By ALAN KARMIN
Daniel Dunn of the Port Reading section of Woodbridge was recently named state commander of the The American Legion, Department of New Jersey.
Dunn, after having enlisted in the United States Air Force following his graduation from Woodbridge High School, became active as a Legion member with his hometown Woodbridge Post 87, eventually ascending to commander of the post.
Dunn was soon after tabbed to be Middlesex County commander in 2009 while playing a role on the state level.
In 2011, he was selected to be the department’s vice commander and was honored with the opportunity to attend the National American Legion College.
“I started out just doing a little bit here and little bit there, just helping out. I never really thought the opportunity would be there for me to get to the state commander position because of my employment commitments,” Dunn said. “But once my schedule changed, I was able to make that commitment.”
The Woodbridge resident has played a role in teaching other Legion members about the programs available to assist fellow veterans, and he said that the organization is changing as the needs of the nation’s veterans change.
“We know that it’s not like it was before and that we have to be adaptable,” he said.
Dunn expressed dismay over the number of veterans lost each day to suicide.
“We work hard, and will continue to work hard, to raise awareness about the veterans who take their own lives through the Keeping Our Veterans Alive program. There are 22 veterans a day who take their own lives. And that is just unacceptable,” he said.
He added that the organization will strive hard to assist the homeless and at-risk veterans.
“The veteran population has evolved over recent years. We have seen a lot more female veterans as more have served this country. And we have seen more and more veterans unable to afford housing. Well, we believe that they have earned that right to have a roof over their heads,” he said.