Detachment Commander

Sons of the American Legion
Detachment Commander 


Bruce was born and raised in the small rural town of Phelps, NY whose parents come from “The Greatest Generation”. His eligibility into the Sons of The American Legion is from his late father, John Ruthven who enlisted in the US Army Air Core on December 8, 1941. He served in the European theater with the 359th Bomb Squad of the 8th Army.  Bruce’s late mother, Betty came to the United States as a war bride in 1945; she was also a veteran of WWII although she was not eligible for the American Legion as she served with the British Royal Air Force Auxiliary Territorial Service. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the Royal Canadian Legion.

Bruce is a 37 year Honorary Life member of Seeley B. Parish Squadron 457 in Phelps, NY. He served his Squadron as vice commander, adjutant and commander, receiving the squadron “Son of the Year Award” in 2000. For six years he was the editor of the Post 457 newsletter “The Bugle” which had been named best paper by NY American Legion Press Association in 2010, 2014 and 2015. In 2010 he was honored as “Post 457 Family Member of the Year”.

On the County level, he helped form the Ontario County Committee becoming their first commander. He has co-chaired the county walk-A-thon for veteran volunteer services from 2008 until present.

On the District level, he served as chaplain, finance officer, vice commander and commander receiving the District “Son of the Year” award in 2004.

On the Detachment level, he served on the finance committee for two years, the Public Relation Committee for 13 years, 11 years as chairman and editor of the Detachment newsletter “The Liberty” which won a first place award from the national and eleven first place awards from NYS American Legion Press Associations.  From 2013 – 2015 he served the Detachment as a Vice Commander representing the 7th & 8th Districts. In 2014 he graduated from New York American Legion College. He is a member of both the National and New York American Legion Press Associations.

Together Bruce and his partner of 35 years, Jane have two sons, one daughter and four grandsons all belonging to the American Legion Family. He retired as a Construction Supervisor in 2014 from Elderlee, Inc. after 42 years with the company. He is currently involved with many Squadron, Post and community functions and activities making the American Legion a part time job.