By Brandon Janes
Killeen Daily Herald
Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin was elected commander of the American Legion of Texas over the weekend at the organization's annual state convention in Houston.
Corbin, who worked as a military linguist in Panama and served one tour in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division, will represent 70,000 legionnaires across Texas at the national convention in Indianapolis next month.
Bill West, adjutant for the American Legion of Texas, has worked with Corbin over the past four years during Corbin's appointment as judge advocate — legal counsel for the Legion.
"We are very excited and looking forward to a great term in having him lead us," West said.
Because of the high population of military, West said, the cities of Killeen, San Antonio and El Paso make up the main network for recruiting new members into the American Legion of Texas.
"To have a commander elected from there is a great chance to reach out to our service members," West said. "He wants to reach out to younger veterans and show them why it is important to belong to an organization like the American Legion."
The national organization bills itself as the No. 1 lobbyist for veterans benefits.
As state commander, Corbin will travel to 13 hospitals run by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and oversee committee meetings throughout the year, a time commitment he said that will not interfere with his duties as mayor of Killeen.
"It is about the same amount of work I have been doing over the past five years as state judge," Corbin said. "I do know how to manage my time. Thankfully, my parents raised me that way."
Corbin, who was elected to the mayor's post in May, said American Legion functions normally take place late in the week or during the weekend, and should not overlap with his council meetings.
The City Council meets regularly on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month and holds workshops the first and third Tuesdays of every month.
As mayor of Killeen, Corbin does not have a vote on the council, has no administrative duties and does not hold an office at City Hall.
The mayor works the equivalent of part-time hours at his local law firm, Corbin and Associates, Attorneys at Law, according to a letter sent to his American Legion constituents.
Corbin said he ran for state commander because he believes in the power of the American Legion to fight for the rights of veterans.
"Our veterans have put their life on the line for our country and many of them also have families who are in need of support," Corbin said. "I think it is important that we as veterans speak in one voice as a lobbyist in Washington."
Contact Brandon Janes at bjanes@kdhnews. com or (254) 501-7552.