By SHERRY DIGMON
News Staff Report
Haskew Middleton has reached a milestone. It may be one that no one else in the state has reached. In fact, it could be that he stands alone even across the nation.
Mr. Middleton has been a member of American Legion Post 90 in Atmore for 75 years of continuous membership. Continuous is the key word. Efforts by the Legion to find anyone else with such a record have been in vain.
Tuesday, August 14, Mr. Middleton was honored at the local Legion Hall on the corner of Main and Church.
Mr. Middleton resides in Fairhope now and was accompanied to the hall by his niece Kim Woods and family. Fellow Legion members were on hand as were numerous friends.
His daughter Pam flew in from Irvington, New York to surprise her dad. She was to fly in on Wednesday, but came a day early for the ceremony. Mr. Middleton’s son Bob who lives in Baldwin County was here as well. Also his great-grandson Will was here from Minnesota.
Legion Chaplain Jack Wright, a decades-long friend of Mr. Middleton’s, was emotional as he gave the invocation and also as he presented the honoree with a certificate, a pin, a cap.
Robert Haskew Middleton was born April 16, 1921. Though he lives in Fairhope now, he resided in Atmore for 88 years.
He is a WWII Army veteran and joined the American Legion after returning home from the war. His brother Zolon was the one who convinced him to join.
Mr. Middleton was the Legion’s county chairman in 1955-56 for membership and Post activities. That year he increased membership and started the Day Room. He also increased the social participation of members that year by hosting socials and dances on Saturday nights.
He served as a past Commander of the American Legion, and he served on a very special committee, The Burial Committee for WWII soldiers who died and were brought back home.
Mr. Middleton’s Legion cap holds numerous pins and badges awarded to him over the last 75 years. One pin was awarded for his donating one of the largest amounts of blood – four gallons – over the years through the blood drives sponsored by the American Legion.
He was married to Gladys Middleton for 70 years. She passed away in 2011.
News photo by Sherry Digmon