Department Officers

Department 1st Vice Commander / Membership

Wayne Blank 

As an Air Force Veteran of the Vietnam Era1967-1971, I am proud to serve my Fellow Veterans as 2nd Vice Commander for the Department of Michigan. I was born and raised in Monroe, Michigan, attending 12 years of primary school and continuing at Monroe County Community College. I later studied drafting at the Stautzenberger Drafting School.

At the Post level, I have been Judge Advocate, Commander, 1st vice Commander, Finance officer, Riders Director, and Detachment Commander of the SAL. I have also served at the District level as Commander, Adjutant, and Finance Officer. Before being elected to my current position of 2nd Vice Commander, I was the Commander of Zone 2.

I am dedicated to my community and, for 4 years, have been a Trustee for the Monroe Township. Furthermore, I for 2 years have been the Director of the Bedford Vets Center. I serve as a Trustee of my Church and the Vice President of my HOA. I am also a National Rifle Association Instructor and Training Counselor.

Department 2nd Vice Commander / Americanism Chairman

Jim Austin


Department Adjutant - Ronald Runyan

Ron earned his eligibility from the Persian Gulf War. A U.S. Navy veteran, served aboard the USS Longbeach CGN-9 from 1988-1991 and active Navy reserves from 1991-1993. He then joined The American Legion in 1997. While serving aboard the Longbeach a World Cruise was completed, Desert Shield & Desert Strom, Panama and Coast Guard operations were conducted.

A graduate of National Institute of Technology; Schoolcraft College degree in Electronic Engineering and current student at Columbia Southern University achieving a degree in Business Administration.

Ron has two wonderful children Jessica and Mikael and a granddaughter's Addison and Della. In his free time he likes to walk the beaches of Michigan lakes finding rocks as an avid rockhoud, and tumbles and polishes them for gifts. If rocks were not enough, Ron also loves music and concerts.

Finance Officer 

Leo Cowdry





Michael Schlaack


Sgt at Arms

Bob Salamon

As an American Legion Veteran, I earned my eligibility by serving in The United States Air Force from 1968 to 1973. Even though my dream of seeing the world with the Air Force didn’t come true, I made the most of my time as a personnel Specialist at Selfridge AFB, MI., Calumet AFS, Mi., and at HQ Air Training Command, Randolph AFB, San Antonio, Texas.

I served on the post level at Post 217, Wyandotte, MI. as Sgt-at-Arms, Jr. Vice Commander, Sr. Vice Commander, and Commander (3 years), and I am currently the post adjutant. I served as Sgt-at-Arms, Chaplain, Vice Commander and Commander at the District level. I was a Department assistant Sgt-at-Arms for four years before being elected as Department Sgt-at-Arms.


Judge Advocate 


Brett Holt




Bob Higley

Bob earned his eligibility during the Grenada/Panama era. He served in the Army National Guard as a scout for a TOW missile Battalion. Bob is a 24-year PUFL member. He has served as Department historian, membership director and assistant membership director. At the District level, he has served as commander, alternate commander, finance officer, historian and sergeant-at-arms. At the post level, he has served as commander, senior vice-commander, adjutant, finance officer, historian and chaplain. Bob is also a 2014 graduate of the National American Legion College and is currently on the National Security Commission.


A graduate of Lawrence Technological University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Engineering, he has been employed as a construction superintendent for over 30 years. Bob has a 35-year-old son, Matt, who is a member of the Sons of The American Legion.