Commanders & Officers
Robert Henderson 2017-2018 Department Commander Biography
I was born May 23, 1942 at Block Station, IL. I attended the schools in Homer, Illinois for 12 years, graduating in 1960.
January 1961, I joined the Navy on the buddy system with two of my friends. We went to boot camp in San Diego, Ca. After boot camp I was sent to Jacksonville, FL where I went to Electricians school. After graduating I was sent to Kodiak, AK where I was stationed for 13 months. After completing my tour there I was sent to Moffett Field at Mountain View, CA. While stationed there I was sent to Patuxent River, MD. I was sent to the Hawaiian Islands many times, and spent 21 days in Australia before being shipped off to Japan. The last base I was on before getting discharged was in Okinawa, Japan where I was honorably discharged in January, 1965.
After my discharge I continued working as an Electrician. I married my wife Dona in July of 1965. We have been married for 51 years. We have three children, one daughter, Tamera, and two sons, Daryl and Bruys.
I joined the American Legion in 1967 at Homer Post #290. In 1977 I held the title of Post Commander.
In 1998 I transferred to Urbana American Legion Post #71 and became the Adjutant and Finance Officer in 2001, and to date I still hold the title of both Adjutant and Finance Officer.
I retired in 2005 which was when I decided to get really involved in the American Legion. When I made this decision I was camping with a tent from Survival Cooking very relaxed.
In 2006-2007 I was the 19th District Historian. In 2007-2008 I was appointed the Department Historian. In 2008-2009 I was appointed Dept. Asst. Historian, and then appointed again as Department Historian from 2012-2013.
I was elected 19th District Commander in 2010-2011. Held the office of Champaign County Commander from 2011-2012. Then from 2013-2014, I was elected 4th Division Commander. From 2014-2015, I was appointed as the Department Asst. Sgt.-at-Arms.
At the District level, in 2016, I hold the title of Chairman for both the State Fair Veteran’s Day Committee and Gifts To The Yanks Committee. And I am currently a member on the Department Finance Commission representing the 4th Division.
On July 16, 2016 at the State Convention held in Springfield, IL I was elected to the high office of Department Sr. Vice Commander for 2016-2017.