"Indianapolis -- The American Red Cross in Huntingburg has a new "
Official Biography Richard A. Jewell, Commander The American Legion, Department of Indiana For God and Country July 2012 Richard A. Jewell, a Viet Nam veteran from Bath, Indiana, was elected State Commander of the 100,000-member American Legion Department of Indiana during the closing session of the 94th annual state convention in Indianapolis July 14, 2012. His election was unanimous and by acclamation. As State Commander, Jewell will serve as the organization’s executive officer until July 2013. During that time, he will be responsible for the programs, legislative priorities and public statements of the organization. Jewell was nominated for the high office of Department Commander by his daughter Carole Kehl, an American Legion member from Post 122 in Liberty. Commander Jewell is a nine-year veteran of the United States Army and a member of American Legion Post 122 in Liberty, IN, which awarded him an honorary life membership in 1995 in recognition of his service to the post. In addition to his active military service, Jewell also served for six years in the Army Reserve. During his military service, Jewell was an Aviation Maintenance Mechanic with service in the Republic of Vietnam and Germany. Following military service Jewell operated his own Commercial and Residential Carpentry business for more than twenty years, retiring in 2010. During that time he was active in The American Legion, serving in increasingly responsible positions at the post, district, department, and national levels. Among his many offices and accomplishments, he was: A member of Post 77, Brookville, from 1977 through 1981, serving as Sergeant-at-Arms and delegate to Department Conventions. A member of Post 122, Liberty, from 1987 to present, serving as Sergeant-at-Arms, 2nd Vice Commander, 1st Vice Commander, and Post Commander. 10th District Membership Chairman, Judge Advocate, Finance Officer, and District Commander in 1994-1995. Department Vice Commander in 1999-2000 and Department Membership Chairman for 2005- 2006. Vice Chairman of the Department Children and Youth and Department Oratorical committees, Chairman of the Department Softball and Membership committees, and eleven years as a member-at-large of the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Children's Home Committee. Jewell also has chaired all four of the Department's permanent commissions. Indiana's representative to the National Veterans Assistance and Rehabilitation Commission, now serving his fourth three-year term. In addition to his Legion service, Jewell also is active in VFW Post 1472 in Liberty, Masonic Lodge 58 also in Liberty, American Legion Riders Chapter 500 at Speedway Post 500 in Indianapolis, the Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans in Canada, United States Unit (ANAVICUS), and the Indiana American Legion Past District Commanders Club. The new commander is married to Ida, who is an active American Legion leader in her own right. They are the parents of one daughter, Carole; he is stepfather to two sons, Scott and Steve Stirn Jewell and his family maintained a military presence nearly continuously for 43 years, with as many as four members serving concurrently, beginning in 1967 and continuing until the fall of 2011. Collectively, Jewell and his family have over 60 years of active duty and reserve and National Guard service, including three Korean tours, two tours in Germany, and a total of eight combat tours in Viet Nam, Somalia, Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Ida Jewell is an Army veteran with three years of active duty and six years of Army Reserve service. As a member of Liberty’s Post 122 since 1987, she has served in many of the same offices and capacities as the new commander, and she also is Chairperson of the Department Junior Shooting Sports Committee. In that capacity, she travels each year to Colorado Springs to serve on the National Staff of the American Legion National Air Rifle Competition. Daughter Carole is an Army veteran with four plus years of active duty, including a tour of duty in Korea and a combat tour in Somalia. Stepson Scott Stirn is an Army veteran with four years active duty, including a tour of duty in Germany. Stepson Steve Stirn, is a retired Army veteran with 23 years of service. His assignments included Desert Storm and an Iraq deployment in 2005, two deployments to Afghanistan, and one to Pakistan, along with service in Korea. The Commander’s special project for his year in office will be to assist the Indiana Veterans Home in Lafayette with refurbishing and modernizing the guest house at the home. ###