VFW votes in new com­man­der

The Star Democrat - - FRONT PAGE - By DENAE SPIERING dspier­ing@ches­pub.com BY DENAE SPIERING/DSPIER­ING@CHES­PUB.COM

Vet­er­ans of For­eign Wars Post 5118 in Easton has a new com­man­der, Ken­ley Timms.

EASTON — Vet­er­ans of For­eign Wars Post 5118 in Easton has a new com­man­der, Ken­ley Timms.

Com­man­ders gen­er­ally serve for two years, but for­mer Com­man­der Mike John­son served for three years.

“I had very good luck (as com­man­der), be­cause I had good peo­ple around me like Ken­ley,” John­son said. “What we tried to do and what we did do was to get ev­ery­one in the of­fi­cer group in­volved and trained to be able to move up to take the next po­si­tion.”

Timms served as John­son’s se­nior vice com­man­der, and he said he learned a lot from the ex­pe­ri­ence.

The VFW held an elec­tion in May, and Timms ran for com­man­der un­op­posed and was sworn into the po­si­tion on June 6.

Timms grad­u­ated from Stevensville High School in 1966 and joined the United States Army on June 5, 1968.

Af­ter spend­ing two months at ba­sic train­ing in Fort Bragg, N.C., he was sent to Fort Gor­don, Ga., where he served as a per­son­nel spe­cial­ist.

“Ba­si­cally like a hu­man re­sources job,” Timms said.

Dur­ing his time at Fort Gor­don, Timms re­ceived a ci­ta­tion for out­stand­ing per­for­mance from a com­pany com­man­der.

In April 1969, Timms was de­ployed to 129th Main­te­nance Sup­port Group in Nha Trang, Viet­nam, where he again served as a per­son­nel spe­cial­ist.

Timms re­turned from Viet­nam in March 1970, with sev­eral ac­co­lades in­clud­ing a Na­tional De­fense Ser­vice Medal, Viet­nam Ser­vice Medal, Viet­nam Cam­paign Ser­vice Medal and a Good Con­duct Medal.

In ad­di­tion to his mil­i­tary ser­vice, Timms has served as pres­i­dent of Viet­nam Vet­er­ans of Amer­ica Chap­ter 648 and sat on the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee at the Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 70 in Easton.

Timms also has been a mem­ber of AMVETS Post 16 in Den­ton and Amer­i­can­ism chair­man for the State of Mary­land VFW.

Not only has his pre­vi­ous ca­reer and po­si­tions pre­pared

him for ti­tle of com­man­der, but for the past three years Timms has been John­son’s right hand man.

“We were in each other’s back pocket,” John­son said. “Al­ways sup­port­ing one an­other and of­fer­ing ad­vice when needed.”

“He is still in my back pocket,” Timms said.

John­son said he and Timms worked very closely to­gether over the past three years, which made the tran­si­tion to com­man­der much eas­ier.

“Over the course of three years, he filled in for me sev­eral times,” John­son said. “He had great ex­pe­ri­ence.”

John­son said he will re­main ac­tively in­volved with the post and of­fer any help to Timms he may need.

As com­man­der of the post, Timms will over­see the op­er­a­tion of the post, the com­mu­nity events and is re­quired to at­tend dis­trict meet­ings and state meet­ings.

“The VFW com­man­der is the fo­cal point,” John­son said. “He is the go-to point to help vet­er­ans in every as­pect.”

Each com­man­der takes the po­si­tion and es­tab­lishes a goal for his term. John­son said his goal was to keep the post alive.

“The goal was to keep the post oper­a­tional, up to full speed and to make the post money,” John­son said. “Ev­ery­thing we did and ev­ery­thing

we ac­com­plished; we were for­tu­nate to come in $4,000 un­der bud­get.”

John­son said the post was able to come out ahead while ac­com­plish­ing ev­ery­thing they had sought out to do. Some of those things in­cluded im­prove­ments to the kitchen, brand new dump­sters and new up­hol­stery for all the chairs in the bar.

Timms said the only area the post has failed in is mem­ber­ship num­bers. He said as com­man­der he is mak­ing it his per­sonal goal to boost mem­ber­ship.

The post con­ducts sev­eral com­mu­nity events and vet­eran sup­port pro­grams through­out the year, in­clud­ing the an­nual Easter egg hunt; visit­ing re­tire­ment homes, nurs­ing homes, schools and sum­mer camps; help­ing with vet­eran fu­neral ar­range­ments; writ­ing to con­gress­men re­gard­ing vet­eran is­sues; and they even make time to take World War II vet­er­ans to lunch.

Since March, the post con­ducted more than 500 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice in and around Tal­bot County.

“There is a lot go­ing on and that is why mem­ber­ship is so im­por­tant,” Timms said. “We do not just come in here and drink our soda and our beer, we do a lot for the com­mu­nity.” Fol­low me on Twit­ter

@Dspier­ing617

Newly sworn in VFW Post 5118 Com­man­der Ken­ley Timms stands in­side the hall at the VFW in Easton.

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