“For God & Country”
Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family
January 7, 2016 Vol. 93, No. 1 www.wilegion.org
The mission of The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin is to provide service to veterans, their families and their communities.
2016 Midwinter conference approaches
2016 MIDWINTER SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Still a Chance to Win Big in the Get One Bounty Drawing
The 2016 Midwinter Conference will feature Color Guard training conducted by a team of Drill Instructors from the Wisconsin Army National Guard Recruiting & Retention Battalion. Post members are encouraged to attend and receive hands-on training. All equipment will be available on site so there is no need to bring anything. The training will take place on Saturday, January 16th as part of the annual Midwinter Conference which will be held at the HoChunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells January 14th- 17th. On Saturday evening, January 16th, the 1st American Legion Family Joint Testimonial Dinner will honor Department Commander Dale Oatman, Auxiliary Depart-
ment President Laura Calteux, SAL Detachment Commander Mike Kollmansberger and Wisconsin American Legion Riders Association President Ray McSherry. Tickets are $32 and a limited number are still available on a first come first serve basis. The Americanism Programs Resource Center will help you learn how to promote traditional American values in your community through the programs of The American Legion. National American Legion staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide details on how you and your post can become involved. The Midwinter Conference will also feature a demonstration Shooting Sports range where attendees can use the riﬂes on a competition
NOW AVAILABLE! Symbols of America is An Activity Book for Kids featuring artwork from the Milwaukee Art Museum. Inside kids will learn about Americanism found in different forms of art. Coloring pages and activities are included in the book along with photographs of original artwork from various artists.
SYMBOLS OF AMERICA Presented by The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin
An Activity Book For Kids Featuring Artwork from the
Presented by The Wisconsin American Legion Foundation and the Milwaukee Art Museum.
7:00 AM-6:00 PM 8:00 AM-5:00 PM 8:00-10:00 AM 8:00-10:00 AM 8:00-10:00 AM 8:00-10:00 AM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 12:00 PM 11:30 AM 1:00-3:00 PM 1:00-3:00 PM 1:00-3:00 PM 1:00-3:00 PM 1:00-3:00 PM 3:00 PM 3:00 PM 3:30 PM 4:00 PM 5:30 PM 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
range. Department Shooting Sports Chairman Steve Shanks will be on hand to answer questions and provide details on how your post can become involved in American Legion Junior Shooting Sports. In addition the Midwinter Conference will also feature several exciting training sessions for Legionnaires at all levels of the organization. Graduates of the National American Legion College will be conducting courses of the Wisconsin American Legion College. Leadership training and Membership training are being offered. Other briefings will include Direct Marketing Programs for Membership Retention and Acquisition, Care and Maintenance of the M1Garand riﬂe along with Funeral Honors training, membership recruiting and retention tips, sessions on Post Operations, getting Americanism and Children & Youth programs active in your community and the American Legion Extension Institute Course. There will also be a Historians Workshop and a Chaplains Workshop. The schedule appears in this edition of the Badger Legionnaire. Legion members who sign up a new member, or renew any former member who has not paid for 2 years (since 2013) can still qualify to win a prize of $1,000 at the Conference. Simply sign up a new member, or renew any former member and enter your name. The drawing will take place on Saturday, January 16th. There is no limit to the number of times an individual can qualify – recruiters get one chance for every new member they recruit. Register and reserve your hotel room online at www.wilegion.org.
7:00 AM-3:00 PM 8:00 AM-5:00 PM 10:00 AM-3:00 PM 7:00 AM-10:00 AM 7:00 AM-10:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 10:00 AM 11:15 AM 11:15 AM 11:15 AM 11:15 AM 11:15 AM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 2:00 PM 2:00 PM 2:00 PM 1:00 PM 3:00 PM 4:00 PM 4:00 PM 4:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM-7:00 PM 7:00 PM 8:00 AM 9:00 AM
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2016 Registration Exhibits Americanism Committee Fundraising Committee Membership Committee Centennial Committee Camp American Legion Committee Convention & Activities Commission Legislative Committee Communications Committee Religious Emphasis Committee Hospital Committee Past Sergeant At Arms Meeting Past Dept. Vice Commander Lunch VA&R Committee Finance Committee National & Homeland Security Com. Policy Committee Children & Youth Committee WI Legion College Alumni Assoc. Wisconsin Historian’s Association Golf Association GNUTS Social Meeting Past Commanders Club Meeting SAL Meeting
Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells-E Lower Dells-FG Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-H Upper Dells-C Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-Salon A Upper Dells-E Stand Rock Buffet Upper Dells-D Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-FG Lower Dells-E Lower Dells-I Upper Dells-E Upper Dells-Board Rm Lower Dells-Board Rm Wo Zha Wa Bar Lower Dells-E Upper Dells-A
SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2016 Registration Exhibits Blood Drive Americanism Resource Area Shooting Sports Shooting Range Post Operations Americanism & C&Y in Your Community ALEI- $5.00 Fee Funeral Honors/M-1 Garand Historian’s Workshop Leadership- WALC Basic Course 2nd District Oratorical Contest Direct Marketing Programs for Membership Economic- Education-SM Business and more Funeral Honors/M1 Training Chaplain’s Workshop Color Guard Training Dual Members Club Luncheon National Appointments Luncheon Chaplain’s Luncheon WALPA Meeting Baseball Directors Meeting Post Operations Americanism & C&Y in Your Community Color Guard Training SAL Training SAL DEC Direct Marketing Programs for Membership Economic- Education-Small Business & more Membership – WALC Intermediate Course Catholic Church Service Protestant Church Service Legion Family Cocktail Hour Legion Family Testimonial Dinner SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2016 Four Chaplains Service Department Executive Committee
Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells-E Upper Dells Atrium Upper Dells A Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-Salon A Lower Dells-B Upper Dells-C Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-H Sunrise Cliffs Café Upper Dells-D Sunrise Cliffs Cafe Upper Dells-Board Rm Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-H Upper Dells-E Upper Dells-E Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-E Upper Dells Atrium Upper Dells-A Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-B
2016 Membership Goal: 59,000 • December 30th Total: 52,150 – 88.39% 12th PLACE 2015-2016
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PAGE 2 “Badger Legionnaire” & “Wisconsin” The Badger Legionnaire & Wisconsin are the ofﬁcial publications of the Wisconsin American Legion Family and are published ten times annually, once every ﬁve weeks, by The American Legion, Dept. of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 388, Portage, WI 53901. Periodicals Postage Paid at Portage, WI and additional mailing ofﬁces. USPS ID Number 010-135 ISSN: 2154-2627 Post Master: Send address changes to Badger Legionnaire and Wisconsin, P.O. Box 388, Portage, WI 53901
“Badger Legionnaire” The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 388 • Portage, WI 53901 Phone: (608) 745-1090 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org David A. Kurtz, Executive Editor
2015-2016 Communications Committee Kendel D. Feilen, Chairman Phil Ingwell, Vice Chairman Jim young, DEC Liaison Bernard Olson Harold Rihn Rory Burns Dan Osero Gerald Brown, Historian Loretta Shellman, Auxiliary Liaison Bonnie Dorniak, Auxiliary Liaison 2015-16 Department Ofﬁcers Commander Dale H. Oatman Vice Commanders Dan Seehafer Jeff Puddy Ed Cooper Jerome Krofta Adjutant David A. Kurtz Sergeant-at Arms Jeremy Nordie Dave Wischer Service Ofﬁcer James Fialkowski NECman Steve Krueger Alternate NECman Ken Rynes District Commanders 1st – Tom Strey 2nd – Jim Lee 3rd – Mary Lloyd 4th – Mark Sandow 5th – Ensley Brown 6th – Todd Braun 7th – Mark Lesko 8th – Jim young 9th – Laurel Clewell 10th – John Miller 11th – Frank Kostka 12th – Chris Sower Change of Address & Other Information: Subscribers: To report any upcoming changes of address, please ask your Post Adjutant to ﬁll out a Membership Data Form and forward it to Wisconsin American Legion Headquarters. The change of address form that will be completed by the Post Adjutant should not be confused with the change of address card ﬁlled out at the Post Ofﬁce. Department ﬁnancial statements are available to Legionnaires in good standing upon written request through their District Commanders.
American Legion Auxiliary Department of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 140 • Portage, WI 53901
Bonnie Dorniak, Editor Laura Calteux, Department President Bonnie Dorniak, Exec. Secretary/Treasurer To change your address: Notify Unit Secretary Unit Secretary: Notify Department Headquarters on a Member Data Form The “Wisconsin” deadline for copy is 4 weeks before publication date.
All articles due to the Editor four weeks before publication date. Send all copy to email@example.com
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
JANuARy 7, 2016
DEPARTMENT COMMANDER The holidays are behind us, winter is here and we barely had enough snow up north for a white Christmas. Many Dale Oatman are not complainDepartment Commander ing though because the mild winter, so far, means the fuel bills are down. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. I want to express my thanks for the many Legion Family members who supported Reverend George Buchanan’s family and myself following his sudden death. He will be truly missed by his family and the Legion Family to include the Legion Riders, Auxiliary, SAL and the many Wisconsin American Legion and Legion Family Group Facebook followers. George and I were close friends for many years. I will never forget the number of Legion Family members who were at the Bradley Funeral Home on
Thursday night and Hope Presbyterian Church on Friday. I know Reverend George is in God’s hands. Wisconsin has thus far enjoyed a successful 2015–16 membership year at both the National and Department level and I thank everyone for your efforts. Approximately 4,924 are still needed to match the end of last year’s numbers and 6,061 to hit our targeted number of 59,000 by the end of June. We need to keep pushing for the remaining renewals and recruit new members. It is not too late to request a revitalization at the Post, County or District levels so consider that option in order to reach out to the many veterans in your respective areas, as well as getting Legionnaires out of the Headquarters Holding Post. I hope I have a County Commander join me for the annual Pilgrimage to the Tomb of President Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, IL on February 11th and 12th. The County Commander’s Challenge to achieve
100% membership ends January 13th and that goal is achievable with Post involvement. Midwinter is upon us with a variety of training opportunities taking place on Saturday, January 16th at Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in Baraboo. See this issue of the Badger Legionnaire for a complete listing of the training offered. Take advantage of this great opportunity to enhance your Legion Family knowledge. After the training, stay for the combined Family Testimonial dinner honoring our Legion Family officers. Also, don’t forget about the hospitality rooms the evening of Friday, January 15th. Oratorical Scholarship contests are underway and I am looking forward to the Regional and Department competitions at Ripon College on Saturday, February 13th. Department Oratorical Chairman, Robert Stone, is still looking for volunteers to help out. If interested, a form was provided in the December issue of
the Badger Legionnaire, so fill it out and turn it into Headquarters or call Dawn Brauner at (608) 745-1090. A reminder that the Posts who support Badger Boys State; Reservations for the 75th session this June are now being accepted. Sponsors should send the Reservation fee of $250 per attendee to Department Headquarters right away. And with Spring right around the corner, Legion baseball teams should begin the back-ground checks for Coaches and volunteers. The deadline for team registration is May 15th. Only a third of the Districts have provided their Spring Conference dates to Headquarters. These dates are needed for scheduling a possible visit by the Department Commander and by those campaigning for higher office. Please visit the Events Calendar on the Department website www.wilegion.org to prevent having too many conferences on the same date. I will see you at Midwinter.
DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICE My father was a Poland born immigrant farmer, a welder and a US Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War. He James Fialkowski was sagacious. Service Ofﬁcer He rarely repeated himself, so we learned to listen attentively. My father once told me, “A good horse gets rode hard, it will break itself if you are not mindful of its care”. I have been using this factual statement ever since. It just fits, especially in the Department Service Office as of late. There has been one constant focus in my almost nine years in the Department Service Office, and that has been caring. Caring is the main ingredient for a good veteran service representative. Sure you need to be able to retain knowledge and be able to understand the complexities involved, but no amount of
capability matters if you don’t care enough to go the extra mile. We have an excellent crew that cares in the Department Service Office, and we enjoy the good reputation this has earned. The old joke goes, no good deed goes unpunished and in reality, we may have created a monster. The fundamental truth is that our good reputation has increased our workload. A good benchmark of this workload increase is the number of new claimants we receive over a given period. In 2013 and 2014 we took about nine months to attain 1,000 new claimants. Over the last year, we have averaged 1000 new claimants every 16 Weeks. Another useful benchmark is the number of total clients tracked by our office. When I started in the office in January of 2007 we had approximately 6,700 claimants; we hit 19,000 on December 21st, 2015. These clients have put
their trust in The American Legion and our Service Office. Your office has enjoyed attaining life altering Veteran Administration and Department of Justice (DOJ) Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) benefits. In the last 12 full months, our active clients have received $172.7 million. I have had the pleasure of assisting one veteran with his RECA claim for $75,000 this year. As I have stated before, we only track clients that we are assisting, and we purge clients as they no longer require our active services. Therefore, this is only a fraction of the claimants for whom your service office has representation. The actual total number of American Legion represented benefits recipients tracked by the Wisconsin VA Regional Office is actually over 50,000. Their total monthly award is over $52.2 million (Over $600 million annually). As you can see your Service Of-
fice is indeed the good horse and one of my duties is to be mindful of its care, so the office doesn’t break. I take this important role very seriously. As most have heard me state, I love being the Department Service Officer. In my position, I get the pleasure of working closely with veterans and their families. I have spoken about the joy I have had in meeting interesting veterans, learning about their extreme hardships, like living through being a Prisoner of War (POW) and their triumphs, such as learning to walk again with prosthesis. Being your Department Service Officer has been delightful and adventurous to date. I am personally very proud of what we have achieved and excited about the possibilities of our future. I am proud that your Service Office is considered the “Good Horse” and that you have entrusted to me the care of this office and the veterans we serve. Thank you.
place and details of his service. These are the personal connections we can help you make. Additionally, we have made tens of thousands of eligibility determinations for veterans or their family members for the Wisconsin GI Bill, the property tax credit, the veteran identifier on Wisconsin driver licenses, and the professional license fee waivers. We have made strides to help veterans in the areas of housing and mental health care. We understand all of these items and many others are important to you, to your family, and to us as we want to ensure that your service to our country does not go unappreciated. All of you have served our nation with honor and distinction and it is a privilege to serve you now when you most need it. As we look forward to 2016, we are setting higher standards for
ourselves. We want to do all we can to reach even more veterans in this state. We want to help more of you get connected with the benefits you have earned. We want to share our expertise and our dedication with you and your family. New Year resolutions are notoriously forgotten and abandoned after a few weeks, so we won’t call these resolutions, but these goals are ways we can challenge ourselves to do better for Wisconsin’s veterans every single day. Again, I thank you for your service and sacrifice and giving us at the WDVA the opportunity to serve you. I hope you enjoyed a peaceful holiday season filled with friendship and camaraderie with your family, friends and other loved ones. Now on to an even better 2016! Happy New Year!
WDVA SECRETARY As the holiday season comes to an end, I would like to I wish you and your loved ones the very best as we John A. Scocos end this year WDVA Secretary and prepare for the next! I hope 2015 has been full of happiness and support. As we look forward to 2016, we must also look back on the year we have just completed and assess the work we do and how we can do it even better. As the head of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs I am very proud of how we take care of veterans and their families. We continue to lead the nation in providing the best programs, benefits and services to those who served in the military. But I know
we can always build on this success. For the fiscal year of 2015, our Veterans Benefit Resource Center handled nearly 25,000 calls and fielded more than 10,000 online chats – answering veterans’ inquiries about an entire range of benefits. Some of these inquiries lead to long overdue, but greatly deserved accolades for some of our veterans. Just this year our department linked up two World War II veterans with French Legions of Merit, the highest distinction awarded by the French government, they earned as soldiers in Europe seven decades ago. We helped a family looking for records of their soldier who served in the Philippines and died under Japanese captivity. We were able to assist yet another family of a soldier killed in England finally find out the soldier’s final resting
JANuARy 7, 2016
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
Hancock Hosts wwii Memorial dedication ceremony Originally printed in the November 18, 2015 issue of the Waushara Argus. Story and photo reprinted with permission. On Nov. 14, a crowd of over 70 people filled the square next to the Hancock Public Library to honor World War II Veterans during a dedication ceremony of the new Hancock World War II Veterans Memorial. “The dedication of the World War II memorial had taken over a year of planning,” said Cathy Kaminski, Hancock/Coloma American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 343 President. “Lucille Vezina brought up the subject of reproducing the placards that named the World War II vets that had once been displayed in Hancock.” Vezina continued on her quest to see this project completed by contacting various organizations for donations and getting approval from the Hancock Public Library to place the memorial on the outside of their building. Then Vezina looked for a skilled craftsman to assemble the bunch of squares that contained the names, into a memorial that would honor the veterans for years to come. “When Lucille [Vezina] asked me if I would help with the project, I decided to help because working on the project would be a memorial to my father,” said Eric Schulke. “My dad, Albert Schulke, was a POW during World War II. It was a bit of a challenge, we wanted to replicate the original display but many of the squares with the names were not the same size, so the framing and plexi-glass covering were a bit of a challenge but in the end it turned out perfect.” After months of preparation, World War II veterans Bob Whitman, Bob Barnes, Harold Sullivan, and Eber Leavitt were honored with speeches, applause and finally
thanks from the crowd. Chaplain Mike Footit began and ended the program with heartfelt prayers. The keynote speaker, American Legion Department of Wisconsin Commander Dale Oatman was present and discussed the importance of honoring veterans. Rogers/Oestrich American Legion Post No. 343 Post Commander Bill Johnson and Auxiliary President Cathy Kaminski each took a moment to speak about the veterans and the sacrifices they have made over the years. After the ceremony, World War II veterans Bob Barnes and Bob Whitman reminisced about their high school days in Hancock, and the meaning of what Commander Bill Johnston said during his speech became clear. “This wall makes it clear how great a sacrifice this area made during World War II. The village and town of Hancock and Deerfield sent 145 young men and women to fight in World War II. These young men and woman fought for all the ideals we hold dear. Many of them made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom,” said Commander Johnson. “As you look at the gold stars be-
side many of the names you begin to realize how much of a sacrifice it truly was. These were young men and woman at the beginning of their young lives who were willing to give all for their country,” he continued. “This memorial honors World War II veterans but it also honors all those who have given their time and effort to serve in the armed forces to keep America free. These veterans are the guardians of our freedom.” Kaminski ended the program with the following remarks, “The men on this memorial are from the Town of Hancock, Village of Hancock, and Deerfield. We have here today four of these veterans, Bob Whitman, Bob Barnes, Harold Sullivan, and Eber Leavitt, and as a community we would like to say, thank you gentlemen.” “Our memorial is symbolic of this defining event of the 20th Century. This memorial is dedicated to the spirit, sacrifice and commitment of the American people and our special men and woman of the Hancock area,” she added. “We thank our Veterans for their service. Because of you brave, courageous men we all possess the most precious gift: freedom.”
WWII Veterans Bob Whitman, Bob Barnes, Harold Sullivan, and Eber Leavitt pose with Department Commander Dale Oatman after the dedication.
DETACHMENT COMMANDER Hello to the members of The American Legion Family from the Sons of The American Legion (S.A.L.) Mike Kollmansberger D e t a c h m e n t S.A.L. Detachment Commander, Mike Commander Kollmansberger. I hope each of you had a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years. Our year started out strong and continuing through the end of 2015 our Detachment was number one in the central region for renewals. Thanks to the Squadrons for making that possible. Winter has finally arrived so let’s turn up the heat to get new members added into our detachment. Make sure to invite your friends and family to join. Welcome Squadron No. 90! Will you please join me in welcoming Kelly-Johnson Squadron No. 90 in Ashland, Wisconsin? They elected their first slate of officers on October 29th. It was a pleasure working with them. Looking
forward to working with you more often in the future. New Year Goals One of our goals this year is to have a squadron in every county. We need to grow if we want to succeed. Therefore if you know of a post that would like more information about starting their own squadron please feel free to contact Adjutant David Faust at firstname.lastname@example.org. Another goal we have is to help promote the Legion Family. When we work together than we are not just detachment strong; we are American Legion Family strong. Many hands make light work so help promote any of the activities going on in your area. As always promoting the Child Welfare Foundation is a major goal. National Commander Kevin Collier has set a bar for us to raise a minimum of $1.50 per member. The Child Welfare Foundation was set up to teach the public about the special needs of children across the nation and
to help them overcome their obstacles in life. Think of all the children we could help if we raise that extra little bit of money. Did you know about the dues increase? If you aren’t getting our eNewsletters, (www.wisal.org/news) you may not know that delegates to the Detachment Convention in July passed a $2.00 dues increase, effective January 1, 2016. What does that mean to you? • Dues sent in to Detachment (postmarked) ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2016, send in $9.00 per member. Stay ROCKED Our S.A.L. National Commander Kevin Collier asks us to stay ROCKED for our veterans: Remembering Our Commitment and Keeping it Every Day. As Sons of The American Legion members we are proud to be a part of The American Legion Family, and appreciate the legacy gifted to us by our forefather’s service.
53rd Annual Sixth District Americanism Banquet All Legionnaires, Legion Auxiliary Members, Sons of The American Legion, Legion Riders and their guests are invited to attend the 53rd Annual Sixth District Americanism Banquet. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at La Sure’s Hall in Oshkosh. Social begins at 5:00PM with the opening ceremonies starting at 6:00PM with dinner to follow. Banquet seating is by advance reservation only. The cost is $21.00 per person and reservation requests must be received by February 5, 2016. Please use the reservation form. Include a contact name, telephone number and Post, Unit or Squadron number. Your tickets will be available for pickup at the door. La Sure’s is located south of Hwy 44 at 3125 South Washburn St., Oshkosh (next to the Outlet Mall). Rooms have been reserved as a block under The American Legion at Hawthorn Inn & Suites at a reduced rate of $89.00 plus tax. Hawthorn Inn & Suites is conveniently connected to La Sure’s. They can be reached at (920) 303-1133. Rooms will be held until January 13, 2016, so book your reservation now. For further information contact 6th District Americanism Chairman David Steinert at (920) 685-6691.
Reservation Form Make check payable to: The American Legion 6th District Mail to: David Steinert • 733 E. Main St • Omro, WI 54963 Contact Name:____________________________________
Post #: ____________ District #: _____________________ Address: ________________________________________ Phone #: ________________________________________
Total tickets ordered: ________ @ $21.00 each = ________ Please list names of all parties attending
1. _____________________________________________ 2. _____________________________________________ 3. _____________________________________________ 4. _____________________________________________ 5. _____________________________________________ 6. _____________________________________________ 7. _____________________________________________ 8. _____________________________________________ 9. _____________________________________________ 10. ____________________________________________ 11. ____________________________________________ 12. ____________________________________________ Reservation Deadline: February 5, 2016
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
DEPARTMENT CHAPLAIN For God and Country. This is a phrase that is very familiar to Legionnaires. It begins our preClif Sorenson Department Chaplain amble and states what we stand for as an organization. The Chaplaincy of The American Legion has been the backbone of our organization for the nearly 100 years we have been in existence. We became familiar with our Chaplains while on active duty. Whether we served in a hostile area or not, the services of our military Chaplains were instrumental to our spiritual wellbeing. This need continues into our post-service lives. Who may be an American Legion Chaplain? • A member who desires to serve may be either elected or appointed depending on the Bylaws of the organization. The National Chaplain is appointed following the annual National Convention • It is not necessary to be licensed or clergy trained • A Chaplain must have strong faith in God and a personal relationship • Heart to reach out to others
• Be an engaged listener – open heart and mind • Willingness to serve “For God and Country.” There is additional training for Chaplains by The American Legion and support by the leadership of our Department through the Religious Emphasis Committee. “In God We Trust” became the official motto of the United States of America on July 30, 1956. In October 2015, the National Executive Committee met in Indianapolis and passed a resolution honoring the anniversary of the motto “In God We Trust”. The American Legion supports local, state and federal legislation to recognize and honor the anniversary of the motto. We recognize July 30th as National Motto Day and give special attention to the history and heritage of “In God We Trust”. The American Legion Family pledge is to serve “For God and Country” and has continually emphasized the spiritual foundations of our Freedom. We believe that a spiritual awakening of the people of the United States is needed in order to preserve our Freedom. To that end, The American Legion has launched and is continuing
a nation-wide effort to bring all Americans closer to the Creator who has so bountifully blessed this country. This “Back to God” emphasis urges three things: 1. Regular Church or Synagogue attendance. 2. Daily family prayer and Scripture reading. 3. The religious education of children. It is an honor to serve our Department as Chaplain. The many members who have chosen to just chat with me and those who have sought out my counsel are highlights of this position. I am looking for ways to make sure all Legion Family members realize we have Chaplains to assist you in your spiritual needs at all levels within the Department, Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion. I urge you to attend the Chaplain’s Workshop scheduled for 11:15 AM on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at the Midwinter Conference. You’ll be glad you did. Your spiritual well-being is tantamount to the Chaplain program. If you wish to speak with Department Chaplain Clif Sorenson call (715) 830-9492.
1ST DISTRICT LEGION RIDERS JOIN SANTA District 1 Legion Riders join Santa, who is also a District 1 Rider, and some of his elves to spread Christmas joy. Santa and his elves served a lot of Root Beer Floats at the Veterans Home in Union Grove on December 12, 2015.
JANuARy 7, 2016
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It’s no secret that while it gives basic protection against health care costs, Medicare won’t cover all your medical expenses. To help cover some of the items that Medicare does not cover, many members, just like you, have chosen the group Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan endorsed by The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin. Other great reasons for choosing the Legionnaire Insurance Trust plans: • Legionnaire Insurance Trust regularly monitors the program. • The excellent value the plans provide for the price—the competitive group Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans are not available to the general public. • The convenience and exceptional service whenever you need it—whether you’re preparing to enroll or have questions about your benefits—get an-
swers to your questions over the phone. Where can you get more information on selecting a Medicare Supplement plan? You will receive prompt, personal and responsive service from courteous customer service representatives ready to answer your questions. Call 1-800-247-1771 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST) Or visit our website http://www.thelit.com/medicaresupplement. Underwritten by: Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company, Cedar Rapids, IA and Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company, Harrison, NY (for New York Residents only) Limitations and exclusions apply. Please see your certificate for details. Not connected with or endorsed by the US Government or Federal Medicare Program.
January 7, 2016
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
USS Milwaukee Dedication
Commander Dale Oatman of Post No. 524 attended the commissioning of the USS Milwaukee on Saturday, November 21st. He is pictured here with two members of the ship’s company following the ceremony.
Candidate for Department Vice Commander Candidate for Department Vice Commander, Ensley Brown is a Paid Up for Life Member of John F. Kennedy Post No. 479 in Milwaukee. Ensley served 20 years in the US Army from February 1963 to March 1983. In December 1969, he graduated from the US Army Recruiting School and was assigned to the Milwaukee Recruiting Main Station. He worked as a Field Recruiter and Station Commander. He began his voluntary service to the community as a Boy Scout Leader of Troop 1718 and continued his commitment for 20 plus years. He also held the position of District Commissioner and District Chairman. He received numerous awards for his service and the Prestigious Silver Beaver Award. After retirement he became the Director of Metropolitan Veteran Services for two years and served on the State Council for Veteran Programs. Ensley also served on various Boards such as Northcott Neighborhood House, Milwaukee United for Better Housing, and Harambee Neighborhood Center. He held the position of President and Chairman of the Great Lakes Beverage Association, where he implemented the Great Lakes Beverage Charitable Scholarship Fund. Ensley was cred-
ited for “The Monday Night Round” which served as an economic booster and stimulus for the Scholarship Fund to assist students preparing for College. Ensley is supported by his wife Louise of 52 years and their four children. She is a member of Unit No. 406 of the American Legion Auxiliary. Ensley holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from Columbia College. Ensley’s experience in The American Legion includes serving as Post Commander of Post No. 479 for 3 years, achieving 100% plus for each year. He also served as First Vice Commander of the 5th District, District Commander from 2012 through the present day, achieving 100% in membership in 2013 (Dirty Dozen Award). Ensley has served as the Department Executive Committee Liaison to both the Fundraising and the Communication Committees. Ensley has been endorsed by Post No. 479, the Milwaukee County Council of American Legion Posts and the 5th District. He is asking for your support and vote for the high office of Department Vice Commander.
Tom Strey Candidate for Department Vice Commander First District Commander Tom (Tomar) Strey is a candidate for Department Vice Commander. Tom served in the US Navy from 19681970 as a 3rd class Engineer aboard the USS Gearing - DD710. He is a 42 year member of Edwin L. Jones Post No. 91 in Oconomowoc. Tom has been active at all levels. He was a 4-time 100% Commander with Post No. 91 and served 2 years as County Commander with 1 year being 100%. He also spent 6 years as 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice Commander at the District level. Tom is currently serving in his 2nd year as 1st District Commander. Tom is a member of the 40 et 8. He is on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Legion Bowling Association, a Board Member of the VVA No. 635 and a member of a the Knights of Columbus. Tom has served 4 years on the Department Convention & Activities Commis-
sion, one as Vice Chairman and one as DEC Liaison. He spent 1 year on the National & Homeland Security Committee and is currently serving as liaison for the Americanism Committee. Tom has attended 7 National Conventions, served on several convention committees, was 2013 Department Convention Corporation President and he started the 1st ever Legion Rider Legacy Fun Ride at the 2013 Department Convention. Tom and his wife Kathy have been married for 40 years. They have 5 children, each are members of The American Legion Family. Tom currently is employed by the Oconomowoc School District where he works with children with special needs. He is endorsed by Post No. 91, the Waukesha County Council of American Legion posts and the 1st District.
Iron Mountian VA Medical Center
Commander Dale Oatman and Auxiliary President Laura Calteux, along with mambers of the Legion Family, took the annual tour of the Iron Mountain VA Medical Center on Friday, November 20th.
Zablocki VA Medical Center
Department Vice Commander Dan Seehafer of Post No. 157 in Horicon visited with Acting Director James McLain at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee during the annual hospital inspection tour on Monday, December 7th.
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WE WISH YOU ALL A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
4 Athens Frank Weiler K 8 Waukesha Sidney Mathes II 9 Wisconsin Rapids Edward Burhite II 10 Wausau William Artus II 11 Green Bay Richard Jobelius K 13 Richland Center Don Troxel K Hans Kleinschmidt K 18 Milwaukee Warren Czechorski II Charles Hillenbrand II 21 Kenosha David Vanderwarn K Rodger Wells V 23 Milwaukee F T Ament Jerome Berns II Gerald Gleason K Robert Gruver II Michael Herkowski V Walter Hirtz II George Hughes V Robert Jonas V Milton Klump II William Oswald II James Satorius II Robert Schultz V Peter Spera II Casey Szulc K John Tabaska K Robert Tamms K Earl Wegener II Robert Bergeon II 28 Valders Ralph Rydzewski II 32 Menomonie Robert Wilson K 33 Neenah Wallace Stenson K 36 West Bend Merlin Wilkens II Eugene Presta K 38 Appleton James Pappas II John Schultz II Clarence Dahlen II Raymond Wick II Michael Schabow V 44 Wabeno Jean Bartlein II 46 Marathon Donald Franke K 47 Portage James Martin 53 Eau Claire Marita Smith II Fred Kawell K Howard Hoelzel K Delos Walker II Richard Jorgenson V Thomas Kneer II 55 Hortonville Donlad Riggles II 59 Stoughton Nicholas Bierman K 65 Rome William Joyce V 66 Silver Cliff Harold Micke K
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James Wright V James Splitgerber V 73 Neillsville Ann Svetlik II 74 Oconto R C Campbell II Ronald Aubry K 77 Chippewa Falls August Loew K Robert Kreiling V Raymond Welder II Robert Williams II 80 New Richmond Christine Schmit V 82 Port Washington Robert Rathburn II 84 Monroe Fred Beer II Donald Vanwagenen II Wallace Lindsay II 87 Rice Lake Darrel Spencer V Francis Scott II 88 Manitowoc Billie Williamson II William Green K 89 Minocqua Curtis Schaefer II Lucian Fudacz K 91 Oconomowoc Harold Duket II Thurston Whitney II John Rabby II 93 Tomahawk Lloyd Rinde II James Bronsted K 95 Delavan James Mowery II 97 Dodgeville Edwin James K 106 Seymour Glendon Ohm V 109 Lancaster Eugene O’Neil II Daniel Jacobson G/L 111 Somerset Byron Magnus V 114 Eagle River Richard Bloom K 121 River Falls Lloyd Johnson K George Graven K 124 New Holstein Charles Polster K William Kestell V Jerome Wink K 125 Chilton Clifford Lacrosse II 143 St Croix Falls Warner Kachel K 146 Beaver Dam Harold Nagler II Henry Erdmann K Kenneth Laue II Lester Tiedt V 149 Sheboygan Falls Frederick Zernia II 153 Pittsville Raymond Phillippi K 154 Mondovi Warren Hulke II 171 Union Grove Norman Wilks V Jerome Dehahn V 179 Chetek Arlie Borgen II Wilfred Hoefs K James Newman II James Southworth II Edward Stoik K 182 Park Falls James Yunk II 183 Genoa City Richard Lewandowski K 189 Watertown David Smith V 192 Franklin Richard Peplinski V 201 Tomah John Berry V
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204 Ellsworth Laverne Fellman II 205 Janesville Robert Brown K Joseph Forrestal II 206 Wonewoc Norbert Talg II 209 Orfordville Robert Hesgard K Gerhardt Hanson II 210 Waupun Merle McRobert II 215 Pardeeville Brian Karow V 220 Soldiers Grove Bernard McCormick II 224 Alma Palmer Peterson II 238 Greenwood Wilmer Peterson K Walter Backus II 239 Tigerton Leroy Dankmeyer II 243 Plymouth Craig Johnson K 246 Genoa Greg Ghelﬁ II 250 Adams John Brockway II 253 Spring Green Tommy Myers II 258 Little Chute Otis Rice II Theodore Huiting II 260 Deerﬁeld William Peters II 262 Luxemburg Leonard Seidl II 280 Coleman Anton Rabas V 288 Cedarburg Robert Paschke II Donald Volkmann K 295 Bloomer Walter Schroeder II Fred Wildenberg V 301 Woodville Howard Ott V Gerald Knippenberg II 302 Oconto Falls James Johnson K 305 Johnson Creek Aaron Endl K 306 Green Lake Steve Gerretson V 309 Kendall Roger Pitel II 310 Racine Walter Lulinski K 317 Wautoma Wallace Rohr II Donald Anderson II 319 Casco Michael Cygan V 358 Unity John Dick K 360 Waunakee Michael Nelson V Marvin Severson II 366 Princeton James Siddall K 377 Elcho Ralph Abrahamson II 382 Menomonee Falls James Giersch II Royal Steinhilb II Oren Ralph K Daniel Sullivan K 391 Fremont Duane Hannemann K 401 Cambria Charles Willard V 406 Milwaukee Gregory Klos II 409 Poplar Calvin Haworth II 413 Crivitz Claire Bolander K 416 Greendale Robert Mueller V
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SEPTEMBER JANuARy25, 7, 2016 2014
William Tutaj II 09/02/15 492 Rothschild II Alvin Dombrowski II 09/25/14 Elwin Harris Carroll Sawdy K 12/18/15 William McCrory K Michael Haschker V 11/30/15 494 Caledonia Lloyd Human II 12/18/15 Lawrence Schroeder II 497 Keshena 431 Three Lakes K George Freshwaters K 12/12/15 JoAnn Haar 501 Madison 442 Wisconsin Rapids V Robert Neuenfeldt K 11/13/15 James Johnson Darrald Nelson K 444 Milwaukee Joan Stys K 11/15/15 509 Rosholt Leonard Yenter K 454 Mt Calvary Paul Wagner V 12/11/15 517 Dorchester Dell Peissig V 457 Mequon-Thiensville Ralph Bluhm K 07/31/15 523 Abrams K Charles Prodoehl II 11/30/15 Frank Grzonka 524 White Lake 460 Belleville Kevin Schneider V 11/01/15 George Buchanan V V Lester Palmer II 11/18/15 Gary Osman 541 Northﬁeld 462 Adell K Jude Fitzgerald V 11/17/15 Arnold Larson 543 Plover 476 Loomis William Lempke K 11/23/15 Bernie Engebretson K 544 Twin Lakes 480 Presque Isle II Howard Bolduc K 12/03/15 Robert Rieder John Goodwin V 481 Madison Matthew Paprock G/L 11/03/15 2930 Portage Dayton Sowle II 485 Rudolph 37456 LT.19565 LIT Tombstone Ad_Layout 1 4/2/15 11:14 AM Page 1 Bradley Westfall K 12/05/15 37456 LT.19565 LIT Tombstone Ad_Layout 1 4/2/15 11:14 AM Page 1
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12/05/15 12/17/15 12/18/15
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JANuARy 7, 2016
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
N R I CA LEGI0
100% POST COMMANDERS
70 YEARS O
Post No. 372, Forestville Commander Arnie Johnsrud, membership chair Allen Buechner
Post No. 495 - Sussex David Latimer
Post No. 243 - Plymouth Post No. 124 - Darlington Denny Murphy Eugene Blindauer
TEAM WISCONSIN We pray everyone had a fun and meaningful holiday season. As we start the New Year, campaign traveling is certainly picking up for our candidate for National Commander Denise Rohan. Travel for January starts with attending the National Membership and Post Activities Committee meeting in Indianapolis, then on to the Departments of Louisiana, Colorado, Mississippi, and Washington. During the meetings in Indianapolis, Candidate Rohan will start to formulate the 2017-18 national membership plan in a manner which will complement the proposal being presented by Leading Candidate Charles Schmidt of Oregon. It is hard to believe that Wisconsin’s candidate will stand for election in less than 20 months. Thanks to the generosity of the Wisconsin American Legion Family, the campaign has use of a van to travel to nearby states and it also allows campaign manager Mike Rohan to assist and travel with Denise. We have been blessed with lower gas prices over the last several months. (it costs about $40.00 for each tank of gas), but
who knows how long those low prices at the pump will last. We also do our best to avoid toll roads whenever possible, but do have an ‘I-Pass” to cut down on that cost. We are keeping to the tradition our parents taught us; traveling with a cooler full of sandwiches, vegetables, snacks and bottles water to cut down on expenses along the way. When it comes to airplane travel it gets a little more expensive. Most checked bags cost $25.00 each way on the plane. Denise does carry an empty water bottle with her (to fill after getting through the security checkpoints) as well as protein bars and snacks to cut down on expenses at the airports and on the plane. We are thankful that (so far) once the candidate arrives at the campaign destination, the inviting Department picks up the cost of meals and lodging. However, when the candidate is invited to national meetings as a courtesy (like the upcoming M&PA meeting in Indianapolis) the campaign must pay for her room and food. Candidate Denise is proud to represent the Department of Wisconsin on this exciting journey. She is be-
ing as frugal with her expenses as possible – but there are still many mandatory expense she needs donations to cover: like airline tickets which are between $300.00 and $600.00, $25.00 to check luggage, $40.00 a tank of gas, and many other items that add up quickly. Many of you have already made a donation to Denise’s campaign to help her offset the costs and we thank you for your support. She has reached the 50% mark in her fundraising goal and needs your help to make that 100% goal. You can make an online donation to her campaign at www.deniserohan. org and click on the Donation tab (Master Card, Visa, Discover or American Express) or you can send a check made payable Denise Rohan for National Commander and mail it to PO Box 930100, Verona, WI 53593. Personal donations of $100.00 or more will receive a limited edition challenge coin as a gift from Candidate Rohan. In addition to your donations, the campaign also asks that you keep your candidate in your Prayers for safe travel, no weather delays and successful meetings.
Herbert Stapelkamp, member of Post No. 338 in Cedar Grove was recently presented with a 70 Year Continuous Membership Certiﬁcate by Post Commander Herbert Inselman. Herbert, who is 89 years old, joined the American Legion in 1945 after returning home from service in the US Marine Corps during World War II. Pictured are: Herbert Inselman and Herbert Stapelkamp.
Post No. 220 in Soldiers Grove awarded Continuous Membership Certificates for 60 and 70 year members during the recent 3rd District Conference. Pictured left to right are: John S Young - 60 years, Roger Thomire - 60 years, Robert Peterson - 60 years, Herb Helgerson - 70 years and Harold Dell - 70 years.
Free Ski JUMPinG For leGionnaireS!
Are you looking for a really unique, fun winter event in one of Wisconsin’s most scenic locations? How about something filled with thrills for participants - but that is safe for spectators? Something that you could see at the Winter Olympics - if you could get a ticket? And it’s something that’s FREE FOR VETERANS and their families! That event will happen on February 5th and 6th at the Snowﬂake Ski Club near Westby, WI - 25 miles southeast of LaCrosse. That is when over 25 male ski
jumpers from Norway, Finland, Poland and across the US will gather to compete in the 93rd Annual Snowﬂake Ski Jumping Tournament. All jumps will be on a “118 meter hill” - meaning the hill meets the same engineering specifications that are used in Olympic competition. Competition will begin at 7 PM Friday evening - jumping at night with lighting will add an exciting and unique venue! Saturday’s competition will begin at Noon. Results of both competitions will be used to determine winners.
Once again, the Ski Club with the assistance of Logistics Health Incorporated (a LaCrosse based company that processes medical claims for many active duty military personnel and veterans) is admitting all veterans and their spouses at no charge upon display of a DD Form 214 or your American Legion membership card. This is a great winter festival for the entire family - check out the following web site for pictures, a map, admission fees and an exciting YouTube video: www.snowﬂakeskiclub.com.
Kenneth and Geraldine Steffen of Fredonia Post No. 410 in Fredonia were recently presented their 70 and 65 Year Continuous Membership Certiﬁcates by Commander Frank Mueller. An Awards Recognition was held in their honor at the Firehouse Restaurant in Saukville.
Plymouth Post Donates to Toys for Tots Members of the Ladewig-Zinkgraf Post No. 243 in Plymouth recently delivered toys to the Plymouth Salvation Army. The Salvation Army supports the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. The Legion held their Christmas party and members contributed close to 70 toys. Pictured in front from left to right are Wayne LeClair and DuWayne Wieck. Back row from left to right are Konrad Kaczkowski and Ed Schroeder.
James Grieb of the Elmbrook Post No. 449 was recently recognized with his 70 Continuous Year Membership Certiﬁcate. Pictured with him from left to right; Post Commander Ron Anderson; Service Ofﬁcer Dick Strehlow; James Grieb; Honor Guard members Pete Schiller and Bill Ochowicz.