American Legion recognizes outstanding service


TAYLOR COUNTY—Noting the positive impacts of local residents on the community, members of the American Legion Post 12 gathered Wednesday evening to present awards to some of the county’s outstanding residents.

“This is the first time that this American Legion has presented awards,” said member Doug Robinson. “There are many awards that are presented at our conferences, and this time, some of our community members were recognized both locally and on a state level.”

The first award of the night went to a woman who has devoted her time to teaching high school students in the county. 

Grafton High School Speech and Debate teacher Teresa Dalton received the American Legion’s Citation of Meritorious Service for the Loyal for Teacher of the Year. 

“In addition, Grafton High School is being presented with an award for housing the Teacher of the Year,” said Robinson. “One of our programs that we have is our oratorical competition, and Mrs. Dalton has been instrumental over the past couple years in getting students from our county in the competition.” 

He further revealed that two years ago, under the leadership of Dalton, Trevor Swiger went on to win the competition on the state level, earning him a full scholarship to the college of his choosing.

In addition, recognizing the hard work and dedication of the West Virginia Memorial Day Committee’s Parade Chairman, Scott Willis earned the American Legion’s Distinguished Meritorious Service Medal. 

“This award is given to someone who is greatly involved in community outreach and programs,” Robinson revealed. “Scott works diligently to ensure that the parade is a success.”

In addition, he received a challenge coin for his work with West Virginia Boys State, for his creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Solider that is used at the annual event, along with the Memorial Day Observance at the Grafton National Cemetery.

Keeping with the theme of patriotism, Tim Gerkin was awarded with a certificate of appreciation from American Legion Post 12 for his efforts in maintaining a patriotic piece of land here in Taylor County.

“Many people who travel down US Route 119 or US Route 50 will note the display of flags in the Blueville intersection at the Isle of Flags,” expressed Robinson. “The upkeep of this display is a great deal of work, and Tim does a phenomenal job.”

The attention then shifted to members of the American Legion, as Brooke Russell received the Blue Cap award for her hard work within the organization. In addition, Robinson himself earned the Ben I. Golden Award for his community involvement, and in doing so, was presented with commemorative Armed Forces coins.

From the staff of the Mountain Statesman, congratulations to each of this year’s awards recipients.

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