National Commander’s Tour of Minnesota


National commander to tour northeast Minnesota

Vincent “Jim” Troiola visits in April

By Tim Engstrom
The Minnesota Legionnaire

ST. PAUL — The American Legion National Commander’s Tour of Minnesota is all planned and set for April.

“The national commander will get to see the Iron Range this time as we head off to beautiful northeast Minnesota,” said Adjutant Mike Maxa. “We hope you find a post stop on the tour and come meet him and hear him speak.”

National Commander Vincent J. “Jim” Troiola was elected in Milwaukee at the 103rd American Legion National Convention. He is a member of New City Post 1682 in Rockland County, N.Y.

Coincidentally, the Department of Minnesota commander, Jennifer Havlick of Duluth Post 28, originally hails from New York. They will be on the tour together, along with Maxa, of Montgomery Post 79, Membership Director Linda Dvorak of New Prague Post 45, Communications Director Tim Engstrom of Bloomington Post 550 and National Commander’s Aide Gary Schacher of Cobleskill, N.Y., Post 57.

The commander’s tour is divided among American Legion posts, U.S. military bases and other stops. The public is welcome to sign up and hear him speak at posts. There is a schedule on Page 3, with contact information.

Vincent “James” Troiola

Troiola arrives Sunday, April 16, and the tour begins Monday, April 17, with his arrival at the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, where he will visit the unit and learn about its mission.

That afternoon, he will tour the Silver Bay Veterans Home and meet the staff and residents of the nursing home.

In the evening, West Duluth Post 71 will host a dinner, and he will speak for the program.

Troiola visits Coast Guard Station Duluth on the morning of Tuesday, April 18. He follows it with an interview at Duluth TV station KBJR. After lunch, he’s off to the University of Minnesota Duluth Veteran Service Center to meet with student veterans.

In the evening, the tour heads to the Iron Range, where Chisholm Post 247 will host a dinner, with Troiola as the speaker, at Valentini’s Supper Club.

Breakfast on Wednesday, April 19, is at Aitkin Post 86, where the commander again will speak. He speaks after lunch at Hackensack Post 202, and again after supper at Ironton Post 443. It’s not easy speaking three times in one day.

On Thursday, April 20, the national commander and his entourage arrive for breakfast and his next speech at Underwood Post 489. Long Prairie Post 12 hosts Troiloa for lunch and a program.

That evening, he will visit Minnesota American Legion College at Camp Ripley, and he will spend time with the participants and instructors.

Finally, on Friday, April 21, he and his aide depart via the Brainerd Regional Airport.

Troiola (pronounced tree-ola) served in the Navy and Navy Reserves from 1969 to 1974. He spent his career in the automotive service industry, rising to serve in many management capacities. In retirement, he found a new career as a school bus driver.

He was 2010-11 commander for the Department of New York, and he was a national vice commander for 2016-17. He has chaired several national commissions.

He married his wife, Saveria, in 1973. They have two daughters, Laura and Jeanette; a son-in-law, Michael; and three grandchildren, Alexander, Abigail and Natalia. The Troiolas include three generations of American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of The American Legion membership.

The commander presently lives in Maine to be closer to his daughter and grandchildren.

People can have photos taken with the national commander during the tour. It’s even better when they bring a check to present to the National Commander’s Project. His project is American Legion Veteran’s & Children Foundation. Check presenters can make the check out to “American Legion Veterans & Children Foundation” prior to making a presentation.