Cmdr. Dan Dellinger of Vienna, Va., will be visiting the Horace Orr Post 29 chapter of The American Legion in Marietta for lunch, a stop on his tour through the state.
Dellinger was elected national commander in August, and since then has been touring the world, going wherever American troops are stationed, which includes more than 130 countries around the globe.
He has most recently visited Taiwan, Puerto Rico, Korea and Vietnam, said Post 29 Cmdr. Pete Woodruff.
Dellinger will be escorted to Post 29 on Gresham Avenue on Friday by the Legion Riders as well as local police, said Woodruff.
There will be a brief ceremony when Dellinger arrives, followed by a big Southern lunch.
The tables will be laden with fried chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes, and the seats will be filled with “lots of veterans,” Woodruff said.
Dellinger is expected to speak for about 20 minutes after lunch, and then head out to dinner at Post 42 in Cartersville. The topic of his speech is not known, said local American Legion officials.
Dellinger is visiting Marietta, because Georgia is “a powerhouse of veterans,” Woodruff said, with more than 60,000 in Cobb alone.
After graduating with a criminology degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Dellinger became an Army infantry officer, serving at Fort Benning in Columbus, during the Vietnam War. In 1972, Dellinger entered the Army Reserve and at the rank of captain separated from the service in 1984, according to the American Legion website.
He has been a member of the Dyer-Gunnell American Legion Post 180 in Vienna, Va., since 1982 and was made a life member in 1990. Dellinger has served in a number of leadership roles at a local, district and national level, including chairing the Legislative, National Security, Economics and Aerospace Committee.
Besides his military service, Dellinger owned and operated a construction management and general contracting firm for 20 years. His wife, Margaret, served as American Legion Auxiliary Unit 180 president for four years.
Woodruff is expecting roughly 150 people to eat at the post Friday, including Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin and local elected officials.
“This is a very, very, very big, prestigious event in the Legion,” Woodruff said.