Area woman serves as Legion auxiliary leader

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sandy Fredrickson of Glenville is serving as the American Legion Auxiliary department president, which covers the entire state.  - Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea  Tribune

Sandy Fredrickson of Glenville is serving as the American Legion Auxiliary department president, which covers the entire state. – Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Fredrickson aims to get young people involved

Glenville woman Sandy Fredrickson believes strongly in the value of the younger generations in area veterans groups.

As the new department president for the American Legion Auxiliary — serving the entire state — Fredrickson said it is one of her main goals to help bring in more young people to the American Legion family.

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She said as members age, there must be more younger members to join for the organizations to survive.

“If we ever lose it, we’ll never get it back,” Fredrickson said.

Fredrickson, herself, joined the American Legion Auxiliary Glenville post in 1980.

Her father was a World War II veteran, her brothers served in Vietnam and Germany, and her husband, Dennis, served in Vietnam. Her husband’s family was also in the Air Force.

“I have always beleived very strongly in support for veterans,” she said.

In 1999, she said her sister asked her if she would help be the district secretary. With so much going on in her life at that time, she initially said she was too busy, but ultimately agreed to serve for one year.

The service grew from there.

Over the years she served in many positions, and five years ago she was asked to consider running for the department president. Before serving as president, leaders first serve as second vice president and then first vice president.

She said in her position as president she will travel to other units across the state as she is invited.

“It’s an honor to serve them in this way,” she said. “We women need to realize when it comes to veterans’ rights, our numbers count.”

She hopes to educate the public on the needs of veterans and how the American Legion addresses those needs. She said the American Legion is the largest patriotic organization in the nation.

Statewide, there are 80,000 Legionnaires and 38,000 auxiliary members, she said. In Glenville, there are 112 Legionnaires and 102 auxiliary members.

“I really feel privileged to be a member because not everybody can be,” she said. “There has to be that veteran connection.”

Fredrickson, who is a registered nurse case manager at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, began as president at the end of July. Her service continues through August 2016.

In her spare time, Fredrickson said she enjoys crafting, gardening and quilting. She has two sons and four grandchildren and enjoys spending time with them. She is also heavily involved with First Lutheran Church in Glenville.

She said there will be an event on Nov. 21 at the Glenville American Legion post that will bring in people from across the state.