Department of Virginia Legionnaire, Frank Carr, wins Recruiter of the Year for the fourth time during the 94th National Convention in Indianapolis. (Photo by Tom Strattman)

Carr does it again

Frank Carr did it again.

The three-time American Legion National Recruiter of the Year became a four-time winner during the 94th National Convention in Indianapolis. Carr, a member of the Department of Virginia, brought 546 new members into The American Legion this year.

Carr quickly shifted praise to those watching him receive his award. "To all of you in The American Legion, it’s because of the things that The American Legion stands for, I was proud to recruit people for it," Carr said. "There is no magic bullet (for recruiting). Just ask."

Carr’s award was one of many given out during the national convention, including several for membership achievements.

  • The O.L. Bodenhamer Trophy, presented to the department that led The American Legion in traditional membership for the Flag Day report on June 14 – Department of Florida
  • All Target Dates Award, presented to departments that meet every target date during the membership year – Department of the Philippines
  • Department Commander of the Year Award – Joseph Carsley, Department of the Philippines.
  • Award for exceeding membership goal by utilizing traditional methods – Department of the Philippines
  • Race to the Top winners – Ray E. Thiessen, Department of Arizona; Ronald W. Parshall, Department of California; Jay Conti Sr., Department of Florida; and Robert D. Kiley, Department of Florida
  • Departments achieving a Consolidated Post Report response rate of 95 percent or higher – departments of Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming
  • Department commanders who were the top fundraisers in their respective category: David M. Hicks, Department of Illinois; Larry J. Abshire, Department of Louisiana; Melvin G. Smullen, Department of Maryland; George Cyboron, Department of Nebraska; Kerrie G. Gill Sr., Department of Pennsylvania; and Francis J. Killay, Department of Vermont
  • Department commanders who exceeded the National Emergency Fund challenge by per capita: Phil Youngblood, Department of Georgia; Jeanette Rae, Department of Nevada; W. Michael Bowen, Department of New York
  • Departments that met their per capita challenge of 100 percent: Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi


Other awards presented during the national convention included:

  • Award for Outstanding Employer of Veterans – Burditt Trucking, Columbus, Ga.; Alpha Protective Services, Spring Lake, N.C.; and Smith and Wesson, Springfield, Mass.
  • Local Veterans Employment Representative of the Year 2011 – Anthony Medina, Denver, Colo.
  • Award for Outstanding Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist of the Year – Willetta E. Hilliard-Walker, Alabama
  • Award for Outstanding Employer of the Disabled – Nancy L. Smith, Lufkin, Texas
  • Award to the Outstanding Employment Service Local Office of the Year – Workforce Solutions Panhandle Office 0601, Amarillo, Texas
  • Homeless Veterans Outreach Award — Department of Oregon American Legion family
  • Award for Outstanding Employer of Older Workers – Burditt Trucking, Columbus, Ga.
  • Garland D. Murphy Jr. Award to the department raising the most money for the Child Welfare Foundation – Department of Ohio
  • U.S. "Udie" Grant Legacy to the department raising the most money as The American Legion family for the Child Welfare Foundation – Department of Ohio
  • William F. Lenker National Service Trophy to the department that best supports and implements programs to benefit veterans, their families and their survivors – Department of Florida
  • Frank Belgrano Jr. Trophy to the department rendering the most outstanding service to the Boy Scouts of America – Department of North Carolina
  • Ralph T. O’Neil Education Trophy to the department within the United States documenting the greatest activity in operating The American Legion School Medal Program – Department of Hawaii
  • Daniel J. O’Connor Americanism Trophy to the department achieving the most outstanding results in conducting Americanism programs – Department of Virginia