Sunday, July 17, 2016
John Sampson Leads New York State American Legion
U.S. Navy veteran John B. Sampson of Salamanca is the 2016-2017 commander of The American Legion Department of New York. The Vietnam-era vet was elected just before the conclusion of the 98th Annual Department Convention, held July 14-16 in Binghamton. Commander Sampson is a 40-year member of Hughes-Skiba Legion Post 535.
Recently inducted into the New York State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame, Sampson served in the Navy from August 1967 to February 1972 with assignments on the USS Freemont (APA-44) attack transport, and at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, as part of a joint military command. He served as an amphibious squadron coxswain and then as a personnelman.
After completing his military service, Sampson became an accredited Veteran Service Officer for Cattaraugus County, a position he held for over two decades.
In the American Legion, Sampson held positions at post, county, department and national levels. He is the first state commander from Cattaraugus County in the Legion’s nearly 100-year history. Sampson has served as national chairman for Veterans Education, Other Benefits and Homeless; vice chairman, National Americanism Commission; department chairman, Rehabilitation Committee; department chairman, Resolutions Committee; dean, American Legion College of New York. Among his state Legion honors is being named Service Officer of the Year. He is also a member of the Sons of the American Legion.
A past president of New York State Veterans Service Officer Association, Sampson was the founder of the Cattaraugus-Allegany Joint Veterans Council Volunteer Van Service and remains active in the program. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the World War II Museum in Eldred, PA; the City of Salamanca Youth Board, and the Selective Service System’s Local Draft Board #90.
In addition to being a member of the American Legion, Sampson is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Sampson and his wife, Vicki, have two children and three grandchildren.