I Am The American Legion - John P. "Sean" Powers

“Knowing that we're doing good is going to keep me (active in the Legion) forever. That's what it's all about.”

Working for the New York Police Department in early 2001, Sean Powers knew little about The American Legion. Then a friend who belonged to the former Downtown Athletic Club post invited him to a Fleet Week event in late May.

“I met a lot of great guys (and) thought it was a great event,” he recalls.

A few months later, on Sept. 11, terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center. Shortly after the attack, Powers’ phone began ringing. “Here are guys who I had just met (at the Legion) ... and they are calling through to the aviation unit down at the NYPD,” he says. “Not only was there concern for myself and the other guys, but it was also, ‘What do you need? What can we do?’ It was pretty early in the day, and the only thing we knew (we needed were) gloves and respirators. It must have been two, two-and-a-half hours later I got a call: ‘Sean, there’s a truck at the gate looking for you.’

“I went out to the gate and found out it was from one of the members of that American Legion post. I don’t know how he got it, but there were boxes upon boxes of respirators. Not only the cheap little ones, but the really nice ones – and tons of gloves. Anything from your garden gloves to the real high-end work gloves. It said, ‘From your brothers and sisters at the American Legion post.’”

Powers ended up joining the Legion and has served as commander of 9-11 Memorial Post 2001 – the former Downtown Athletic Club post – for 10 years. “What I saw from the guys in this post is what I’ve come to realize is the norm of The American Legion,” he says. “There’s a lot of good that the Legion does, and it’s really good to give back.”

Branch of Service
U.S. Army (1982-1988)
Rank at Discharge
Chief warrant officer 2
MOS Helicopter pilot
American Legion Post
9-11 Memorial Post 2001, New York City
Years in the Legion 12
Veterans Activities
Post commander, county commander