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New Legion commander advocates humble service, continued traditions

As the community mourned its late local American Legion commander, Ed Miller, many wondered or asked: Who next will lead the local Fletcher-Pechacek Post 121?

Veteran Todd Schultz, who was first vice commander upon Miller's death, confirmed Monday that he is now serving as Legion commander.

He said the American Legion's executive committee met Feb. 13 to discuss the leadership transition and select the person or process that best fit the needs of the membership and organization.

Other Legion officers include Jim Miller as First Vice Commander and Peter DeSanctis as Second Vice Commander.

Schultz said the local post will hold officer elections this spring.

Though hesitant to talk about himself for a community introduction, the new commander agreed to share, stating before all else: "First and most important: Thank you to all veterans who served our great nation!"

Schultz commented that everyone is a leader, each with unique styles and characteristics. He said his priorities are faith, family and friends.

"My emphasis has been on integrity, honesty, respect for all, and unselfish service to others as best I can -- as well as to do so in a manner of quiet humility," he said.

Schultz served four years of active duty in the Air Force during the Vietnam era as a deputy missile combat crew commander in the Strategic Air Command. He spent 16 years in the Air Force Reserve as chief of supply for critical war-readiness spare kits and munitions and fuels. Schultz was part of a team of service members charged with ensuring the mission capability and worldwide deployment capacity of the C-130 aircraft.

His chief responsibilities increased to eventually include oversight of critical supply at five C-130 bases.

Schultz said about his time in the Air Force, "Throughout my service, I was but a part of 'teams' of dedicated comrades that worked together for the good of our nation."

Schultz moved with his family to River Falls in 1994 and retired in 2009 from a position as school district psychologist.

Schultz said he enjoys being a part of the St Croix Valley Genealogy Society and serving on the board of directors for the Kinnic Falls Alcohol-Drug Abuse Services.

He said his wife, Dee, also retired in 2009 after working as a cosmetologist in River Falls, giving her more time to enjoy favorite activities, such as art quilting.

Schultz said as part of the Legion's leadership team, his intent is to continue the "fine traditions of the American Legion" in respecting and honoring veterans and their families who provide support.

He also sees continued service to the community through the Legion supporting youth leadership experiences, baseball and other sports, school music and the oratorical contests, as well as activities on Memorial and Veterans Day and other holidays.

Through its many activities, says the commander, the Legion hopes to keep supporting all types of veterans and promoting good citizenship and teamwork throughout the community.

He said, "And, we are very grateful to our River Falls community that provides us with both the opportunity to be of service, as well as the financial support through activities and events that we need in order to be of service -- to our great nation, our fellow veterans, and our wonderful community!"