Steven C. Cain may have retired from the military, but he continues to serve his fellow veterans and the Queen Creek community in any way he can.
Cain is the commander of the Duane Ellsworth American Legion Post 129 and when he’s not working his IT job at corporate U-Haul, he’s working at the post, volunteering at youth military programs and at the Palo Verde chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
He may have retired from the military, but he still has one major assignment he would like to get done: having a separate building to house the Duane Ellsworth American Legion. Right now, members meet at the Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce. Cain believes veterans of the area deserve more.
“They need a place that they know is there for them and is a place where they know other veterans will be,” Cain said.
Name: Steven C. Cain
Business Name: Duane Ellsworth American Legion Post 129
Town/neighborhood: Queen Creek/Ocotillo Landing
When and why I moved here: October 2009, parents were here initially. Loved the area.
What I like most about living here: Friendliness and compassion of residents.
What I do: Day job: programmer for corporate U-Haul. Nights and weekends: 1) volunteer with our local American Legion post, currently serving as Post Commander; 2) volunteer as IT, youth programs and membership director for the Phoenix Council of the Navy League; 3) member of the Palo Verde chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Personal background highlights: Graduated from Thunderbird High School in 1994 as commanding officer of their Navy JROTC unit. Enlisted in the United States Navy from 1994-1998, where I served as a police officer in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (1 year), and Gaeta, Italy (2 years). Following my time in the Navy attended DeVry University where I received a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems. Employed several years doing contract IT programming work and finally becoming a web application developer for U-Haul in Phoenix in 2015. Joined the American Legion in 2011, and our local post in 2014 when I was asked to redesign their website. In 2018 I became Post Commander with a mission to increase our membership, our involvement in the local community, and provide a place for our veterans so they can commune with other veterans and as a place they can come to find and receive assistance when needed.
What I like most about what I do: When it relates to the American Legion, I like being able to get to know our local veterans and to advocate for them. Every one of them is unique and has their own story to tell about themselves, their service and how difficult life has been for them following their service.
What does being nominated for this category mean to you? Honestly, it helps to highlight that veterans are important to our community and that our community recognizes them. I’m here to help our veterans. I’m here to make a better place for them. If my story helps get the word out that we’re here, then I’m all for it.
What does it mean to be a Queen Creek resident? Queen Creek is a great place to live. As our community grows it’s great to be able to recognize and remember our history and to also incorporate all the best of our growing community as well. I’ve seen the compassion, understanding and generosity of our community. I hope that continues as we create a place for our growing veteran population as well.
What do you think you bring to the local community that makes it better? I bring an advocacy for our veterans. Our veterans need a place for them. They need a place that they know is there for them and is a place where they know other veterans will be. It is also a central place for our veterans and members to serve other veterans and to serve their local community.
What would you tell people about why it's important to make a difference in Queen Creek? It is important to make a difference, whether a veteran, non-veteran, or child because to serve your community is to make it better and provides that measure of well-being within yourself to do something selfless, something not for yourself but for everyone around you.
Changes I'd like to see in this area: Likely somewhat obvious, but I’d like to see the community come together more for our veterans. Our American Legion post does have an office inside the Queen Creek Chamber of Commerce building (granted annually by the town) but we need something that is easily recognized. EVERY veteran that comes to find us for assistance or to join us says it is extremely hard to find. We need that place provided by the community for our veterans. Shortly, we will be putting out a call for action for those members of the community that wish to help us create a center for our veterans. A Queen Creek veterans center. We’d welcome anyone’s assistance to help make it happen.
Favorite community cause & why: The American Legion. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans. It is a bottom-up organization, so a local post survives based on support from its members and the local community (not from the national organization). We are here to help. We are here to make an impact on our community. Some might think that we are “a bunch of old guys drinking around a bar,” but that’s only part of what we provide. We do provide a social environment for our veterans, but we are more than a bar.
My family: My wife, Becky, and I have been together since 2009. My son, Steven Jr, is currently serving as a Seabee in the U.S. Navy. My daughter, Rebekah, is moving into her senior year at Queen Creek High School.
My interests and hobbies: As mentioned previously, I’m heavily involved in veteran- and Navy-related programs. I also enjoy anything that deals with high school JROTC programs. Being a former JROTC cadet in high school myself, I know how it feels to receive awards for my accomplishments while in the program. So, come April and May of every school year, I present awards to JROTC cadets on behalf of the American Legion, the Navy League, and the Sons of the American Revolution.
My advice to today’s youth: Get involved, stay involved! It is important for children to see how helping others actually helps others. Also, show initiative. Don’t wait for something to happen, make it happen. A lot of people today are afraid to take the initiative and rely on others to step forward first.