You know her when you see her. What many may not know is that a common figure in the Langdon community was nominated by Langdon Post #98 to be the North Dakota American Legion Legionnaire of the Year. Anna Spivey was announced as the 2019 recipient of the Legionnaire of the Year Award in the March issue of the ND American Legion News publication.
“I knew they had nominated me, but I was surprised I had won. I feel that people must appreciate what I do, but I just try to do for the Legion and the community what I can with no expectation of reward,” Spivey said.
Anna has 23 continuous years of membership with Post #98 following a long involvement in military life as both an active duty member and spouse of an active member. She hasn’t been as active as she has been in the past with involvement in the county museum, Frost Fire, and, of course, veteran-related activities such as American Legion and veteran services.
“I do these things, and I’m always trying to promote and make people aware of what is available in the community. The Legion has all these youth programs. I try to make sure that information is put out. I just try to benefit the community,” Spivey shared.
Anna was raised in the Wales area and graduated from Langdon High School. Upon graduation, she entered the US Army and attended basic training at Ft. McClennan, Ala.. Upon completion she was trained in the medical field at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, then on to Ft. Benning, Ga., where she worked as a health nurse and in preventative medicine.
“My duty assignment was army health nurse. We taught prenatal classes for parents and did all the immunizations for military dependents of our service members. The army health nurse would do basically what a public health nurse does,” Spivey explained.
During her time in the military, she met Linwood Spivey, a career soldier who was also in the medical field as a combat medic. They were married and became proud parents of two sons. Linwood served two tours in Vietnam, one in Korea and was stationed in Germany twice. Over the course of her husband’s career, Spivey was active and involved in their military lifestyle wherever they were stationed.
“I have always tried to be helpful to people. On the last tour to Germany, I was part of like the advisory board for our commissary which would be like our grocery store. I was asked to be on that board. I was active with the Red Cross, teaching first aide classes and CPR classes,” Spivey said.
Post #98 Commander Harvey Metzger shared that the decision to nominate Spivey for the Legionnaire of the Year was easy. Her commitment to service, not only to the Legion but to the community, is shown when, on her own initiative, she promotes the activities of the American Legion. Spivey does this not only for the local Post events but those of the Department and National as well. Anna is a member of the Post’s Color Guard and Honor Guard. She is always a volunteer in helping with Legion baseball, selling anniversary coins, and placing 'Helmets for Heroes' throughout the county. She is active in getting the word out for Boys and Girls State and the oratorical contest. She supports any of Post 98 activities and fundraisers, often providing suggestions for events that she feels strongly about holding.
“You can always count on her at the local Post #98 to help out whenever needed. I believe women can make a difference in the American Legion. We appreciate her and her service,” Metzger said.
Spivey would have been recognized during the American Legion’s Department Convention usually held in late June, but due the current health crisis, the convention has been canceled. Recognition for her achievement has left the humble Spivey at a loss for words and surprised as she always tried to operate under the radar.
“I try to stay in the background. I just try to make sure the information is put out in the community - what is available to people. I also try to help as I can. Of course, now I’m reaching an age where it’s more difficult,” Spivey said.
Spivey tries to promote the Legion and other service organizations as much as she can. She wants to take the opportunity to encourage younger generations to participate and begin helping to serve their community. Spivey is ready to mentor anyone who is interested to learn how to become the next Legionnaire of the Year.