Horton named Legion Post 131’s Outstanding Member
By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist
Columbiana’s American Legion Post 131 named Sam Horton its Outstanding Member of the Year at their June meeting.
Horton was a Marine for four years and served during the Vietnam War.
He ended his service in 1969 as a staff sergeant.
When asked what he loved about being part of the American Legion, he shared this with us: “For God and country is our motto, and I feel like I’m doing exactly that when I help our veterans and our community.”
Specifically, he is proud of the fact that his post sends a teen to Boys or Girls State each year, and that he and his post members work to furnish lawyers that assist vets in getting the disability benefits that they deserve.
Horton joined Post 131 three years ago after meeting other members at a booth at Columbiana’s Cowboy Day celebration.
“They seemed like a great bunch of guys, the kind of guys I thought I’d like to be around,” he said, “And I wasn’t wrong.”
Tom Barnes, 1st Vice Commander and Chaplain of the local chapter, talked about Horton’s many honorable contributions of time and service to this organization.
“He has tirelessly worked to recruit new members, procured funds for the post and assist disabled vets,” he said, adding Horton has only missed one meeting in three years, and has never missed a recruiting event.
Barnes said Horton also obtained the donations that enabled the Post to purchase the flags they needed to decorate the local cemeteries for Memorial Day each year.
Barnes summed up his praise of Horton by saying, “He’s never failed to assist me in any endeavor. He’s a credit to Columbiana, Alabama, and his country!”
Horton said his passion for recruiting new members comes from his desire to see the Legion continue to faithfully assist veterans of the younger generation.
“We are currently recruiting Gulf War vets especially. Most of us at this post are in our 70s, and we need younger members to make sure the work continues when we are gone,” he said.
Post 131 currently meets once a month at the Shops of Columbiana at 104 Main Street in Columbiana. If you are a veteran from any branch, you can join them when they meet on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m.
The Columbiana American Legion is currently working on moving into a permanent location by the end of this year. To make a donation toward their efforts to fund their local projects, contact Tom Barnes at (205) 337-6156.