Bryan P. Bradford was recently named commander of the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 202 of Columbia. He belongs, so far, to three military organizations, SAL, Sons of the American Revolution and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, all of Columbia.
Sons of the American Legion Squadron 202 of Columbia was formed in September 2011 by Jeff Sapp and 10 other charter members. I transferred my membership from Post 5 in Jefferson City. I have been a member of the SAL for almost seven years, starting my membership in Hutchinson, Kan.
By joining SAL, you have to either have or had a parent or grandparent who is currently serving or did serve in the military. Also, if one of the parents or grandparents are members of the American Legion, you are eligible for SAL membership. My membership was through my grandfather William E. Johnston, who served in World War I.
On Sept. 27, I was installed as Squadron 202 Commander here in Columbia. Being a member or an officer of such a great organization gives me pride in what it stands for: helping veterans and their families, helping out at the VA Hospital, working with the American Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary and now the Legion Riders. There are also programs for the schools and students.
One of the important things that the American Legion likes to do is have demonstrations on Flag etiquette. Having the position of Commander for Squadron 202 demonstrates leadership and Americanism in the American Legion. I just wish grandpa Bill was alive to see what I have done and what I have planned for the future of SAL Squadron 202.
More information about the author: Bryan P. Bradford was born on March 17, 1971, in Kinsley, Kan., to Robert Bryan Bradford and the late Diana Francis Johnston. Robert B. Bradford is a former navy veteran and Diana F. (Johnston) Bradford was a former Ladies Auxiliary member through the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kinsley, Kan. Bryan P. Bradford's hobby is genealogy. Bryan has been doing genealogy since 1991, and has his main blood line dated back to Robert and Margaret Bradford of England. Bryan's 6th great-grandfather Robert Bradford was born in England in 1730. Through this line, Bryan has his membership in the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution) and belongs to the M. Graham Clark Chapter in Columbia.
This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.