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Michigan American Legion department heads to attend local post event

By Dominic R. Merlington

American Legion Post #287 in Cedar Springs is proud to welcome the State Commanders and Presidents to our home for the annual Early Bird Dinner. The dinner is held the first week in January to show our appreciation to the members of our Post, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion who have paid their dues by Veterans Day of the previous fall. 

It is our tradition to invite the leaders of our state to attend this event. It is also our tradition to give them each a set of Red Flannels. In the past, it was given to prepare them for the Upper Peninsula trip which usually follows directly after our dinner, to keep them warm during the cold and often snowy conditions of the UP in January.  The past presidents and commanders all bring the red flannels they were given during their year and put them on so they can all dance together in their red flannel finery.

This year the American Legion Commander for the State of Michigan is Richard T. Dubay. He is from the Harry Ollrich American Legion Post 4 in Mt. Clemens. He earned his eligibility in the American Legion through his service in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War Era.  He served from 1966 to 1969 and was trained as an aircraft maintenance specialist.

He is from Waldenburg, Michigan, and graduated from Chippewa Valley High School. He is married to Mary, who is also serving as the Michigan Auxiliary President. They have four children, 11 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He credits his success to his wife Mary, and his family that has stood by him through everything he has done.

Commander Dubay retired after 40 years of labor. Thirty of these years was working as a manufacturing supervisor of a Detroit area automobile supplier and another six years as security for Detroit Edison Plant security. He also served our National American Legion organization as the Historian.

The President for the American Legion Auxiliary for the State of Michigan is Mary Dubay.

Mary is eligible for membership through her husband, Richard T. Dubay, a Vietnam Veteran who served in the Air Force from 1966 to 1969. She is also eligible through the service of her late father, Charles Desmet, who served in World War II. Mary has been a member of Harry Ollrich Unit #4 for 30 years. 

Mary is currently employed as a Medical Secretary by Michigan Healthcare Professionals, where she has worked for the last 19 years. She and her husband, Richard, have been married for 49 years, and have four children, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, all of whom are members of the Legion family. 

The Commander for the Sons of The American Legion, Detachment of Michigan, is Gordon “Zack” Pendell. Zack’s eligibility is through his grandfather, Ashley N. Pendell, a 17-year veteran of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and also a retired Ohio National Guardsman. Zack is a 16-year member of the Hice-Shutes SAL Squadron and very active on the District and Detachment level.

Also joining us will be the Honorary Department Junior President Mackenzie Townes. Mackenzie is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Glen Hill Post 287, and her eligibility is through her father Skipper Townes, who served in the Marines and has been active in the American Legion and Sons of The American Legion on practically all levels.  She has been a member for 18 years.

Her special project is K9 Camo Companion Dogs. Their goal is to give back to veterans who served in the United States military by matching them with a companion dog that is rescued and trained under canine good citizen standards

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