American Legion’s national commander visits Cullman

Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune

Left to right: Alabama American Legion Commander Harry Christian, National Commander of the American Legion Brett Reistad and Cullman American Legion Post 4 Commander Harold Barnard pose for a photo at Veterans Memorial Park at Sportsman Lake in Cullman. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN – American Legion Post 4 in Cullman welcomed the newly-elected National Commander of the American Legion, Brett Reistad, Sunday afternoon at Cullman Veterans Memorial Park. Members of Post 4 proudly showed officers from the national and state level the different memorials and features of the park located at Sportsman Lake.

Post 4 Commander Harold Barnard, Vice Commander Bobby Hestla, Sgt. at Arms Sid Parker, Chaplain Scott Bealer and post member Chris Gentry visited with Reistad, Alabama Representative to the National Executive Committee Willis Frazier, Alabama Commander Harry Christian, Alabama Adjutant Greg Akers, and Aide to the National Commander Ken Knight at the park before hosting a dinner at Post 4 in Good Hope.

Reistad is the centennial commander as the American Legion celebrates the organization’s 100th year. Founded in 1919, the American Legion has advocated for veterans and their families, promoted Americanism, and supported children and youth throughout the 50 states and five foreign territories. 

Reistad was elected to the commander position on Aug. 30 and will travel to posts in all the states and territories throughout the year. Some 347 days of the year will be spent traveling and visiting posts. Alabama was the second stop for the commander. He traveled to Alabama from Michigan and visited several posts in Alabama. 

Reistad served in the Army and was a member of the Old Guard. 

Reistad addressed Post 4, “I am honored to have been elected as the centennial commander and for having the opportunity to visit Post 4. I am very impressed with your beautiful park and the history on the walls here at the post. One of our goals is to increase membership to the American Legion and Post 4 is already doing that.” 

Christian served 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corp. He was recently elected Alabama American Legion commander and has traveled throughout Alabama 79 of the 89 days since he was elected.

Christian said, “The American Legion family is strong and very important to me. The members and auxiliary are all so important and doing great things in their communities. It’s important as the communities change that the posts also evolve in order to grow and attract new members.”

Christian continued, “Montgomery has the state veterans’ memorial. The American Legion has memorial bricks that can be purchased and engraved to be placed in the park. Along with the memorial brick, you get a small replica brick for your desk or home.” (For more information visit

The Post 4 Auxiliary served a fantastic meal before the guests returned to Montgomery.

Reistad traveled to New Hampshire on Monday.

Barnard was pleased with the visit. “They were impressed with Cullman. We worked very hard for the park and are so proud of it. We have many other things we are working on including promoting JROTC, a youth rifle team, baseball team and the Bingo nights.” 

For information on upcoming Cullman American Legion Post 4 events, visit the post’s Facebook page at

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