Grizzles make history with election to Amvets posts

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

GREENUP, Ky. — They have been a domestic team for 28 years. Now, a Greenup County, Ky., couple are the first-ever husband and wife team to preside over the 23-post strong Kentucky Amvets.

James Grizzle was elected state commander of the Kentucky organization in June. His wife, Lori Grizzle, was elected state first vice-commander. While he has been state commander in previous years and she was first vice-commander last year, they are thought to be the first married couple to preside over a state organization at the same time anywhere in the United States.

“We have had couples who were state commander and then head of the ladies’ auxiliary,” said Jonathan Agg, national publications editor for the national Amvets. “But we have never had a veteran couple who were heads of a state post like this.”

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James Grizzle said he looked forward to working with his wife.

“I think it’s going to work out great. She’s a hard worker and so am I, and she knows Amvets like the back of her hand,” he said.

Both are Vietnam-era National Guard veterans. Lori Grizzle said she and her husband became active in the Greenup Amvets Post 95 several years ago and later pursued state level posts.

“We wanted to become more involved with veterans and help the community learn more about veterans and veterans issues,” she said, adding that they are especially concerned about those soldiers who are fighting for their country now and will someday return home and join the ranks of veterans.

“When they come home, they’ve been in harm’s way but they don’t have much to look forward to and so we want to help them try and keep their benefits. They deserve more than what they’re getting. We want to try and make a difference.”

The Grizzles said they are also working to establish a cemetery for veterans and health clinics for veterans, as well as to educate returning Iraq war veterans about what rights and benefits they are entitled to because of their military service.