Presenting him with the Legion's Distinguished Service Medal in 1955, National Commander Seaborn P. Collins said Walsh "is primarily responsible for the establishment of the National Guard as the principal and most effective reserve component of the Army and the Air Force. He has a distinguished record of military service, exceeding over 50 years, and it still continues."

A charter member of Post 339 in Minneapolis, Walsh fought constantly for legislation in the best interest of The American Legion and the National Guard.

Receiving his award, Walsh said, "In honoring me you have honored a great cause, the Army and the Air National Guard of the United States, and they will be thrilled by the recognition which you have given to them."

After World War II, Walsh fought yet another war, in defense of the National Guard. Disturbed by negativity found in the Time magazine headline "The National Guard is Dead," Ellard would not concede the importance of the Guard, which remains alive today, largely because of him.

A Canadian by birth, Walsh was a child when his family moved to Minneapolis. He served two terms as president of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), from 1928 to 1930 and from 1943 until his retirement in 1957.

Walsh is credited with starting a national NGAUS office in Washington, D.C., and a national magazine, both of which continue today.

Despite the headlines forecasting doom, Walsh helped keep his Guard alive and well. He died in 1975, at 88. His legacy lives on in the Walsh-Reckord Hall of States in Washington, D.C.

For more on Walsh, click here. (http://www.ngaus.org/content.asp?bid=14478)

 

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