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A New Adjutant Jumps In


Thomas Simons is assuming the duties of The Ohio American Legion Department Adjutant. Tom is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel with over 22 years of active duty service to our nation.

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Born and raised in Avella, Pennsylvania, Tom graduated from Avella JR/SR High School in 1988 and enrolled at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. While a cadet at Norwich, Tom enlisted in the Vermont Army National Guard as an Infantryman in the delayed entry program in 1990. Tom graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Norwich University in 1992, he was a Distinguished Military Graduate from the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps, and earned a Regular Army Field Artillery Commission in 1992.

He served in command and leadership positions from team, battery, battalion, and Group throughout his military career including three operational deployments to Baghdad and Mosul, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Tom's assignments include, Parachute Infantry Company Fire Support Officer, Airborne Field Artillery Battery Executive Officer, Airborne Field Artillery Battalion Adjutant, in the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Field Artillery Assistant Operations Officer, Air Assault Infantry Battalion Fire Support Officer,2nd Infantry Division, South Korea, Airborne Field Artillery Battery Commander, 82nd Airborne Division, Field Artillery Training Battalion Executive Officer, 75th Division (Training Support), Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, Corps Assistant Fire Support Coordinator, 18th Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Airborne Field Artillery Battalion Operations Officer and Executive Officer, 82nd Airborne Division, and Training Support Group Deputy Commanding Officer, 75th Division (Training Support), Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado

A 16-year continuous member of The American Legion, Tom has belonged to Bert C. Siders Post 643, Avella, Pennsylvania, Robert, Hecox, Hickle Post 677, Lithopolis, Ohio and Robert Dutro Post 486, Groveport, OH. He has served as the 2nd Vice Commander and Historian for Post 677, Vice President of Post 677 American Legion Riders, and 8th District POW/MIA Chairperson. He's been acknowledged by the Electrician Columbus company, for his service.

Recently Tom commanded the revitalization of the Robert Dutro Post 486 in Groveport, Ohio. His leadership resulted in a 189% increase in membership in less than 4 months, and he is also the Vice President of the Post 486 American Legion Riders.

His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Merit-orious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Army Commendation Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal with one silver oak leaf cluster; National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with two bronze service stars; Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon with a bronze numeral two. He is authorized to wear the Master Parachutist Badge; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; Meritorious Unit Commendation and the German Parachutist Badge.

Tom and His wife, Becky, have been married for 12 years and currently live in Canal Winchester, Ohio.

Independence will host Department of
Ohio Annual Convention on June 24-26

In case you haven't heard, the 98th annual convention of the Ohio American Legion will be in Independence, a suburb of Cleveland, June 24-26th.

Independence has never hosted our Convention however nearby downtown Cleveland last hosted a Legion Convention in 2005 and much has changed since then.

The surrounding area and downtown offers:

Cultural, culinary, entertainment and historical attractions than any other city its size.

A downtown that is compact, vibrant, and safe.

A world famous zoo and some of the finest museums in the U.S.

Excellent symphony orchestra, opera, and ballet companies.

Great restaurants - from five star dining to great fish & chips.

Beautiful Lake Erie with reasonably priced cruises whether your interest is lunch, dinner sightseeing, dancing, or romance.

A variety of sports activities including golf, tennis, horse racing and baseball.

And of course the Horseshoe Casino.

This year's Convention has all the ingredients to be very successful and memorable.

Improvements have been made to the Convention schedule. Start making your plans now to attend the 98th annual Convention in Independence, and watch for the important details and reservation forms in this year's Convention Call.

Department of Ohio Headquarters restoration update

We continue to be excited about the progression of the restoration process.

Premier Contractors had the building completely under roof before the scheduled date of December 1st. Delaware County Inspections were completed and approved to move forward.

Then the reframing of areas along with some continued demolition due to mold issues began. Followed by Service Master Soda blasting, then sealing several areas that were salvageable. This procedure will eliminate smoke odor.

Next was the security company, phone and computer lines, the electrical wiring and heating, air conditioning and ventilation. (HVAC).

HVAC currently is working on installation of the hot water tank. Many things we were able to keep, to help cut down on cost. However, this is a prime time to make changes to benefit the Organization.

The cathedral ceilings in the long hallway by the kitchen and meeting rooms were lowered to a flat ceiling. This will reduce the heating, air conditioning and electrical bills. Better more efficient lighting throughout and additional electrical outlets will be installed.

The plan to add audio visual capability (PowerPoint) to the meeting room will bring us up to the 21st century is in the works.

An upgrade to the men's restroom and to become handicap accessible is an addition.

As the days have progressed there has been bumps in the road but everything is still ahead of schedule.

We can certainly see the "Light at the end of the tunnel" so to speak.

And with that we are in the planning stages of a Department Open house at the conclusion of the restoration projected for July.

Bi-weekly meetings continue to take place with the restoration Committee and the Contractor to answer questions and give progress updates.

Premier Insurance Restoration, have done a great job to accommodate the Legion and the request of the Department.

We continue to ask everyone to be understanding and patient during this trying time.

Look for updates in the upcoming OLN editions.

Mid-Winter Conference
Sweepstakes Winners

Leonard Barborak - East Liverpool

Joseph Blaies - Columbus

Richard Braun - Lima

Ross Bryan - Findlay

Stephen Burkart - Mount Orab

Raymond Carson - Amelia

Donald Cerne - Eastlake

Gerald Cline - Hillsboro

Jon Coakley - Hebron

Edgar Coleman - Fostoria

Robert Cousino - Oregon

Louis DiDonato - Alliance

Richard Emch - Woodville

James Falkman - Stow

Robert Fulton - Cleves

John Gillfillan - Urbana

David Gilmer - Painesville

Robert Goliat - Garfield Heights

David Scott Greenwood - Bellaire

Robert Griesenbrock - Grove City

Louis Hatern - Troy

Robert Hatern - Columbus

Paul Hissong - Greenville

Melvin Hoeft - Genoa

Stephanie Humphries - Amelia

Ronald Hurt - New Carlisle

William Keller - Worthington

William Lucas - Steubenville

Stanley Martin - Orwell

Adam McCann - Oberlin

Philip McGahey - Surprise

John McJunkin - Saint Marys

James Moorman - Convoy

Charles Muller - Newark

Dennis Mulloy - Columbus

Richard Pachell - Youngstown

D. James Phillippi - Toronto

Dale Ptak - Cleveland

Norman Ricket - Willoughby

Dennis Rodriguez - Toledo

John Slaughter - Columbus

Eddie Smith - Cleveland

Victor Smith - Sugar Grove

Dewey Souers - Kent

Allan Taylor - Tippecanoe

John Thom - Sandusky

Adam Topper - London

Thomas Troike - Vickery

Fred VanKirk - Steubenville

Robert Wallace - Bellaire