Erhard (“Erik”) Opsahl retired as an Army colonel and lives in McFarland, Wisconsin. He is a 1985 graduate of the National War College. Opsahl possesses a PhD in medieval history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1994).
Currently, Opsahl is participating in local veterans’ groups:
He spends a couple of days a week at Madison DryHootch in PTSD peer-counseling (Opsahl has a 30% VA disability himself) and co-sponsoring a weekly, history roundtable. He is active in the “Friends of Madison DryHootch.” He also leads the effort at his local congregation in recognizing and assisting veterans, first responders, and their families.
Opsahl is a founding member and current president of a national non-profit organization that assists current and former military members and their families of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod/Evangelical Lutheran Synod called the Lutheran Military Support Group (LMSG; website: lutheranmilitary.org). This two-year-old effort is composed of more than 300 churches. It raised more than $50,000 in its first year and is developing pamphlets for new recruits; is funding an American Forces Network weekly, half-hour program currently airing; and running test programs like a weekend PTSD gathering for vets at selected camp sites throughout the country.
During Vietnam Opsahl spent a year (1967-68) as a lieutenant in an infantry battalion with numerous valor awards. Subsequently, he was stationed for 12 ½ years in the Pentagon, eight in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Carla is Opsahl’s wife; they have two grown daughters (Kellie, a nurse; and Kaitlyn, an Army vet) and five grandchildren.