2022-2023 DEPARTMENT PRESIDENT
Linda became a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Shiocton Unit 512 at the age of 6 through the Navy service of her step-father, Earl Burton. Linda has been an active Auxiliary member ever since. Linda is also a Paid Up for Life member. Linda has served the ALA in many capacities over the years. She has been an officer and/or a chairman for her Unit, County, District and now the Department of Wisconsin.
Linda and her husband Gary, a Vietnam Navy veteran, have raised three daughters – Jennifer Gardner, an Air Force veteran and dual member; Michelle Bellile; and Suzanne Heuer; and one son, Lt. Col. Stephen B. Olk of the US Army Reserves. Of their ten grandchildren, the two oldest grandsons, Chasen and Trevor Gardner are Marines! They also have two great-granddaughters, who, with their ALA membership, make up the 6th generation of Unit Auxiliary members at Shiocton Unit 512!
Serving as a Department officer these past few years, Linda has enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk with many unit members. As a presenter for the ALA In the Know, her interaction made her realize working and communicating with unit members is key to maintaining the integrity of our organization for years to come. Linda has become aware of the struggles that units are having in retaining and/or gaining members to help accomplish their goals while continuing to support our veterans, active military, their families and the Auxiliary mission. Even though we had to observe social distancing, members continued to find creative ways to support the mission of the ALA. We need to continue to believe in what we do and once you believe, it will happen! It is her belief that all members are important and even the smallest attempt by any member to work the ALA mission is a worthy attempt in helping our veterans.