Meet Westchester’s Newest American Legion Commander 

Sherby Miller, the new commander of the A.L Brodie American Legion Post #1437 in Westchester. | Shanel Romain 

Friday, August 5, 2022 || By Shanel Romain || @maywoodnews 

When Stanley V. Kolodziej, a Vietnam War veteran who was commander of the A.L Brodie American Legion Post #1437 in Westchester, died in July, the task of leading the venerable post fell to 

Vice Commander Sherby Miller. 

Miller, 65, served in the U.S. Navy from 1975 to 1979, and has been with the American Legion Post #1437 since March 2012. She’s the first African American woman to ascend to commander of the local post. 

We caught up with Miller on Aug. 4. She was reluctant to talk about the new position (emphasizing that becoming commander “was not a personal goal of mine”), but she eventually opened up. 

Where are you from?

I was born and raised on the West Side of Chicago and attended high school at Lane Tech. My class was the first coed class. 

After high school, I joined the military in 1975, when I was 17. Because I graduated high school when I was 16, I had to wait a year before they would take me in. I served four years.

What inspired you to join the service?

I wanted to go to college and my parents couldn’t afford to pay for my school.

How long have you been a part of the Legion?

For 10 years. We’ve only operated this post for the past 10 years. Even though a post had existed in Westchester in the past, that had been shut down for a while. The post was reestablished in 2012.

Where did you work?

I worked for AT&T for almost 15 years as a network engineer and at IBM as a project manager.

How did you become commander and was it something you aspired to be?

Being commander wasn’t something that I aspired to be. Unfortunately, Stanley Kolodziej, our prior commander, passed away on July 5. I served as vice commander while Stanley was the commander, so I was the next in line.

How do you all serve the community?

The Legion is composed of all of the branches. It’s a veterans organization of the U.S. Armed Forces. So, with that, we have representation from all of the services. 

To be a member one has to honorably serve and be willing to want to continue to serve.

We want to give back to vets and their families and our community. We do fundraisers, such as accepting donations for Poppies. We turn around and use the funds to support our veterans and their families. We give back to VA hospitals, the Ronald McDonald House, the Lighthouse for the Blind and things like that.

How many are on your roster? 

We have a roster of 22 and maybe seven that are really active.

Our challenge is to bring in new blood, because our current members are getting older. I’m the youngest member at 65 years old. We want to bring in some young legs to do the work.

But the members we have are very dedicated and they love Westchester just like I do. They love serving.

How does it feel being the first Black female commander of this legion?

I try not to make a distinction that it is the first Black. But I’ve been the first Black many times.

I was the first Black trustee and clerk of Westchester. I’ve always been active in my community. I was a member of the Proviso Township Democratic Organization from its inception. I was also a member of the Proviso Township Mental Health Commission. 

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