Nomination By Commander David McCallister of Al McCray for Florida Division Legionnaire of the Year
Legionnaire Al McCray of the Judah P. Benjamin Camp 2210 has a distinguished service record in living the “Charge” and defending his honorable Southern heritage against very tall odds. He has done so with integrity and distinction by actions that have reflected upon and influenced MILLIONS.
Al is well known and respected within Tampa Bay’s political and media circles, founding and owning “Tampa Bay News & Talk” an internet based mass communications business. He’s a former Tampa chapter NAACP member and active on many community based councils.
Al introduced himself to our “Cause” during the 2008 defense of Tampa’s Confederate Memorial Park serving upon the General Jubal A. Early camp’s Heritage Offensive team, (along with myself, David McCallister, Bart & Lunelle Siegel and Marion Lambert) which was heavily engaged in local, state and national media during the summer of 2008 defending Tampa’s new “Confederate Memorial Park” (ie: The Flag-site: Home to the world’s largest Confederate flag) from attacks. Al’s primary role he created was of defining the history of the South & it’s symbols as Honorable, diverse and inclusive of minorities while expounding upon President’s Lincoln’s true opinion and actions as anti minority and historically re-written in modern times.  Al’s area of our total plan resulted in destroying the lies perpetrated by the local NAACP, drawing them out to the point where we had solid grounds for a libel & slander lawsuit with Mr. McCray as plaintiff, the Tampa chapter president was reprimanded by the national chapter for poor actions, ultimately resulting in the resignation of said President. To date, we have little opposition from the local NAACP chapter concerning any of our projects.
Al has lead the way with dialog for Confederate topics within the area’s black community by prominently and steadfastly projecting his Southern heritage. This has opened many doors including those of County Commissioners, State representatives, heads of government agencies along with community activists producing interactions including mass media stories, radio shows, internet interviews and video productions.
One noteworthy example of legionnaire McCray’s ability to influence and advance true history was his rebuttal in 2011 to syndicated Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitt’s vicious attack upon our Heritage. Al responded with fact, antidote and passion in a reply that was nearly as widely published as Mr. Pitts lies. Publications included most of Florida’s largest newspapers such as the Tampa Tribune, St. Pete Times, Miami Herald, Tallahassee Democrat and many others with readership exposure into the millions.
Participation in our camp’s many parades is routine.  Same for generating publicity for our events such as the 150th Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Tampa or the re-enactment of the Military Presentation of the Color’s to Tampa’s “Sunny South Guards,” events where he serves as a media point man for information and interviews. So dedicated is he to parades, in ill health and facing major surgery (5 hours under the knife a week after the parade) Al made the 300 mile round trip to Dixie County to participate with the Benjamin camp in Cross City’s annual Martin Luther King Day” parade.
As a disabled American veteran, Al particularly enjoys veterans  parades. Unfortunately, our camp’ s first appearance in the Town & County Veterans Day parade (Tampa) resulted in the camp withdrawing from the parade less than an hour before step off. This situation occurred because a parade official who witnessed an overzealous Southerner (Legionnaire McCray) hanging from the window of the camp’s “ Capt. Dickison Grey Ghost” ’71 Javelin proudly waving the CS Battle flag in the staging area prompted the official to ban the Battle flag in the parade. With our camp’s zero tolerance of such discrimination, we immediately rerouted our contingency of members, float and vehicles to the Ruskin parade, greatly increasing our presentation there and generating acclaim and a trophy.  The following week, dialog with the Town & Country officials began. Initially, parade organizers did not reciprocate communications with our camp. When Al initiated contact with them they greatly warmed up for conversation as Al request their position as to why they violated a disabled Vet’s Civil Rights by kicking him & his contingency out of the Veterans parade for a story he was writing for publication in Tampa Bay News & Talk. This misunderstanding was promptly solved with the Benjamin camp invited to attend the 2014 parade WITH OUR FLAGS………
Additionally, legionnaire McCray’s accolades include being a founding member of the Judah P. Benjamin camp 2210 SCV and founding Board member of the Tampa Bay Sesquicentennial Commission. He’s been the keynote speaker at Confederate Memorial Day events and at camp meetings. Most importantly, he has a burning desire in his heart to dispel revised Southern history before a very large audience. While small in stature, Legionnaire  McCray is large in courage, determination and heart.  Please consider legionnaire McCray for legionnaire of the Year for the Florida Division.
Deo Vindice!
Phil Walters                                                                                                                                     
1st Lt. Commander, Acting Adjutant-Judah P. Benjamin camp 2210-SCV Tampa
Commander, 9th Brigade, Florida Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans