McClain recognized for hard work, dedication during 2019-2020 Legion Year

Published 10:30 am Monday, May 18, 2020

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PELHAM — Comrade Jerry McClain received the Legionnaire of the Year Award from The American Legion on behalf of Matthew Blount Post 555, in recognition of his hard work and dedication during the 2019-2020 Legion year.

Annually, at the end of the post commander’s tenure, he or she presents one member with this prestigious award.

During The American Legion Matthew Blount Post 555 Annual May meeting on May 7, outgoing Commander Kenneth Paschal announced Comrade Jerry McClain as the Post 2020 Legionnaire of the Year.


“Self-motivated, team player, independent post member, go-getter summarizes Jerry McClain,” Paschal said. “Comrade McClain is the epitome of what being a Legionnaire and a member of The American Legion is all about.”

McClain served as Post 555 first vice commander, membership chairperson, post service officer, fundraising committee chairperson, Whole Health peer facilitator at Birmingham VA Medical Center, volunteer instructor at VA Medical Center, Pelham Drug Prevention Impact Team member, and also a Paid Up For Life (PUFL) Legion member with dual membership as an American Legion Rider.

His American Legion education during the 2019-2020 Legion Year includes:

  • First post member to attend the National American Legion College
  • Earned the 2019 National American Legion College diploma
  • Completed The American Legion’s basic training course, June 2019
  • Completed the department veterans service officers training, June 2019
  • Attended three district leadership training sessions
  • Attended three department leadership training sessions

Some of McClain’s achievements and significant accomplishments are listed below:

  • Increased the quality of life for countless veterans by facilitating members’ enrollment for VA health care benefits
  • Established a partnership with the Birmingham VA Medical Center outreach coordinator and regional veteran service officers which enhanced post members claims
  • Instrumental, for the first time since Post 555 chartered in September 2014, in the Post reporting service officer activities on the Consolidated Post Report (CPR). At least 58 cases were handled and at least 10 volunteer hours were recorded at the VA hospital
  • Instrumental in the newly established Post Compassionate and Comfort Care Program for Veterans
  • Instrumental in the post meeting the criteria to receive the Post Excellence Award presented by the national commander with the post achieving at least 103 percent membership
  • McClain supported fellow post member areas of responsibilities by participating in 51-plus post programs and activities
  • As the post fundraiser chairperson, raised thousands of dollars to support post veterans and youth programs
  • Instrumental in the implementation of the post commander’s membership incentive pin/program
  • Earned the national commander’s 2020 recruiting pin for obtaining three new members into The American Legion
  • Instrumental in the post reaching its largest audience in a 12-month period by broadcasting three post general membership meetings via Facebook Live; the viewing audience exceeded 1.9K views
  • For a detailed list of achievements and significant accomplishments, visit

The American Legion Matthew Blount Post 555 is always looking for veterans who would like to be part of the organization. All interested veterans who served from Dec. 7, 1941, to the present is invited to visit  Also, all current active duty military are eligible for membership.