American Legion installs new officers

Posted 7/2/24

American Legion Post 64 held a ceremony July 1 to welcome new officers.

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already have an account? Log in to continue. Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

American Legion installs new officers


OKEECHOBEE — American Legion Post 64 held a ceremony July 1 to welcome new officers. Each officer of the Auxilary, Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion was sworn in by 11th District Commander Toni Sitherland.

Post 64 Commander Rich Gerlach has served as interim commander since last year but was officially voted in last month.

Gerlach was born and raised in New York and joined the Marines right after high school. He was excited to be a part of the MP but after completing basic training and then AIT, he was told he was being discharged because he had asthma. "I had asthma  as a child but hadn't had any trouble in years, but they said I was going home anyway. They did give me the opportunity to appeal the decision, but they said no each time," said Gerlach.

Always one to serve others, Gerlach spent his working years as a police officer, code enforcement officer and volunteer firefighter. He has even delivered five babies. "I loved everything I did," he said. "I always had a good time."

He spent his childhood spring breaks visiting Florida with family friends and he and his wife Donna decided they wanted to retire here about a year ago.

He joined the American Legion and was made the interim commander soon after. Since he was sworn in, he has been concentrating on remodelling and fixing up the building.  He hopes to make it a nice place the community can use for events. 

The American Legion is actively seeking new members. If you are interested in joining, stop by and introduce yourself.

American Legion