Steve Shaver of Post 114 will serve as commander; Luke Christian, senior vice commander; Robert Shumaker of Post 30, junior vice commander; David Hartline of Post 62, DEC; James Carson of Post 114, adjutant; Wendell Rakestraw of Post 62, chaplain; John Edmunds of Post 30, sergeant at arms; Bobby Harless of Post 30, judge advocate; Daniel Kovacs of Post 62, Cherokee County commander; Bernie Arnold of Post 30, Jackson County commander; R.J. Jukes of Post 8, Marshall County commander; Rebecca Wood of Post 8, finance committee chairperson; David cook of Post 30, two year committee member; Donald Tucker of Post 62, three-year committee member and Luke Christian as four-year committee member.
“I would like to welcome everybody to the District 13 meeting,” said Outgoing Commander Hartline. “This will be my last meeting. As your district commander. I am leaving with mixed emotions. I am really very, very honored to have been your commander for the past year.
“But I am leaving you in good hands. I know that Steve is eager to get started and he has his team pretty much in order,” Hartline said.
Hartline is seeking the Division I Commander post.
“If you can support me, I definitely appreciate it,” said Hartline.
“I will try to do the best job I can and I promise you I will be there when you need me and won’t be there to bug you. Everybody knows what they need to do and if you need me I will certainly be there. Thank you in advance.”
Hartline noted that he, Commander Steve Shaver and Senior Vice Commander Luke Christian have “been to just about every training thing they have had” in Montgomery, Decatur and other locations. “I have been to Florence, Huntsville, and various other places,” said Hartline. “We have been busy.”
“And I was honored to represent the state of Alabama last year at the American Legion College,” said Hartline.
“You talk about a high speed course. If you don’t have your ducks in a row, don’t go up there. I was a replacement. I didn’t know I was going until four days before. I hit the ground running.”
“When I got this graduation card with a diploma, I was very honored,” said Hartline.
“We actually formed posts, revitalized posts and wrote resolutions. That was very interesting and helpful because we are in the process of revitalizing Post 62 as I speak.
“And we have some real good guys on board here. Daniel Kovacs is going to be the commander; Kirk Day, adjutant and Wendell Rakestraw chaplain.”
“We (Post 62) have 91 members,” said Hartline. “Four years ago, we were down to 12 members and we had to make a decision, whether to turn in the charter that had been in the post since 1927. We just couldn’t see that happen.
“We hit the ground, did everything we could and we knew it started with membership. We just kept driving to get membership.
“We got the news media on board to get us membership. So it all works hand in hand.”
“We have participated in everything from Oratorical Boys’ State contests, first responder events, and we plan on doing more,” said Hartline.
“That is what I have been pre-aassigned to do. I will be working on Boys State and Oratorical. And the girls that participated in oratorical have already agreed to go with a committee and me from school to school that don’t have one but would like to have one in the oratorical contest.
“We are going to take literature and show them how to do the program and help them all along the way. I think that is a very, very good program.
Incoming Commander Shaver reported on the current membership status of District 13.
“Currently the 13th District is 107.92 percent, and each post in the district is also at least 100 percent,” said Shaver.
“We have four posts that have exceeded 100 percent. Centre Post 62 is at 158 percent, Mentone Post 215 117.86 percent; Arab Post, 114.89 percent and Scottsboro Post 30 103.05 percent. The commander has told me that is the first time that has ever happened, having 100 percent post and district at the same time. Good job everybody.”
“Words alone cannot tell how much I appreciate what each one of you have done,” said Hartline.
“This has been confirmed that this is the first time District 13 or any other district in the state of Alabama has had each and every individual post 100 percent or close.”
“All I can say is let’s try to do it again and I really do appreciate it,” said Hartline.
“Steve will have my support, the district will have my support and I will do everything I can and I know the individual post will too.
“It not only makes us look good, it makes all of us look good and to know you have something to be proud of.”