Chief Hospital Corpsman Stacie Sullivan was selected as the American Legion Post 86’s 2012-2013 Legionnaire of the Year during an annual Veteran’s Day celebration recently.
The American Legion is the nation’s largest wartime veteran’s service organization that supports past and present veterans and their family members. They are active in advocating for military members as well as veteran’s affairs and rights, and they are active supporters in the community and across the nation in terms of veteran activities.
Sullivan is the executive assistant to the command senior enlisted leader of Joint Task Force National Capital Region, but in her off duty hours spends her time helping veterans and service members as a Legionnaire, a member of the American Legion. Selection as Legionnaire of the Year came as a bit of a surprise to Sullivan, who was unaware that she was even in the running, but attributes her selection to hard work, dedication and commitment.
“I had no idea it was going to happen, I was not expecting it,” said Sullivan. “Legionnaire of the Year is like Sailor of the Year for the capital region. It’s just huge and there are no gift certificates and there are no savings bonds or anything that goes with it. But when you go through a whole year and your giving 110 [percent], going to every function, doing every meeting and trying to make sure things happen without any glitches, and somebody else or the other officers recognize you for what you’ve contributed by awarding you the Legionnaire of the Year, there’s nothing like it. It was very humbling.”
Sullivan has been a member of the Legion for eight years and said her reason for joining was because of the welcoming atmosphere that Post 86 provides.
“I was actually looking for a place to host a retirement party for a staff member and I walked into American Legion Post 86,” said Sullivan. “For whatever reason, that particular post felt like family. I went back two days later to talk about the deposit and what was needed to get the room and when I walked in, the people that were there from the first time remembered my name, that I was in the Navy and my job and where I worked. It’s almost like a second family for those of us that don’t have immediate family right here, a place to go whenever you have a crisis or when you want to celebrate something.”
Senior leadership in Sullivan's command sees her as a competent leader, positively involved in her Sailors’ lives and the community.
“She was very motivated, very supportive and very interested in taking care of other people," said Chief Master Sgt. Alexander D. Perry, command senior enlisted leader Joint Task Force National Capital Region. "When I saw her involvement with the American Legion, I thought it fit very nicely with the way she is as a leader and as a person. She epitomizes service and she cares very much about service members, their families and the activities of the American Legion.”
Sullivan was selected as Legionnaire of the Year due in large part to her ability to take care of service members.
"I think [Sullivan won the award] because she has been active and involved within the American Legion, the community here at Bethesda and across the capital region," said Perry. "She took care of veterans, wounded warriors here specifically, her command and the American Legion while some of the leadership was going through some of their own personal issues. She is just there for people whenever they need her. She’d give you the shirt off her back."
Sullivan said being a part of the Legion has been a great experience and encourages anyone with a desire to serve veterans and service members to think about joining.