Loren “Bud” Sperry, a member of local American Legion Post 181, was elected Washington state commander at the annual American Legion convention in Wenatchee on Saturday, July 21. Sperry assumed his duties that afternoon and will continue through the next convention held in July, 2013. As the new state commander, he already has two events scheduled: attend the national American Legion convention next month in Indianapolis, and participate in the Aquafest Grand Parade here in Lake Stevens.
Bud has marched with Post 181 in the Aquafest parade before, usually carrying one of the service flags behind the U.S. Flag to start the parade. He is a proud Army veteran and prefers to carry the Army service flag, but always helps where needed. Sperry has enjoyed marching with the other Legionnaires in the parade, but this year he wasn’t marching—he drove the official Department of Washington commander’s vehicle.
“Aquafest is a fantastic event. It brings the community together and is a fun time for everyone,” said Sperry. He says that his grandchildren love all the different activities that Aquafest brings to town. Sperry likes the different booths and all the people. For the parade, Sperry replied, “I’m looking forward to riding instead of walking this year.” It will also be his first official visit with the vehicle as Department of Washington Commander.
Sperry’s car followed Lake Stevens American Legion as they carried the U.S. Flag. Following Sperry were three other cars transporting veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War who are not able to walk the entire route. Maria Hicks, of Foster Press, was instrumental in getting the “classic” vehicles, drivers, and posters for Post 181 as they followed Sperry’s car.
Sperry has been a member of The American Legion for 36 years. He recently became a member of The American Legion in Lake Stevens after transferring his membership from his hometown in Whatcom County. He has held every local Legion office for multiple years. He has served with distinction on various committees and commissions as a member or as a chairperson at the district, area, state, and national level. This last year he was the Department Vice Commander for the area from King County north to Canada and from the Cascades to Puget Sound.
As the current leader of the 28,000 Legionnaires in the state, Sperry said, “We have lots of work to do. We need to help our veterans who need help. We need to get out in the community and let people know what The American Legion is all about. We have programs like Boys State, The Constitutional Speech Contest, Scouting, Legion baseball, junior shooting sports.” For this year, Sperry says he will enjoy traveling around the state to visit the communities and the local Legion posts. He will be assisted by Tony Morea, a past commander of Post 181 and also a Lake Stevens resident, who will be his state membership chairperson and public affairs officer.
“Aquafest is a great way to start my official travels,” said Sperry.
When you see the car out and around, you will know it is Bud—give a friendly wave and know that Lake Stevens is being well represented.
For more information on The American Legion, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.post181.org or visit www.walegion.org