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Local American Legion changes leadership

Special to the Enquirer

American Legion Post 52 of Hartselle has announced that Michael Ferguson has been named post commander for the 2020-2021 year.

Ferguson, a resident of Hartselle and the former post adjutant, started the new position in early August.

Ferguson served in the Marine Corps during Desert Shield/Storm and later served in the Alabama National Guard. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Troy State University in 1997 and works with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has been a member of Post 52 in Hartselle since 2014.

Ferguson said there is much work to be done, and he is eager to get started.

“We want to become more involved in terms of community service in Hartselle and the surrounding community, but in order to accomplish this, we need to attract new veterans,” Ferguson said. “The coronavirus certainly makes this task more challenging, but I believe this can be done, and we are going to work very hard to make it happen.”

Ferguson said he has been surprised since joining Post 52 by the lack of attendance at meetings, especially considering the large number of military personnel in the area.

“Because of Redstone Arsenal, Hartselle and the surrounding community has a large population of military personnel, both retired and active duty,” he pointed out. “We must do a better job in reaching out to these veterans and letting them know who we are and why we’re here. We have a small group of loyal members, but the lack of numbers affects our ability to accomplish the things that we want to accomplish.

“This post was once a pillar of the community. I believe it can be again.

Ferguson said Legion membership, until recently, was limited to U.S. war veterans. “With the Legion Act of 2019, if you served as an active duty member in the U.S. Armed Forces since Dec. 7, 1941, and have been honorably discharged or are still serving, you are now eligible for membership,” he said.

Chartered by Congress in 1919, the American Legion is a non-profit organization of U.S. military veterans. The Legion is nationally known for providing assistance and guidance to veterans and military personnel, as well as sponsoring community programs such as American Legion baseball, Boys/Girls State, the Oratorical Contest and high school scholarship programs.

For more information about the American Legion or how to become a member, contact the local American Legion Post or visit www.legion.org.