National Commander Helm Visits Post 85 Feb. 3rd, 2015

Post 85 Color Guard greets National Commander Helm. L/R Orv Otterness, Glenn Pierce, Jim Johnson, Ed Chromey

National Commander Helm is a native of Nebraska and no stranger to cold weather, and so he felt right at home visiting Minnesota in February. Commander Helm received a police escort through town, and was met at the front door by the Post 85 Color Guard. Posts from all over East Central Minnesota attended the dinner function, along with Chisago and Isanti County Veterans Service Officers, the mayor of North Branch, Police Chief of North Branch, leader of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Isanti County, and head of the Citizens Supporting our Armed Forces. North Branch Boy Scout Troop 141, and the Mid-Summer Ambassadors provided assistance with waiting on tables and passing out smiles. Our own Past National Chaplain Michas Ohnstad was on hand to offer prayers during the program. The MC for the evening was Pat Logan, the Department of Minnesota Membership Director. Thanks to all that helped prepare for Commander Helm's visit! Randy Koivisto -Commander Post 85

L/R 10th District Vice-Commander Ron Rollins, Post SAL Commander Jim Troske, Mayor Kirstin Hagen-Kennedy,    Post 1st Vice Darcy Doble, Police Chief Dan Meyer, Post Judge Advocate Orv Otterness, Chisago Co. Veterans Service Officer Al Budde, National Commander Helm, Post Auxiliary President Michelle Still, Past National Chaplain Michas Ohnstad, Auxiliary member Bev Otterness, Post Chaplain Jim Johnson, and Post Commander Randy Koivisto


American Legion National Commander Helm Visiting Post 85

2014-2015 American Legion National Commander Helm will be visiting our post on February 3rd . We are hosting a dinner for the event, with social hour starting at 5 pm, followed by the dinner and program at 6pm. Reservations can be made at 651-674-6100. The meal will consist of a choice of ham or chicken, with a price of $16 per person. Please get your reservations in early, as seating is limited.

Jim Johnson Honored as 2014 Member of the Year

Past Post 85 Commander Jim Johnson was honored as the 2014 Member of the Year at our annual banquet. Presenting the award is Post 85 Commander Randy Koivisto (on left), Post 85 member and 10th District Vice-Commander Ron Rollins (on right).

Leading the gathering in prayer is Post 85 member, and Past National Chaplain Michas Ohnstad, who is in his 67th year of service to the American Legion.

Our guest speaker was new Post 85 member SPC/4 Eric Trudeau of North Branch, who is a current member of the MN Army National Guard. He recently completed his second tour of SW Asia where he survived an RPG attack and IED explosion. Specialist Trudeau is still in recovery and his inspirational speech received a standing ovation at the end of his presentation.

During the program, members that have passed away in the last year were honored by the reading of their names, and the playing of “Taps”.  Post 85 Bugler and 58 year member, Roger Nelson, is shown with member Bob Bernier, and his daughter Hannah. Bob is also the commander of the North Branch VFW Post 6424.





Civil War Veteran Honored

Isaac B Reese (Almelund resident) died 95 years ago and has never had a marker on his grave. Since Isaac is a Civil War veteran the Veterans Administration provided a marker to honor him. At the ceremony today the North Branch American Legion and the North Branch VFW post 6424 did a flag presentation, 21 gun salute and taps to honor Isaac and commemorate the placement of his grave marker.

COMMUNITY OF North Branch Resident Wins $2,411.95 in Electronic Linked Bingo

COMMUNITY OF North Branch Resident Wins $2,411.95 in

Electronic Linked Bingo


North Branch, MN. -  Ms. Joie Robinson of North Branch, MN won $2,411.95 while playing electronic linked bingo on Thursday, November 28, 2013 at the North Branch American Legion #85.


The jackpot is the fourth largest prize to date in the new linked bingo games that are just becoming available through charitable gaming in Minnesota. Linked bingo allows players across the state to play against one another for larger prizes. The  jackpot was awarded for matching the “2 Lil Piggies” jackpot in the Linked Bingo game “Piggies From Heaven™”, offered by e-tab manufacturing and its Distributors (3 Diamond Corp.; MPeters Enterprises; Brainerd Games). Depending on how many people are playing, jackpots could reach $75,000 or more.


“We’ve always known linked bingo will be the strongest horse in the race,” said Al Lund, Executive Director of Allied Charities of Minnesota. “This prize is just the beginning. As linked bingo grows, we will see more big prizes and more money for the charities to use in support of their community work.”


3 Diamond Corporation, one of the companies that distribute the electronic game that produced the winning jackpot, agrees. “We’re thrilled for Joie Robinson,” said Spanky Kuhlman. “We expect to see the size of the jackpots continue to grow as people learn about the games and the potential prizes.”


Electronic pull tabs are currently available in about 360 bars and restaurants across the state; linked bingo is available in about 150 locations.


Electronic linked bingo and electronic pull tabs were approved by the state legislature in 2012 and have increased revenue for local charities. The North Branch American Legion #85  charity that PRODUCED THE WINNER supports the PURPOSE OF MISSION.

Veterans Day for the Middle School

The North Branch American Legion was asked by the North Branch Schools to do a presentation on Veterans Day for the Middle School and the Sunrise Elementary. Our Past Commander James Johnson gave a fine presentation after our color guard posted the American Colors. The event was closed with a rendition of Taps by the Legion Bugler Roger Nelson.

Veterans Day

Why We Celebrate Veterans Day
Kari Anderson

Many people recognize November 11 as a day to honor and support those who fought, and continue to fight to protect our freedom. While nearly everyone observes this holiday, very few people know exactly where Veterans Day originated from. Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, marked the end of World War I due to an “armistice” on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. President Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The holiday continued to be known and celebrated as this, until 1954 when the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by replacing the word “Armistice,” with the word “Veterans.” By doing so, they were able to expand the holiday to honor all Veterans of all wars, not just those of World War I. From that day forward November 11 has been recognized nationally as Veterans Day.

Legion Recognizes Apple Festival

North Branch American LegionAmerican Legion Post 85 Commander James Johnson and Adjutant Glenn Pierce present a $1,000 check to Lin Strong the Amador Township Supervisor, for this years’ Apple Festival to be held on September 16th in Almelund, MN.

Post Talk Resumed

The Post Talk will now be published on a monthly basis. It will be posted on our website and also in the North Branch Post Review. Contact Glenn Pierce @ (651)674-4810 to have any items of interest published.

Legion Riders Letter to SAL Members

SAL members,

My name is Ron Rollins. I am a new SAL member and Legion member.

In February of this year Post #85 supported the formation of a Legion Riders group in North Branch. I am writing to invite any individual who is already a member of the legion family, and owns a motorcycle over 350cc or larger, to come join us this summer for fun in the sun.

I attended my first Legion convention in Rochester last year and that’s where I heard of the American Legion Riders (ALR) and all they do. That’s when I got the bug to get back into motorcycling. I brought the idea to a few members and then the Commander and all thought it would be fun for those who ride. Then the ball got rolling. We will be having our first ride on April 17th, at 2pm and meeting at the Legion Hall.

The ALR is a growing part of the legion and we want to be a tool for younger members to want to be apart and help with
veterans needs. We can do a lot with more heads with new ideas. I encourage anyone with a MC endorsement and a want to ride to come check us out. We are planning several events and fundraisers this coming year and a whole lot of miles to tear up.

I would also like to encourage any of you who have never been to the Detachment Convention to attend. It is an opportunity to learn more of why you’re a member of the SAL. Learn why our fathers and grandfathers joined the military and how we can support our current military in fulfilling the current mission. This year’s Detachment Convention (Camp out) will be held at Legionville, just outside of Brainerd June 24-26, 2011. Like I said I attended my first convention last year and I heard about the Legion Riders and found a better way for me to serve. You may find something that peaks your interest and builds a stronger commitment. Give it a try.

Legionville itself is unique. It is a camp that was built for the training of 5 & 6th graders as school crossing guards. It is a
week-long camp where they also learn first aid, canoeing, and swimming. For some this is the first week they have ever been away from home.

The Minnesota State Patrol partnered with the American Legion to sponsor this program that has been in existence since 1936, and in its current location since 1948. If you have never been to Legionville, it would be an experience
that you and your family will never forget.

Enjoy the warm weather!

Ron Rollins
American Legion Riders #85