The American Legion is America’s largest veterans’ service organization – working every day to uphold time-honored values of service, patriotism and camaraderie. This organization is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service group. It was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.

Focusing on service to veterans, service members and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States. Today, membership stands at more than 2 million in more than 13,000 posts worldwide (including 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines).

Over the years, the Legion has influenced considerable social change in America, won hundreds of benefits for veterans and produced many important programs for children and youth. It is committed to mentoring youth, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and ongoing devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.

     Oak Creek is home of one of the state’s largest and most active American Legion Posts, the Oelschlaeger-Dallman Post #434. Named for Oak Creek World War I and World War II veterans, Frederick Oelschlaeger was a Private First Class in the U.S. Army in World War II who died on July 16, 1944. Emil Dallman was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army in World War I who died on October 10, 1918.

     With more than 440 members, Post #434 is a welcoming place for our veterans to network and socialize. According to Commander Steve Kohnke, “Our Post helps enable our group to support the community while enjoying the camaraderie of colleagues.” Kohnke joined the Legion 8 years ago, after retiring from the Air Force Reserves after 33 years of service.

     “We raise funds to support local, state and national Legion Programs, such as the National Emergency Fund whereby members can get assistance to repair their houses damaged by acts of God,” Kohnke adds. “We also support the Legacy Scholarship Fund that provides educational funding for the children of our military killed or seriously disabled since 9/11.” You will see Oak Creek Legionnaires participate in local parades, memorials and dedications. They also visit local schools and meet with other community groups to talk about their military service and experience, and the American Legion’s rich history.

     Commander Kohnke is quick to point out you do not have to be a veteran to enjoy the many services that Oak Creek Post #434 provides to the community.

• A welcoming environment for anyone who stops by to enjoy a frosty beverage, watch the big screen TVs, and talk to their neighbors and friends. The bar is open to the public every day of the week with Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 4-6 p.m. 

• Friday fish frys with delicious food prepared by the Ladies Auxiliary Post #434 start on September 7. Commander Kohnke gives much credit to the Ladies Auxiliary that not only provides an excellent catering service, but also gathers much-needed items to send to our troops overseas.

• Post #434 is a popular location for business meetings, receptions, family celebrations, bridal/baby showers, funerals, family picnics and more. A large banquet room on the lower level and a smaller room on the ground floor are available for group rental, with or without catering, for up to 300 people. 

• Seasonal dart leagues and baseball leagues provide friendly competition. The Post has its own baseball diamond.

• Karaoke with MEchel on alternate Fridays at 8 p.m.

• The Post’s 22 acres of land on Shepard Avenue offer spacious and convenient accommodations fornumerous community festivals,including Lionsfest, the 4th of July Celebration and National Night Out.

     In addition to the American Legion and the Women’s Auxiliary, the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) exists for those whose parent(s) or grandparent(s) served our country. The SOL currently has more than 100 members and is growing. There is also the American Legion Riders for those who ride a 500 cc bike or larger. If you are a member of any part of the American Legion Family, you can also join the Riders for additional activities.

     Commander Kohnke sums it up best when he makes sure that we talk about members’ concerns about the Oak Creek community, and wanting to not only promote the positive aspects of the City, but help out whenever the need is there. “When we meet with kids and veterans, the smiles on their faces are thanks enough for me,” Kohnke states proudly.

     Hundreds of local American Legion programs and activities strengthen the nation one community at a time. The Legion also raises millions of dollars in donations at the local, state and national levels to help veterans and their families during times of need. The American Legion’s success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism. The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives.

     Membership is the life blood of the organization. If you want to learn more, contact Post #434 at (414) 762-9660.

Oelschlaeger-Dallman Post #434
9327 S. Shepard Ave. • (414) 762-9660 •
Mon.-Fri. 4 p.m.-Close • Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.-Close