National AMVETS leader coming Tuesday

Published 5:30 pm Saturday, March 27, 2010

The national and state AMVETS commanders are coming to Albert Lea on Tuesday to honor 1st District Rep. Tim Walz with the organization’s most prestigious award.

The AMVETS Silver Helmet award is given annually to distinguished Americans who have made significant contributions in the fields of Americanism, congressional service, civil service, peace, defense and rehabilitation, according to a news release.

National AMVETS Cmdr. Duane Miskulin, along with Minnesota AMVETS Department Cmdr. Mike Cook will give the recognition to Walz, who is currently serving his second term in Congress.

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“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Walz said. “I am also truly honored to work with AMVETS. Their dedication to the men and women who have served our country is unwavering and I look forward to continuing to fight alongside them to ensure that our veterans and troops have the best care possible.”

Walz enlisted in the Army National Guard at the age of 17 and retired 24 years later as a command sergeant major.

He is the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress.

The recognition, hosted by the local AMVETS Post 47, will be at the Albert Lea American Legion Leo Carey Post 56 at 10 a.m. The event is open to the public.

Les Shaunce, AMVETS Post 47 adjutant, said any veterans may enjoy participating in the event, hearing what the commander has to say and communicating opinions with Walz.

AMVETS began in August of 1943 and received its charter on July 23, 1947. It is the third largest veterans organization in America.

To qualify to be a member of AMVETS, a person must have served at least one day of active duty and have an honorable discharge.

Shaunce said AMVETS Post 47 currently has 23 members.