The American Legion Post in Olivia was officially recognized on April 10, 1919 and was simply called the Olivia American Legion. This name title has been changed twice. The first change took place after the death of William Erickson, one of three sons of Mr. & Mrs. L.O. Erickson. He was the first person from Olivia to die on the battlefields in France on 6 September 1918. So, the post was called the William Erickson Post in his honor. Then on 4 June 1942, during a Japanese attack at Dutch Harbor, the plane carrying Burton Strom, son of Carl Strom, was shot down. He was the first man from Olivia to die in World War II; hence we have the official name the Erickson/Strom Post 186. Our Legion provides service to our Veterans, to our Community and especially to our youth.
The Post is made up of three organizations; we call it the Legion Family. The three are the Legion Post, the Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion. Each of them has their own leadership. Post Commander is Robert O. Wittman, Auxiliary President is Linda Bremseth and Joe Haen is the Squadron Commander for the SONS. The Post Commander is actually the Officer in Charge.
Our Legion is the only one in Renville County that has a Legion Club. The Club is an open operation in that everyone is welcome. We have a good selection of beverages and also feature a nice menu and special meals. We are known for the quality of our food and our reasonable prices.
Our Legion Family is known for the support it gives to our community. Some of these include Memorial Day and Veterans Day programs, Annual Flag Disposal Event, Military Funerals, Poppy Days, Poster Contest at BOLD & St, Mary’ Schools, donations to BOLD School programs, Legion Baseball, Fischer House, St. Cloud VA, Boys State, Girls State, Legionville, Food Shelf, Olivia Fire & Rescue, Olivia Ambulance, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts & Cub Scouts, Corn Capital Days, Flag Park, Renville County Rebels, Red Cross Bloodmobile, Christmas decorating of parks. The Legion works with groups to have fundraisers, the groups that do this provide the labor and we order and assist in food preparation.
Due to the current situation with the virus, we are somewhat hampered in doing fundraisers. The Legion Family did contribute a total of $22,212 during calendar year 2019. It is our hope that we can once again maintain that figure in the future.