Stephen "Lee" Lee - Detachment Commander 2018-2019

I was born in Denver, CO. I spent my youth just outside of Lyons, CO. After a year at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO, I decided to enlist. I chose the USAF and drove to Greeley because the recruiter said if I wanted in, he would get me in immediately. I had no idea how immediate that would be, but within 24 hours I was on a plane for the Battle of Lackland in San Antonio, TX. Keesler AFB was my training base in Biloxi MS. I had no idea where things were headed as I had wanted to be an Air Traffic Controller, like my father, but I failed a depth perception test at the MEPS. I passed it subsequently in Texas but I ended up "Open Electronics". I was quite thoroughly investigated and finally finished my training after 14 months. I was then assigned to what turned out to be my first and last assignment, Offutt AFB in Bellevue, NE.

From the moment I arrived I knew things were different for me. I was somehow being marshalled towards a job assignment I had never even heard of before. I was going to be airborne on the NEACP. It turned out to be an immensely rewarding tour. I was always fast tracked and I was very happy with my tour. My only regret was not re-enlisting, but as it turned out, had I done that I would have not been happy. They eliminated the position I had and I would have had to cross train to another job.

I joined the American Legion originally in 2004. I never really attended anything and my membership lapsed. At that time I saw no real advantage to being a member. In 2011, I was attending an event at the Westminster Armed Forces Tribute Garden. It was one of many I had attended but this time I noticed the American Legion was represented. I struck up a conversation with one member and decided it was time to help veterans, especially now after two more wars and knowing how the men and women of the Services were treated after the Vietnam Conflict. I decided I would make an effort to ensure that would not happen. I joined and within a few months I was nominated as the Legion At Large, and in December 2011 I became the Jr. Vice Commander. I decided one way I could help was to handle the Website and Email for the Post and I did that from November 2011 until June of 2014. In March of 2012 I became the Post Adjutant. I then joined District 5 as the Adjutant and the next year I was Sr Vice Commander. I was also active at Department in Membership and PR. After removing myself from all Officer positions at 11-11 in 2013 I transferred to Post 58 in Broomfield CO.

I joined the Sons in 2012 with Squadron 11-11. I later that year became the became the Adjutant/Finance Officer. I joined Detachment that year as a JR Vice Commander. In 2014 I had intended to be Sr Vice but ended up becoming the Detachment Adjutant instead. In that year I founded Squadron 58 in Broomfield and became their Commander.

I moved to Roswell, NM in 2016, intending to withdraw completely from the American Legion and did so for almost a year. I did start to attend meetings in Roswell at Post 28 and ended up transferring my Squadron Membership when I became Finance Officer. After about a year I transferred my Legion membership when I became Finance Officer for the Post. I attended State convention and ended up Detachment Commander in 2018-2019.

My vision for New Mexico involves an evolution to welcoming in the younger Legionnaires/Sons. Making slight but necessary changes to make membership more attractive to them. I can relate to a degree as my initial involvement with the Legion was not very positive but now I can see that it is a simple question of evolution, as with any group, you must change or fade away. I find myself in between the younger and the older, but it reminds me that we must all work harder to achieve our goals when every day the requirements are different.

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