Banner Post 109 Benson, North Carolina
Banner Post 109
American Legion Banner Post 109 holds a charter date of 1943 and a permanent charter dated 4-19-1957. Banner Post 109 is an essential part in the life of the Benson community. The Post grew from 32 members in 1943 to well over 1,000 members several years later despite the comparatively small population it serves. Membership now stands at about 540 members. Also we have a very active Legion Riders Chapter, Sons of American Legion Chapter in addition to our American Legion Auxiliary.
Many of the post's members are also members of the Johnston County 40 & 8 - a group of former officers of posts in the county that supports the nursing program at Johnston Community College and the South Johnston JrROTC program.
The Benson Post has produced some great leaders including Past National Commander Ray Smith as well as Bob Tart, National Executive Committeeman. Ray Smith was elected National Commander of the 2.8 million-member American Legion on September 7, 2000 in Milwaukee, Wis. during the 82nd National Convention. Ray became a member of the American Legion on 9-7-1955 the day after he was first discharged from the U. S. Air Force. His military service did not end there. He enlisted again for four years in the active reserves and was honorably discharged in 1959..He served in many leadership positions in his home post including 24 years as Post Adjutant. On the state level, He served in every position up to and including State Commander.
Bob Tart served several terms as post commander and financial officer, held various State offices including that of Department Commander and served as National Executive Committeeman longer than anyone in the United States. . He served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He received many national awards including the National Achievement Award, the Division Commander’s Trophy, and the Calvacade of Freedom Plaque. Bob was a charter member of Voiture Locale No. 1517 of the 40 & 8 serving in many offices. Both Ray Smith and Bob Tart were life members of Banner Post 109.
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