The American Legion launches post on UND campus as a way to serve modern-era veterans and recruit new members
by David Dodds, University & Public Affairs writer
Posted on 11/8/2013
Wayne Satrom, Galesburg, N.D. and West Fargo, a national vice commander with The American Legion, presents the official charter establishing Post 401, a new chapter, at the University of North Dakota to a group of legionnaires and supporters at the UND Memorial Union on Thursday, Nov. 7. He is joined by Bob Krause (far left), Fargo; and Eugene Kachena, Pisek, N.D., commander of the North Dakota Department of The American Legion.
Veterans helping veterans.
Those were the words that dominated a nearly half-hour ceremony Thursday, Nov. 7, at the University of North Dakota Memorial Union, where members of the North Dakota Department of The American Legion officially launched its newest chapter.
Wayne Satrom, native of Galesburg, N.D., and a national vice commander with The American Legion, read the official proclamation establishing UND Post 401 before a group of about 50 fellow legionnaires and members of the University community. The temporary charter, set up a few days before Veterans Day - Nov. 11, is the second to be designated on a university campus in North Dakota. Post 400 was established at North Dakota State in Fargo in November 2012.
"The young veterans are getting involved now," Satrom said, "what else can you say - this is just super."
The UND chapter currently comprises 22 veterans, including University students, alumni, instructors and staff members recently separated from the military and some who are current active duty, National Guard or Reserve service members.
The 2.4-million-member American Legion is a congressionally chartered group of veterans helping veteran and their families. The organization carries considerable political clout in Washington, D.C., for its members, according to Satrom.
Campus posts help veteran students and others affiliated with a university assimilate to civilian life, establish connections with other vets and pursue various community projects and programs.
"We are here to give our veterans a home on campus," said Thomas DiLorenzo, UND vice president for Academic Affairs and provost. "We see ourselves as a veteran-friendly campus and this new charter certainly demonstrates that fact."
UND consistently is ranked as one of the most military and veteran friendly schools in the nation by G.I. Jobs and other military niche publications and websites.
David A. Johnson, West Fargo, the adjutant of the North Dakota Department of The American Legion, said that the new chapters at UND and NDSU will help feed the ranks of the organization, offsetting losses from its World War II, Korean War and Vietnam era membership. He said that older generation legionnaires can learn from their younger counterparts when it comes to newer and more effective ways to communicate the organization's messages.
"The American Legion is a tradition worth saving," Johnson said. "The energy and skills of this generation is a resource not to be ignored."
For membership information, contact Post 401 members James Becks at Veterans Upward Bound site coordinator, 701.330.1178 or 701.777.6465, or at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Carol Anson in the UND Veterans Affairs Office at 701.777.3364, or carol.anson@UND.edu.
Contact: David L. Dodds Writer/Editor Media Relations Coordinator Public Relations Group Division of University and Public Affairs 264 Centennial Drive Stop 7144 Grand Forks, ND 58202-7144 701.777.5529 | 701.777.4616 fax david.dodds@UND.edu UND.edu