By Gabe Licht
DELANO, MN National American Legion Commander Dale Barnett will visit Delano American Legion Post 377 Tuesday, Feb. 2, to recognize the post for exceeding its membership goal.
The public is welcome to attend an event with Barnett, beginning with a social hour at 5 p.m. A meal, catered by Red’s Catering, will be provided at 6 p.m.
Following the meal will be a short presentation, a speech by Barnett, a presentation from the Delano Jaycees, and an acknowledgement of Delano Public Schools.
Tickets for the meal are $15 and may be purchased by calling the Delano American Legion at (763) 972-2969. The deadline to order tickets is Friday, Jan. 30.
Dale Barnett was elected national commander of the 2.2 million-member American Legion Sept. 3, 2015, in Baltimore, during the 97th national convention of the nation’s largest veterans organization.
Barnett graduated from the US Military Academy and served as an Army infantry officer from 1974 to 1996, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
A member of American Legion Post 105 in Fayetteville, GA, he served the American Legion at every level, including department (state) commander of Georgia from 2007 to 2008. Barnett served as the American Legion national membership and post activities chairman from 2008 to 2010 and national economic chairman from 2010 to 2013.
After leaving the military, Barnett taught high school social studies and coached basketball, baseball, and cross country. He was a national board-certified social studies teacher in 2003, and the Creekside High School Teacher of the Year for the 2005-2006 school year.
Raised in central Indiana, Barnett attended Whiteland Community High School, where he was student body president, captain of the track and basketball teams, and president of the Whiteland United Methodist Youth Basketball Team. He credits his experience with Hoosier Boys Nation in 1969 with his decision to attend West Point.
Barnett served from 1990 to 1991 as the battalion executive officer of the 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (third award), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (two awards), Kuwait Liberation Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, and Pathfinder Badge.
In addition to an international relations/public affairs degree Barnett earned at West Point, he holds a Masters of Business Administration from Boston University, and graduated from Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS.
Barnett and his wife, Donna, live in Douglasville, GA, and have five children and four grandchildren.