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  • Special Report by Wesson Post 79 American Legion Commander Bobby Thornton

National Legion Commander visits Wesson

Special Report by Wesson Post 79 American Legion Commander Bobby Thornton

National Legion Commander visits Wesson
Wesson American Legion Post 79 officers feted National American Legion Commander Daniel J. Seehaver last month. Left to right are Adjutant Alicia Coleman, 2nd Vice Commander William (Butch) White, 1st Vice Commander Richard Miller, Sergeant-at-Arms Wayne Johnson, Commander Bobby Thornton, Commander Seehafer, Sons of the American Legion Squadron 79 Commander Jimmy Smith and Finance Officer John Wesley.

Excitement filled the American Legion Drane-Prine Post 79 in Wesson as National Legion Commander Daniel J. Seehafer and his party arrived in their motorcade last month (February 20, 2024 -- the first National Commander to visit the Post.  


Department of Mississippi Commander William (Bill) Whatley accompanied Seehafer.  The two Commanders were visiting Posts and attending veterans’ events as part of Commander Seehafer’s tour through Mississippi.  They stopped at Drane-Prine Post 79 because of its dedication and service to veterans and their families. 


The local Legion hut was filled to almost compacity, with close 80 people attending this special event.  The National Commander’s Aide Mike Rohan, Mississippi Department Historian Steve Meredith and American Legion Rider escorts for the National Commander Charmain Woods -- Jerry Woods, Mike Spiers and Donna Spiers -- were there.  Among invited guests from the area were District 2 and 3 Copiah County Supervisors Johnny Smith and Perry Hood and Wesson Mayor Alton Shaw, Aldermen Michael King and  Chief of Police Chad O’Quinn.  Also on hand were American Legion District 7 Post Commanders, Legionnaires, Sons of the American Legion and Auxiliary members from Monticello, New Hebron, Tylertown, Liberty and Wesson.


Commander Seehafer, the keynote speaker for the evening, challenged Legionnaires to “Be The One,” a campaign embraced by The American Legion to help prevent veterans suicides that he has continued as the organization’s theme since coming to his position in August, 2022.  In his remarks, he addressed quality of life issues facing active-duty Legion members and veterans and shared events from his past six months of travels across America and the world, including his recent visit to the Republic of South Vietnam on a mission to help recover the remains of the many veterans remaining on the foreign soil.   He noted “America is the only nation taking the full accounting of Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.”   Finally, he turned to his upcoming visit to Congress:  “I intend to make it my personal mission to provide a testimony to Congress on what the American Legion is all about in supporting the veteran family and that every single member matters.” 


An ordained minister from Wisconsin, Seehafer earned his American Legion eligibility through service in the U.S. Navy and Navy Reserves, where he served as a military chaplain.  He has served in a number of Legion offices, including national chaplain and commander of the Department of Wisconsin.  Born and raised in Merrill, Wisconsin, he has bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Concordia University and Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Seehafer was installed as assistance pastor of St. Stephen Lutheran Church at Horicon in 1997 and continues as the administrative pastor of its school.  His Legion honors include the District Commander’s New Post Achievement Award, Silver Brigade and Post 157 Legionnaire of the Year.  In 2023, he earn an Outstanding Heroism Award for administering the Heimlich maneuver to a choking victim at an American Legion dinner.  Seehafer and his wife, Stacey, an American Legion Auxiliary Unit 157 member, live in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.  They have a son Jacob and daughter Emma, also members of the Post 157 family.


Drane-Prine Post 79 Commander Bobby Thornton presented Seehafer with a custom-made wood plaque in the shape of Mississippi with star designating Wesson to commemorate his visit.  It also featured the logos of The American Legion, Sons of the American Legion and Auxiliary along with “Be The One.”


American Legion Drane-Prine Post 79 at 1014 Main Street in Wesson welcomes all veterans and their families.  Meetings are on the third Tuesday of each month stating at 6:30 p.m.  Its next meeting is March 19. 



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