Post Commander Heavlin was summoned by the assembled post members for a special treat. He was about to receive a special award from the post officers and out of the kitchen he came, still wearing his kitchen apron. He had just served another delightful post meal.
Robert Bauman, First Vice Commander, spoke on behalf of the post officers as he recalled the recent post Christmas Party, where the Post Commander received an award from the Department of North Carolina, District 12, for his outstanding contributions to the American Legion. No one knew that the award was to be presented by District 12 Commander Joel Lipsey, especially Commander Heavlin. He was shocked and humbled.
The post also had a surprise award up its sleeve. The post officers wanted to honor Commander Heavlin in a special way. All assembled at the post stage and passed the microphone to one another, as they recalled special memories of help, accomplishments, deeds, projects, and much more, that has been the commander’s hallmark. The actual plaque was not ready, but a temporary one was at the ready.
It was now time to deliver the official award. It is about 12×18 inches of hand rubbed walnut covered with engraved gold-tone plate centered with a marbled blue plate bearing his name and the occasion. Post Commander Heavlin has never been known for few words, but on this night words were hard to find to express his appreciation for the recognition.
Commander Heavlin said, “This award is accepted on behalf of the many, many post members who have helped me during the past few years restore and renew the Chapel Hill post building, our pride in self as a veterans group, and our service to the community.” He also made sure that everyone knew that his wife, Yolanda, was the catalyst for his efforts at the post, as were his daughters, Lauralee and Lisa, and granddaughter, Leanna.
Robert Bauman added that the post was sending the Commander to Hilton Head for a well-deserved vacation, as the personal guest of a post member.