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“For God & Country”



Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family

April 21, 2016 Vol. 93, No. 4

The mission of The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin is to provide service to veterans, their families and their communities.

Madison to Host 98th Annual Department Convention National Commander Dale Barnett and Walk for Veterans Headline Event

The Madison Marriott West Hotel in Middleton is slated to host the 98th Annual Department Convention July 14-17. The Madison Marriott West has hosted a number of American Legion events, the most recent being the 2012 Convention. The hotel and surrounding area is a

popular destination with ample parking and features a number of popular restaurants including Sprecher’s. The Donald C. Severson Post No. 501 of Madison and many Dane County Legion Family volunteers are proud to sponsor the convention and have planned a number of special ac-

The American Legion Department of Wisconsin

98th Annual Department Convention REGISTRATION FORM

This is your registration form only, NOT your delegate form. Delegate forms are mailed to the post 30 days prior to Convention June 15, 2016 per the Constitution and Bylaws. It is advised however, to register and book your rooms prior to this date. Remember all Legionnaires are encouraged to attend the Department Convention, not just Delegates and Alternates. You can also register online at First Name__________________ Last Name _____________________________ Member ID Number __________________ District _________________________ AL Post # ________

Auxiliary Unit # ______

SAL Squadron # _________

Street Address _____________________________________________________ City ___________________________State_____________Zip _______________ Email _____________________________________________________________ Home Phone (__________ ) __________________________________________ Cell Phone (__________ ) ____________________________________________ ITEM




Registration Fee




Reg. Fee after July 11, 2016




Total Enclosed


Make check payable to The American Legion, Dept. of Wisconsin or enter credit card information below.

Expiration Date ______________ Security Code _____________ Return to: The American Legion, Dept. of Wisconsin Attn: Chris Schmidt • P.O. Box 388 • Portage, WI 53901

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites 1109 Fourier Drive, Madison, WI 53719 (608) 826-0500 • $124.95

Credit Card

Homewood Suites by Hilton 479 Commerce Dr. Madison, WI 53719 • (608) 271-0600 $119.00 Studio Suite $129.00 1 bedroom Suite Cut off 6/14/16

For Hotel accommodations at the Madison Marriott West call 888-7452032 and ask for the WI American Legion Conference block. All reservations are on a first come first serve basis, the cost is $115.00, plus applicable tax, for a double occupancy. A list of alternate hotels is attached. This information can also be found at The cutoff date for rooms is June 22, 2016 provided there are rooms still available.

Card Type__________________Card # __________________________________


Committee meeting scheduled for 4 PM that same day. The convention will begin in earnest on Friday, July 15th with District Caucuses at 7:30 AM and Opening Ceremonies at 9:00 AM. First time attendees will have a great opportunity to socialize and learn about the business of The American Legion first-hand. Convention Committee Meetings will take place at 2:00 PM and consider a number of Resolutions related to Legion business and veterans issues at the state and national levels. The ever popular “GNUTS” meeting will take place at 4:30 PM with a “TET” party to follow. Candidates for Department offices will be hosting Hospitality Suites at the Madison Marriott West later in the evening. Saturday will be a busy day at convention with the election of Department officers beginning at 8:30 AM. The convention will (continued on Page 3)


Fairfield Inn & Suites-Middleton 8212 Greenway Blvd. Middleton, WI 53562 • (608) 831-1400 $99.00-King • $119.00-Double Cut off 6/14/16


rifice and devotion. We are walking for those who marched for us.” The Walk will begin at 8:00AM on Saturday, July 16th. The length of the walk is approximately 1.3 miles and will start and end at the Madison Marriott West. The registration fee is $ 20 and will include a t-shirt. For more information about The American Legion Walk for Veterans or to register, please visit: or call (608) 745-1090. Department Headquarters will establish a presence at the convention site on Wednesday, July 13th. Initial meetings that day will include the Wisconsin American Legion Foundation Board of Directors. The various standing Department Committees will begin meetings at 7AM on Thursday, July 14th. The early starting times are necessary in order for the business of the sub-committees to be completed in advance of the Department Executive

tivities to entertain visitors. One of this year’s most exciting events will be the Walk for Veterans. Leading the Walk will be American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett of Georgia and Department Commander Dale Oatman of Antigo. “The purpose of this Walk is to raise public awareness about the crucial issues facing America’s veterans and their families,” said Commander Oatman. “An estimated 22 veterans a day commit suicide. Traumatic brain injuries have become a signature wound of the Global War on Terrorism and up to 20 percent of the men and women who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are believed to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Veterans still have difficulty receiving health care in a timely manner and many have been waiting years to have their disability claims resolved. We owe it to those who served our country to never forget their sac-

Courtyard by Marriott 2266 Deming Way Middleton, WI 53562 (608) 203-0100 $99.00-King w/sofa sleeper Cut off 6/14/16 Hampton Inn & Suites 483 Commerce Dr. Madison, WI 53719 • (608) 271-0200 $114.00 King room • $134.00 2 Queen Cut off 6/14/16

Hilton Garden Inn 1801 Deming Way Middleton, WI 53562 • (608) 831-2220 $149.00 King • $149.00 2 Queens Roadstar Inn 6900 Seybold Rd., Madison, WI 53719 (608) 274-6900 $70.00 King • $75.00 2 Queens Residence Inn by Marriott 8400 Market St., Middleton, WI 53562 (608) 662-1100 $109.00 King Suite $119.00 1 Bdrm. Queen Country Inn & Suites 2212 Deming Way Middleton, WI 53562 • (608) 831-6970 $149.00

2016 Membership Goal: 59,000 • April 14th Total: 55,422 – 93.94% 12th PLACE 2015-2016


10th PLACE

P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.




P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.




P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.




P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.




P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.

2015-2016 95.41%

P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.

District 5

District 8

District 2

District 7

District 6

District 1

11th PLACE








P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.

District 4



P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.

District 3



P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.

District 10



P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.

District 12



P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.

District 9

2015-2016 96.16%

P. R.I.D.E. P.R.I.D.E.

District 11

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: David A. Kurtz, Executive Editor

2015-2016 Communications Committee Kendel D. Feilen, Chairman Phil Ingwell, Vice Chairman Jim Young, DEC Liaison Geoff Shields 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.

Publication Schedule

All articles due to the Editor four weeks before publication date. Send all copy to


APRIL 21, 2016

DEPARTMENT COMMANDER For most of you, spring has sprung but the snow continues to fly for the upper half of Wisconsin. However, Dale Oatman Department Commander warmer weather is coming and the white stuff will be history as we turn the page with longer days and more sunshine. District Spring Conferences are in full swing and this is your opportunity to adopt resolutions for Department consideration. Also, the odd numbered Districts will hold officer elections so get involved, energized and excited for our newly elected leaders. Governor Walker will soon sign a law which protects funeral homes from liability for releasing abandoned veterans’ cremains to WDVA so proper burial with military rites can finally take place. At least 45 cremains have been found abandoned at funeral homes throughout the state, some of which have been in limbo for over

30 years. Among the Wisconsin Legion members who have helped make this possible are Steve Conto of Post No. 38 in Appleton, current Department Vice Commander Ed Cooper and Past Department Service Officer Tom Ludka. The signing is tentatively scheduled to take place at Post No. 10 in Wausau at 1 PM on April 25th. The rest of my article will be devoted to membership since we have fallen behind by over 2,000 Legionnaires from what we had last year at this time. Maybe we need to do something different with our recruiting so I am sharing some ideas from a fellow veteran in order to better respond to new membership prospects. We are all aware of the types of responses we get from prospective members. Statements like; I am too busy to join; I don’t have the money; too many arguments at the meetings and the meetings take too long; I don’t get anything out of it; I don’t need any VA help. One of the best ways to respond is to let them know that they do

not need to attend the meetings or volunteer their assistance to play an important part. Let them know that their dues help maintain the many Legion programs that help veterans in need. Tell them that by becoming a part of The American Legion, they add to our importance in the eyes of Congress because the larger our membership numbers, the bigger our voice. You could also say that Legion membership is an extension of your call to service and we can help our fellow veterans with their extended service. You could mention the bond that is felt by joining other veterans and the fun and camaraderie of knowing members of the same branch of service or kidding others about their branch of service. I challenge you to keep it positive and remind prospective members of the challenges all veterans had in maintaining our Democratic way of life. The Department continues to work hard and encourages those currently serving in uniform to join our organization. I recently

CAMP DIRECTOR The 2016 Camp American Legion season has official begun. It is time for us to punch the clock Kevin Moshea and get to work. Camp Director Many visitors to Camp ask about the size of our operation and I always say that staff numbers nearly 100,000 strong. When they have a puzzled look on their face I tell them we have our entire Wisconsin American Legion Family of Legionnaires, Auxiliary members and Sons of The American Legion supporting the “Help to Heal” Mission. While they take it with a smile, the fact is that it is true. The support of the entire

Legion Family is critical to our success this coming season. It’s hard to believe but Korea & Vietnam Veterans Week, scheduled for June 20-24 is only a few short months away. We have added Korean War Veterans who served in-county to this week of camaraderie and healing. Following the success of the Vietnam Veterans week the past two years, many Korean War veterans came forward and request an opportunity to participate. We are now making a special effort to reach out and invite them to attend this special week. Korea & Vietnam Veterans Week is just one of the special veteran’s events at Camp this year. All totaled we will be conducting twenty-two special

“Help to Heal” programs in addition to the general Camp season. For a list of all the special activities, check out the January issue of the Badger Legionnaire or visit the Camp American Legion page at For all of us, supporting Camp is a labor of love and the volunteers that come to here to Lake Tomahawk each year are truly special people. Camp American Legion volunteers are our most important and treasured asset. Camp would not be able to function at the very high level of activity that we do without our volunteers dedicated service. For all of you Camp volunteers who read this – Thank you! I truly appreciate what you do. If you have never been to Camp, I invite you

took part in a Community Partner meeting with Wisconsin Adjutant General Donald Dunbar’s senior staff and Family Assistance Coordinators to make sure that National Guard soldiers and airmen know about all the services and programs we have to offer. Department Vice Commander Jerry Krofta will lead a recruiting team at a 2-day conference with the Wisconsin National Guard Association in Wisconsin Dells this month. In other important efforts, Past Department Commander Robert Shappell is organizing an Armed Forces Week event at Ft. McCoy on Saturday, May 21st and Past Department Commander Wayne Jensen is organizing the Legion’s support of the 3rd annual 128th Air Refueling Wing “Wingman Weekend Vendor Fair” at Mitchell International in Milwaukee on Saturday, June 4th. A big thank you goes out to those Legionnaires supporting these events. Remember to keep supporting our Legion Family members campaigning for National Offices. to come and experience it. I also want to ask each of you, if you know of any vets - especially our younger veterans who might be looking for something to engage in, invite them to Camp. Volunteering could be it. I see and meet many younger veterans looking for something meaningful and fulfilling to get involved in. Being a Camp American Legion volunteer could be that something. Do you know of any? If so, tell them about volunteering at Camp. So now it’s “go time”. It’s time to get to work and make the 2016 Camp season a success. Our job is to make a positive difference in the lives of so many of our fellow our veterans and their families.

WDVA SECRETARY The State of Wisconsin has a proud tradition of caring for our military veterans since after the Civil John A. Scocos War. For the WDVA Secretary past more than 70 years, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans has taken the lead on providing the best programs, benefits and services to our nation’s heroes. All our work on the behalf of veterans is supported and greatly

enhanced by the efforts of the communities in which we work. Individuals, organizations, businesses all contribute greatly to the mission of serving our veterans. In April, all three Wisconsin Veterans Homes will recognize volunteers at their annual volunteer recognition events. As they do every year, a great many people have generously given thousands of hours of their personal time to be a part of the lives of our veterans, and for that I sincerely thank them. For as long as there have been

veterans, there have been those in the community who support them. There are numerous individuals and organizations that give of their time and resources to care for our veterans. Every single donation made by these people goes to a combined effort to provide the very best for our veterans and their families. Our Veterans Homes are shining examples of how our veterans benefit from not only first class healthcare, but also from the fruits of collaboration between our agency and those who

volunteer to assist our veterans. Partnerships in other areas also enhance our mission. Homelessness, joblessness and other needs are greatly impacted when we work together with our valuable partners. I want to thank all those who have helped us in the past year in our mission of caring for our state’s veterans. Volunteers amplify our ability to care for our heroes. Their caring and concern go a long way in supporting our veterans and the recognition for that is greatly deserved.

2016 MILWAUKEE AMERICAN LEGION BAND CONCERTS AND PERFORMANCES Armed Forces’ Day Services Sat., May 14, 2016 11:30 AM Harley-Davidson Museum 400 West Canal Street Milwaukee, WI 53201

Americana Concert Spring Concert Memorial Day Services Wed., May 18, 2016 Sunday, May 22, 2016 Sun., May 29, 2016 11:00 AM 7:30 PM 3:00 PM Southern Wisconsin Luther Haven site to be announced Veteran’sCemetery 8949 N 97th St 21731 Spring Street Milwaukee, WI 53224 Union Grove, WI 53182

Memorial Day Services Mon., May 30, 2016 • 9:00 AM Wood National Cemetery at the Milwaukee VA 5000 W National Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53295

APRIL 21, 2016


Post Honors Milwaukee Police Lieutenant

On March 15, 2015, four past and present Commanders of Milwaukee Police Post No. 415 joined forces to present Milwaukee Police Lieutenant Charles Berard with a plaque to recognize his leadership of the Milwaukee Police Department Honor Guard for 32 years. Pictured are Fred Haas, Wayne Jensen, LT Charles Berard, Chuck Roessler and Kendel D. Feilen. Since its inception in 1939, Milwaukee Police Post No. 415 was the official honor guard for all City of Milwaukee civic events. In 1984, Milwaukee Police Department Lieutenants Wayne Jensen and Charles Berard founded the Milwaukee Po-

lice Department After that time, guards worked and seamlessly

Honor Guard. the two honor cooperatively giving tribute

at civic events such as Law Enforcement Memorial Day and at funerals where the fallen officer was also a military veteran.

ORATORICAL LETTER Dear Mr. Kurtz, On a cold winter day back in January 2005, we took our oldest daughter Saamia to our local Post 42 to compete in the American Legion Oratorical Contest. That was the beginning of a journey, not just for Saamia but for our entire family, including our two younger daughters, Sumaia and Saafia as well. Eleven years later this February, we made our last contest trip to Ripon with Saafia, our youngest. Between the three, we have made a total of nine trips to Ripon with four state wins (Saafia won twice). All three of our daughters had the honor of representing Wisconsin at the Nationals in Indianapolis. What an amazing experience and journey this has been for our family! Our daughters have been involved in many other activities in their high school careers but for all three, they say that this has been their most notable and most rewarding experience. They have learned and grown so much! They grew up to be strong writers, confident and poised speakers and cultivated their love of the constitution and country. Not to forget, they also earned a lot of college scholarship money along the way. Our family has made many friendships and connections and our children have received an unbelievable amount of support and encouragement over the years – all the way from post, county, and district to state and even national levels. Our local post, county and district friends have traveled hundreds of miles in cold winter weather to come and support our children at every level of contest. Jim and Germaine Hying have even traveled to Indianapolis every single time our daughters have competed at Nationals. Terry and Dee Woolf made sure that every detail was taken care of every time. There are so many people we have to thank and can think of but most of all, we thank you, the people who continue to make the American Legion the strong organization it is. You have served the country in its time of need but didn’t stop there – you have continued to serve by building a better future for the country by investing in its youth. Please share this with any and all you see fit in the American Legion Department of Wisconsin family. Our daughters have been invited several times to deliver their speeches at the summer convention in July but since our family usually travels at that time, we have never managed to attend and thank everyone in person. Please thank everyone on behalf of our family and wish Saafia good luck in Indianapolis in April. Sincerely, Abulkhair and Fahmida Masoom

Rio Student Represents Post in Regional Oratorical Competition Rio American Legion Post No. 208 is very proud of Rio High School student Ashley Hagenow for her participation and success in The American Legion Oratorical Contest. Ashley placed first in the Columbia County level and the 2nd District levels of Oratorical competition before moving to Regionals this past February. Ashley is pictured with Rio’s Post Commander Paul Bernander.



The University of Wisconsin and the Middleton VAMC in Madison are conducting a Gulf Veterans Exercise Study on Pain. This is a US Department of Veterans Affairs funded research study. The research study group is currently recruiting Veterans from the First Gulf War (1990-91). Gulf Veterans with chronic musculoskeletal pain are encouraged to take part. MRI scans are performed as part of the study to assess brain function during a painful heat stimulus. In addition to the MRI scans, participants may be asked to complete a 16-week weight training exercise program. Recruitment for the study will continue for the next year. This project has been approved by the University of WisconsinMadison’s Health Science Institutional Review Board and also the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Research and

Development Committee. They are asking for patient volunteers to participate in a 16-week exercise study, with follow-ups at 6 and 12 months, conducted at the Madison VA Medical Center and the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Volunteers for this study may be asked to take part in a 16-week weight-training program with a personal trainer. Volunteers who successfully complete the study will receive up to $525 for their time and effort and will be awarded a $300 membership to a gym in their local area. Volunteers will also be eligible for various fitness equipment prizes. Interested Gulf War veterans who wish to participate are encouraged to call (608) 262-2457 and leave their name, phone number and mention “Veteran’s Exercise Study on Pain”.

2016 NATIONAL AMERICAN LEGION COLLEGE APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE The National American Legion College is a combination of lectures, small group workshops and practical exercises. Students will receive training in leadership, sales and marketing, communication and fundraising. Focus is on self-taught small group sessions under the supervision of graduate facilitators, national staff members and national officers. Major emphasis is placed on core programs, management techniques and the development of leadership skills necessary to increase visibility of programs, growth in membership and public awareness of The American Legion, the American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion. Selection Requirements The national organization is looking for Legionnaires with

military service during the Lebanon/Grenada or subsequent eligibility periods. However, they will attempt to fill any unfilled school seats with students from earlier eligibility periods. The deadline for submitting applications is Wednesday, July 13, 2016. Contact Department Adjutant David A. Kurtz at (608) 745-1090 or adjutant@ for an application and further information. The National American Legion College Selection Committee will review the applications and select the 50 best-qualified attendees. Once the students are selected, the Internal Affairs staff will contact them directly several weeks before the class begins regarding housing, transportation and all the materials they will need.

Madison to Host 98th Annual Convention (Continued from Page 1)

reconvene at 9:00 AM and many prominent speakers are expected. Department award winners will also be recognized for their accomplishments. The Past Commanders Club of Wisconsin will hold a party in the evening. The 98th Annual Department Convention will wind up on Sunday. The Memorial Service will begin at 8:00 AM in the convention hall. Following the installation of the newly-elected officers and the closing ceremonies, the Grand Prize winner of the Convention Sweepstakes

will be drawn. The grand prize is the winner’s choice of either $20,000 in cash or a new Ford from the Boucher Automotive Group. All in all it is anticipated to be a busy and exciting weekend in Madison. More details and a comprehensive schedule will appear in the next edition of the Badger Legionnaire. Register for the event by using the Registration Form in this edition of the Badger Legionnaire or log on to Registration on-line is fast and easy.



APRIL 21, 2016

Post Supports Memorial to Honor “Baraboo 21” Post No. 26 in Baraboo recently contributed $10,000 to help construct a memorial to recognize 21 Baraboo soldiers who survived a German U-Boat attack off the coast of Ireland in 1918. The soldiers who survived the sinking of their ship, the USS Tuscania, are known as the “Baraboo 21.” The ship left Hoboken, New Jersey on January 24, 1918 for Le Havre with nearly 2,400 American troops and crewmembers on board. Shortly before 6PM on February 5th the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat. By 7PM all the lifeboats were lowered but approximately 1,350 men remained on board. Ships escorting the convoy managed to assist in removing those who remained, despite the continued presence of U-boats. The ship finally sank at 10PM with 230 lives lost. The “Baraboo 21” were part of the 32nd Red Arrow Division, which was being transported to the French front line. The Tuscania was the first ship carrying

American troops to be sunk and public opinion regarded it as an outrage. Bill Crowley of Post No. 26 said it made sense to support the project because many post members knew the survivors. “We just decided we would make a major contribution to kick off the proj-

ect,” he said. “We feel pretty good about it.” Crowley said a memorial will provide a reminder of a tragedy that mustn’t be lost to history. “I think it will serve as an inspiration to the community,” he said. The project’s cost is estimated at $70,000.

Pictured here at the presentation are from left to right is; Legion member Roger Schluter; Baraboo High School teacher Lilly Hinz; Post Commander Sam Howard; Post Service Officer Jason Lane; Post No. 26 Building Corporation President Bill Crowley

61st Annual American Legion King Pilgrimage

The 61st Annual American Legion King Day Pilgrimage, sponsored by the 8th District, will be held on Sunday, June 19th 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 King and participate in a picnic with members of the Veterans Home. 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 & Bugle Corps, Color Guards, Honor Guards and Drill Teams. Following the parade will be a formal program featuring Department Commander Dale Oatman. “We hope you can join us and help make this a wonderful day for the members of the Wisconsin Veterans Home,” said Committee Chairman and 8th District Commander, James Young. “I’m hoping American Legion members will make a special effort to represent their posts at the 61st Annual King Day and I encourage all Le-

gion 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 Young. If you have any questions about the 61st annual American Legion Pilgrimage on Sunday, June 19th, please call James Young at (920) 450-5287. If you wish to help sponsor the broiled chicken dinner please send a check made out to: American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 161 Attention Nancy Neuroth N2710 Lind Lane Waupaca, WI 54981

Jeremy Nordie Candidate for Department Sergeant at Arms Department Sergeant at Arms Jeremy Nordie is a member of Post No. 354 in Ettrick in the 10th District. Jeremy’s eligibility in The American Legion is a result of his service in the United States Marine Corps during the Persian Gulf conflicts. Jeremy has been married to his wife Laura for 25 years. Laura is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, as is his grown daughter Kathleen. He also has a grown son, Michael. He and his family are active members of their church. Jeremy works for the US Postal Service as a rural mail carrier. One can easily say Jeremy lives by the principles and values of a “good American Citizen.” Jeremy is an active member at his post and has been the

Trempealeau County Adjutant for five years. He has been the 10th District Sergeant at Arms the past four years as well. He is also a charter member of the 10th District American Legion Riders. Jeremy is a regular face at all Department Conventions and Midwinter Conferences. He is also proud to have served on the Department Communications committee for two years. He currently serves as a Department Sergeant at Arms. Having received endorsements by unanimous vote at his Post, Trempealeau County and the 10th District this “young” Legionnaire, Jeremy Nordie, seeks your support in being reelected to the high office of Department Sergeant at Arms.

2016 OPEN HOUSE Sunday, May 15, 2016 | 10am - 3pm

Open House will feature our magnificent location, facilities, physical resources and numerous activities to entertain all ages


By the Charlie Justmann Band - 10am - 3pm King Singers - 12pm

Free Rides

On Clear Water Harbor’s “Chief Waupaca” 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm

Gift & Craft Shop

Beautiful handmade items by members of the Veterans Home

Bake Sale, Food Stands, Veterans Cafe, Alley 5 Bar

Old Car Show and Vintage Military & Vehicle Display

Mini Golf, Face Painting, Children’s Inflatable, Dizzy D. Clown, 4H, Uncle Sam Lots of games for kids

Tours Bus, Admissions, Dementia Unit in Ainsworth Hall and Medical Bureau

Veterans Service Organizations, Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, Alzheimer’s Assn., WDVA Outreach and many more organizations Learn about burial benefits

Ticket Booth for food and boat rides



N2665 County Road QQ | King, WI 715.258.5586 | 888.458.5586 To learn more about Wisconsin Verterans Home at King, please visit us at

APRIL 21, 2016


WDVA and Veteran Engagement for the 21st Century

By John A. Scocos The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs has served our veterans with the best programs, benefits and services in the nation for the last more than 70 years. With the March 20 anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the department is reminded of the service and sacrifice of a new generation of veterans, many who use the same benefits of previous generations delivered in a modern way. Veteran’s benefits come primarily from the federal and state governments and the best place to get information about these benefits is direct from the source, which is why the WDVA places a great emphasis on veteran engagement - reaching out to veterans and at the same time being accessible to them. Much has changed in 70 years. Since World War II, we have transitioned from paper to digits; from copiers to faxes to digital scanners. In fact, the first generation to use their G.I. Bill of rights is nearly gone. Vietnam veterans make up the majority of the veterans population now, to be followed by yet another generation of warriors as time passes. While we look back at those eras with great respect and admiration for accomplishment, with younger generations come new ideas, new benefits and new ways to communicate.

Veterans of the Global War on Terror are different than some previous generations. They think more globally. They are not always returning to the same small town, city or farm from which they left for the military. They are more connected, however. They use technology to find answers. Today’s veterans are the most educated, technologically savvy generation, in large part due to the way the military trains and prepares its members. Recent veterans possess tremendous initiative. They prefer direct action, especially in regard to the programs they have earned through their service. They are more adept than ever before at navigating the system on their own behalf. Benefits are only a mouse click, phone call or email away in most cases. Going directly to a source, whether state or federal, is now more possible than ever before. We are actively engaging the community and at the same time receiving a high volume of inquiries from veterans and their families. 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 on our entire range of benefits, federal benefits and referring in some cases to local services.

In fiscal year 2015, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs completed 43,670 Wisconsin claims for veterans. Of those, WDVA represented veterans in 22,143 claims. Of the groups that handle claims, WDVA, by far, handled the majority, having a great economic impact on our state. The impact of those benefits to veterans represented by WDVA was $33.2 million in 2015. WDVA also runs three veterans cemeteries, one of which, the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery is the 5th busiest veterans cemetery in the nation. As a department, to date in fiscal year 2016, we have already interred 1,024 veterans and their spouses and our Military Funeral Honors Team has coordinated 4,666 funerals. We strive to ensure we reach every eligible veteran to ensure he or she has the tools they need to accomplish their post-military goals. We are both visible in the veteran community and accessible to those who reach out to us. That is why every veteran who calls us with question about what we can do for them gets through to someone who immediately starts working for them. John Scocos is a Life Member of Post No. 501 in Madison and Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.



Keith Harville (left) and William Martin (right) recently received certificates as members in good standing with the Hanley-Ariss-Millin Post No. 5 in Patch Grove. Keith celebrates his 70th year and William his 50th. ME



Legionnaire Leon Braun was recognized for 71 years of membership in Post No. 26 in Baraboo. The ceremony was held on Leon’s 97th birthday party, March 14th. Leon has served Post Commander, Sauk County Commander as well as Post Service Officer. Congratulating Leon is Commander Sam Howard.



Vincent Duren was recently presented his 70 Year Membership Certificate from Post No. 491 Commander Leo Johnson and Past Commander Edward Hanko.




Also honored by Post No. 491 was Peter Milfred who received his 70 Year Membership Certificate from Post Commander Leo Johnson, Past Commander John Deitelhoff and Adjutant James Deitelhoff.


Student Veterans Embrace Post No. 121 in River Falls

UW-River Falls student veterans attending a recent Post No. 121 meeting. Pictured here from left to right are; Austin Glad, Adam Sislo, Brooke Nelson, Eunice Hanratty, Kelsey Gilkison, Nicole Milkent, Todd Heichel and Alexander Huttner.

Several veterans attending the local university have joined and are actively participating in activities of Post No. 121 in River Falls. “These student veterans from UW-River Falls are an especially welcome addition to our growing Legion membership,” says Post No. 121 Commander Jim Miller. “Their input and participation provides valuable insight into how we can help meet the needs of those who are currently transitioning from military to civilian life. Plus, their values and love for our country

are consistent with those of all other American Legion members.” In appreciation for the student veterans’ involvement and recognizing their limited financial resources as students, the Post offers to pay for any student’s first year’s dues. Thanks to community-focused activities and outreach, Post No. 121’s membership has now surpassed the 450 mark. Member enthusiasm and involvement allowed the Post to donate more than $26,000 to needy veterans and youth programs during 2015 alone.

VA Working to Resolve “Veterans Choice” Debt Collection Issues

Veterans can now work directly with VA to resolve debt collection issues resulting from inappropriate or delayed Choice Program billing. In step with MyVA’s efforts to modernize VA’s customer-focused, Veterancentered services capabilities, a Community Care Call Center has been set up for Veterans experiencing adverse credit reporting or debt collection resulting from inappropriately billed Choice Program claims. Veterans experiencing these problems can call 1-877-881-7618 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET for assistance. “As a result of the Veterans Choice Program, community providers have seen thousands of Veterans. We continue to work to make the program more Veteranfriendly,” said Dr. David Shulkin, Under Secretary for Health. “There should be no bureaucratic burden that stands in the way of Veterans getting care.” The new call center will work to resolve instances of improper Veteran billing and assist community care medical providers with delayed payments. VA staff

are also trained and ready to work with the medical providers to expunge adverse credit reporting on Veterans resulting from delayed payments to providers. VA is urging Veterans to continue working with their VA primary care team to obtain necessary health care services regardless of adverse credit reporting or debt collection activity. VA acknowledges that delayed payments and inappropriately billed claims are unacceptable and have caused stress for Veterans and providers alike. The new call center is the first step in addressing these issues. VA presented The Plan to Consolidate Community Care in October of 2015 that outlines additional solutions to streamline processes and improve timely provider payment. For more details about the Veterans Choice Program and VA’s progress, visit choiceact Veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program can call1-866-606-8198 to find out more about the program, confirm their eligibility and schedule an appointment.



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The Legionnaire Insurance Trust (LIT) was formed in 1966 with two primary goals: to provide Legion families with low-cost insurance protection, and to provide a source of revenue to participating Legion Departments. The Trust has been so successful in its over forty-five years that today over 500,000 Legionnaires in 49 participating Departments are enrolled in this unique program. Also, in the same period of time, almost $1 billion dollars in claim benefits have been paid to Legionnaires and their families through the LIT; and over $71 million in allocations have been paid to participating Legion Departments. The first Trust insurance plan to be offered was the Hospital Income Protection plan, a program designed to pay fixed dollar amounts for periods of hospital confinement. Over the years, other insurance coverage offered included: Cancer, Accidental Death, Travel Accident, Critical Illness, Disability Income, Emergency Assistance, Long Term Care, Medicare Supplement, Discount Cards, Dental, Whole Life, Auto, Homeowners, Identity Theft, and Home Health Care. Since its creation, AGIA has worked closely with the Trust to develop insurance programs especially designed for Department members and their families. We are proud to serve you through the Trust and invite your inquiries and suggestions on any aspect of our activities.




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Aladdin Harvey 457 Mequon Paul Emmons 473 Potosi Roger Cammack 483 Allenton Francis Nenning 501 Madison Chuck Blucher William Cronkrite Willard Sprague 517 Dorchester Bob Surman 518 Green Bay Dolores Clover 519 Stetsonville Jack Patterson Jerry Hoffman 521 Fox Lake Elsmer Zimmerman 532 Fifield Dean Edwardson 534 McFarland Frederick Amlie John Goddard 537 Milwaukee Adam Popp Norman Dye 543 Plover Peter Lutz 547 Lublin Gilbert Cardinal 2930 Portage Donald Hall




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The Trust has been so successful in its over forty-five years that today over 500,000 Legionnaires in 49 participating Departments are enrolled in this unique program.


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The first Trust insurance plan to be offered was the Hospital Income Protection plan, a program designed to pay fixed dollar amounts for periods of hospital confinement. Over the years, other insurance coverage offered included: Cancer, Accidental Death, Travel Accident, Critical Illness, Disability Income, Emergency Assistance, Long Term Care, Medicare Supplement, Discount Cards, Dental, Whole Life, Auto, Homeowners, Identity Theft, and Home Health Care.



416 Greendale Frank Scanlon II Leonard Glowacki K Ronald Kerlin V 417 LaCrosse John Revels K 423 Neshkoro Wilmar Gohlke K 431 Three Lakes Einar Syvertsen K Richard Malensek K 432 Hammond Michael Mikla V 433 Barneveld Raymond Lease II 434 Oak Creek James Roach II 436 Wrightstown Aloysious Decleene K Dennis Borg V 437 Mazomanie Michael Borman II Lowell Holcomb V 442 Wisconsin Rapids Wayne Molitor K 449 Brookfield Eugene Cave II Charles Deisinger II George Lawrence V 454 Mt Calvary Daniel Kraus V Jerome Diederichs K Wilfred Abler K 455 Milwaukee Rudolph Martin K


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200 Black River Falls Gary Anderson 201 Tomah Jerry Keene K 205 Janesville James LeMay K 207 Elmwood Robert Bemis K Richard Baier K 210 Waupun Laurel Kramer II 212 Barron Merlin Molberg II 216 Lodi Larry Hillestad V 220 Soldiers Grove Robert Torgerson K 227 Spring Valley Elmer Miller II 253 Spring Green Kenneth Smith II 258 Little Chute Robert McCrory II Darwin Daniels II 261 Greenbush James Gaffney K 263 New London Donald Dey K 271 Poynette Waldo Ohnesorge II 274 Rib Lake John Klimeck II 277 Necedah Donald Swinehart K 278 Balsam Lake Carl Holmgren V 280 Coleman Kenneth Boehmke II 288 Cedarburg John Paulin II 294 Hartland Bruce Pfeiffer II 301 Woodville Richard Torgerson V 306 Green Lake Francis Ptacek II  309 Kendall David Gammon K  317 Wautoma Charles Teske V  William Lapp V  324 Osseo Elwood Forde K  Ralph Oftedahl II   337 Pulaski Robert Banasznski K  350 Reedsburg David Klitzke V  351 Montello Glenn Scott V  Lloyd Rueb K   Thomas Schwenn V 360 Waunakee   Everett Hamre K   367 Milton Patrick O’Connor K   377 Elcho Warren Johnson II  386 Cascade Roger Madden II  392 Cecil Keith Nelson V  399 Okauchee   Lionel Dufenhorst P Raymond Miner K  Ralph Nelson K Michael Brooks K  Ferdinand Meyer II Leslie Lemberger II  John Susek K  401 Cambria Gordon Evans K  406 Milwaukee William Polley II  Robert Pittelkow II  413 Crivitz 37454 Arthur Pett K Del Engles V  


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4 Athens Edward Jannusch V 6 Stevens Point Jack Cychosz K James Kiefer K 8 Waukesha Eugene Arrowood K 9 Wisconsin Rapids Warren Grove II Clifford Starr II Charles Wosick K F F Freiseis II 11 Green Bay Donald Bukoski II Robert Wilson K Clifford Corby II Russ Klimek II 15 Juneau Walter Hart II Ron Kohrt V 23 Milwaukee Carroll Peterson II 26 Baraboo John Christian K Gustav Tessmer II 28 Valders Kenton Busse II 32 Menomonie Donald Goodrich K 38 Appleton Earl Christensen II Clarence Wallace II Gerald Wahl K Leonard Spreeman K Orrin Erickson II 41 Kaukauna Frank Giordana II Willard Keil II 42 Platteville Craig Lee V 44 Wabeno Roger Oehlke V 47 Portage Donald Henrich II 53 Eau Claire William Blum 54 Marshfield Roland Westerveld II Herbert Sorensen K Victor Reigel II Roy Hodsdon II 55 Hortonville Royce Riedl K 59 Stoughton Kenneth Stelzer K Dale Haried K Donald Heiliger K 63 Clintonville David Schroeder II 67 Lake Mills Roy Metzker II William Dierksmeier II 73 Neillsville Wilburn Lowry V Frederick Kieser II Larry Genteman V 74 Oconto Gerald Morrell K 75 Fond du Lac Henry Mertes K Carl Lilge K John Hauer K Terry Morris V

77 Chippewa Falls Mary Winchell II Alvin Buchberger II Clyde Pederson II Robert Pfiffner II 79 Burlington Marvin Dunham II 80 New Richmond Luis Sanchez V 84 Monroe Edward Hughes II Roy Zentner II 87 Rice Lake Harold Riggs II 91 Oconomowoc James Schuster K William Stone K 95 Delavan Arthur Lazzeroni K 109 Lancaster Merrill Fritz K 111 Somerset Vernon Teske K 118 Thorp Anton Penk K 121 River Falls Wayne Baird II Eugene Mulhollam K Carl Finstad K Douglas Johnson K 124 New Holstein William Kestell V Charles Polster K Gordon Polster II Joseph Nennig K Lawrence Balthazor V Orville Greuel II Charles Burg II Jerome Wink K Bruce Miller K 125 Chilton Arthur Pohland II 130 Sharon Jay Johnson K 142 Blanchardville Oscar Vamstad K 149 Sheboygan Falls Merrill Loose II 153 Pittsville Tony Jaromin II Dean Emanuel II 154 Mondovi Andrew Yealey K Donald Schultz II 161 King Gary Dumas V 169 Amery George Griffen II 170 Mineral Point William Dyke K 171 Union Grove Kenneth Maki V Vermont Hansen V 180 Milwaukee Dennis Stachura V August Ostrowski K 181 Durand James Miles II Duane Meixner K 184 Fennimore John Crowley V Ivan Johnson K Robert Moon II 187 Wisconsin Dells Charles Brandt K Harlan Cone V Audrey Fisher K Joseph Kleifgen II Richard Preissel K Robert Ragan K Kenton Roberts II John Shanks K Donald Vandersande II 188 East Troy James Hough K James Voss K 192 Franklin Carl Hanson II

SEPTEMBER APRIL 21, 25, 2016 2014

APRIL 21, 2016



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Post No. 95 in Delavan recently held a dinner to celebrate members with significant membership anniversaries. The group is pictured here. 1st row: Van Brown - 35 years, Eugene Gallup - 70 years, Mary Woods - 45 years, John Leitzke - 30 years, Donald Roeker - 30 years, Roger Davis - 60 years, William Schenk - 35 years, Jerry Rowland - 40 years and Thomas Yardley - 30 years 2nd row: George Ballman - 25 years, Ralph Moehrke - 30 years, Larry Malsch - 50 years, Raymond Woods - 60 years, Robert Webster, Sr. - 65 years, Commander Ronald Grair - 35 years, William Carlson - 40 years and John Reiff - 35 years.

TEAM WISCONSIN We hope you enjoyed the insert in last month’s Badger Legionnaire. That special addition prompted a few questions regarding the campaign. Team Wisconsin is happy to answer any questions that may come up along this journey. Hopefully the following information will help further explain the process. The way someone gets to be a candidate for National Commander of The American Legion starts with the Department (state) in which they are members. It requires a resolution nominating a member of a Department as “our” candidate for National Commander. That resolution is brought before the delegates at Department Convention for a vote. The resolution basically says that the Department has endorsed a certain Legionnaire to be a candidate for National Commander from Wisconsin. If approved by the delegates at a Department Convention, the resolution is then forwarded to National Headquarters and received

for the record. Each year, the National Commanders Advisory Team reviews the resolutions and recommends that the candidates endorsed by the various Departments be appointed to leadership roles to see how they perform. Generally, these Legionnaires will serve in different capacities at the National level for a 5 to 10-year period as their abilities to lead the organization are observed. When the National Commanders Advisory Team, which is made up of Legionnaires from approximately 30 states, believes that a Legionnaire is ready they will support them and promote them as a National Candidate. Once supported by the National Commanders Advisory Team, a National Candidate will begin to travel the country and campaign for two years. The first year they are referred to as the Following Candidate and the second year they are known as the Leading Candidate. Each candidate is advised to travel to all Departments to visit with the Legion Family to

get to know the leadership in each state and to observe the many differences in how The American Legion functions around the world. The costs of this travel is the responsibility of the candidate and their own Department. To assist in the campaign, each candidate has a Team of people that helps with fundraising and hospitality rooms at the regular meetings held in Indianapolis and Washington DC. Wisconsin’s endorsed candidate, PDC Denise Rohan of Verona Post No. 385, was selected as a National Candidate last May 2015 in Indianapolis, making her the first female veteran to be formally supported by the National Commanders Advisory Team as a candidate for National Commander. Since that time Denise and Team Wisconsin have hosted a hospitality room in Indianapolis and Washington, DC. Denise has traveled to 10 states so far and has been invited to 13 more so far this year. She is the only candidate for-

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mally supported by the National Commanders Advisory Team for election as the National Commander at the 2017 Convention in Reno, Nevada. The election will take place on Thursday, August 24, 2017. Assuming that everything goes as planned, she will be the first female veteran to hold the office of National Commander of The American Legion and will serve through the 100th National Convention in Minneapolis, MN in August 2018. The National Commander travels to Departments across the United States and the world, as well as meeting with the Congress and the President of the United States. Their travel keeps them on the road for approximately 335 days going

from Department to Department, only going home for 30 days or less at various times depending on travel schedules. At this point in her run for National Commander Denise is doing very well. Fundraising will always be a concern until the day of election and we continue to pursue new avenues daily. She is proud to have been placed on this journey by the delegates from Wisconsin. For more information on Denise’s campaign go to We keep this site updated on a regular basis with events, pictures and travel. We also have Campaign items that can be purchased and on-line donations are accepted as well.

April 2016 pages 1 7  
April 2016 pages 1 7  

Veterans, their families and their communities