WAYNE L. FISCHER 2021-2022 Department Commander Biography
- I grew up on a farm is SW Minnesota and attended a 12 Grade Consolidated Country School called “Sioux Valley High School” and always dreamed about being a pilot.
- I attended the University of Minnesota and graduated in December 1965 with a Bachelors Degree in Animal Science.
- In January 1966 I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and graduated from Officer Candidate School (OCS) in March of 1966 as a 2nd
- After OCS I completed Flight Training at the Naval Air Training Command in Pensacola, FL., earning my “Navy Wings of Gold” in the spring of 1967. My specialty was Flying Helicopters.
- I arrived in South Vietnam on September 29th, 1967, my 24th
- I flew my entire tour with HMM-363, “The Lucky Red Lions”. We flew H-34 helicopters in support of our Marines; the South Vietnamese Army; Korean Marines and others during my 12 months and 20 days in Vietnam.
- After departing Vietnam as a Marine Captain, I received orders to the Naval Air Training Command in Meridian, MS where I was a Jet Flight Instructor for 2.5 years training both Navy and Marine Flight Students.
- I have flown a total of 2500 hours in helicopters, jets, props, and sail planes.
- I spent 38 years in Sales and Sales Management in the Livestock Feed and the Pet Food Industry.
- I am a Paid-up-for-Life Member of both the American Legion and the VFW.
- I served as Post 43 Commander for 4 years and served thru the chairs of the County; District; Division and I am currently the 2021-22 Commander of the Department of Illinois American Legion.
- My wife, Iris and I grew up in the same farming community and attended the same Country School. We have been happily married for 55 years and have 2 children: Victoria and Waylon and 4 grandchildren.
- Currently I am also involved in Veteran Organizations like the DuPage Veterans Foundation, and I am an Honorary Member of our Naperville Responds for our Veterans.
- I have been an active participant as the “XO” of The Naperville Marines. We are a social organization that serves one purpose and that is the hold the annual United States Marine Corps Birthday Ball here in Naperville.
As part of my ongoing commitment to my fellow Veterans and the 4-Pillars of the American Legion, I have served on the 11th District and 2nd Division VA&R Commission; the National Security Commission for the Department; the Staff at Illinois Premier Boys State including being on the Premier Boys State Board of Directors for 2 years; and I have been an active member of the Department of Illinois Leadership Team. Currently I serve on the National Youth Education Commission representing the Department of Illinois.
LOMAC A. PAYTON 2021-2022 Department Senior Vice Commander Biography
I was born and grew up in Alabama. I graduated from Greenville High School and then attended Alabama State University for one year. I earned my eligibility in the American Legion by my Military Service in the United States Army, where I served my country for 2 tours in Korea from 1952 to 1955. I joined the American Legion in 1978 and have 43 continuous years with Harry E. Wiles Post 381 in Abingdon, IL. I served 3 terms as Post Commander, 10 years with the Post Color Guard and assisted with various fundraisers. I am currently serving as the 15th District Finance Officer and Chairman of the Community Service & Publicity Committee.
I have also served as:
- 15th District Commander for 2 terms
- 3rd Division Commander
- National Legislative Council Member for 2 terms
- National Security Council for 3 terms
- 8 years on Department Convention Sgt at Arms Committee
On July 17, 2021, I was elected to the high office of Department Sr. Vice Commander which I am now serving. I have participated in several membership retention workshops and served on the Department Membership Caravan as we traveled throughout the State.