National commander visits Tama Co.

Iowa Department Commander American Legion James Kessler of Lake Park, Past Nat’l Vice-Commander and State Commander Dick Denbow of Gladbrook, Bruce Feuerbach, Nat’l Vice-Commander of Keystone, Preston Duncan, Meskwaki Nation member representing the Code Talkers of the Tama County Freedom Rock and National Legion Commander Bill Oxford of North Carolina. Photo provided

American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford of North Carolina visited Iowa for a series of meet and greet sessions with several posts in Central Iowa. On March 17 Oxford and a group of American Legion state officials stopped at the Gladbrook Post to visit with the members present.

He encouraged posts to continue to support the many Legion youth programs such as Junior Shooting, Boy Scouts, Legion Baseball and the Boys State program as they promote citizenship and our American ideals to our youth.

He was able to receive membership renewals and answer questions that were presented.

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 to 2011. 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.

Oxford has served at every level of The American Legion. A former mayor and city council of Cajah’s Mountain, N.C., he has worked since he was a high school student, with most of his career choices being in the maintenance and engineering field. He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and multiple safety and environmental certificates.

His 2021 Iowa tour extended from March 15 through March 18 with stops at Legion posts in Sergeant Bluff, Manilla, Breda, Des Moines, Gladbrook, Deep River and Cumming.