American Legion Post 73 chaplain receives high honor

Published 1:45 pm Saturday, December 1, 2018

In February, Chaplain Howard Vinson was nominated for the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award by the Charles R. Younts American Legion Post 73 in Franklin. Vinson has been the post chaplain for six years, and he has also served as the Fourth District’s chaplain for the past five years. He was given the award at the last Fourth District meeting by Commander Mable Farris.

Chaplain Howard Vinson Jr. receives the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor by Commander Mable Farris. — submitted

The award reads: “The Chapel of Four Chaplains is pleased to present the Legion of Honor Award to Rev. Howard Vinson Jr. in recognition of your lifetime service to all people regardless of race or faith. The award symbolizes for all Americans and for all time the unity of this Nation, founded upon the Fatherhood of One God.”

Vinson has given the story of the Four Chaplains at four Memorial Day Services and four District meetings on the first Sunday in February.

He has spoken at the local AARP’s meetings for Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.

He has organized a membership drive in front of Franklin’s Applebee’s Restaurant on Veteran’s Day. He fills in for the Adjutant of his post when the Adjutant is away. He records and reads the minutes at the executive board meetings and the regular meetings of the legion at his post for the past three years.

He led the effort for Post 73 to raise money for the tornado victims of Waverly. The post was able to raise $600 to help with the relief effort.

At times he submits articles to the local newspaper (The Tidewater News) about events that take place at the post.

He has been in charge of putting up the American Flags in the city of Franklin for all of the holidays for the past four years. He also goes out with the men to put the flags out and take the flags up.

He sends out handwritten notes to the families that their loved ones have reported to “Post Everlasting” for the fourth district and his local post.

In 2014, he was chosen as the Legionnaire of the Year by the members of his post.

He has been going to the Village at Woods Edge almost every Sunday and preaching for the residents over twenty years.

He goes to the nursing home and visits veterans occasionally.

He goes to the hospital to visit post members when possible.

He has been going to the local nursing home (The East Pavilion) three or four times a year over forty years and preaching for its residents.

He has been the pastor of Hunterdale Baptist Church for 43 years.

He has served on the board of the Old Dominion Church Schools of Virginia for six years 1989 -1994.

He has served on the board and was its moderator in 2003 of the Virginia Assembly of Independent Baptists for five years in the late 1998-2003.

He is serving on the Beacon International Baptist Mission board, and has been serving on this board for 13 years.

Once a month he carries donations to the Southampton Social Services to help those in our area that are in need. The donations are collected by the church family according to the needs of social services at the time and then delivered by Vinson.

He has taken food to a local veteran to help him with his needs.

The past two years he has volunteered to lay Christmas wreaths on the graves of veterans at the Albert

  1. Horton Jr. Memorial Veteran’s Cemetery in Suffolk. On Dec. 10, 2016, he was chosen to help lay the wreath at the Army medallion at the flag pole for the closing ceremony.

This past Veterans Day he had the privilege to help place flags on the graves of veterans. Vinson considers it a great honor to participate in the special activities.

“It was my honor to have served my country,” Vinson said. “I am honored today to still serve my country by serving as the chaplain in the American Legion at Post 73 in Franklin.”