American Legion National Commander visits Hodges University
Michael D. Helm, National Commander of The American Legion, attended a special ceremony at Hodges University recently to present the official charter to the university’s American Legion Post. The Post has been renamed the John Ebling Memorial at Hodges University American Legion Post 397 in honor of the late John Ebling, who was instrumental in arranging for Hodges University to receive an official American Legion Post.
Helm is the chief executive officer and official spokesman of The American Legion, with full power to enforce provisions of the organization’s constitution, bylaws and resolutions.
“We are extremely honored that the National Commander came to Hodges to personally present the American Legion Post Charter to our student veterans,” said Dr. David Borofsky, Hodges University president. “With more than ten percent of our student body being comprised of veterans, we are proud our returning military are choosing Hodges to help them in reaching their educational goals.”
The John Ebling Memorial at Hodges University American Legion Post 397 is the first of its kind to be located on a college campus in the United States. Mr. Ebling, a Hodges University alumnus, served in the U.S. Army for 23 years, retiring in 1993.
He took a job in Lee County as a Veterans Service Officer and was appointed as the County Veterans Service Officer in January 2002. He had also been a fully state-certified, part-time deputy for more than 18 years with Lee County. He passed away late last year.
Post 397 at Hodges was first established in 2013 as the nation’s first American Legion Post to be housed on a university campus and solely run by student veterans. Several local American Legion commanders were in attendance for the presentation, along with Ebling’s daughter, Jessica Cargile, who was presented a commemorative plaque from the Post to honor the occasion.
As the first American Legion Post on a college campus in the U.S., The John Ebling Memorial @ Hodges University American Legion Post 397 maybe closing its doors after this year due to lack of support from the university administration and students. The John Ebling Memorial @ Hodges University American Legion Post 397 has received many awards form the Florida Dept. and National Head Quarters of the American Legion for its accomplishments. We feel that the most significant feat we have achieved for the veteran students of Hodges University was being instrumental in the letter writing campaign and meetings with the Hodges University administration to grant a dedicated space for veteran students on campus. This action produced the Dr. Peter Thomas Veterans Services Center that student veterans enjoy to this day and this very moment. Post 397 appreciates the work and support it received from Hodges, members, veteran and the community in the past.