Arkansas State Commander Presented Parting Gift


This custom crafted bench was gifted to outgoing Commander Barnes. He is pictured here with his wife, Sherry Barnes. (photo courtesy of Harris-Hannah VFW Post 6527)

Arkansas State Commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Don Barnes, was recently honored with a parting gift, specially designed and situated in the heart of the community he loves.

Greenwood Veterans Michael McAlister and Jesse Hash contributed to the construction and installation of a bench honoring the 2020-21 Commander. The bench was installed at the Hartford Veterans Memorial Park on Tuesday evening, August 30.

McAlister, the owner of All Tech, donated the material, and Hash, the owner of MILSPEC Metalworks, donated the labor for the project. Funding for the powder coating was provided by the Department of Arkansas.

“Commander Barnes…was due an end-of-year gift to be received June 2021,” stated Arkansas Adjutant Christine Oldham. “This gentleman is a proud marine veteran that never made to position about himself, and wanted no end of year gift. Myself and his Chief of Staff, and close friend Ashley Little put our heads together. We knew he was a board member of the memorial in Hartford. We sent a scout out there to take photos to see what could be done. After receiving photos we knew a bench was the right idea. So I began searching for that special item online. Finding nothing that fit our idea, I decided to call Richard McKinney. He has a wonderful footprint in Greenwood and I knew if anyone could help make this idea become a reality, it would be him. And boy were we right. It was members from his post that were able to make this happen.”

The efforts of Commander Barnes and his wife Sherry have left a lasting effect on area Posts, and VFW programs. All commemorated in a beautiful, and thoughtfully designed bench to be enjoyed for a lifetime!

Jesse Hash finally had the opportunity to install the bench he designed and fabricated for Past State Commander Don Barnes. Michael McAlister donated the materials and Hash donated all his labor to make this custom-made bench. (photo courtesy of Harris-Hannah VFW Post 6527)

(photo courtesy of Harris-Hannah VFW Post 6527)

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