John Elskamp (left) shares in Willard B. Hinnant's ceremony where he received his overdue Bronze Star medal.

Veteran foundation's success is spreading

Hours after the February issue of American Legion Magazine reached Legionnaires, John Elskamp’s phone rang nonstop and emails poured in. They were all in response to an article that ran about the Air Force veteran and Legionnaire’s nonprofit foundation, which tracks down overdue war medals for veterans. Suddenly, Elskamp’s expertise is in high demand.

Founded in 2010 by Elskamp, the Veterans Legacy Foundation of Cameron, N.C., pursues awards owed to veterans, from World War I to the war on terror. In just two years, the foundation has given overdue recognition to more than 35 veterans across North Carolina, with hopes of expanding the foundation’s operations outside the state to give even more veterans the recognition they deserve. The Veterans Legacy Foundation’s hopes of expanding were answered with the Legion Magazine article.

Elskamp has received calls and emails from across the nation, keeping him and his staff busy. Elskamp and the foundation’s staff of 10 Legionnaire volunteers work tirelessly, poring through historical files, searching for platoon leaders and commanding officers, and even looking for charitable donations. The Veterans Legacy Foundation offers its services free of charge, understanding the value and importance of leaving behind a legacy. But for those who would like to make a donation to help the foundation provide honorable services to veterans and their families, visit

Read a fuller version of the Veterans Legacy Foundation story here.