August 29, 2016
As Department of Georgia commander from 2014-15, Randy Goodman sparked a membership effort that made Georgia No. 1 in the country and earned the department the first spot among contiguous Legion departments in the 2015 National Convention Parade.
In Cincinnati on Aug. 28 for the national convention, Goodman was marching with his department. And once again Georgia – where American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett is a member – held the No. 1 spot.
“We’ve accomplished something, and it’s engrained in us now,” Goodman said. “This is what we wanted at the beginning of the year, and when we achieve it at the national convention we’ve accomplished our goals.
“We want to win. But it’s not about winning. We’ve created an atmosphere in Georgia that is conducive to membership. We’re promoting the Four Pillars of The American Legion in the best way possible.”
Earning the top spot while Barnett is in office also is a source of pride. “One of the things that we tried to do in the beginning of the year was creating an atmosphere for supporting Dale Barnett as ‘Team Georgia,’” Goodman said. “We wanted to do it for Dale.”
Nearly 80 units participated in the parade, including representatives from Legion departments, the Legion’s youth champions and Spirit of Service award winners, and American Legion and high school bands.
Maj. Gen. Mark Bartman, adjutant general of the Ohio National Guard, served as grand marshal, while Past National Commander Mike Helm was honorary grand marshal.
Two other special guests in the parade were Steven and Cierra Ryan, who were brought to Cincinnati by the Legion’s Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) program. Cierra, an Army specialist, is a patient at the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Campbell, Ky. The pair spent Saturday at nearby Kings Island, an iconic theme park where Steven rode his first rollercoaster.
“It’s been fantastic,” Cierra said of the weekend away from the hospital. “We had lower expectations because we had never heard (about OCW). Now, it’s been such a great weekend.”
The pair also attended the Legion’s Patriotic Memorial Service earlier in the day. “It was interesting,” Cierra said. “I’ve never been a part of a community, aside from my unit, that’s so tied together.”
Before the skies opened up and a flood warning went into effect, Legion family members were able to enjoy a Department of Ohio-sponsored post-parade party on Elm Street. Food trucks lined the street, while The Six Pac Band provided entertainment.
View more pressreleases