L-R: Past Commander Dick Pelc, Commander Mark Starsky and Past Commander Bill Hegg.

After a stint as the Amery American Legion Post 169 First Vice Commander for five years and Commander for four, Bill Hegg is stepping down. Mark Starsky has been named the new Commander.

Hegg said his years as Commander were challenging. “I got off to a very good start and I was very enthusiastic, but then COVID hit and that was a challenge, especially with our fundraising,” he said.

Hegg said Legion membership and meeting attendance had increased prior to COVID. Since then, Hegg said, “We have held our own.”

He shared that Poppy Drives, which the American Legion in well known for, stayed strong despite the pandemic and he credits the wonderful community of Amery for that.

Hegg said it is an honor to be a part of the American Legion. “It is a wonderful organization. We all give our time and effort for good causes for the community, the school and for veterans in need,”said Hegg.

He enjoys the Camaraderie with fellow veterans and is proud of the way Amery’s Legion and VFW work together to provide Military Honors for fallen veterans. “It is absolutely wonderful,” he said.

Hegg said he is excited for Starksy and he feels he is going to do a wonderful job being the newest Commander.

New Officers of Post 169 were sworn in May 31, 2022 by Past Commander and Transition Coordinator Dick Pelc. Hegg said Pelc was instrumental in the process.

Besides Starsky, others sworn in were First Vice Jim Adams, Second Vice Oliver (OJ) Aune and Adjutant Gary Wolf.

Although he is no longer Commander, Hegg said he will still be quite involved in the Legion as a Past Commander. He said, “A Past Commander is always there to assist the new Commander. When I was Commander, I had input and help from Past Commanders and I appreciated that.”

Hegg said he will be the fifth Past Commander still living.

When asked what it means to him to be a veteran, Hegg responded, “It means everything.”

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