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David Rehbein, Past National Commander of the American Legion to Speak at Ames Veterans Day Program

The Ames Patriotic Council invites everyone in the Ames and Story County area to honor America’s veterans by attending the annual Veterans Day program on Sunday, November 11, at 1:30 p.m. The event will take place in the Farwell T. Brown Auditorium of the Ames Public Library, 515 Douglas Avenue in Ames.

Please note the changes in time and location from last year. Because Veterans Day falls on a Sunday this year and to avoid conflicts with church services, the Patriotic Council has moved the program to the afternoon. The program will take place at the Ames Library, not the City Auditorium.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the event that led to the creation of Veterans Day. Originally called Armistice Day, the holiday remembers the armistice that ended World War I. That armistice was signed at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is thus the traditional day and time of celebration. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day in 1919. The name was changed to Veterans Day after World War II, so as to honor all American veterans from all dates of service.

The featured speaker this year will be David Rehbein, the Past National Commander of the American Legion. Rehbein was elected National Commander, a one-year post, in 2008. During his term, he visited 47 states, 3 territories, and 10 foreign countries advocating for veterans’ issues and American military members. He made two visits to President Obama in the White House and presented oral and written testimony to Congress.

After serving as Commander, he was appointed to a five-year term on the Department of Defense’s Recovering Warrior Task Force, whose duties include visiting military installations and VA hospitals around the country to assess the care that our troops were receiving in recovering from physical and mental injuries and transitioning to civilian life. That Task Force prepared four reports to Congress resulting in many improvements in that care.

Past Commander Rehbein and his wife Ann make their home in Ames. He continues to serve the American Legion as Chancellor of the National American Legion College and Chairman of the 100th Anniversary Committee. Rehbein is a retired materials scientist with 34 years’ service at the Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory at Iowa State University. He holds degrees in physics and metallurgy. His scientific work has resulted in 75 published papers, one patent, and more than 150 professional presentations.

Ames Patriotic Council President Jan Schmidt will introduce the Veterans Day program. The colors will be presented by a joint color guard comprised of cadets from the Air Force, Navy, and Army ROTC units at Iowa State University. Welcomes will be offered from the city by Mayor John Haila and from American Legion Post #37 by Doug MacCrea, Post Commander. Roger Elliott will act as chaplain. The program will include musical performances by singer Jim DeHoet and the Heart of Iowa Senior Band under the direction of Don Dobell.

Contact for more information: Ames Patriotic Council President Jan Schmidt, 515-290-5444,, or Past President Herman Quirmbach, 515-292-8984,

You may contact Past Commander Rehbein directly for an interview by phone at 515-231-3685. He may also be reached by email at


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