National commander is coming to Veterans Day on the Hill

By Tim Engstrom
The march to the Capitol is always a stunning sight to behold during Veterans Day on the Hill.

ST. PAUL — The national commander of The American Legion is coming to Veterans Day on the Hill.

American Legion Department of Minnesota Adjutant Mike Maxa coordinates the National Commander’s Tour with posts across the state. This year, the tour runs from northwest Minnesota through the center of the state and ends in the Cities. It stops in the 3rd, 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th districts.

mugshot of 2023-24 national commander of American legion
Daniel J. Seehafer

The tour delivers National Commander Daniel J. Seehafer to Veterans Day on the Hill in St. Paul. Seehafer is slated to speak at the annual legislative gathering. The event launches from the St. Paul Armory and finishes at the Minnesota State Capitol. It brings together about 600 to 700 veterans from several veterans organizations.

“Never before has the schedules for the National Commander’s Tour and Veterans Day on the Hill matched up,” Maxa said. “We already know Seehafer likes to talk about legislative matters, so it couldn’t be a better combo. It will be good for Legion and non-Legion veterans to hear what we are about — helping veterans and strengthening America,” Maxa said.

Seehafer is a Midwest guy, too, said Department Membership Director Pam Krill.

“We haven’t had a national commander from our neck of the woods since Denise Rohan served back in 2017-18. She’s from Wisconsin, too,” Krill said. “Before that, we had Michael Helm of Nebraska in 2014-15.”

Seehafer’s home post is Post 157 in Horicon, Wis. He is a past American Legion national chaplain and a past Department of Wisconsin commander.

Maxa, Krill, Department Commander Paul Hassing and Communications Director Tim Engstrom will depart from Bloomington Post 550 on Sunday, April 14, in the Post 550 shuttle bus, and arrive at Hector International Airport in Fargo to pick up Seehafer and Commander’s Aide Mike Rohan. He is the husband of Past National Commander Denise Rohan.

The first stop is that evening, with dinner and a program at Moorhead Post 21.

On Monday, April 15, the tour visits the Fergus Falls Veterans Home, followed by a luncheon and a program at Fergus Falls Post 30. That evening, dinner and program will take place at Willmar Post 167.

Breakfast and a program on Tuesday, April 16, are at Howard Lake Post 145. Le Center Post 108 will host a lunch and a program. That evening, Golden Valley Post 523 hosts dinner and a program.

Veterans Day on the Hill is Wednesday, April 17. The national commander will spend time that morning with the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs staff at the Veterans Service Building, before heading over to the St. Paul Armory, where he is the keynote speaker after lunch.

Later in the day, the National Commander’s Tour stops at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center for a briefing and a tour.

Seehafer and Rowan fly out the morning of Thursday, April 18, to their next state tour.