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West Fargo establishes American Legion post

West Fargo American Legion Post 308 Commander Larry Reed leads the group during a meeting at the West Fargo VFW on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Carrie Snyder1 / 2
The inaugural members of the West Fargo American Legion Post 308. From left to right, front row: David Brunsvold, Richard Belling, Larry Reed, Shorty Vetter and Dave Vetter. Back row: Paul Hyndman, John Wihlman, Joe Wallevand, Jules Leseberg, Steve Perreault, Paul Leeman and Connie Leeman. Carrie Snyder2 / 2

West Fargo is no longer one of North Dakota’s largest cities without an American Legion post with the recent opening of Post No. 308.

“Any organization who can get more veterans involved is great to help the veterans who need the help,” said Larry Reed, post commander.

The new West Fargo post came to fruition with the help of Dave Rice, chairman of the American Legion executive committee for North Dakota.

“West Fargo was the largest city across North Dakota without a post and I thought, ‘Why don’t they have one?’ ” Rice said. “That was my inspiration. I then started to pursue the idea of establishing one.”

Reed, who was a member of Fargo American Legion Post 10 years ago, was excited when he heard talk a few months back about the much-needed post in West Fargo.

“I felt you got lost because there were so many people,” he said of the Fargo post. “When I heard that Dave was trying to get a West Fargo Legion, I thought we could all give something to this. We wouldn’t just be a member.”

Veterans attending the first informational meetings in November and December agreed to elect officers in January. Reed was voted in as commander.

“From the first day I heard it, it was in my mind that I wanted to be a commander,” he said.

Since the new post’s members needed a place to meet, Rice met with West Fargo VFW leaders to see if the Legion post could meet there.

“They said, Absolutely.’ ”

The new West Fargo American Legion post will meet at 7 p.m. every third Tuesday of the month inside the West Fargo VFW.

Rice will be in the area to help mentor and advise the new Post, but for the most part he plans to let West Fargo members take it from here.

“There’s a lot of West Fargo residents who are members of Harwood and Horace Legions, and a lot of people who have said there needed to be on in West Fargo,” Reed said. “We are not going to try and take their members, but we are sure there will be a lot of transfers so they can be closer to their home and more involved in their community.”

The American Legion by its congressional charter allows members who have served in the military during a war-time era. The Legion’s focus is on serving the troops, supporting veterans, promoting patriotism and carrying out programs for the nation’s youth.

“All these first year people are going to be the charter members,” Reed said. “That’s kind of a feather in your cap to say you were one of the first.”

Carrie Snyder
Carrie Snyder has been a staff photographer for The Forum since 2007. She grew up in Fargo and attended Minnesota State University Moorhead.  Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to .