History was made on Thursday, June 14, when the American Legion Post 3 elected its first female Second Vice Commander. Doris Hansel joined Post 3 in 2001 and has served in many roles over the last 17 years, including Finance Officer and Executive Committee Board Member.
Each Post member is expected to uphold the four pillars of the American Legion: Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism and Children and Youth.
“Becoming the first female in a commander role has been a rough road for me to travel,” Hansel said. “I feel that I have won a small victory. I am still the only female to brave the male barrier that has existed at Post 3 for many years which speaks volumes.”
Friends, family and fellow Post members were present to see Doris get sworn in last month.
“When Doris was nominated, there was little doubt in my mind that she would get elected,” Edwin Tippie, another board member, said. “We are an organization that recognizes and celebrates military service in all its forms. Doris has all of the requirements needed to do a great job.”
Today, Salem’s American Legion Post 3 is the largest in Southwest Virginia with over 300 active members. As Second Vice Commander, Doris’ responsibilities will include conducting and approving all business-related matters, setting up organization bylaws and providing accurate information to members.
“To be perfectly honest, it is tough being the only female officer at the American Legion. I think the men are not quite sure how to deal with me sometimes,” Hansel said. “They are, for the most part though, a great bunch of guys with the best interest of our Veterans at heart. The ones who work, work hard and are dedicated to making the American Legion Post 3 the best that it can be. At the end of the day, we are in the business of serving our Veterans.”
As long as Post members work in unison and the community supports the organization, Doris feels like anything can be accomplished
“We are currently seeking vendors for our upcoming yard sale to be held in the Post building ballroom on Apperson Drive on August 11,” she said. “All proceeds from this event will go into the special account that is used strictly for Veteran programs and support.”