PNC Keith Kreul passes away
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of American Legion Past National Commander Keith Kreul, who died Dec. 28. Kreul served as national commander from 1983-1984.
At the request of Commander Kreul and his family, there will be no formal memorial services held at this time. A private burial with military honors will be held at a later date at the Prairie Cemetery in Fennimore, Wis. Memorials may be given to the American Legion Post 184, 960 Lincoln Ave., Fennimore, Wis., 53809; or the charity of your choice in loving memory of Keith A. Kreul. The Larson Family Funeral Home of Fennimore is assisting the family, and online condolences may be made at www.larsonfuneralhomes.com.
More details about Kreul, including remembrances from fellow Legionnaires, will appear on www.legion.orgin the coming week. The American Legion also interviewed NC Kreul about his military and American Legion experiences in 2014. Click here to watch the interview.
Philip B. Onderdonk Jr. retiring after 35 years
Philip B. Onderdonk Jr. moved into The American Legion National Judge Advocate’s office at a time when legal work at National Headquarters in Indianapolis required mastery of such tools as typewriters, paper, correction tape, pens and leather-bound books filled with case law.
The typewriter keys clack no more. The pads and pens might be in a box somewhere. The books have barely wiggled in a decade.
“Computers,” Onderdonk says without hesitation, made the biggest difference during his 35 years as chief legal counsel for the nation’s largest organization of wartime veterans. “They’re all over the place now. Back when I started, Bert Davis did not have a computer, and neither did I. We used to do research in these books. Statutes. Supreme Court case law. Encyclopedias. Nowadays, you can do it much faster on the computer.”
On Jan. 1, having served as a national officer of The American Legion longer than anyone in history, Onderdonk is retiring. Navy veteran Kevin Bartlett, a 28-year member of American Legion Post 79 in Marshall, Mich., has been appointed by American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan to assume the office. Onderdonk, a Vietnam War Army veteran and member of American Legion Post 183 in Parkville, Md., will continue as a legal consultant until August 2018.
In 1983, Onderdonk was appointed to replace Bertram G. Davis of New York, who had filled the office for the previous 23 years. Bartlett, who has served as assistant national judge advocate since June 2017, becomes just the ninth national judge advocate since the organization’s founding in 1919.
Surrounded by half-filled cardboard boxes, his walls bare of certificates, diplomas, awards and artwork that revealed to any visitor his love of trains and history, Onderdonk recently reflected on his tenure as national judge advocate, only the third to hold that office since 1935. … Read More