When Stacie Allison graduated from Gridley High School, Class of 1981, she no-doubt had her future planned out to serve her country in the U.S. Air Force but what came after her 18 year career could be a surprise.

Now retired, M/Sgt. Stacie Higgins, finds herself the first female in charge, the Commander of the Harland J. Hennessey Veterans of Foreign Wars #5538 of Boonville, New York.

Higgins grew up in Gridley, the daughter of Howard and Louise Allison and sister to Steven and Stanton. Her military service led her to Rome's Griffiss Air Force Base in the early 90's when she got married and found she liked the Upstate area.

Higgins and her husband Ken settled in Boonville upon retirement transferring to the Boonville VFW in 2003 from Stittville VFW.

In the military, Higgins was a telephone lineman.

Higgins had served as Quartermaster before being elected Commander and served as Senior Vice Commander, filling in as bartender once in awhile.

She is involved in some much needed renovations of the Post including electrical system upgrading, the handicap entry system and other projects that need to be completed.

Many more projects are on the horizon for this VFW Post with Higgins at the helm.

When not overseeing the Post, Higgins works as a computer assistant at the Air Force Research Lab at Griffiss in Rome.

She and her husband have four grown children between them.