My name is Matt Parsons, newly elected Commander of the Detachment of California. I am married to a wonderful woman, Julie Parsons and we have 3 boys (Jack 14, Matt 13, and Joe 9). I joined the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 291 in the year 1999 when my grandfather Joseph Swanny Parsons passed away. I qualify for membership under my grandfather’s service in World War II and my father’s (Ralph Edward Parsons) service in Vietnam.
I grew up in Newport Beach California and always went to the American Legion hall for banquets and celebrations for sports teams and such, but I never knew the history, the honor, the potential until my grandpa Joe passed and put things in perspective for me. He wasn’t a brave war hero or someone who died tragically saving a bunch of his fellow soldiers, he was an average guy who cared more than life. He was my hero. He was a pioneer surfer in the 1930’s and 1940’s and was a successful husband, father, grandfather, and businessman. He was also a Legionnaire at the Orange, CA Post.
My service to the community, state, and nation honors my grandfather, my father, and all the brave men and women who have fought to preserve the freedom of this great country. I have instilled the spirit of patriotism in my family and hope to honor all of our veterans with continued service and hope to make the world a better place.