Please click on each person’s name to see their contact info and bio’s
Commander – James C. "Jim" Callender
Jim is a native of Louisiana, but has made Georgia his home for the past 35 years. He graduated with Honors from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1980 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. Following graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army and served 25 years in the Military Police Corps, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He later worked for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency from which he retired in April, 2020.
Following retirement, he and his wife, Leslie, moved from Henry County to their retirement home in Fannin County. Jim is active in several Veterans Service Organizations including the DAV, VFW and The American Legion and in the Blue Ridge Mountain Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Leslie is a CPA. operates her own business called On Call Accounting, LLC and continues to work from home. Leslie is also a member of The American Legion Ladies Auxiliary. The Callenders have two daughters, Laura Doroski of Toronto, OH and Melissa Reece of Dallas, GA and seven grandchildren.
Sr. Vice Commander - Charles Yannis
Charles was born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1969. After high school graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1988 and served in Germany. After his military service, he entered training as a police officer in New Jersey. He relocated to Las Vegas, NV in 1998 and began working for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department from which he retired in 2020. Charles and his wife Aimee moved to Blue Ridge two years ago. He now works for the Fannin County Sheriff’s Department. Charles and Aimee are members of the American Legion and the DAV.
2nd Junior Vice Commander – Larry Drake
Larry was born in Colorado while his father was stationed at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Not long after being born his family moved back to central Florida where he lived until joining the U.S. Navy in 1979. After boot camp, Larry attended Submarine School, followed by Torpedomans Mate A (TM A) School, where he was first in his class. This distinction allowed him to choose his next duty station – Japan, where he served aboard the first of three submarines. The USS Darter, SS-576, a forward deployed diesel electric fast attack submarine, was home for the next two years followed by service aboard the USS Narwhal, SSN 671, a nuclear fast attack submarine and finally, the USS James K. Polk, SSBN 645(G), a nuclear ballistic missile submarine. His final assignment was as an Instructor at TM A School in Orlando, FL where he met his future wife, Tammy. He was discharged in 1989 with the rank/rate of Petty Officer First Class/E6 (TM1/SS). Larry and Tammy then moved back to central Florida, where he worked as a Deputy Sheriff for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Following his retirement from the Sheriff’s Office in 2015, they moved to Fannin County, GA. He currently works for Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy, NC. Tammy is a member of the American Legion Post 248 Auxiliary. Larry and Tammy have 2 adult children.
Adjutant – Chris McKee
Born in Toronto, Canada, Chris became a U.S. Citizen while in high school in 1964. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1965 and spent most of the Vietnam war launching, recovering and maintaining the engines on B-52 bomber and KC-135 refueling aircraft. He was also selected as the Prime Engine Mechanic for the 15th Air Force and 3rd Air Division Command KC-135s when not supporting B-52s in Southeast Asia.
On the Command Crew he was able to visit many Bases and countries throughout the world. He also worked on other aircraft, including the famous A-10 Warthog. During his career, he completed many military schools including the Air Force Leadership School, the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Academy and the Senior NCO Academy. Chris rose to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (E-9) and retired from the Air Force in 1987 with 22 years of service.
He is a Life Member of the Am Vets, a member of the VFW, and the Adjutant for Post 248 of the American Legion. He is also an active member of the North Georgia Honor Guard. He and his wife Linda have lived in Fannin County for 25 years. Linda is also an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Finance Officer – April King
A native of Georgia, April grew up in Clayton County before attending North Georgia College (now the University of North Georgia) in Dahlonega. She graduated with a B.A. degree in Management. April commissioned as a Second Lieutenant after attending the Georgia Army National Guard (GAARNG) state Officer Candidate School program. She worked full-time for the GAARNG in various assignments: Counterdrug Narcotics Task Force, Battalion S1/S3, Executive Officer and her final assignment was as the Deputy G1 at the State Headquarters. April retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving 25 years.
After her military retirement, April attained her MBA in Human Resources Management. She worked as a Human Resources Manager for Encompass, a medical textile manufacturer and distribution warehouse and Berry Global, a versatile plastic manufacturing company.
In 2020, April and her husband David moved to their home in Fannin County. In 2021, April decided to leave corporate America. She stays busy gardening and spending time with family and friends. April is active in the American Legion and continues to help others with Human Resources related items such as resumes and job searches. David works for Hypertherm Corporation, installing and repairing high pressured waterjet machines. April has two children, Dr. Taylor Asher, DPT (fiancé Justin Steigenga) of Ladson, South Carolina and Christopher Asher of Manchester, Georgia and two step children, Madison King and David Thomas King, of Newport, Arkansas.