West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – West Columbia American Legion Post #79 welcomed the National Commander Brett Reistad of The American Legion along with several other distinguished guests Sunday afternoon for a catered meal, meet and greet, and patriotic speeches. Among the other dignitaries in attendance were Legion National Executive Committeeman Michael Strauss, the Commander of The American Legion of South Carolina John H. Britt, South Carolina American Legion State Adjutant Nick Diener, SC State Senator Nikki Setzler, and West Columbia Mayor Pro-Tem Tem Miles. Most of Post #79’s leaders were also in attendance. The meeting was presided over by Post Commander Billy Oswald, a well-known West Columbia philanthropist, attorney, and member of the Lexington Medical Center Board of Directors.
National Commander Brett P. Reistad of Manassas, Va., is in the Midlands to address a joint session of the South Carolina Legislature this coming Wednesday at the SC State House at noon. During his address, he will highlight issues of importance to military veterans and their families. He will also present awards on behalf of The American Legion Department of South Carolina to State Sen. Thomas Alexander of Walhalla, and State Rep. W. Brian White of Anderson, as the outstanding legislators of the year for 2019.
The American Legion is the nation's largest veterans service organization. National Commander Reistad, a U.S. Army veteran, was a member of the Presidential Salute Battery of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) at historic Fort Myer, Va. He is a retired lieutenant with the Fairfax County (Va.) Police Department.
The American Legion, the nation's leading advocate for veterans, is observing its centennial in 2019. Founded March 15-17, 1919, by a group of World War I veterans in Paris, France, The American Legion quickly grew to become the nation's largest and most influential veterans service organization. One hundred years later, The American Legion is still dedicated to its four founding pillars of care for veterans, a strong national defense, patriotic youth programs and Americanism. The American Legion strongly believes that America has an obligation to serve its veterans as well as veterans who have served America. During his address Wednesday, National Commander Reistad will recognize the outstanding contributions that South Carolina has made in keeping this nation safe and free. He will also thank state legislators for their work toward improving the quality of life for Palmetto state veterans.
The sons of Piggie Park BBQ’s founder Maurice Bessinger, who now own and run the business, donated the buffet meal for the event. Their father was a veteran of World War II. For more about The American Legion, visit www.legion.org.