Post Talk

North Branch Post #85

  • Membership Meeting: Feb 8th @ 7:00PM
  • Auxiliary Meeting:  Feb 8th @ 7:30PM
  • SAL Meeting: Feb 15th @ 6:00PM
  • Legion Riders Meeting: Feb 11th @7:00PM
  • Coffee Talk with the CVSO: Dec 21st @ 9:AM

Rick Hals, Post Commander

We as Veterans have a very important meeting coming up on the 8th of Feb. at 6:30 pm  at the No Branch City hall. What I am hopping is that as many as Veterans as possible will go and show our support. The monthly membership meeting will be going at the regular time at 7pm.

I have talked to all the officers and we will have the meeting with a minimum quorum, so as to do all the monthly business.

  • Updates on projects: the new pull tab booth has been  installed, the new mini bar for the hall has been ordered, and new drawer slides at the main bar are installed.
  • The legion will be having our annual corn beef and cabbage dinner on March 12th, please keep the date open.

I hope to see a lot of vets show up at city hall on the 8th. Have a great February, spring is not far behind.

Michelle Still, Auxiliary President

February is Americanism month, but Americanism isn’t only done in February but all year long! Americanism is an unfailing love of America, a loyalty to its ideals and principles. We are encouraged to promote patriotism and responsible leadership. Remember, President’s Day is February 21st. Reach out to a veteran or military family.

Jim Hunt, SAL Commander

Don’t forget the SAL Omelet Breakfast on February 13, 2022. This is always a fan favorite!

Camille Wentz, Legion Riders Director

For those I haven’t met, I am Camille Wentz, Acting Director of the Legion Riders, as of January 1st. Our chapter is going through some growing pains and recruitment efforts have been underway to increase our numbers. We have several new members joining the Legion Riders and some of whom will be new to the Legion. The first meeting of the new year will be on Friday, February 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the American Legion Hall. We look forward to getting to know the Legion Family and growing our chapter.

Glenn Pierce, Gaming Manager

This month’s employee introduction comes from Post Gaming. Her name is Gina Johnson.

Gina came to work for the American Legion Gaming in February of 2020. In the year she has been with us she has been an energetic, dependable and personable employee. Gina works Meat Raffles, Bingo and the Pulltab Booth. She has almost doubled our Meat Raffle sales with her cheerful energetic demeanor. She has demonstrated ability to gain customer trust, leading to increased repeat and referral business.

Gina lives in Harris, MN with her husband and 4 children. She is a graduate of NBHS.

Please introduce yourself to Gina (when she not too busy) and thank her for being such a valuable part of the American Legion.

Gina Johnson

Randy Koivisto, Past Commander

Our January regular monthly meeting featured membership awards for both the Legion and VFW. The meeting was well attended, and we were also able to recognize those in the community that support our mission. A big thanks to Dave Reider and his family for providing the delicious evening meal!

Willis Peterson

Shown above is 50 year member Willis Peterson receiving his award from Commander Hals. Willis served in the Army from 1954-1956 while stationed in Okinawa Japan with the 65th AAA.

C. Johnson

Receiving his 25 year award was C.Johnson

Robert Townley and Ralph Bader

Receiving their 10 year awards were L-R Robert Townley and Ralph Bader

Veteran’s Memorial Project update:

On our path to project completion, we have actively engaged two activities that the city has requested. The first was a survey conducted by the city regarding park usage in general, with imbedded questions regarding our proposed memorial to be sited in Central Park.

The results came out overwhelmingly in our favor with 69% in favor, versus 13% against, with 4% with some concerns. There were 14% with no opinion.

First, it should be mentioned that member Col. Paul Johnson with the Air Force Jr. ROTC program at the North Branch High School, along with his cadets, played a large part in the positive outcome of that survey.

Secondly, there was a community meeting held at the Regions EMS facility to discuss the Memorial Project specifically. The meeting was attended by large contingent of our members and the members of the VFW. Again, the results were heavily in favor of our proposed site and features.

A vote is expected at the next city council meeting on February 8th, starting at 6:30. However, as we’ve seen in the past, there is no guarantee. Unfortunately it falls on the same day and time of our regular monthly meeting. It’s important that we have a presence at the City Council meeting.

Ron Rollins, Adjutant

I sure hope everyone has been able to stay warm for this winter blast we have had the last couple of weeks.

January was my turn in the proverbial Covid-19 barrel. I had relatively mild symptoms, but they lasted two weeks with the fever and chills, luckily only lasting a few days. Please take care of yourselves. This is not much fun. At least it was cold outside and I could clear my schedule to care for myself and my wife.

I start this every month wondering what I am going to add to the newsletter. Well, I am mostly going to go over things I’ve already mentioned to ingrain them in everyone’s mind to indicate the importance of each.

  • I would like to again remind everyone to get any volunteer hours that your group puts in at the Legion, working on children’s projects, color guard training and events, Community events in the name of the legion or donations given to organizations we support please get me the number of people and hours put in or amounts of donations so we can put these on the Consolidated Post Report. This is important to show National and our Legislatures what our veterans do for our communities.
  • We have several open Officer positions:
    • Chaplain,
    • Judge Advocate
    • Sgt. At Arms
    • Service Officer
    • Historian

This month I will highlight one of the most important of these which is Sergeant at Arms. This position is in charge of order at meetings, and the Post Color Guard, sometimes referred also as our Honor Guard depending on the duty. Here is a job description from National Guidebook:

Sergeant-at-arms: The sergeant-at-arms arranges the meeting hall and assists the post commander and adjutant in preliminary arrangements for meetings, including leading the color detail during presentation and retirement ceremonies. This person is the expert on flag etiquette, knows proper flag etiquette, and plays a leading role in the post color guard, burial detail and other pageantry. The sergeant-at-arms is the logical person to chair a welcome committee, which can have a tremendous influence on the post’s image, membership and relationship with members. Every Legionnaire wants to feel part of the group, particularly new Legionnaires attending their first few meetings. The sergeant-at-arms must make certain new members are welcomed, introduced and made to feel they are important to the post. The sergeant-at-arms encourages members to attend meetings and advises the commander on who should be acknowledged.

This is the technical job description from National. Our Post duties are slightly different. This is a very important position to our Post as we do more funerals than any other post in Chisago County.

If we do not get a Sgt at Arms we cannot provide funeral honors to our members.

The biggest part of the job is Drill & Ceremony. I know it has been a long time since most of us has done any D&C, but it will come back to us. This is also an opportunity to work with the Jr. ROTC on D&C. Are you up for the challenge? Do you know a younger vet that is looking to get involved?

We have a great bunch of people on the color guard that are just looking for leadership. Call me if you have any further questions (651-775-6985).

Interested in learning more about the American Legion and it’s programs?

Take the Basic Training course- it’s free! Take the Basic Training course online at After taking this you can then apply to go to Minnesota Legion College at Camp Ripley. And, if you are still itching for more and want to get more involved in the American Legion you may then apply through Department for National American Legion College, which is held at National Headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I, myself am an alumni of National American Legion College – Class of 2013. What a fantastic experience!!  If this is something you may be interested in, contact Adjutant Ron Rollins at 651-775-6985 and get started in learning and checking off some of those prerequisites.

If any other Post #85 member is an NALC Alumni, please contact Ron Rollins.

Upcoming events:

  • February 5th – Sweetheart Rally at Pine Island American Legion #184Starting at 11:00am. Cost is $16.00.
  • February 13th – SAL Omelet Breakfast.
  • March 12th – Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner – North Branch Post #85.
  • March 12th – Appreciation Rally at the Forest Lake American Legion Post#225.
  • March 15th – American Legion Birthday.
  • June 24th-26th – SAL Detachment Convention at Legionville.
  • July 13th-16th – Department Convention in Willmar, MN.

SAL members now have a mobile app they can put on their phone to keep abreast of news relating to the National SAL events and FAQ’s. The download is free.

I asked an EOD guy once about the stress of bomb defusing. He shrugged and said “It’s not stressful. I’m either right, or suddenly it’s not my problem anymore.”

I try to stick to that perspective.

Anyone Listen to Minnesota Military Radio?

It’s on Sundays@ 0700 on News/Talk Am 1130.

Listen and submit an evaluation of it and submit it to the Adjutant for inclusion in next month’s Post Talk. Others may be interested in your writing.

I received the following Flyer in late January from the District Adjutant. This Ice Fishing Event is being sponsored by the Arcade-Phalen Post577 Legion Riders.

I’m sorry for the late notice:

Have a great February (Spring is getting closer!!)

Remember, YOU are the Legion.