National sojourners


We are located in San Antonio, Texas. Our business meetings are on the first Wednesday of the month.

We also have a dinner meeting every second Wednesday with the ladies.

If you are interested in joining us and meet the qualifications for membership below, e-mail one of the officers listed below.

History of the National Sojourners



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BUSINESS MEETING: We will again be at the Barn Door, 8400 North New Braunfels, (Inside Loop 410), 2 May 2018. Come early get your lunch with the meeting to begin at 1200 hours. It will be order from the menu. Main business will be a discussion on the upcoming schedule of events. Come and enjoy the fellowship.

THE MONTHLY DINNER MEETING is scheduled for 9 May 2018 at the Barn Door, 8400 North
New Braunfels, (Inside Loop 410). Social time at 1800 hours with dinner at 1830 hours (NOTE
CHANGE). We will honor our Widows of our deceased Brothers over the past year. Come and enjoy the fellowship.

Dinner will consist of Salad, 6 oz. Filet, or Salmon, Baked Potatoes, Dinner Rolls/Butter, Iced Tea and Water, Coffee by the cup and Complimentary dessert.

Price of the meal– Steak $25.00 Salmon $30.00. Reservations to Bob McConnell, at 210-659-6813 or, or Lee Leopard at 210-434-7429 not later than 6 May 2018. Sign up early and come and enjoy the fellowship.

Attention all Heroes: A bivouac is scheduled for Wednesday, 30 May 2018, at Grady’s BBQ, 6510 San Pedro. Put it on your calendar. Dine at 1700 hours.


Pictures taken at the Bridge of Light, Ft Sam Houston Sojourners Chapter No. 17

James A. Baker, National President
Speaking at the Bridge of Light
February 9, 2017
(Click on his picture for the other pictures taken)
Pictures taken by Worshipful J. K. Jerry Smith, Grand Photographer at the
Bridge of Light

Click here for Pictures taken at some of the Meetings

Picnic Pictures Taken on October 9, 2013

93rd Annual Convention Pictures
17 - 22 June 2013
Menger Hotel, San Antonio, TX

Camp Follower's Degree &
Bennington Banquet & Installation - 19 June 13

Ladies Luncheon - 20 June 13

President's Banquet & Installation - 21 June 13

92nd Annual Convention Pictures
19 - 23 June 2012
Sheraton Conf Center Burlington, VT

President's Banquet & Installation

Bennington Banquet & Installation

Awards Luncheon

Tribute to Military

The Tribute to Military video file can be found at:




Nick R. Ramos

1st Vice President

Roger Hopkins

2nd Vice President

Freddie Freeland


James R. "Bob" McConnell


Russell Flowers


Ray Benton

Flag Bearer


Staff Judge Advocate Benjamin Yudesis
Surgeon Dock Dixon



Joe Eslack

Chief of Staff

John H. V. Lorch

Asst. Chief of Staff

Nick R. Ramos

Officer of the Day

Freddie Freeland


James R. "Bob" McConnell


Art Posey

Senior Lieutenant

H. Nelson Dunn

Junior Lieutenant

James Griffith
Commander of the Guard Daniel Orzwarzack
Sentinel Jerold Hopkins


Ray Benton

Judge Advocate Benjamin Yudesis

Dock Dixon

National Officers from Ft Sam Houston Chapter 17

Judge Advocate - Benjamin M. Yudesis (TX)

CAPT Merlen F. Howe (TX) - (2019/HR Comm/NASOCOCO Dir/SAEF Dir/CLMA Sec)
Col James R. McConnell (TX) - (2019VCh/HR Comm-Ch/NASOCOCO-VCh/SAEF Dir/CLMA Dir)
CWO4 James A. Baker (TX) - (2020/Inv Cncl/NASOCOCO-CH/SAEF DIR/CLMA Dir)
Lt Col Keye E. Perry Sr (TX) - (2020/Inv Cncl-Ch/NASOCOCO Dir/SAEF,Sec-Tr/CLMA Ch)
Committee of 33 (Elected)

CAPT Charles H. Blacknall (TX) (2018)
Col Henry C. Hill (TX) (2019)

SGT Sidney Shaenfield (TX)
1961 MG Amos A. Fries *
1962 COL Christopher Van Deventer *
1964 Mr. Percival A. Horton *
1965 COL A. J. M. Wannamaker *
1966 COL R. R. Tourtillott *
1967 MG John K. Rice *
1968 VADM Homer N. Wallin *
1969 Mr. Ralph W. Rogers *
1970 Mr. Beny Rosaler *
1971 BG Harry R. Kutz *
1973 LtCol Clinton A. Phillips *
1975 CAPT Robert E. Bassler *
1977 LT Oscar T. Lyon Jr *
1978 COL Lavon P. Linn *
1979 Lt Col H. E. May *
1980 CAPT James F. Buckner *
1981 Mr. Gory N. Casto Jr
1982 COL Leighton E. Harrell Sr *
1983 CPT Kermit R. Lay Sr *
1984 Col Dallas L. Knoll *
1985 COL Gustav M. Bacharach *
1986 LtGen Herman Nickerson Jr *
1987 MAJ John P. Scherger *
1988 COL Carl L. Sitter *
1989 CW3 Donald L. Shaw *
1990 CPT J. L. Walker *
1991 RADM William G. Sizemore
1992 COL Jack K. Evans *
1993 CPT George T. Steele *
1994 COL Ralph C. Barnett *
1995 Maj Charles A. Folsom
1996 Capt Clarence M. Nelson
1997 COL Floyd M. Gilbert
1998 Col George H. Mason *
1999 LTC George R. Scott *
2000 ENS Irving R. Dietscher
2002 MAJ Nelson O. Newcombe
2003 CAPT Marion S. Jones *
2004 BG Benjamin T. Sutherlin *
2005 LTC Kenneth L. Lowmiller Jr
2006 Col George F. Harrington *
2007 COL Jack M. Marden *
2008 COL Frank W. Harris III
2009 MAJ Benjamin M. Yudesis
2010 CW4 James S. Norris *
2011 LTC Elliott B. Samuels
2012 CPT I. L. Langley Jr
2013 LTC William J. Ryland Sr
2014 CW4 Daniel L. W. Taylor
2015 COL Andrew J. McVeigh III
2016 LTC Charles N. Wallens
2017 Lt Col Harry E. Sanders Jr
‡ The Legion of Honor Award was not plresented in 1963, 1972, 1974, 1976, and 2001.
Judge Advocate - MAJ Benjamin M. Yudesis (TX)


National Sojourners, Incorporated, is a nonprofit, domestic, fraternal order, operating in accordance with a Certificate of Incorporation issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia. For a history of the National Sojourners, click here.


The Purposes of National Sojourners shall be to organize Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers and Senior Noncommissioned Officers of the uniformed forces (past and present) of the United States, and Honorary Members who are Master Masons, into Chapters, for the promotion of good fellowship among its members, for assisting such as may be overtaken by adversity or affliction, for cultivating Masonic ideals, for supporting all patriotic aims and activities in Masonry, for developing true Patriotism and Americanism throughout the Nation, for bringing together representatives of the uniformed forces of the United States (past and present) in a united effort to further the military need of national defense, and for opposing any influence whatsoever calculated to weaken the national Security.


Membership Categories:

Active Members – Those Master Masons and U. S. citizens who are serving or have served honorably in the Uniformed Services of the United States meet the requirements for Active membership in National Sojourners and who have been regularly elected to and initiated in any chapter of National Sojourners, Inc., are Active members.

Honorary Members – Those Master Masons who are ineligible for Active membership but who have been regularly elected to Honorary membership in any chapter of National Sojourners in recognition of meritorious service to the Nation or Freemasonry.

Qualifications – All Brethren who are interested in the Order should apply.
Masonic – You must be a Master Mason (3rd Degree) in good standing of a recognized Regular Lodge*.

Military – You must be have served honorably in the Uniformed Services of the United States.

Honorary – If you do not qualify under the provisions of the military standards, each chapter is authorized 15% of its membership to be honorary. It can exceed this 15% with a special waiver of the National President. Grand Lodge Officers in the Progressive, Elective Line that would qualify as honorary will not be accounted for within the 15% limitation.

Membership Costs:

Membership In Perpetuity (MIP)
This is a one-time payment of dues which may, under certain circumstances, be paid incrementally. An MIP is paid to the tax-deductible fund known as the National Sojourners Trust Fund in the amount of $250.00. This membership is welcomed by all chapters of the Order. However, should a member wish to join another chapter as an MIP, the amount would be reduced to $155.00. In each case, in the memo of the check it should be noted with the letters MIP and the chapter’s name and number. Some chapters are only MIP chapters, so you should check with the chapter Secretary for accurate payment costs.
Annual Dues:

A member may choose to pay annual membership dues, but these dues are not tax-deductible. The amount varies by chapter and should be made payable as directed by the chapter Secretary. Some chapters are only MIP chapters, so contact the chapter Secretary for accurate payments costs.

Another Membership Opportunity – 3-6-5 Club & Life 3-6-5 Club
Membership in the 3-6-5 Club or Life 3-6-5 Club is open to all Active and Honorary members as a way of supporting the Sojourners Endowment Memorial (SEM) Fund. The tax-deductible SEM Fund is the resource for funding our Headquarters business operations center.

3-6-5 Club – The special category 3-6-5 Club alludes to the everyday operation of our Order. This special club can earn a chapter recognition – a streamer for the chapter flag – with the participation of its membership. The minimum requirement to earn the chapter streamer is the equivalent participation of $3.65 each year by each member.

Life Membership (L-3-6-5) – Life Membership (L-3-6-5) in this special club is a one-time payment of $36.50. The payment applies only to the specific chapter designated in the donation. It should be made payable to the SEM Fund and in the memo of the check it should reflect 3-6-5 Club or L-3-6-5 Club and the chapter name and number. If you are a member of more than one chapter and wish to contribute toward the chapter’s banner in another chapter, another donation as previously prescribed must be made.

I Meet the Qualifications:

I want to become a Member. Contact our Ft Sam Houston Chapter Secretary James "Bob McConnell at email: or phone: 210-659-6813.


Every year, the Order bestows upon a member of each unit of the ROTC and the Junior ROTC the Sojourners ROTC medal with ribbon and certificate. The award goes to the cadet who has, in the opinion of his or her superiors, done the most to encourage and demonstrate the ideals of Americanism by deed or conduct or both; and who has demonstrated potential for outstanding leadership. This award is available upon request to every ROTC and JROTC unit in America. Nearly 1500 of these medals are presented each year.


Throughout the Order, several historical and patriotic flag programs have been developed. One, in particular, had a Scottish Rite genesis. A member of the National Sojourners Chapter in El Paso, Texas, Hubert L. Koker, 32 °, K.C.C.H., was chairman of a Scottish Rite committee tasked to prepare an Americanism program for presentation to the El Paso Scottish Rite Valley. He developed a program in which the American Flag was built, stripe by stripe and star by star with a narration giving the state or states admitted to the Union with the addition of each stripe and star. Another Brother, who was also a member of both the El Paso Scottish Rite and National Sojourners, saw the program and understood immediately the full significance of what he had seen. After getting proper permission, he brought the program to National Sojourners, Inc. The rest, as they say, is history. The program was refined again and again. More portable and reliable props were developed, and "Building the Flag" teams were formed throughout National Sojourners with their affiliated Order, The Heroes of ‘76, presenting it in colonial uniforms, often assisted by their ladies, also in colonial costume. This excellent patriotic and educational program has been performed thousands of times at schools as well as Masonic and non-Masonic gatherings of all kinds. It continues today as one of the most effective and popular patriotic programs yet invented. A "Historical Flag Program’ was written by National Sojourner, Byron C. Jenkins, 32°, K.C.C.H., of the Omaha, Nebraska, Scottish Rite Valley, for presentation during the U. S. Bicentennial celebration. Past Grand Master Jenkins’s program displays up to sixteen flags used by Americans from pre-Revolutionary times to the present. The presentation utilizes three or more "Heroes of ‘76" to display each full-size flag while a narrator gives the history of how the Masonic heroes who were serving under it contributed to our country’s birth, development, and fame. The programs cited here barely scratch the surface of the service performed by National Sojourners, Inc. This small but capable group of American Masonic leaders quietly serves our country and Masonry every day through their efforts to raise the loyalty and pride of every American by eulogizing and emulating the Masonic builder-patriots who preceded them. Click here to read "A Toast to the Flag " and "To the Colors."


Links to Texas National Sojourner's Chapters(Found on the National Sojourner's Homepage)
National Sojourner's Homepage
Heroes of '76 National Commander's Message


Webmasters: T. E. "Gene" & Gay Carnes