“For God & Country”
Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family
April 2, 2015 Vol. 92, No. 3
The mission of The American Legion, Department Of Wisconsin is to provide service to veterans, their families and their communities.
April 16th Hearing Scheduled on Camp Land Expansion
YELLOW - Camp land footprint (1964 - current) RED – YELLOW - Camp land footprint (1927 - 1944) GREEN – RED – YELLOW- Camp land footprint (1944 - 1964)
As Camp prepares to open in May for our 91st season of service, plans are under way to restore the historic land footprint and provide new recreational and therapeutic opportunities for veterans and their families. On February 25th the Natural Resources Board took the initial step and authorized the beginning of the process to amend the DNR’s Master Land Use Plan for the area. A Public Hearing has been tentatively scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 16, 2015 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Lake Tomahawk Town Hall with a formal presentation of plans at 4PM. Note; This time and date is subject to change. Monitor the Department website – www.wilegion.org or Facebook page for the latest developments.
Joint Congressional Hearing Slated for March 30th that Tomah patients were receiving opiate doses 2.5 times higher than the national average and that veterans’ medications were not changed even “in the face of aberrant behavior.” Since the release of the preliminary report Tomah Director Mario DeSanctis has been reassigned within VISN 12 Health Care System. The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services has also began an investigation into the prescription drug treatment practices at Tomah. Many of the issues at Tomah were initially covered in a report by the VA inspector general which was completed in March 2014. The report was not released to the public until February 6, 2015 or shared with members of Congress, some of which had made inquiries of the Tomah VA on behalf of constituents. Members of Congress have since demanded changes and alleged that the VA has engaged in a cover-up. Since releasing the report, the VA has launched a new internal investigation into “the quality of medical care provided by the
agreements between the State of Wisconsin and the Legion. Camp American Legion has encompassed different areas of Stateowned lands at different times during Camp’s 90 year history. The Department of Wisconsin is now pursuing the restoration of the historic boundaries of Camp in order to provide more rehabilitation and recreational opportunities for Wisconsin military service members, veterans and their families. LAND FOOTPRINT - The land affected by the most recent Lease, which runs through December 31, 2024, is shown in yellow on the accompanying map of the site. Additional land controlled from 1927 to 1944 is shown in red on the map. And a substantially larger additional area of land (Continued on Page 5)
Investigations Into Tomah VA Continue Allegations of improper prescription drug treatment procedures and retaliatory management at the Tomah VAMC have generated controversy and a number of federal and state government investigations. Problems began to come to light after Jason Simcakoski, a 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran, died of an overdose in the Tomah VA psychiatric ward. VA Secretary Robert McDonald indicated that an internal investigation was being launched in a statement made on January 16th. McDonald indicated that “a clinical review team consisting of specialists” would “review medication prescription practices” at Tomah. Meanwhile the VA’s Office of Accountability Review began investigating whether or not psychiatrist Dr. David Houlihan, the hospital chief of staff, had abused his authority in dealing with personnel who expressed concerns about the prescription drug treatment procedures there. Since then Houlihan has been placed on administrative leave. The preliminary report indicated
Persons not able to attend the Public Hearing will also have an opportunity for their voices to be heard. The DNR land use amendment process also includes a period of time for written Public Comments to be submitted. All interested parties and supporters of Camp American Legion will be encouraged to contact Laurie Ross - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at ( 6 0 8 ) 2 6 7 - 7 4 2 0 o r Laurie.Ross@wisconsin.gov. The Public Comment period is tentatively scheduled to run from Thursday, April 9th through Thursday, May 7th. Note; This time frame and dates are subject to change. Monitor the Department website – www.wilegion.org or Facebook page for the latest developments. LAND LEASES - The current lease is the latest in a series of
Tomah facility.” Marv Simcakoski, father of Jason Simcakoski, has indicated that VA representatives have met with him to discuss his son’s death as part of the new investigation. Officials with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are also investigating the possibility that powerful narcotic painkillers were diverted from patients and trafficked as street drugs. Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin has asked Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct an investigation by the Department of Justice into the deaths of three veterans, whistleblower retaliation and failure to maintain medical equipment. As this edition of the Badger Legionnaire goes to press the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, chaired by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, is poised to hold a joint hearing in Tomah with the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on March 30. A team of congressional investigators has been in Tomah to independently assess the various issues raised.
2015 Membership Goal 96.58% District 12 1st PLACE
93.49% District 9 2nd PLACE
93.36% District 1 4th PLACE
92.55% District 3 5th PLACE
92.13% District 6 7th PLACE
91.37% District 7 8th PLACE
89.97% District 11 10th PLACE
87.26% District 4 11th PLACE
93.39% District 2 3rd PLACE
92.44% District 10 6th PLACE
91.30% District 8 9th PLACE
81.62% District 5 12th PLACE
March 26th Total: 55,900 94.00%
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
2014-2015 Communications Committee Kendel D. Feilen, Chairman Jeremy Nordie, Vice Chairman Ensley Brown, DEC Liaison Bernard Olson Phil Ingwell Harold Rihn Rory Burns Greg Eirich, Historian Loretta Shellman, Auxiliary Liaison Bonnie Dorniak, Auxiliary Liaison 2014-15 Department Ofﬁcers Commander Robert Shappell Vice Commanders Dale Oatman Rich Ruland John Thurk Dave Brisk Adjutant David A. Kurtz Sergeant-at Arms Charles Roessler Dave Wischer Service Ofﬁcer James Fialkowski NECman Steve Krueger Alternate NECman Ken Rynes District Commanders 1st – Tom Strey 2nd – Dan Seehafer 3rd – Mary Lloyd 4th – Claire Goodfellow 5th – Ensley Brown 6th – Jeff Puddy 7th – Mark Lesko 8th – Jerome Krofta 9th – Bob Lemke 10th – Ed Cooper 11th – Frank Kostka 12th – Jim Chapin 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 Teresa Isensee, 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
APRIL 2, 2015
DEPARTMENT COMMANDER It was silent and solemn in the Cadet Chapel. Over 350 comrades and family members sat in the massive aluminum and glass structure to Bob Shappell Department Commander remember 34 of our own. I felt a strange, but comforting closeness to the men around me. Some were very close to me – as close as brothers; a few I had not seen for 35 long years. All of them, however, were my comrades in arms. We were members of the 1975 graduating class of the United States Air Force Academy. A roll call of 34 departed class members was read. After each name was called, a different voice from somewhere in the huge, inspirational chapel replied, “Absent, sir.” Later I heard “James M. Simonitsch,” a roommate of mine who died early in his career as the result of an aircraft accident. The last of the 34 names was “John T. Wolter,” the first member of my cadet squadron to report to the Supreme Commander. As the man next to me replied “Absent, sir,”
my body involuntarily shook and I felt tears begin to roll down my cheek. I knew it would happen, I was prepared for it, but I was still overwhelmed by the intense emotions. Then the haunting notes of TAPS escaped the bell of the trumpet, playing upon our emotions. Through tearstained eyes, I looked up at the immense propeller-like cross suspended high above the altar. The voices of a cadet choir sang the hymn “Lord Guard and Guide the Men Who Fly.” Many thoughts crossed my mind as I reflected upon the lives of these men. Some died early in their careers, many in aircraft accidents. As age overtook their youthful strength, those who died in later years were
often the victims of disease and illness. All had served their country with honor; all were my dear and loyal friends. The 34 names that echoed in the Chapel that Friday afternoon represent to me all the veterans who have served this country so admirably. They were gone, and I wondered what each had left behind. What was their legacy? Then I thought of the cadets I had the privilege to speak with during my visit – all smart, energetic, and e n t h u s i a s t i c. Even more impressive was their awareness of the danger, importance, and potential sacrifices of their future service as Air Force officers. They represent what is good and right about our great nation.
They are the legacy of those who went before them. They are the legacy of my classmates who are gone but not forgotten. Our legacy as Legionnaires is also those we leave behind - the new members we recruit and mentor – those we train to take our places in the Post. The charters, pictures, and memorabilia hanging on the walls of our posts mean nothing if there is no one left to carry on when we are gone. Those Legionnaires who preceded us worked to provide us the benefits, opportunities, and respect we enjoy today. They didn’t know us, but they knew we were going to follow in their footsteps. While we do not personally know the young people who will follow our footsteps of service, we do know that we must safeguard their futures by ensuring the same benefits, opportunities and respect that were passed on to us. Our legacy is those who follow us in military service and in our Legion posts. They may not realize it now, but in the future they will know what we did – and they will be eternally thankful – and they will continue our legacy.
CAMP DIRECTOR As I was writing thank-you notes to some of our many Camp supporters for some reason I thought of the teaching Kevin Moshea that appears in Camp Director the Bible at Mark 12:41-44 and Luke 21:1-4. It is the story that starts “he observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums of money. Then a poor widow came up and put in two small coins worth a few cents.” So many members of The American Legion Family have supported camp financially and have helped in so many ways. I don’t have enough
words of gratitude. In big and small ways you have stepped forward and given. The American Legion Riders have greatly blessed Camp with their annual Fall Rides. We also have veteran campers living on fixed incomes who support the camp with small individual donations. There are Posts, Units, Squadrons, Counties and Districts who conduct large fundraisers which generate thousands of dollars for Camp. We even have veterans coming to our Homeless Veterans Week willing to contribute their small donation. They insist we take it and would be hurt if we did not. Last year a golf event fundraiser raised $10.000 for Camp and it took my breath away upon receiving it. And we receive many
small donations with a note saying they wish they could give more. We get 30 cases of paper towels from a large corporation and two single rolls from an individual. We have members of the Wisconsin American Legion Auxiliary contributing to camp on a large scale with significant donations. Then you have all those Units and individual ALA members giving to our Donation-ofthe-Month program with one book of stamps, plastic garbage bags, a couple a batteries, a can of coffee or one pack of drink mix. We have had memorial donations to Camp ranging from a thousand dollars to ten. The big fundraising events may get the most attention but the work we do at Camp would not be possible without
all of the small donations that add up to big things. Each contribution received is noticed and greatly appreciated. If my memory serves me the smallest donation I have received here at Camp was $2.00. I stood face to face with that vet and accepted it with great gratitude. Scripture tells us at Mark 12:41-44 –– “Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, Amen, I say to you, the poor widow put in more than the others contributors. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she from her poverty, has contributed all that she had, her whole livelihood.” God bless all of you, working together as we start our 2015 Camp American Legion season!
WDVA SECRETARY “Today, America can regain the sense of pride that existed before Vietnam. These events, tragic as they John A. Scocos are, portend neiWDVA Secretary ther the end of the world nor of America’s leadership in the world.” These words are quoted from former United States President Gerald Ford in April of 1975, regarding the Vietnam War. On April 30, 1975, the last American servicemembers in Vietnam withdrew from the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, ending the Vietnam War. About 203,000 soldiers from Wisconsin served in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam Era, 165,400 of them in Vietnam. Our Vietnam Veterans will remember their 1,239 comrades from Wisconsin who died during the war. Still others have died after the war, and some have experienced difficul-
ties adjusting after coming home. In a book compiled by students from D.C. Everest High School in Schofield, Wisconsin called “Vietnam Experience,” Wisconsin veterans of the war talk about some common experiences shared: long stretches of boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror; not knowing who to trust; booby traps; insects; no real close friendships and people losing contact after returning home; the tragedy of killing, and seeing fellow soldiers killed; injuries suffered; doing a job to survive; and living in a climate of extreme heat (up to 130 degrees). Infantryman Frank Biesel of the 5th Cavalry, served in Vietnam from 1968-69. His unit “encountered more booby traps than any other unit in the history of the United States. In about six weeks we encountered about 250 booby traps.” Biesel said of the war, “When you go into the service, they train you for conventional warfare. Vietnam was unconventional warfare. It was
guerilla warfare; it was a war of attrition.” Tim Mero was a Marine tank officer who arrived in Vietnam in October 1967 and departed in October 1968. One story stays with him -- being sent by a task force commander to take his men into a valley known as Death Valley, destroy a tank and blow it in place. He didn’t want to do that so he waited until dark. “We got everything ready, and then we had to hook up our tank to this one that was crippled, and then we dragged it. Pulled it all the way to the base camp. We were all by ourselves; we didn’t get back until about 11:00 at night. Headlights couldn’t do anything, so it was absolutely dark. We made it back and were not engaged by the enemy. No one knew. I don’t think the enemy understood how few of us there were, but I really felt kind of left out there, empty. There were two tank crews. There were eight of us total and we were just kind of all on our own but we got back. I remember
that night very, very well.” Jerome Ravey served in Marine aviation from 1967-68, servicing safety equipment of jet aircraft. He was stationed in Chu Lai. “Two weeks before I was supposed to come home,” Ravey said, “the Viet Cong attacked our base. It was a little on the scary side.” Many of our leaders of today are decorated Vietnam veterans. Just as the generations of servicemembers before them returned home to continue to serve their communities, so have Vietnam veterans. They serve in many capacities in many agencies and organizations, both public and private, throughout America. Today, with the assistance of these veterans and countless other veteran and community leaders, we now draw on the lessons learned in the post-Vietnam years so that we effectively and meaningfully welcome home our returning veterans, helping them to reintegrate into our communities.
APRIL 2, 2015
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
2015 Wisconsin Junior Shooting Sports Scholarships Awarded
Sixty students living throughout the state of Wisconsin ranging in age from 8 years to 18 participated in The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin 2015 Jr. Shooting Sports competition. This year’s scholarship winners have been announced. In team competition, the Viola Sportsman’s Club of Viola placed first with its top four shooters bringing in a cumulative score of 1001- 7. Other teams participating in the competition included the Langlade County 4H American Legion Shooting Team of Antigo, two teams from the Walworth County 4H Shooting Sports Club of Elkhorn, American Legion Shooters of Fond du Lac, the Briggsville Post No. 329 team and Post 308/220 American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Club of Gays Mills. Taking top honors in the beginners division (ages 8 – 11) was first place winner Alayna Culver of
the Viola Sportsman’s Club with a score of 178-0. Tying for second were Nathan Schmalfeldt and Emma Robers of the Walworth County 4H Shooting Sports Club, with scores of 135-1 and 135-0 respectively. Sylvia Peterson of the Viola Sportsman’s Club took first place in the Junior Division (ages 12 – 14) with 256-3. Sarah Anderson of the Langlade County 4H American Legion Shooting Team took second place with 238-6 and Fin Weber of the Walworth County 4H Shooting Sports Club placed third with a 229-3. The Senior Division third place winner, and recipient of the Department’s $250 Jr. Shooting Sports Scholarship, is Davus Ellefson of the Viola Sportsman’s Club with a score of 235-7. The second place scholarship winner, and recipient of the Department’s $750 scholarship is Catie Clark, also of the Viola Sportsman’s Club, who
Briggsville Post Honors Members
shot a 246-3. The first place winner and recipient of a $1000 scholarship is Sawyer Peterson of the Viola Sportsman’s Club who shot the high score of 263-4. The number one team and top three shooters in each Jr. Shooting Sports Division will also receive a trophy and a certificate of participation from the Department. All other participants in this year’s program will receive a certificate of participation and a medallion. For more information on The American Legion Jr. Shooting Sports Program contact Dawn Brauner at (608) 745-1090 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Carl E. Grabman Post No. 329 of Briggsville recently honored three members who have achieved significant membership milestones. Pictured here from left to right are: 65 year member Leo Cottini, 70 year member Robert (Bud) Corning, and 50 year member Thomas Tangney who is also the oldest member of Post No. 329 at 98 years old. All three are Navy veterans of WWII.
Post No. 272 Delivers to Soldiers
A Hero’s Honor: Military Night Recognizes Fallen Soldier
By Tom Beschta Oconto County Times Herald Correspondent A cold, January night in Suring is a far cry from the scorching jungles of South Vietnam, where on Aug. 13, 1970, Russell Leroy Bahrke Jr. was killed in action while serving his country in the United States Army. In a crowded, silent gymnasium Friday the two discordant settings came together at the Suring Basketball Military Night. Retired Col. Dan Johnston, Bahrke’s platoon leader, delivered a message 45 years in the making. His message would mark this year’s event as one of closure, remembrance and gratitude. “I can stand before you today and testify without a doubt that Russell Bahrke’s service was exemplary. He was a good, solid soldier that I would have had stand by me at any time, in any place, under any circumstance. And he did you proud,” Johnston said. The Suring Basketball Military Night was organized five years ago by Ron Christensen and Gary Regal with support from the Suring American Legion and Vets 4 Vets of Oconto County. The event recognizes local veterans and helps raise money for programs, so far raising more than $10,000. This year’s event held special significance, however, as the Suring American Legion felt the time had finally come to honor Bahrke and the sacrifice he made for his country. “When Russell came back, there was no recognition of his sacrifice, and this community never had that opportunity,” Christensen said. “To me, this is that opportunity for our entire community to recognize the only person from this school that was killed in Vietnam.”
Christensen, who served in the Marines for 20 years, began coordinating the Military Night with Bahrke in mind, reaching out to members of his platoon to find someone who would be willing to speak about the events of that day. His efforts led him to San Antonio, Texas, and Johnston, who welcomed the opportunity to finally meet the family and friends of the only soldier he lost under his command. “A leader is supposed to communicate with the family after the death of a soldier,” Johnston said. “I sent a letter home, and I never received a response. I always wondered why, but it was not something I wanted to investigate in case there were some hard feelings. So this is the first time (contacting the family), and it has been very meaningful for me.” “There was a lot of anxiety on my part not knowing what to expect,” Christensen said. “I mean, we’re talking 44 years after the fact. It seemed to me it was fate that put me in contact with people that served with Russell.” Johnston, who retired from the Army in 1994 after 25 years of service, flew to Green Bay with his wife, toured Lambeau Field and met with members of the Suring American Legion. Johnston was then introduced to Bahrke’s brother, Kim, and Bahrke’s two surviving cousins for an opportunity to talk about the fallen soldier’s service. “It is the first time I have spoken to anyone about what happened when my brother passed,” Kim Bahrke said. “It was good talking to the colonel. He let me know exactly what happened and how proud he was of his unit that day, and he should have been. They served admirably.” “Speaking to (the family) was very
cathartic in that it was clearly a needed healing process,” Johnston said. “One of the cousins hugged me very emotionally after the talk and said he had been waiting for this conversation for 45 years.” Johnston was then shown Bahrke’s resting place and old neighborhood before speaking to the Suring student body Friday. Coach Jim Keeffe said the participation of the Suring basketball team and students in Military Night helps them recognize the significance of the freedoms they exercise every day. “One of the things we try to teach these kids is to respect the nation and the service of our men and women, because participating in a sport like this is not necessarily a right,” Keeffe said. “Somebody has to make a sacrifice so we can do this. We just want to make sure they have that in mind when they leave here.” Military Night opened with a spaghetti dinner, T-shirt sale and raffle that packed the school’s cafeteria with veterans and community members before the crowd filed into the gymnasium for the junior varsity boys’ 50-19 victory over Niagara. Before the start of the varsity game, an emotional ceremony was held, during which Johnston spoke about Bahrke’s service, and Kim Bahrke was introduced. “I firmly believe that the obligation of every one of you sitting here today is to live a life that is worthy of Russell Bahrke,” Johnston said during his speech. Afterword, the Suring community choir sang patriotic selections, Johnston, Christensen and Kim Bahrke placed flowers before a photo of Russell Bahrke and the Color Guard presented the colors. Both basketball teams lined up for a photo with Christensen and Kim Bahrke.
The Thaddeus K. Zyk Post No. 272 of Butternut recently collected donated items and prepared comfort packages for Wisconsin military personnel stationed overseas. The entire community of Butternut supported the project by donating items and providing funds for shipping. 41 packages were sent to the 950th Engineering Company of the Wisconsin National Guard in Afghanistan and one was sent to a Butternut soldier stationed in Cuba. Pictured here are Commander Jerry Wegner, Connie Wegner, Auxiliary President Nancy Schultz, and Shari Brennan.
The varsity Eagles then soared to a 40-34 victory over Niagara. Johnston said that the congeniality that greeted him in Wisconsin affirms that no matter where one might go in this country, the courtesy Americans extend to one another as citizens is precious, something heroes such as Bahrke made possible. “I think that the community is well served by recognizing the service of
one of its members,” Johnston said. “Russell had a very big heart. He had tremendous personal courage.” Kim Bahrke was simply at a loss for words after the ceremony. “I can’t be more proud that they thought that much of my brother and they did so much for him,” Kim Bahrke said. “I am just so glad, so proud of the Legion, so proud of the colonel coming up. I don’t know what to say.”
Ron Christensen, a member of the Suring American Legion, introduces Col. Dan Johnston at a Military Night ceremony honoring Vietnam veteran Russell Bahrke. Bahrke was a Suring graduate who lost his life in Vietnam in 1970. At left is the Suring basketball team. Photo by Tom Beschta.
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
APRIL 2, 2015
PLEASE SUPPORT THE LEGACY SCHOLARSHIP FUND SWEEPSTAKES
The American Legion Riders Association of Wisconsin is holding their 8th annual sweepstakes to benefit the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. The Legacy Scholarship Fund provides college scholarships for children who have had a parent killed in the war on terror since September 11, 2001. The Legion Riders have taken the lead in fundraising for this scholarship fund. As of January 2015 thousands of families with children have lost a parent since September 2001. This has resulted in thousands of children 18 years and younger who, as an unfortunate consequence, are in a single-parent family. Conservative estimates are that costs will increase 5% per year. That means that in 16 years the most affordable college education will be over $132,800! The mission of this scholarship
is to ensure that higher education will be a reality for these families! Last year Wisconsin raised over $70,000 which was included in the more than $1,000,000 total collected. This year we will be working in conjunction with Commander Bob Shappell’s Spirit Run, the 2015 Wisconsin State Legacy Run, and have set our goal at $59,600, $1.00 for each member of The American Legion. This April, 12 sweepstakes entry forms will be sent to all Legion Posts, Auxiliary Units, and SAL Detachments across the state. A donation of $5 each, 6 entry forms for $20 or all 12 entry forms for $25 is encouraged. A reply envelope will be provided for your convenience. We encourage every Post, Unit and Squadron to return your entry forms and donation to help support the Legacy Scholarship Fund. The awards are 1st–$1,000,
2nd–$500, 3rd–$250, 4th–$100, 5th through 7th–$50 each. The drawing will be held on Sunday, August 9 at 12:00 noon at American Legion Post No. 59 in Stoughton, 803 N. Page St. If you would like to help Commander Bob and the American Legion Riders help the children of America’s fallen warriors by distributing additional entry forms to your friends, family, co-workers, or fellow Legion Family members please contact Bob Lloyd at 608-873-5926 or email@example.com. In 2015, our goal is to raise over $450,000 nationwide. We are asking the Wisconsin American Legion family to rally together and support this most worthy cause. Please make your check payable to ALRA of WI and mail to: P.O. Box 16, Stoughton, WI 53589. Visit www.alrawis.org for official rules.
VIETNAM VETERANS WEEK AT FIRE BASE (FB) CAMP AMERICAN LEGION JUNE 8TH – JUNE 14, 2015
SHOW Thursday, June 11th at 1 PM
• • • • • • •
Saturday, June 13th
50th Anniversary Ceremony with WDVA Secretary John Scocos Medal of Honor Recipient Gary Wetzel of Post No. 434 in Oak Creek Vietnam Veterans of America - Wisconsin State Council Wisconsin National Guard & Service Member Support Division Guest speakers County Veterans Service Officers (CVSO) Fishing, Food, Companionship, Story-telling, And more! Vietnam Veteran week campers and day visitors are welcome! (715) 277-2510 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Funds for Camp Raised at Annual “Run for a Vet” Betty Snyder of Auxiliary Unit No. 424 in Mercer and Mark Henry of Thrivent Financial recently presented Camp Director Kevin Moshea with a check for $5,000. The funds were raised at the annual “Run For a Vet” event held in the Manitowish Waters/Mercer area. This is the third year Camp American Legion has received a generous donation as a result of the activity.
60th Annual American Legion King Pilgrimage National Commander Mike Helm of Nebraska scheduled to attend
The 60th Annual American Legion King Day Pilgrimage will be held on Sunday, June 21st at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King, Wisconsin. American Legion, Legion Riders, Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion members from across the state, as well as their guests, will visit the Home and participate in a picnic with members of the Veterans Home. The 40 et 8 will also participate and the general public is also invited and encouraged to attend. Musical entertainment will be provided from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM. A delicious charcoal broiled chicken dinner will be served by American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 161 with service to begin at 10:30 AM and continuing until
sold out. Cost per meal is $8.00 for adults and $4.00 per child 12 and under. Meal tickets can be purchased on the day of the event. Immediately following lunch will be the traditional King Day parade consisting of Legion Riders, District and Department officers, 40 et 8 Voiture Locomotives, the Marathon High School Drum and Bugle Corps, Color Guards, Honor Guards, and Drill Teams. Following the parade will be a formal program featuring National Commander Mike Helm of Nebraska, Department Commander Robert L. Shappell and National Executive Committeeman Steve Krueger. “We hope you can join us and help make this a wonderful day for the members of the Wiscon-
sin Veterans Home,” said Committee Chairman and 8th District Commander Jerome Krofta. “I’m hoping American Legion members will make a special effort to represent their posts at the 60th Annual King Day and I encourage all Legion Family and community members to join us for this spectacular day.” he added. A table will be set up in the park where volunteers can receive assignments to assist members of the Veterans Home to join the outside festivities. “This is an excellent way to make a new friend and meet new people.” said Krofta. If you have any questions about the annual American Legion Pilgrimage on Sunday, June 21st, please call Chairman Krofta at (715) 424-6260
All Who Served
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
APRIL 2, 2015
Team Wisconsin Golf Outing in Reedsburg
As the weather begins to change for the better - it’s time to think about getting outside, and for some, onto the golf course. Plans continue to move forward for the June 27th National Commander Campaign Benefit Golf Outing being held at the Reedsburg Country Club with a shotgun start at 9:00AM. Packets of information will be provided to District Commanders at the Department Spring meetings in May for distribution to the Posts. Please put this on your calendars and be talking about it at meetings and making plans to take part. This will be a great event and we really need your participation. There are several ways you can be involved. Start putting together your teams. The cost for golfing (includes 18 holes, cart, lunch and door prizes) is $65.00. Whether you have a foursome or want us to pair you up with other golfers we can accommodate up to 144 golfers. Non-golfers can join us for lunch for $10.00 a person (it is only 13 miles from the Country Club to Tanger Outlet Malls in Wisconsin Dells).
Your Post / Unit / Squadron / Riders/ Organization (pretty much anyone) can Sponsor a Hole for $50.00. A specially designed “Team Wisconsin” sign with your name will appear on the sponsored hole. Each District has been asked to put together a basket containing items reflective of their geographical pride. For example: Door County cherries, Sheboygan Bratwurst or Steven’s Point Cranberries. Past Department Commander Wayne Jensen has asked that these baskets be brought to the Department Spring meetings in Portage May 8th and 9th. Door prizes and baskets or raffle items are welcome from anyone willing to donate. We are also looking for people willing to volunteer to help during the event. Registration, hole sponsorship, volunteers and prizes are being coordinated by Past Department Commander Ted DeMicchi, the Event Chairman. Ted will be happy to provide further information or answer questions about the event. You can contact him at: (262) 945-1496 or by email at email@example.com.
Registration forms and checks can be mailed to Ted DeMicchi PO Box 123 Somers, WI 53171 and should be received before June 12th. Wisconsin’s Candidate For National Commander Denise Rohan continues to be available to attend fundraising events in your area. You can find scheduled campaign events and details listed on the wilegion.org website under “Post Events” listed as “Wisconsin’s National Commander Campaign”. Please contact campaign manager Mike Rohan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (608) 837-9763 for availability.
The American Legion looks for new ways to fulfill our mission of service to Wisconsin military service members, veterans and their families. By restoring the area of land available at Camp American Legion we can provide new opportunities for rehabilitation and recreation. All interested parties and supporters of Camp American Legion will be encouraged to contact Laurie Ross - Wisconsin De-
STATE GOLF OUTING Entries must be postmarked by August 31, 2015.
Post No. 250 Commander Jack Grignano was joined by Department Vice Commander John Thurk and 7th District Commander Mark Lesko in presenting Tom with The American Legion Gold Heroism Medal for saving the child’s life. The Legion gold heroism medal is awarded for acts of outstanding heroism. Tom humbly received the gold medal, and Jack McKim and his family will always be grateful for Tom’s heroic action.
for Department Commander
BOB SHAPPELL When: Saturday June 6, 2015
Socialize 5:00PM Dinner 6:00PM Program 7:00PM
partment of Natural Resources at (608) 267-7420 or Laurie.Ross@wisconsin.gov. The Public Comment period is tentatively scheduled to run from Thursday, April 9th through Thursday, May 7th. Note; This time frame and dates are subject to change. Monitor the Department website – www.wilegion.org or Facebook page for the latest developments.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 Crystal Springs Golf Course Seymour, WI
2015 AMERICAN LEGION
Red Cloud Post No. 250 of Adams held a special award presentation at their March 3rd meeting to honor member Tom Robertson for helping to save the life an infant. While visiting the Milton home of 3-day old Jack McKim in December, Tom responded when the baby stopped breathing. Tom, who previously served as both a firefighter and an Emergency Medical Technician, quickly administered and maintained CPR until rescue workers arrived.
CAMP (Continued from page 1) under Legion control from 1944 to 1964 is shown in green. In 1964 American Legion leadership relinquished certain lands at the request of the State Conservation Department with the understanding that this land would again be available when the Department needed it. ACTION - As Camp continues to grow in popularity with Wisconsin military service personnel, veterans and their families,
Legionnaire Honored for Lifesaving Eﬀorts
N8055 French Road Seymour, WI 54165
Where: Country Inn and Suites, 350 East Seven Hills Road, Port Washington WI Exit 100 off I-43 between Belgium and Saukville Details: $40 per person Room block available at special rate for “Bob Shappell testimonial”– call (262) 284-2100 Mail check to: Bob Shappell 4520 Pioneer Road Cedarburg WI 53012
2015 AMERICAN LEGION STATE GOLF OUTING ENTRY FORM Legion Post No.______ City_________________________ Name
1. ________________________________________________ 2. ________________________________________________ 3. ________________________________________________
$70 PER GOLFER Includes: Green Fees, Cart, Lunch at Noon and Banquet
(DINNER ONLY $16)
Scramble is open to Legion, Auxiliary, or SAL Members.
Team Captain Name and Phone Number:_________________ __________________________________________________ Email Address:______________________________________
Extra Dinners: ________________ @ $16 each = __________ Please make checks payable to: American Legion Post No. 106 Send payment and form to: American Legion Post No. 106 Golf PO Box 224 • Seymour, WI 54165 Entries must be postmarked by August 31, 2015
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
4 Athens Sylvester Heier II 8 Waukesha Ellis Hughes V Clement Szalkowski II 10 Wausau John Tetzlaff II Michael Linder V Donald Trowbridge K Mark Magnuson II Roy Neunast K George Hrdina II 11 Green Bay Richard Rebman K 13 Richland Center Ralph Klingaman V 24 Lake Geneva John Maas II Richard Peck K Manford Kirchoff K Ervin Malecki II Rex Bushong II Maurice Jensen V Richard Chase V Delou Blodgett K 26 Baraboo Tom Michele V 29 Kewaunee Robert O’Brien V Kenneth Siegmund II Jerome Zelten K Russell Rank II James Tischler V 38 Appleton Fred Schuette K Richard Griesser K George Floodstrand II Ronald Bunkert V Jerome Gomm II Don Jury II Lowell Skeens V 41 Kaukauna Ethel Riemer II 44 Wabeno David Redinger II Richard Gagnon V James Stormer K 47 Portage William Lauterbach K Glen Jacob II Lawrence Sande K Loid Atkinson K Kenneth Golliher K 53 Eau Claire Robert Basacker K Earl Mosel II 54 Marshﬁeld James Brown K 67 Lake Mills Robert Crump II John Neupert K David LeMaster V Ted Drozdowski II 69 Mayville Lavern Rehlinger K Randall Heintz V Robert Gleisner II Nick Kohler II 70 Oshkosh Ronald Davis V Robert Ray K Leroy Williams II Thomas Zak K
03/16/15 02/15/15 02/20/15 02/03/15 07/03/13 02/12/15 02/19/15 02/18/15 01/13/15 01/04/14 02/20/15 03/15/13 09/06/14 08/20/14 12/24/13 03/20/12 02/24/14 03/11/15 01/17/14 02/27/15 12/31/14 05/04/14 11/11/14 10/02/14 12/25/14 02/20/15 02/18/15 02/27/15 02/26/15 03/09/15 03/14/15 03/16/15 02/13/15 02/08/15 02/16/15 03/07/15 02/28/15 02/24/15 02/23/15 03/07/15 03/13/15 02/11/15 03/15/15 03/11/15 12/09/14 02/17/15 03/06/15 03/04/15 01/14/15 02/05/15 02/27/15 09/15/14 03/06/15 02/26/15 03/14/15 02/25/15
73 Neillsville Irene Masters K Robert Struensee V John Ringstad II Lloyd Zimmerman K Myrle Thompson K Robert Luchterhand II 81 Mauston Edward Ellwood II 83 Sheboygan Donald Hoeft II 84 Monroe Charles Drnek K 89 Minocqua Guy Digilio II 106 Seymour Melvin Lafond II 110 New Lisbon Floyd Dassow V 114 Eagle River Robert Means K 115 Elroy Bernard Bender II Emil Picha K 118 Thorp L P Christophersen K 121 River Falls Lyle Zastrow II Walter Wienke K Derrick Schmitt P 136 Niagara James Gussert K Frank Peterson II Warren Anderson II Carl Dixon II 138 Viroqua Cecil Owen II Charles Dahl II 141 New Glarus David Jackson K 143 St Croix Falls Eugene Nothaft K 146 Beaver Dam Robert Ponik II Richard Larson II 149 Sheboygan Falls Ken Heckmann II 156 Fond du Lac Harland Olsen II 161 King Terry Rice II 171 Union Grove Eugene Willoughby K 175 Loyal Edward Schecklman K Arthur Boucher II 180 Bay View Lawrence Baravetti II 182 Park Falls Glenn Sales II 183 Genoa City Howard Borst II 185 Grantsburg Dale Kratchmer II Edward Melquist II 186 Independence Eugene Sosalla K 200 Black River Falls Guyal Loomis II 201 Tomah Maynard Hofer PG 204 Ellsworth Leslie Long K Leroy Nickel K 205 Janesville Charles Everhart II 209 Orfordville James Amettis K Charles Bach V 215 Pardeeville Richard Vande Leest II 216 Lodi Peter Van Ness V 224 Alma Clarence Schollmeier K David Rieck V 233 Waterloo Kenneth Wenger V
01/20/15 02/07/15 01/20/15 02/18/15 02/26/15 03/12/15 12/03/14 01/28/15 02/13/15 02/16/15 02/05/15 02/19/15 03/10/15 01/12/15 02/17/15 02/11/15 02/16/15 03/03/15 03/12/15 08/27/14 03/13/15 05/28/14 01/04/15 03/02/15 03/06/15 03/08/15 03/03/15 02/15/15 03/15/15 02/19/15 02/17/15 03/03/15 03/06/15 02/08/15 03/06/15 03/15/15 02/26/15 01/09/15 12/20/15 01/17/15 02/13/15 03/07/15 02/19/15 01/24/15 02/25/15 03/15/15 09/11/14 02/06/15 01/18/15 02/23/15 03/01/15 03/09/15 03/07/15
236 Algoma Melvin Haack II 243 Plymouth Joseph Turicik K 253 Spring Green Ted Lins II 258 Little Chute Paul Jansen II Lawrence Driessen II 261 Greenbush Raymond Langkabel V 263 New London Harold Meshke K 266 Colby Walter Engel II 268 Bruce Wallace Frisinger II 272 Butternut David Huettl V 283 Suring Martin Hischke K 284 Holmen Earl Cook K 288 Cedarburg James Schutkin II John Widstrand K Anthony Bell II 294 Hartland Vernon Burseth II 296 Brookﬁeld Lyle Stern II Jesse Yocum V Walter Whitehead II 301 Woodville Larry Vanriper V 304 Palmyra Clayton Janney II Woodrow Kramer II 306 Green Lake Herman Schultz II 310 Racine Kenneth Wrixton II 315 Stoddard John Kellogg K 318 Lake Tomahawk Fred Kauzrich II 320 Humbird Kenneth Nelson V 325 Goodman Donald Edelbeck II 329 Briggsville Arnold McClyman K Gary Schultz V George Pfaff K Theodore Nauman II 331 Shorewood Hugh Braun K 337 Pulaski Antone Blinstrub K Teoﬁl Tyczkowski II 342 Lena Robert Heinz II 343 Hancock George Wilson K 350 Reedsburg Conrad Steinweg II 355 Grafton Alfred Schanen II 363 Denmark Raymond Thor K 366 Princeton Edward Szweda K 368 Hixton Phyllis Beaman II Vernice Preston K 375 Mukwonago Dennis Ostrowski V Donald Skrepenski II 382 Menomonee Falls Donald Gross II 387 Franklin Eugene Raquet II 391 Fremont William Kramer II 406 Milwaukee Dennis Stockﬁsch V 412 Belgium Norman Fox II
03/03/15 03/06/15 02/11/15 02/15/15 03/09/15 02/25/15 03/13/15 02/05/15 03/10/15 03/07/15 02/27/15 03/11/15 03/01/15 09/08/14 03/16/15 07/24/14 08/21/14 08/30/12 12/27/14
SEPTEMBER APRIL25, 2, 2015 2014
416 Greendale Henry Steffen II 428 Amberg James Perry K 436 Wrightstown Clifford Fisher K Gerald Golden K Francis Kerkoff II 449 Brookﬁeld Eugene Babler II Robert Kujawski II 452 Spirit Leonard Niskanen II 480 Presque Isle Donald Woodford V 481 Madison Marvin Hohlstein V James Noll V Michael Ales II 482 Bagley Elmer Moon II Willard Marshall K Leo Havlik K 485 Rudolph James Hanneman V 488 New Berlin Albert Kasfeldt V 491 Cazenovia John Honer II
V II II
02/18/15 02/26/15 02/04/15
Reverse Mortgages REVERSE MORTGAGES
03/02/15 01/20/15 02/10/15 02/20/15 03/05/15 10/16/14 02/18/15 11/02/14 02/17/15
492 Rothschild 03/06/15 Elroy Pelot Dale Bielen 02/21/15 500 West Allis Edward Berg 12/15/14 John Literski 02/03/15 501 Madison 02/17/15 William Vreeland Robert Syse 01/12/15 509 Rosholt 01/28/15 Donald Filtz 518 Green Bay 03/06/15 Leroy Ott Reginald Kramer 02/11/15 519 Stetsonville Jerry Brandner 01/27/15 Alphonse Weix 01/18/15 Tom Mayer 01/15/15 521 Fox Lake Lester Tiede 01/27/15 523 Abrams 02/07/15 Emil Stier 01/28/15 534 McFarland George Niebuhr 03/09/15 Harold Fager 539 Green Bay 05/27/14 Louise Hertwig 540 Haugen 03/14/15 Thomas Penzkover
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02/28/15 03/10/15 02/09/15 02/03/15
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02/13/15 02/19/15 03/15/15 03/16/15 02/24/15 03/02/15
Who Will Help You?
Today’s travel can involve unexpected financial risks. But you’re GUARANTEED help in case there’s a medical emergency away from home. The Legionnaire Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) Program offers you and your family security you need while traveling. EA+ delivers high-value benefits to protect you such as: ☞ Emergency Medical Assistance ☞ Medical Evacuation & Transportation Home ☞ Travel Assistance For You & Your Companion
02/22/15 From Your American Legion Department
03/01/15 02/28/15 02/19/15 02/23/15
To learn more about the benefits and services provided to you by Your American Legion Department, visit us online today at www.theLIT.com/emergency-assistance-plus or call 1-888-310-1547. This information is only an overview of the plan’s features. Terms & Conditions apply. ©2014 Worldwide Rescue & Security
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
APRIL 2, 2015
PAGE 7 Post No. 218 • Hayward Commander: Don Slattery Adjutant: Tony Kerner Membership Chair: Dan Dahlstrom
O F WI S CO
100% POST COMMANDERS
Post No. 432 • Hammond Fred Jourdeans
Post No. 21 • Kenosha Thomas Visintainer
Post No. 63 • Clintonville James Young
Post No. 71 • Pewaukee Rollie Crandall
Post No. 134 • Boscobel Ken Leifheit
Post No. 141 • New Glarus Steve Hodgson
Post No. 219 - Milwaukee Dennis Mohr
Post No. 272 • Butternut Jerry Wegner
Post No. 348 • DeForest Bill Ridgely
Post No. 145 • Random Lloyd Merkel
Post No. 148 • Bloomington Mike Weber
Post No. 350 • Reedsburg Walter Farber
Post No. 354 • Ettrick Steve Vehrenkamp
Post No. 434 • Oak Creek Lyle Riffel
Post No. 157 • Horicon Brett Culver
O ST C MMAN O P
Post No. 143 • St. Croix Falls Wayne Hancock
THE SPIRIT OF WISCONSIN
– Qualifying wartime veterans of any era – – Any type motorcycle of 500cc or greater – – Member of The American Legion Family (Legion, Auxiliary or Sons) • Participate in parades • Provide color guard services • Provide support to other veterans and veteran organizations • Fundraising for the Legacy Scholarship Fund
(a fund for children of military persons killed in the current war)
Post No. 435 • Superior Delbert Kangas
Post No. 447 • Viola Thomas Simonson
Post No. 495 • Sussex David P. Latimer Sr.
If you were exposed to ASBESTOS, and you SMOKED or have any of the following symptoms, see your doctor and perhaps an attorney.
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Contact: State President Robert Lloyd (608) 873-5926 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans, Military, Scholarships