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ABOUT US

HISTORIC POST LOCATION

 
190 North Cache Street
PO Box 4121
Jackson WY 83001
CLICK HERE FOR MAP
Jackson Hole American Legion Post 43 was organized in 1920 by veterans returning from World War I. In the late 1920's the members built the meeting hall, a distinguished log building which remains standing on the southeast corner of Gill Avenue and Cache Street, one block north of the Jackson, WY town square, home of the famous elk antler arches. In 2001 it was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Over the years it has hosted a broad range of community, state, and even national functions that have extended beyond the agenda and mission of the national American Legion organization. In early settler years, the hall served as Jackson's first library, accommodated elementary school classes, and was the center of town and regional entertainment and recreation. It provided a location and forum for the debate and resolution of issues critical not only to the commmunity, but the nation - it was the site of the congressional hearing which resulted in the creation of Grand Teton National Park.

CURRENT POST LEADERS

POST COMMANDER: Joseph Burke.

Joe served as a hospital corpsman in the USCG from 1969 into the early 1970's. He was attached to the Coast Guard Cutter Glacier, the biggest icebreaker at the time. After a south cruise the remainder of his duty was at the Coast Guard Air Station in Mobile, Alabama. Thanks to the G.I. Bill, he earned a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, and went on to a long career in respiratory care and sleep medicine. He is enjoying retirement after a long career at St. John's Medical Center. He does an enormous amount of volunteer work in the Jackson community. Semper Paratus!

FIRST VICE COMMANDER: James Hillman.

James Hillman grew up in Stowe, Vermont and has been an avid downhill skier his entire life. James is a 1987 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. After Infantry officer basic course at Fort Benning, GA, he served as both an infantry and military intelligence officer in the reconstituted 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, NY from 1988 to 1992, which included deployments to Panama, West Germany and four training exercises at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Chafee, Arkansas. James also spent two months on temporary assignment with Co. A (Airborne) 2-187 Infantry, 193rd Infantry Brigade, Fort Kobe, Panama in 1985. James reached the rank of Captain. In 1992, he left active duty to attend Boston College Law School. James practiced law in New Hampshire and Boston, but has spent most of his career in trust banking at both Bank of New York Mellon and Wells Fargo. He and his wife Diane currently reside at Star Valley Ranch, WY and have 3 children. In his free time, James enjoys riding his motorcycle and snowmobile in the Grey’s River area.

SECOND VICE COMMANDER: Stephen O'Donnell Jr.

Stephen is from Port Jervis, NY and comes from a long line of Sailors and Marines. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 17 in 2005 and served on active duty from 2006 until 2010. After a short stint in the Marine Corps Reserve, Stephen transferred to the Army National Guard, where he deployed to OIF (Iraq) in 2008 with HML/A-167, then to the 5th and 6th Fleets Areas of Responsibility for anti-terrorism and security operations in 2009 with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, and a third time to OEF (Afghanistan) in 2012 with the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He departed service in the Army National Guard after 15 years in 2021.

Stephen became a Police Officer in 2013 with the City of Port Jervis P.D., before transferring to the City of Cody WY P.D. in 2017. He transferred to the Town of Jackson P.D. in 2019. Stephen has been a member of the American Legion since 2017, and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars since 2010.

POST ADJUTANT: Dave Hill.

Dave is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in the class of 1969. After Airborne and Ranger Schools, he served as a Platoon Leader and Company Commander with an Engineer Battalion in Germany, and also served in the Nordbayern Engineer District. He left active duty to attend law school, and spent 42 years with one law firm practicing intellectual property law in the Washington, DC area and in Tokyo, Japan. Dave also reached the rank of Major in the Army Reserve. He has been a resident of Jackson since 2009, and is President of the 3 Creek Ranch Homeowners Association. Dave is a Wyoming lawyer and handles Arbitration and Mediation of complex technical cases for the American Arbitration Association.

POST SERVICE OFFICER: Andrew Kupser.

Andy Kupser is a retired US Army Officer with just over 22 years of service, including eight years active duty of which five were combat tours. Andy enlisted in the State Army National Guard in 1983, and shortly thereafter attended Officers School. He spent 19 years as an officer, retiring from NORAD/NORTHCom in Dec 2015. Andy has also spent over thirty years working for investment firms, mostly In the Seattle area.

SERGEANT AT ARMS: Eric Helgoth.

Bio is coming soon.

POST FINANCE OFFICER: Ray Pilgrim.

Ray Pilgrim served as a Boilerman in the US Coast Guard from 1960 to 1964. He is married with two children, and has been a Post member for 15 years. He enjoys gardening and fishing, and does a lot of the mowing and upkeep of the Post grounds and building.

POST CHAPLAIN: Gregg Wogan.

Gregg enlisted in the Army with the 173rd Armored Cavalry and spent two years as an Armored Cavalry Scout. He later served with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Rangers. Greg is married with three children and has been a member of Post 43 since 2013. He also has served as Pastor of the Jackson Hole Baptist Church for the past three years.

POST HISTORIAN: 2ND Lt. Bobby Hobart.

Bobby Hobart was commissioned as a 2ndLt in the U.S. Marine Corps in June 2021, and will report to The Marine Officers Basic School in Quantico, VA in fall 2021. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in History. He volunteered in July 2021 to serve as Post 43 Historian. He looks forward to learning more about the Post’s rich hundred-year history, its members, and organizing and documenting the Post's historical record in a digital form that can be continually and conveniently maintained from this point forward.

POST ORATORICAL CHAIR: Crystal Spring Haney.

Crystal is a 2001 honors graduate of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, with degrees in Computer Science, French and German. After flight school in Pensacola, Florida, she flew SH-60B LAMPS Mk III Seahawks in San Diego for the US Navy, including deployments to the 7th Fleet and some Counter-narcotics operations. She left the service after 8 years with a rank of Navy Lieutenant. She currently administers a classical home school curriculum and pursues other business interests.

POST WEBMASTER: William Smith.

Bill is a 1970 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and served proudly in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam conflict. After leaving the Corps in 1975, he became an entrepreneur, and has owned and been the principal in several businesses: a rafting and camping equipment rental business in Alaska, a data consulting and website design business, and an art business. He shows his artwork at the Mountain Trails Gallery on the northeast corner of the Jackson town square, and also sells his art through his website. He and his family have lived in the Jackson area since 1990.