Sunday, July 17, 2022

David Riley Sr. Leads NYS Legion (2022-2023)

U.S. Air Force veteran David R. Riley Sr. of Rome is the new state commander of The American Legion. 

His election as Department of New York commander concluded the 104th Annual Department Convention, held July 14-16 in Binghamton. During his one-year term, Riley will visit counties all around the state to share The American Legion message of veteran advocacy and community involvement.

Riley is the third Oneida County resident to become state commander in the Legion’s 103-year history. (The others were Moses G. Hubbard of New Hartford, 1931-1932, and Ronald C. Bertrand of Lee Center, 1996-1997.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Frank LaMarsh Heads NYS Legion (2021-2022)

Vietnam veteran Frank A. LaMarsh of Staten Island is the commander of The American Legion Department of New York. His election and installation on July 31, 2021 capped the three-day Department Convention held at the Crowne Plaza Desmond Hotel, Albany.

 Enlisting in the U.S. Navy after high school, LaMarsh trained in construction and helped rebuild the Seabee base at Gulfport, Mississippi after it was destroyed by Hurricane Camille. He then deployed to DaNang and later Bien Hoa, Vietnam. He was discharged from active duty in February 1972 and received his honorable discharge in 1975 after serving three years in the reserves.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Mike McDermott Leads NY State Legion (2019-2021)

Mike McDermott of Homer is the first person from Cortland County to serve as New York State American Legion commander in the Legion’s 100-year history.

The Vietnam War veteran’s election capped the Department of New York Convention held in Buffalo July 18-20.

McDermott served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1967, including a year in Vietnam where he worked in communication and intelligence with a Marine support battalion. On base he also served as a rifleman and assistant M60 machine gunner.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Iraq War Vet Leads NY State American Legion

Gary Schacher
Commander Schacher
Gary Schacher of Cobleskill (Schoharie County) is the first Iraq war veteran to become  commander of The American Legion Department of New York.

His election came just before the conclusion of the 100th Department Convention, held July 19-21 in Rochester.

“Never give up!” is his theme for his year. “We are 100 years strong and we are paving the way for the next 100 years to be the voice for veterans.”

Monday, July 24, 2017

Rena Nessler Makes American Legion History

Rena Nessler
SYRACUSE – U.S. Navy veteran Rena M. Nessler of Geneva made American Legion history Saturday, July 22, when she was elected the first woman commander of The American Legion Department of New York.

Her election concluded the 99th Department Convention at the Oncenter, which drew wartime veterans from across New York. The American Legion and its Department of New York were founded in 1919 at the end of World War I.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

John Sampson Leads NY State Legion

John Sampson
John B. Sampson, a U.S. Navy veteran, is the 2016-2017 commander of the American Legion Department of New York.The Vietnam-era vet was elected to the position at the 98th Annual Department Convention, held July 14 to 16 in Binghamton.

He leads New York State American Legion, which consists of more than 113,000 members and some 900 posts spread throughout 62 counties. With the affiliated organizations of the Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion, the total jumps to nearly 200,000.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vietnam Vet Is American Legion State Commander

James Yermas
James V. Yermas is the new commander of the New York State American Legion.

The election and swearing-in of Yermas and his officers to lead the Department of New York for the next year concluded the 97th state convention, held July 16-18 in Buffalo.