland, and to Mel Keenan, a member of Matthew Cleary American Legion Post 255 in Caledonia. He cited their “dedication to our men and women in uniform, our veterans, their families and your community.” He praised Miller’s “outstanding service” as Steuben County vice commander, and Keenan’s “outstanding service” as Livingston County adjutant. He also hailed “numerous County and 7th District accomplishments” by both men.
“Service First” is about reinvigorating the core mission to serve men and women in uniform, veterans and families, community and nation, Governor told members of the Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion. He spoke at a Saturday evening dinner in Canisteo at Canisteo Memorial Post 846, and again during a Sunday afternoon dinner at Daniel Goho Post 87 in Dansville.
A sign that the Department of New York is on the right track in putting “service first,” Governor noted, is the Americanism trophy that New York walked away with at the Legion’s national convention last summer. “We were honored for having the best Children and Youth, and Family Assistance Programs in the entire American Legion.”
The commander’s visit was a joint visitation with New York Auxiliary President Barbara Corker and New York Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Detachment Commander John Chang.
The trio visited Arkport and Hornell Saturday to have lunch at Arkport Memorial Post 1248 and tour the Alstom Rail Car facility before speaking at the dinner in their honor in Canisteo. On Sunday they visited the Legion Family in Dansville.
Chang noted that, like the department commander, his personal project this year is to collect donations for the National Emergency Fund, especially since the fund helped so many New York families in the devastating wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Corker said her project is to support the American Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors, and for two reasons. First, unlike other charities, 100 percent of donations go directly to helping wounded warriors. Second, it’s important to “show our warriors our love.”