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