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Stone is new VFW commader

Rod Stone had been pursuing the job of state commander for the Alabama Veterans of Foreign Wars for eight years before being elected Sunday.

He’s been active in the VFW since 1995, serving in various positions from Sergeant at Arms to state photographer to Chief of Staff.

“I think I’m in a good position to help veterans,” Stone said. “I’m very humbled and very honored.”

Stone served in the Navy in Vietnam and was awarded two bronze stars in addition to earning a Purple Heart. He has also received multiple presidential citations.

Travis Whaley, VFW state adjutant, said he has known Stone for several years and thinks he will be a strong asset as commander.

“He’s had outstanding leadership and everybody in the state is aware of it,” Whaley said. “Two years ago when he ran for junior vice commander, he was the most popular one running. His biggest asset is motivating other posts to things the way he does them.”

Stone, who is purchasing manager at Global Specialty Metals, is the fourth member of Selma’s Post 3016 to be elected commander, a feat he said is rare because the post has just 285 members out of nearly 19,000 in the state.

The VFW is active in the community, honoring police officers, firefighters and EMTs each year as well as sponsoring a scholarship essay program for high school students and a contest for seventh- and eighth-graders to win a savings bond.

Members must be combat veterans and served in a combat zone.

Stone said the position is an opportunity to help veterans and continue doing the work he has done for many years.

“I love what I do,” Stone said. “People put their trust in you and expect you to guide the ship where it needs to go. I love helping veterans. One thing we try to do it educate young people that the world wouldn’t be what it is today without the veterans of the United States.”