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I Am The American Legion- Terry Woodburn

“It’s the diversity (of The American Legion). It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat, you’re a Republican, you’re independent, what your skin color is, what your religion is. They still work together for what they think is right for the organization.”

The military kept Terry Woodburn from a future he’s not completely sure would have worked out. And for 42 years, The American Legion has given him opportunities to continue to serve his nation and fellow veterans alike.

A member of Post 32 in Springfield, Ill., Woodburn says that joining the Army in 1966 changed his life. “It was good for me to go in when I did,” he says. “I’m not sure, actually, what path I’d have been on had I not gone in the Army when I did.”

Woodburn served in the Army until 1972 and spent more than 13 years in the Army Reserve – many of those as an instructor. Joining the Legion allowed him to continue his service through advocating for veterans, he says.

What matters most to him? “Working with VA and being able to have a chance to remind Congress (or VA) whenever possible – or whenever we need to – that they make certain promises, and they need to keep those.”

A longtime motorcycle enthusiast, he has enjoyed watching The American Legion Riders grow. “I’ve been riding since 1967,” he says. “When this came along, it was just wonderful. I’ve been on several (rides). It’s afforded me one other way to reach out to the younger veteran, as well as the older veteran.”

Branch of Service: U.S. Army
1966-1972, and more than 13 years in Army Reserve
Instructor, USAR
Rank at discharge:
Lieutenant colonel
American Legion Post:
Post 32, Springfield, Ill.
Number of Years in the Legion:
Veterans Activities:
- Adjutant, Department of Illinois
- Chairman, American Legion Riders Advisory Committee


John 'Hammer' Hanzlik

January 10, 2014 - 9:25am

Great video Steve and Terry. For a long time the American Legion and the American Legion Riders had been in the back of my mind as an organization that I would some day "check out". After belonging to several different groups with several different agendas and never really feeling that brotherhood of comradery that one searches for as a Vietnam Veteran I joined the AL. Now as a Legionnaire and a member of the ALR and I am able to make community contributions in one manner or an other to help Veterans and their families as I would want them to help me. This is priceless to be part of this.

steve Isaacson

January 10, 2014 - 7:58am

What a great Man, Was in the Reserves with him. face book name I veteran Helper sir.

Christopher J.Cantwell

January 10, 2014 - 5:06am



Karen Boughan

January 2, 2014 - 8:16pm

As American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Illinois Executive Secretary it is an honor and a privilege to work with you Chief.

Nick Kallas

December 28, 2013 - 10:46am

Terry, I enjoyed the article a lot! The video reminded me of my old friend and made me wish I had of been able to stay in the Reserves like you did. Glad to hear you did well. You even look good without hair!

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