Veterans Memorial Park Committee

The Veterans Memorial Park Committee is made up of veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces, and includes representatives from the following veterans organizations:


Veterans of Foreign Wars, est. 1899
American Legion, est. 1919
Disabled American Veterans, est. 1920
Marine Corps League, est. 1922
Fleet Reserve Association, est. 1924
Vietnam Veterans of America, est. 1978
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, est. 2004



Gabe Pipo, Vietnam Veteran (Cold War Era)

Gabe served in the United States Navy from 1970 to 1974 and was stationed in California, Japan, Republic of Philippines, Danang RVN, on the USS Howard W. Gilmore AS-16, and in Sardinia.

He grew up in Alexandria, graduated from Barrett High School, and attended the Alexandria Technical and Community College for Law Enforcement. He retired from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, having served the community for 25 years.


Vice Chairman:

Russ Oorlog, Vietnam Veteran (Cold War Era)

Russ served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1968, with the majority of his time being an Infantry soldier in Vietnam.

He spent 35 years as a summer resident of the area and permanently moved here in 2009.  His wife, Mary, was born and raised in Alexandria.

Russ and Gabe Pipo first conceived the idea of a public veterans memorial for the community, which has evolved into the Veterans Memorial Park.



Grant Haugen, Vietnam Veteran (Cold War Era)

Grant served in the United States Marine Corps from 1969 to 1975, including a tour in Vietnam as a Fire Team Leader and Squad Leader.

He spent over 30 years with the Law Enforcement Program at  Alexandria Technical College.  He also served the community as a part-time Deputy Sheriff for Douglas County.



Stephen Polman, Vietnam Veteran (Cold War Era)

Stephen served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970. He spent a year in Vietnam with the 362nd Signal Company (1st Signal Brigade) providing radio communications for several sites. Our Motto was HANG LOOSE WITH THE DEUCE!

He and his wife moved to Alexandria in 1973.



Donald C. Johnson, Vietnam Era Veteran (Cold War Era)

Don served in the United States Army from 1968 to 1971 and was stationed in West Germany.

He retired after working as a CPA for 37 years. Don and his wife have lived in Alexandria since 1971. 



Lead Fundraisers:

Ralph Berg, Korean Veteran (Cold War Era)

During the Korean War, Ralph served in the United States Army from 1952 to 1955. He was stationed in Alaska with the Army Security Agency.

He had a career as a Sales Manager traveling a three state area. Ralph has lived in Alexandria since 1986.




Roger Blank, Vietnam Era Veteran (Cold War Era)

Roger served in the United States Army from 1971 to 1973.  He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as a member of a field artillery unit attached to the 82nd Airborne Division with duties as a Howitzer Gunner Sergeant.

He had a 45-year career in banking and is a lifetime resident of Douglas County.


Information Managers:

Ken Voigt, Persian Gulf Veteran (Gulf War Era)

Ken served in the United States Navy from 1981 to 2001 as an Information Systems Technician.

After his Navy career, Ken and his wife chose to retire in Alexandria as a good location between their hometowns of Melrose, MN and Jamestown, ND.


Alicia M. Salfer, Iraq Veteran (Gulf War Era)

Alicia served in the United States Air Force from 1993 to 2014 as an Information Systems Technician.

After her Air Force career, she moved to Alexandria in 2017 with her husband (also a USAF Veteran) and daughter, and is currently serving as a rural mail carrier with the Osakis Post Office.

They chose the Alexandria community because of family and the lakes.


Committee Member-at-Large:

James M. (Jim) Conn, Vietnam Era Veteran (Cold War Era)

Jim served in the United States Air Force from 1962 to 1966.

He was born in Alexandria and graduated from Alexandria High School.  He purchased a summer cabin on Lake Ida in 1997 and built a permanent home there in 2004.