Jefferson City, MO (July 24, 2012) – Arthur Wilson, State Commander of the American Legion, announced today that Paul D. Bennett of Sedalia was honored at the state convention as the Distinguished Legionnaire for 2012. This is the highest award that a Legionnaire can be awarded for their continued service to community, state and nation in behalf of programs benefiting veterans, their spouses and children, and the children and youth in our community. In 1960, Bennett enlisted in the United States Army, served in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and then continued his honorable service to our nation for more than 23 years.
He joined The American Legion in 1973 while stationed in Augsburg, Germany, transferred to Georgia and then to George H. Whiteman Post 642 of Sedalia in 1991.
Bennett has consistently put “Legion First” throughout his career. He has constantly looked for ways to reinvigorate and improve the daily functions and membership at the post level. Bennett has served his post in many capacities; Finance officer, Historian, Judge Advocate, Adjutant, and currently as the Chairman of the Post’s Children and Youth, Publicity, JROTC, Oratorical, Baseball and Membership committees. He also serves as the Post Newsletter Editor.
He continued that trend as District Commander by bringing the 7th District to 100 percent of their membership goal for two consecutive years. His hard work resulted in the 7th District being named the “Top District” for those two years.
Bennett was elected as the State Historian in 2001 and has produced several award winning history books for the Department while also serving as State Children and Youth Chairman Committee. He has completely revamped this committee and has become heavily involved in the Operation Military Kids Program.
Bennett was one of the principle participants in creating the West Central Veterans Association of Pettis County for recognizing area veterans and their families. He has been a persistent force in reaping many benefits for the local JROTC program.
He and his wife have been married for more than 34 years. They have one son, Garritt and his wife and three children in Johnson County, Texas. Their daughter, Jennifer and her husband and three children reside in Concordia, Missouri. Their daughter, Crystal with 2 children resides in Sedalia, Missouri.
Wilson states that Legionniare Bennett has unquestionably demonstrated his qualities of leadership and devotion to the American Legion and to the Veterans of Missouri and our Nation.