American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford is coming to southern Minnesota and will speak on how young and upcoming members are changing the American Legion and having a say in the organization’s future.

He will visit American Legion Post 38 in Redwood Falls for supper Feb. 18 and talk with veterans, community leaders and citizens about the critical role that the American Legion plays in being a voice for veterans. He is scheduled to arrive between 5-6 p.m., with a dinner being served at 6 p.m.  He will speak following the meal.

Commander Oxford leads more than 2.4 million members of the American Legion worldwide. Operating from 14,000 individual posts, the American Legion is among the most influential veteran service organizations in the nation.

“We are honored to showcase patriotic citizens throughout southern Minnesota,” said Mark Dvorak, American Legion Minnesota commander. “The post-9/11 veterans are our future, and we have seen many of them join the American Legion as a way to continue serving their country.”

Commander Oxford will discuss the priorities, challenges and strategy for the American Legion to build a foundation for the future as the organization enters its 101st year of existence.

Oxford was elected national commander of The American Legion Aug. 29, 2019, in Indianapolis, during the organization’s 101st national convention. He has been a member of the nation's largest veterans organization since 1986. A native of Lenoir, N.C., Oxford is a paid-up-for-life member and past commander of Post 29 in Lenoir. He served as department (state) commander of the North Carolina American Legion from 2010-11.

A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Oxford was an aviation electronic technician for the A-6 Intruder and served in Vietnam during his initial enlistment. After being discharged as a sergeant in 1970, Oxford joined the North Carolina National Guard. He subsequently attended officer’s candidate school and transferred to the U.S. Army Reserve where he ultimately retired as a colonel after more than 34 years of military service.

- Photo courtesy of the American Legion