In early December, Sons of The American Legion member Thomas Clavell of Hampstead, Md., walked onto the playing field of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium to be honored. Clavell was one of four recipients to receive the Ravens' 2013 Community Quarterback Award, which recognizes individuals who exemplify "dedication, leadership and commitment to improving the communities in which they live through volunteerism."
Clavell was nominated for the award by a friend, and he received it for his dedication to SAL Squadron 200 in Hampstead.
As an SAL member, Clavell coordinates fundraising events that provide support for community veterans, families and youth in need; he maintains a clean and comfortable environment at the post for veterans and guests; he spearheaded the building of a large pavilion dedicated to POW/MIAs; and he transports veterans to appointments at the local VA medical center. Clavell served as his squadron's commander for four years, and he's currently the second vice commander. He's also a volunteer fireman.
"I was in shock when I heard I received the award; I couldn't believe it," Clavell said. "I will always be a part of The American Legion family. I'm never going away. I will always be there for somebody."
As a recipient of the Community Quarterback Award, Clavell received a Baltimore Ravens jersey with his name on the back, a football signed by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, a commemorative plaque and a $3,000 grant. Clavell is donating the grant to the Legion's Legacy Scholarship Fund, which helps children of U.S. servicemembers killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, attend college.