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June Kelly named as top Legionnaire in Vermont

BRANDON — American Legion Post 55 veteran and Brandon resident June Kelly has been named the PDC Herbert Reed Legionnaire of the Year by the Vermont American Legion.
And that’s not all. Brandon’s American Legion Post 55 was given the same honor for being Kelly’s post.
Kelly, 56, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and spent 20 years with in the Air National Guard, retiring with the rank of Master Sergeant. She spent 31 years in Vermont law enforcement, first with the South Burlington Police, and then as the assistant director of the Vermont Police Academy in Pittsford, retiring in 2012.
Kelly earned her Master’s in Education from St. Michael’s College two years ago, and is also an artist.
Kelly is the fourth member of Brandon’s Post 55 to earn some of the state’s highest Legion honors. Marine and World War II veteran Burt Reynolds earned Legionnaire of the Year in 2015, and Legion Chaplain Dick Brosse was named Adjutant of the Year prior to that. Also, Post 55 member Mike Mahoney was named the Sons of The American Legion Legionnaire of the Year.
Post 55 Commander Aaron Tucker said it was no surprise that Kelly was named Vermont’s Legionnaire of the Year.
“It’s a big deal,” he said. “And, it tells us that we must be doing something right.”
Tucker said Kelly is an exemplary Legion member.
“She’s just a wonderful person, very qualified,” he said. “She’s very knowledgeable about Legion protocol and community affairs. She keeps impeccable records. She’s like a dictionary. And, she’s just a nice person.”
Kelly has at least two causes that are close to her heart: research and advocacy for Alzheimer’s disease and ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. She lost her mother to Alzheimer’s in 2016, and he father had ALS and also passed away.
“A quarter of a million veterans are currently living with Alzheimer’s and dementia,” Kelly said in a recent interview. “And one in four people dying is a veteran. It’s one of those health and community issues that’s impacting health and families.”
Kelly said that both the national Alzheimer’s and the national ALS organizations are groups where all the money raised goes directly to the needs of patients.
“She’s always doing something,” Tucker said in closing about Kelly, “not only for veterans, but for the community.”
To make a donation or learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, visit ALZ.org; to learn about ALS and make a donation visit ALSA.org.

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