OXFORD – On Friday, Oct. 21, the Chenango County American Legion will host a joint visitation by the Legion’s top state level officials- Department of New York State Commander John B. Sampson, State Auxiliary President Debbie Kryczkowski, and State Sons of the American Legion (SAL) Detachment Commander J. Bruce Ruthven. During the visitation, the officials will visit the NYS Veterans’ Home, tour the Raymond Corp., and have dinner at the Fort Hill Post 376.
During their one-year terms in office, the officials travel to all of New York’s sixty-two counties and visit each of the state’s five veterans’ homes as part of the annual visitation. Their purpose is to coordinate Legion activities and to see what is being done for veterans and their families.
While in Chenango County, Commander Sampson, President Kryczkowski and Detachment Commander Ruthven are scheduled to begin their visitation at the NYS Veterans’ Home at Oxford at 11 a.m. The dignitaries will be given a guided tour of the Home and will hold a press conference.
The Veterans’ Home will host a luncheon at noon. Immediately following, at 1:30 p.m., will be a tour of the Raymond Corporation in Greene. Raymond is world recognized for their lift trucks and other innovative material handling equipment.
That evening, Chenango County Commander, William H. Olsen will host a reception followed by a testimonial dinner. The dinner, starting with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m., will be held at the Fort Hill Post 376, located at 17 South Washington Ave, Oxford. The cost of the dinner is $15 per person and tickets will be available at any American Legion post in Chenango County or by contacting CCAL Treasurer P.J. Cobb at (607) 843-6666.
A 40-year member of Hughes-Skiba Post 535 in Salamanca, State Commander Sampson is a Vietnam-era US Navy veteran. He has held numerous key positions including commander of Post 535 and of Cattaraugus County Legion, and leadership positions of the 8th District Legion. John was also inducted into the NYS Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame in May of 2016.
Commander Sampson’s focus for the year is communications and the Legion’s image. Reaching younger vets with online news and social media is especially important to him.