Chaplain’s Corner


Greetings comrades.

I am writing this in the “dead time” between Christmas and New Year. I have been reflecting on this special season that is dedicated to “peace on earth” and “goodwill toward men.” We too often try to make life changing resolutions to usher in the new year, and we frequently do not succeed (speaking from my own experience…) I call on all of us to make a simple resolution, one that we can track easily going forward. Let us resolve to reach out in brotherhood to our family in post or chapter to strengthen our relations, especially with those we are not often in contact with. Build bridges, seek out the forgotten and bring our peripheral members into the center. Let us reach out in this time of renewal with full faith and fellowship to those around us. Thank you for all you are doing to advance the mission of the Riders.


Fred Branson

Chaplain, American Legion Riders, California

We are in another difficult time. We are now recommitting to move our Riders forward after a very tumultuous stretch. Then to lose Rey Ruiz as we are moving forward. Let us keep in our hearts and memory the dedication Rey had for this special group of legionnaires and look to the future to making us the premier program in the nation. As we rally to the Riders’ banner under our new Director, Mike Smith, let us pledge to support him as he charts course to unite all six areas in one Department of California. 

Not everyone had the chance to know Rey; I was pleased to serve him as state VP and then as Chaplain. He was a great influence on me, as he was on many who rode with him. If you and your chapter knew Rey, take a moment at your next meeting to recall what he did with you and how he touched your people. If you didn’t know Rey, spend a moment to reflect on the leadership of your chapter and how you can help it move forward. Raise a toast (for me, non-alcoholic…) to Rey, the Riders and our future. Then a second one to Mike for taking the reins of this horse. 

May the God of our fathers bless us all going forward.


Fred Branson

Chaplain, American Legion Riders, DoC

From: 04/22/2022 1:00 pm
Thru: 04/24/2022 1:00 pm



 Pursuant to being ratified at the Legion DEC meeting on Thursday, January 20, 2022, here are the results of the voting for the ALRDOC leadership. Thank you to all who ran and congratulations to the winners.



Mike Smith-154 votes

James Adames-66 votes

Erik Lindgreen-not running-8 votes



Ralph Wenzinger-139 votes

John Smartt-51 votes

Dave Reed-21 votes

Frank Rehm-10 votes

Erik Lindgreen-not running-7 votes



Larry Brandt-78 votes

Julio Gomez-70 votes

Marc Lawrie-46 votes

Dave Austin-34 votes

7:00 am to 9:00 pm

American Legion Riders Chapter 555 invites you to the 4th Annual Marlene Flores Chili Cook-off on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at American Legion Post 555 - 14582 Beach Blvd., Midway City, CA.  Tasting packets will be available day of event.  House Chili & cornbread $8. 

First Place $150 & trophy, Second Place $75 & Third Place $50.  Chapter Challenge $100

  • Registration & set-up 7am to 7:30am
  • Cook-off entry fee $25
  • Cooking begins at 8am
  • Tasting starts at 12 noon <===
  • Beer Garden
  • Live music & dancing 12pm to 4pm 
  • Drawings, Vendors & more!

Flyer & Registration form to follow.

It is my duty, and with the heaviest of hearts to report Rey Ruiz, Junior Past President American Legion Riders, Department of California, Post 328/Chapter 328 Norco, Ca, was transferred to Post Everlasting on January 19, 2022, at 0153 hours. Rey impacted everyone he met. His presence and leadership will be greatly missed.

On a personal note, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to ride and work with Rey. I will miss him greatly. Please keep his wife, Ida and son, Gabriel in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Funeral details and arrangements will be shared by the family.

-Mike Smith, CA State Director of American Legion Riders

Words alone cannot adequately capture what Rey’s service has meant to the Department of California and specifically the Riders. He will be truly missed. I greatly appreciate Director Smith’s statement about Rey and I offer condolences and prayers for Rey’s family on behalf of the Department of California.

-Autrey James, CA Department Commander

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Come out and join us for our Valentine´s Day Dinner, February 12, 2022 dinner from 5-7.

We will have Raffles and 50/50 Drawing

Karaoke Contest with a $50.00 cash prize after dinner

Hope to see you all there

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