Legion Post 172 Celebrates 100th Birthday
It’s the centennial birthday for the Osseo/Maple Grove American Legion. CCX News talked with a few members of Legion Post 172 about what it means to them.
Passionate About the Post
Marland Ronning has been with Legion Post 172 for a long time – nearly half a century. He remembers a time when their building off County Road 81 wasn’t even complete.
“When I became a member 45 years ago, we had just the cement walls of upstairs,” said Ronning.
Ronning says he’s been looking forward to Saturday’s birthday party to celebrate an organization that’s been a huge part of his life.
With just 10 years of membership under his belt, past Post Commander Douglas Town is a new kid compared to Marland. But he’s just as passionate about the Post.
“I just love the Legion,” said Town. “I’ve always had a spot in my heart for the American Legion.”
An Unpayable Debt
For Jeff Strand, the Legion is also a responsibility. He was drafted for Vietnam, but wasn’t sent. So Strand joined the Sons of the American Legion and does his best to make the Post a success. He says he owes it to the veterans.
“That’s the whole thing, what I’m doing here,” said Strand. “I’m still paying that debt from 1970.”
Asked if the debt can ever be paid, he emphatically replies “No. Never.”
But with responsiblity comes friendship and fun. Strand has worked hard to keep the post going, and growing.
“It’s fun to watch this whole thing grow. And it’s been growing ever since,” he said.
But it’s perhaps Marland Ronning’s wife, Chris, who has the most poignant feelings for the Legion. She served in a number of local and national leadership roles with the Auxiliary and has immense pride in the Post.
“You go to other posts or units and there’s always someone will bring Osseo up, saying you have a beautiful place,” said Chris Ronning.
Ronning says she doesn’t just see the Legion as a veterans’ club for a very special reason.
“I look at it as family,” she said as her voice breaks. “Especially right now. Another Auxiliary member donated a kidney to me three months ago. That’s family.”
Stories like that are why the members we talked to are ready to celebrate this 100th birthday of the post. And they’re confident it’ll still be around for its bicentennial.
The Legion is always looking for new members. If you’d like to join, go to visit the Legion Post 172 website.