Ed Southern takes on job as state’s VFW chief of staff
Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:02 pm
By JOHN BRANNON
For former U.S. Marine Corps sniper Ed Southern of Union City, election year 2010 is a milestone outside the usual ballot box scenario.
Last June, Southern was elected chief of staff of Tennessee’s Veterans of Foreign Wars at the annual VFW convention in Nashville.
“As chief of staff, I am the main aide to the state commander (Ken Miller of Vonore, a former U.S. Navy Chief Warrant Officer),” Southern said. “The chief of staff takes care of scheduling, tutors the commander on parliamentary procedure, ensures he is where he should be and on time and ensures that all the materials he needs to do his job are available to him.
“I accompany him all over the state. Right now, we are at the VFW national convention in Indianapolis. The convention convened Friday and ends today.”
Southern said he considers it a high honor to serve again as chief of staff. He is no stranger to the job. He was chief of staff to state commander Ronnie Bell of Kenton 2004-05. Bell died of cancer while in office.
Southern served four terms as commander of VFW District 9, which includes northwest Tennessee. He also served as commander of VFW Post 4862 in Union City 2001-02.
Southern’s military service includes four years — 1964-68 — in the U.S. Marine Corps, during which he served two tours of duty in Vietnam.
“I was a battalion sniper scout in 1965-66,” he said. “When I came back in 1967, I had only six months left on my enlistment. The Corps said it needed NCOs (noncommissioned officers) in Vietnam, so they sent me back. On the second tour I served from December ’67 to May ’68. I served with the First Marine Division, First MP (Military Police) Battalion.”
In his job as VFW chief of staff, Southern will have occasional contact with Obion County Veterans Service Officer Chuck Ashley of Troy.
He said Obion County veterans are getting “a lot of bang for their bucks” with Ashley in the office.
“You cannot place a value on his service to our community,” Southern said. “He has served a long time and served well. He’s gone the extra mile for local veterans.”
Published in The Messenger 8.26.10