The American Legion Potter-Henry-Lowrey Post 72 installed its fiscal year 2011 officers during the July monthly meeting. J. R. Owen, Jr. performed the installation. Damon Cooke was installed as Commander of Post 72 that had its beginnings when chartered in 1920.
Commander Cooke is a native of West Virginia and is a graduate of Marshall University in Huntington, WV. A 21-year career in the United States Air Force followed and he retired at Tinker AFB, in Oklahoma in 1987 after attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. During his career he served in missile maintenance, the intelligence community as a cartographer and then as a pilot from 1971 to his retirement in 1987. Aircraft flown included the T-37, T-38, T-33, B-57 and the E-3 AWACS.
After retiring from the Air Force, Commander Cooke worked as a contractor for the Boeing Company as a flight instructor. In 1996 he went to work for FedEx as a DC-10 instructor and later flew in the FedEx Corporate Department transporting FedEx executives to various locations throughout the United States and a variety of foreign countries. Commander Cooke retired from FedEx in 2009 and lives in the Ingomar community with his wife Regina.
Commander Cooke is dedicated to the task at hand of leading Post 72: “I will work with all members to achieve goals set by the executive committee as well as individual goals I have set for myself. Some of those goals are renovating the kitchen area which we have already begun and enhancing our audio/visual abilities for the meeting hall.”
Other officers installed with Commander Cooke were First Vice Commander, James Byers; Second Vice Commander, Will R. Ford; Post Adjutant, Hal Sanders; Assistant Post Adjutant, Mike Bennett; Judge Advocate, Will R. Ford; Historian, Mike Bennett; Sergeant-At-Arms, D. R. Watson; Chaplains: Rank Boyte, Jamie Houston, Felix Hutcheson, Bobby J. Irvin, Jr., Enoch Purvis, Willie Raines and James Rutledge.
The American Legion was founded in 1919 by veterans returning from Europe after World War I, and was later chartered under Title 36 of the United States Code. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and also has offices in Washington D.C. The group has nearly 3 million members in over 14,000 Posts worldwide. The American Legion’s success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.
Post 72 currently has 211 members and meets the second Tuesday of each month in the Herbert A. Morgan War Memorial Building located near the Union County Fairgrounds. All veterans are invited.