Casey Elected As American Legion NY Commander
James W. Casey, a longtime Rockaway resident and member of the Daniel M. O'Connell Post 272 of the American Legion in Rockaway, has been elected as the American Legion Department of New York Commander for the 2006-2007 term.
Casey was born on May 25, 1951 in Brooklyn, the fourth of eight children. He grew up in Rockaway Beach where he attended elementary school, and traveled to Manhattan for high school. Upon his return from the Navy he attended Brooklyn College.
Casey enlisted in the United States Navy in 1969 at the age of 18. He completed boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station and was assigned to the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42 as an Electrician's Mate. He was honorably discharged in 1973 at the rank of E-5.
In 1979, Casey joined the Daniel M. O'Connell Post 272 in Rockaway. He was assigned to the color guard, of which he is still a member. His first project was the research and installation of plaques on the Post's Doughboy monument to honor Rockaway locals who made the ultimate sacrifice in Korea and Vietnam. Casey also conceived and chaired the committee to erect the first monument in the nation to honor all women who served their country in time of war, the "Doughgirl" at Veterans Plaza on Beach 95 Street. He has served in almost every post position, culminating with his election to Post Commander in 1987.
Casey has served the Queens County Committee of the American Legion in numerous committee chairs and offices, including the County Executive Committee, Membership Chairman, Vice Commander, County Commander 1992, National Commander's Dinner and Boys State Counselor.
As State Commander, Casey plans to work with all Veterans organizations for mutual goals, especially mandatory VA funding. His concerns also include the welfare of families of deployed troops through the American Legion's "Family Support Network" program; the eventual passage of the Flag Amendment; the restoration of American values; and the enhancement of the Legion's numerous youth programs.
Casey worked for the Long Island Railroad (MTA) as a Signal Inspector for 28 years until his retirement in 2002.
He met his wife, Paulette Hurley, an Irish immigrant from Cork City, and they have been married for 27 years. They have three children: Mary, 21, a graduate of Hartford University; Brendan, 18, a graduate of Regis High School and an undergraduate at New York University; and youngest son, Liam, 14.