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Robert M. “Bobby” Dodd, a local veteran and long-time active member of the American Legion, will be the grand marshall for this year’s Flag Day parade in Palmyra, Saturday evening.
A Vietnam veteran, Dodd has been an indispensable member of Boots-Dickson Post 174 American Legion in Palmyra through his involvement in program activities both inside and outside of normal Legion post programs.
“Bobby Dodd has always been involved in every activity of our post,” said Nik Yager, post historian.
“He has not been one to seek recognition, but behind the scenes has been a main organizer of practically all activities including the many funerals and parades.”
Bob Ravenscraft, post service officer, credits Dodd’s enthusiastic demeanor for the expansion of post membership rolls which has gained more participation from both these new members and its older members.
“He has always been willing to take on so many responsibilities, having served as an officer of several positions in our ranks,” Ravenscraft said.
Dodd served eight years as post commander, from 2012 through 2019, which was the longest tenure of any commander in the post’s 102 year history.
In 2017, he also took on two years as the commander of District #1 of Missouri, encompassing an 11-county area and 20 posts of Northeast Missouri along with its nearly 2,000 members.
In 2018, Dodd, out of 40,000 Missouri Legionnaires, was the single person honored by the state with its top service award, the Distinguished Legionnaire, for all of his contributions.
“We can point with pride to Bobby Dodd’s service to our veterans and our communities,” said Rick Hoenes, present post commander.
Dodd served his country in Vietnam from July 1967 to July 1969, and through the American Legion’s Boots-Dickson Post 174, he is a well-known advocate for veterans’ needs.
He has also been a supporter of many veterans programs and non veterans programs in the Palmyra and Philadelphia communities through school related activities, such as Good Citizenship and Americanism awards in these communities that still value such principles.
The local post provides scholarships, oratorical training and its contests for the youth of the communities, as well as Boy’s State, the police-oriented Cadet Patrol Academy and sponsorship of local Boy Scouts.
Outside of the regular programs of the American Legion, the post is a substantial donor to various non veteran community programs.
Post 174’s ambulatory program provides wheel chairs, walkers, crutches and other medical equipment needs, veteran or not, to Palmyra, Philadelphia and other surrounding communities.
The parade line-up will start at 5 p.m. in the south PHS parking lot. The parade, organized by Nancy Goellner and the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce, will begin heading north on Main Street through downtown at 6 p.m.
After the parade, the American Legion and local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts will present a flag raising ceremony at the courthouse. David Wilson will provide special music.
Also, for the second year in a row there will be a Flag Day Cruise after the parade and flag ceremony.
“The cruise seemed to be well received last year, so we thought we would continue it,” Goellner said.
For more information or to register, contact Goellner by calling 573-470-0861 or 573-769-5555.