Department of Washington: Pat Tillman Memorial Unit 53
Eligibility: Through father R. Garnett Boots; mother Helen Babb Boots; husband Dale F. Davis; and son Robert D. Davis.
Offices and chairmanships held: Served most offices and chairmanships at unit, district, and department levels. National: NEC and chairman of Poppy, Membership (also served as vice chairman), ALA Girls Nation, Education, Constitution & Bylaws, Leadership, National Security, Children & Youth, and Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation. Also served on Long Range Strategic Planning special committee. Currently serving as a strategy captain on Centennial Strategic Plan and designated director on ALA Foundation Board of Directors.
Professional/personal background (work, memberships, family information): Accreditation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a service officer for The American Legion, Department of Washington and Washington Department of Veterans Affairs for 19 years; recently completing eight years as training officer for the Service Division. Department secretary, three years; department treasurer, three years. Twenty years as a military wife. Member of DAR-Jonas Babcock Chapter, Beta Sigma Phi, Military and Veterans Caregiver Network Advisory Council, ALA Strategic Planning Design Committee; and Washington State Grange.
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Department of Wisconsin: Abendroth-Connolly Unit 282
Eligibility: Through WWII service of father Roland Duscheck.
Offices and chairmanships held: Served many duties, offices and chairmanships at unit, district, and department levels. National: NEC and chairman of Constitution & Bylaws, Junior Activities, ALA Girls Nation, Central Division National Vice President (1999-2000), Legislative, Leadership, National Security, Community Service, Public Relations, Americanism, Education, Children & Youth, and Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation. Currently serving as a goal champion on Centennial Strategic Plan.
Professional/personal background (work, memberships, family information): Diane retired in June 2014 after a 34-year career teaching seventh and eighth grade science in both parochial and public schools. She was her school's union representative for 12 years. Besides her volunteerism with the American Legion Auxiliary, Diane also donates her time at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Domes and Easter Seals Society's camps for physically handicapped children and adults. She also manages and maintains her investment properties.
Mary "Dubbie" Buckler
Mary "Dubbie" Buckler is a lifelong resident of the greater Indianapolis area where she has earned a reputation as a caring leader in business, public service, elective office, and civic service. She is an accomplished business executive with an impressive background in management, finance, and issue advocacy. Her career path reveals a strong commitment to serving where she can make a difference in people’s lives by giving back to the community. Dubbie is also proud to have served as the Federalist Party chair at Hoosier Girls State during high school, and while in college, as one of only five full colonels in the United States in Angel Flight, an honorary to the Air Force ROTC.
Marta Hedding of Indianapolis has served as American Legion Auxiliary’s national treasurer since 1994. Prior to becoming national treasurer, Hedding operated a consulting business offering marketing, organizational development and accounting services to small businesses. She also helped start a non-profit charged with long-range economic development planning for the State of Indiana, where she served as vice president of business and public affairs, corporate secretary and assistant treasurer. Hedding has served in numerous leadership positions with her neighborhood association and at her church, where she has served on the children’s ministry team, finance committee, executive planning committee, and as the administrative board chairman.
Department of Illinois: Rehfeldt-Meyer Unit 474
Eligibility: Through husband Henry J. Junge.
Offices and chairmanships held: Served many offices and chairmanships at unit, district and department levels. National: NEC, Central Division Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation chairman and Central Division Community Service chairman.
Professional/personal background (work, memberships, family information): Carollee was employed 23 years by the Matteson School District 162 as the administrative assistant to the principal. She is a charter/life member of the Matteson Historical Society and served as the president. Carollee is a life member of Zion Lutheran Church in Matteson and served on the Finance Committee. She is a past president of the Ladies Aid Society. She is department representative at Hines VA Hospital.
Patricia H. (Patti) Lach
Department of Maryland: Francis Scott Key Unit 11
Eligibility: Through husband William J. Lach, retired, Army.
Offices and chairmanships held: Unit: Held most all committees and served as sergeant-at-arms, vice president, and president. District: Chaired Junior Activities and ALA Girls State, and served as secretary and president. Department: President; ALA Girls State vice director and director and staff member/counselor; Scholarship Committee; and various convention/special committees. National: NEC and Alternate NEC, National Convention chairman, and National Convention delegate.
Professional/personal background (work, memberships, family information): Patti retired from the federal government after 38 ½ years in 2007. She is a life member of the American Legion Auxiliary and AMVETS Auxiliary. Bill and Patti will be married 46 years this July. They have three children and five grandchildren. Patti enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time at their beach house with her husband and their grandchildren.
Department of Nebraska: Leo Brinda Unit 90
Eligibility: Through grandfather William Houwen, WWI; father Warren Walker, WWII; husband Don Nelsen, 82nd Airborne; and son MSGT Bill Nelsen.
Offices and chairmanships held: Served as unit and district president. Several offices and chairmanships at department level. National: Member, Northwestern Division chairman, and vice chairman of most committees; chairman of Public Relations. Was national historian in 2007-2008.
Professional/personal background (work, memberships, family information): Virginia works as a para-professional in local schools. At school, she helps teachers coordinate historical events and presidents’ birthdays into everyday curriculum and teaches flag etiquette to each class in every grade on a continually rotating basis. Veterans in Virginia's family date back to the Revolutionary War. This veteran heritage is a defining factor that shapes her dedication to The American Legion Family. She is a life member of both the ALA and the VFW. Don and Virginia will be married 43 years in June and have two sons: Jack, at home; and Billy, with wife Jennifer and grandson Isaac. Virginia and Don have donated their free time to The American Legion Family since 1978; it is something they do together.
Department of Arkansas: Benton Unit 19
Eligibility: Through husband Dale E. Mulkey, Vietnam; sons Samuel Chaloner, Desert Storm; and Kenneth Chaloner, Iraqi Freedom.
Offices and chairmanships held: Several offices and chairmanships at unit, district, and department levels. National: NEC. Member of Junior Activities.
Professional/personal background (work, memberships, family information): Beverly retired after 30 years as a paralegal with Friday, Eldredge & Clark law firm in January 2015. Served as volunteer firefighter and board member. On Board for an animal rescue organization. Partner, 8&40, since 2005, departemental chapeau (twice), Fun and Fellowship chair, and Partnership chair; Married to Dale Mulkey; they have three sons: Samuel (Lori), Kenneth (Martha), and Scott (Kim); and 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Enjoys traveling, reading and being retired.
Department of Utah: Dolan Wetzler Unit 139
Eligibility: Through father Keith H. Gwilliam, Army Air Force, WWII; and husband Richard G. Fisher, Navy and Army Reserves, Vietnam.
Offices and chairmanships held: Several offices and chairmanships at unit, district, and department levels. National: NEC. Western Division chairman of National Security, Education, Community Service, Junior Activities, Poppy, Membership. Also served as an ALA Girls Nation counselor.
Professional/personal background (work, memberships, family information): Married with two children and four grandchildren, all members of the Legion Family. Retired, civil service Hill AFB, 33 years; 51-year member, ALA Dolan Wetzler Unit 139; member, Clearfield Community Church; member, Girl Scouts; Daughters of the Nile; trained CERT instructor; licensed amateur radio operator; member, TAL Amateur Radio Club. Enjoys camping, gardening, being outside, and cross-stitching. Mother, Barbara Gwilliam, was elected Western Division national vice president in 1986 at the Cincinnati National Convention. She served with ALA National President Josie Melgard. Father, Keith Gwilliam, served as Western Division national vice commander a couple of years prior to Barbara – making all of them having served in that position.
Department of Georgia: Unit 77
Eligibility: Through father Curtis Lee Brown, Navy, WWII; and husband Zeste C. Debro, U.S. Army. Offices and chairmanships held: Most offices and chairmanships at unit, district, and department levels.
Professional/personal background (work, memberships, family information): Business owner, One Nation Entity LLC. Real estate broker for 18 years and member of Atlanta Board of Realtors. Active member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 77 in Conyers, Ga., since 2008. Married to Zeste C. Debro, retired U.S. Army, for 20 years; mother of twin sons: SAL members Deon and Lloyd; two step-daughters: Melissa & Katina; and six grandchildren. Active member of World Covenant Christian Center, pastors Reginal and Wante’ Ezell.
Coral May Grout
Department of Massachusetts: Eugene M. Connor 193
Eligibility: Through father Charles E. Grout; and grandfather Stanislas Laplante.
Offices and chairmanships held: Most offices and chairmanships at unit, district, and department levels. National: NEC. Chairman of Education (two years), Americanism, Public Relations, Constitution & Bylaws, Leadership, Legislative, Junior Activities, and Community Service.
Professional/personal background (work, memberships, family information): 63-year ALA member. Massachusetts school educator for 30 years. Retired superintendent of schools (Acushnet Public Schools), presently a consultant for the Massachusetts Department of Education. AB degree (Mount Holyoke College); M. Ed. (Boston College); and Ed.D. (University of Massachusetts-Amherst). Memberships include the Union St. Jean de Baptiste Board of Education Assistance, Winchendon Cultural Council; Eucharistic Minister, Winchendon Historical Society, and Daughters of the American Revolution. Family: Rachel A. Grout, mother.