CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Michael D. Helm was elected national commander of the 2.4 million-member American Legion on Aug. 28, 2014 in Charlotte, N.C., during the 96th national convention of the nation’s largest veterans organization.
A U.S. Army veteran during the Vietnam War, he served with the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, N.C., and earned his Ranger tab in 1972. He has been a member of Jack Helt American Legion Post 313 at Lebanon, Neb., since 1972. Born in McCook, Neb., he grew up in Norcatur, Kansas, where he currently resides. He is a retired U.S. Postal Service rural mail carrier with more than 33 years of service.
Helm served as commander of the Department of Nebraska from 1987 to 1988 and as a national vice commander from 2003 to 2004. He also served as the national commander’s representative to the National Legislative Commission, the chairman of the National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission and the chairman of the Foreign Relations Commission.
He was Nebraska’s first Vietnam era veteran elected as department commander. Mike takes great pride in having been selected to serve as Nebraska’s official American Legion representative at the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982.
Mike's wife Debbie is active in The American Legion Auxiliary having served as District 9 president and as the Department Junior Activities Chairwoman. They are the parents of five young Legion family members. Aaron and his wife Robie, both graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; Rebecca and her husband Jaron Cox, both graduates of Kansas State University; Jacob, a senior cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy; Matthew, an Army ROTC cadet at Kansas State University and Timothy, a student at Decatur Community High School in Oberlin, Kansas.
Helm took the oath of office along with five other national officers. Serving as national vice commanders are Doug Haggan, Department of France; Paul O. Sanford, Department of
Kansas; Richard W. Neville, Department of North Carolina; William R. Bryant, Department of Virginia; and Gerald L. Jacobs, of Wyoming. They each represent regions that cover the 50 states, District of Columbia and overseas departments of The American Legion.
National Historian Sue Mason, Long Beach, Calif..; National Sergeant-at-Arms Leon Hagan, of Beatrice, Neb.; and National Chaplain Randy Cash, Columbia, S.C., were appointed to their positions by Cmdr. Helm following the close of the national convention.
A photo of Nat. Cmdr. Helm can be downloaded from The American Legion website at: www.legion.org