Harry was an advocate of letting Vietnam-era guys move into positions of authority in the legion," said Philip Gomez, a former American Legion district commander on Long Island. "The World War II guys were getting older, and he believed the newer veterans had to take the reins."
Harry was a large man, whose voice could be heard above everyone else's," Gomez said.
Jackson, who snapped his fingers to jazz and doo-wop, and liked country music, was an intense competitor in baseball and football.
He was born in Westbury on New Year's Day 1941.
After graduating from Amityville High School in 1958, he joined the Army in 1961.
He married his high school sweetheart, Jacqueline Cena Yancey, in January 1962. But the Vietnam War pulled him overseas, where he worked as a medical records clerk and earned the rank of staff sergeant before receiving an honorable discharge in 1967.
In 1968, he joined the New York Police Department, serving with the Tactical Patrol Unit, and later as an aide to Chief Robert Johnson, the force's second in command.
While on the force, he attended night school and earned a bachelor's degree in criminal psychology from the New York Institute of Technology in 1980.
After he retired in 1984, he increased his activities with the American Legion, helping to energize the Hunter Squires Jackson post in Amityville where he served as the Post Adjutant and was a Past Commander, and eventually served as 10th District Commander, overseeing posts in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens.
After he retired, it was all American Legion," his brother, Alfred Jackson said. "He lived and died American Legion."
We remember Harry, a veterans' advocate by these simple words
"Let the work that I have done speak for me".