DETACHMENT OF GEORGIA
SONS OF THE AMERICAN LEGION
FOR GOD AND COUNTRY
History of the Detachment

 

In 1974, a small group of Legionnaires came together for the sole purpose of organizing The Sons of The American Legion in to a Detachment. All four gentlemen were members of both The American Legion and The Sons.
 
EM Weldon and George Hooten S.A.L. members since the organization was formed, along with Jerry Burkhead Sr. and Johnny B. Thurmond, decided that it was time to form a Detachment. At the time, there were only 75 members across the state with 6 Squadrons who had actually turned in their memberships.
 
Em would serve as the Chairman while Johnny would serve as the Adjutant. During this year, they came up with the by-laws which were approved by the Department of Georgia.
At the 57th Department of Georgia Convention, The Sons held their first Convention with 7 Squadrons present. It included Squadrons: 1, 12, 51, 147, 201, 205, and 216. Alex Davis from Squadron 1, Atlanta, would be the first elected Commander for the Detachment. EM Weldon served as both Detachment Adjutant and Advisor.
For the next ten (10) years, The Detachment was a children's organization which were constantly under the Legion's feet.
 
In 1984, EM and Jerry, along with Freeman Thompson and Jim Simmons, decided that it was time for the Detachment to be ran more like the parent organization and have more adult leadership. Randy Gay, at the age of 20 would serve as Commander for the next two years while a new Constitution and by-laws were created and approved by the Department. In 1987 at the Detachment's 12th Convention, Ronnie Grist would be elected as Commander at the age of 27 and since then, all commanders have been adults. With adult leadership, the Detachment has continuously grown in membership, number of Squadrons, number of programs and number of dollars spent. The Constitution has only been revised twice showing the foresight of these individuals.
 
Mike Powell, Detachment Commander 2007-08 is credited with the Detachment surpassing the 5000 member mark.
 
Mark Wells, Detachment Commander 2008-09 propelled the Detachment in to the 21st century focusing on the creation of a comprehensive website to increase the flow of information to its members. Under Mark's leadership, The Detachment created curriculum for the Georgia American Legion College focusing on creating new Squadrons for the state of Georgia.
 
Another proud first for the Detachment of Georgia is Mark Arneson who is the Sons of The American Legion National Commander for 2009-10. Mark is the first SAL National Commander from the State of Georgia.
 

In Remembrance.....
 
The Detachment has had 26 males serve as It's Commander. Seven of which has passed away.
 
Commander Term Squadron
E.M. Weldon 1974-1975 Squadron 216
Danny Owens 1981-1982 Squadron 264
Sam Callhan 1991-1993 Squadron 1
James H. "Jim" Hardy 2003-2004 Squadron 201
Cleve Bartenfeld 2004-2005 Squadron 214
Henry "Butch" Adams 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003 Squadron 51
John R. Hill, Jr. 1994-1995, 1995-1996, 1996-1997 Squadron 291

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PAST NATIONAL COMMANDER 
 
GEORGIA WAS HONORED TO HAVE MARK E. ARNESON, OF SQUADRON 127 -  BUFORD, GEORGIA SERVE AS THE NATIONAL COMMANDER OF THE SONS OF THE AMEIRCAN LEGION FOR THE YEAR 2009-2010. THANK FOR A JOB WELL DONE!
 

Over the years, Georgia has been well represented at the National level of our organization. Listed below is a list of all the Past National Officers from Georgia.  

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Name Position Year
Mark E. Arneson National Commander 2009-2010
Richard McHenry National Vice Commander 1979-1980
Randy Gay National Vice Commander 1991-1992
Ronnie Grist National Vice Commander 2001-2002
Mark E. Arneson National Vice Commander 2006-2007 
Ronnie Grist National Chaplain 1991-1992
John R. Hill, Jr. National Chaplain 1997-1998
G.D. Hendrix National Chaplain 2010-2011
Brandon Roberts National Historian 2009-2010

 
The Sons of The American Legion
Detachment of Georgia
3035 Mount Zion Road
Stockbridge, GA 30281

 

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