L.Z. Harrison Jr. joined The American Legion in 2010 just to be part of the American Legion Riders. Within a year, he stepped up to serve as director of the Riders’ chapter at Richland County Post 6 in Columbia, S.C.
“At the time, there were just a few members,” says Harrison, who immediately set out to grow the group’s membership. “When I took over, I made it a goal to have a full room at the meetings. We reached that within about a year. Now all of our meetings are pretty full.”
He’s proud of all that Post 6’s Riders do for their community, from riding in parades and other patriotic events to participating in funerals for veterans whose cremated remains have long gone unclaimed. They also raise money for The American Legion’s Legacy Fund, which provides college scholarship money for children of post-9/11 veterans who died on active duty or have a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater.
As director of South Carolina’s American Legion Riders, Harrison appreciates the enthusiasm and support he sees at the department level for the Legacy Fund. South Carolina became the first department to organize an in-state Legacy Run to raise money for the scholarship trust. The department routinely ranks among the top five in Legacy Fund donations during The American Legion’s national convention.
When South Carolina started its own Legacy Run, “we weren’t sure how the turnout was going to be,” he says. “Our Riders really took it to heights, and every year they get bigger. A lot of why they do it is for healing. For a lot of veterans struggling with depression, anger issues and that sort of thing, riding with the Legion Riders and having a cause you believe in – such as the Legacy Fund – gives them a feeling of worth. It gives them a feeling that they’re giving back to their community and continuing to serve our country.”
Branch of Service Army (1984-2004)
Rank Sergeant major
Military Personnel services/human resources
American Legion post Richland County Post 6, Columbia, S.C.
Years in the Legion 10
American Legion activities
• American Legion Riders of South Carolina director (2018-present)
• American Legion Riders of South Carolina assistant director (2017-2018)
• American Legion Riders of South Carolina chaplain (2015-2017)
• American Legion Riders Chapter 6 director (2011-present)