VFW installs first female commander

Published 7:03 pm Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2582 has doubled in size this year and also obtained its first female commander, Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicky Morrison, pictured at left on the front row at her installation. With her on the front row are Post 2582 member Ken Wiseman, center, and State Jr. Vice Commander Doug Keller, left. In the back row are Post 2582 members, from left, George E. Martin, Jimmie Harrell, Benny Plewes, Robert Brady, Denis Confer and Thomas Queen.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2582 has doubled in size this year and also obtained its first female commander, Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicky Morrison, pictured at left on the front row at her installation. With her on the front row are Post 2582 member Ken Wiseman, center, and State Jr. Vice Commander Doug Keller, left. In the back row are Post 2582 members, from left, George E. Martin, Jimmie Harrell, Benny Plewes, Robert Brady, Denis Confer and Thomas Queen.

With a new commander, burgeoning membership rolls and recent honors for its growth and service, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2582 is on the move.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicky Morrison was installed last month as the post’s first female commander. Her youth also sets her apart from most of the post’s members, but she sees her role as no different than any other commander’s.

“My comrades consider me to be the most qualified for the job, and I hope to show that male and female alike are capable of doing what is needed to support our troops, veterans, families and communities,” she wrote in an emailed statement while on assignment. “Being elected as post commander is a great honor and one I don’t take lightly.”

Newsletter

Email newsletter signup

A Pennsylvania native, Morrison is assigned to the Naval Hospital Branch Clinic at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She previously served onboard the USS Harry S. Truman and made multiple deployments to the Middle East, where she earned her qualification for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

She was meritoriously promoted to her current rank, Hospital Corpsman Second Class, after a competitive review of sailors aboard the Truman. She also serves as the leading petty officer for her division, a position normally held by a more senior sailor.

She holds multiple qualifications in the field of naval medicine and also is qualified in both the surface and aviation warfare communities, according to her biography.

Her husband, Ed, also is on active duty in the U.S. Navy.

“With the current situation concerning the VA still looming over us, I know my work will be to ensure Suffolk’s veterans get what treatment and recognition they deserve,” Morrison wrote. “I look forward to continuing the legacy of service to the community our post has become known for over the past 76 years.”

Morrison said she does not consider her being the first female commander as “the defining issue” of her election.

“We had a great year in the 2013-2014 period, and I hope to exceed what was done then,” Morrison said.

Membership more than doubled in the past year, from 35 to 71 members. The post was named No. 3 out of 143 posts in Virginia and received honors as an All-State Post, according to Ken Wiseman, a member of the post.

The post had the fastest growth rate of all in Virginia and was third nationwide for posts its size, Wiseman added.

The post also continued its many service projects, logging more than 300 hours and more than $10,000 in donations to nearly 200 projects. They included two scholarships, two projects to support homeless veterans, awards to local public servants and more.

The post also helps fund flags that are placed on graves at the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery twice a year, and it supports safety projects for children.

The post meets at 6:30 p.m. the fourth Thursday of every month behind Wilroy Baptist Church, 306 Williams Road.