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“For God & Country�



January 9, 2014 Vol. 91, No. 1

Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family

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

Reservations Going Fast for the 2014 Midwinter Conference New Training Seminars • Saturday Night Event to Honor Vietnam POW Guy Gruters Training sessions and Educational opportunities will highlight the upcoming Midwinter Conference January 17th through the 19th, 2014 at the Ho-Chunk Hotel and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. New training sessions on Saturday, January 18th will be offered by members of the National American Legion Staff. The new National training initiative is known as LEAD – Leadership Education and Development. Information on VA Enrollment Priorities and Service Connected Disability benefits for veterans as well as instruction on Post Operations and Membership Development will be presented in detail. Attorney Wendy Rusch of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren, SC will provide an in-depth look at Estate Planning issues for attendees. Her clients include the owners of family controlled companies, professionals, individuals, trusts and estates. She is an acknowledged expert in the fields of estate and retirement planning, in addition to probate

and trust administration. She advises clients on a wide variety of estate, gift and income tax issues. Wendy will expose the myths and realities of Estate Planning and answer your questions. Think you don’t have an estate plan? Think you don’t need an estate plan? Think again. This presentation will provide you with the knowledge you need to take control of your lifetime and post-death planning. The session will cover Probate issues, Wills, trusts, the benefits of marital property and the power of a durable power of attorney. The free information provided will help you plan for future health care needs as well as gift and estate taxes. Dr. Jeffrey Whittle of the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee will also be in attendance to chair a discussion on VA Hospital Research. VA hospitals in the state have a research mission to improve the quality of care they deliver and need to develop a way

for Wisconsin veterans to provide feedback on the types of research that is being done. Dr. Whittle will cover the types of research currently being conducted and the purpose of the program. The session is aimed at ensuring that veterans have a voice in directing VA research and can become involved as participants. The Midwinter Conference will also feature an Americanism Program Resource Center on Saturday, January 18th from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM. Information on each of The American Legion’s signature Americanism programs that benefit young people in Wisconsin will be available. A highlight this year will be “Baseball Spring Training Camp� for Legionnaires, Coaches, Managers, Directors and anyone interested in American Legion Baseball. Team sponsorship and Registration, Background checks, Rules & Regulations are a few of the topics that will be covered. If you are looking for information on the High School Oratorical Contest, Badger Boys State, Boy Scouting, American Legion Baseball, Jr. Shooting Sports, County Youth Government Day, the A&G Scholarship Program, Schneider-Emanuel Scholarships, Sons of The American Legion, as

well as Children & Youth programs this is an opportunity for you. Resource tables for each program will be packed with information for your Post to accept the challenges of sponsoring and conducting Americanism activities that foster wide-ranging community service, youth development and educational advancement. On Saturday evening a special commemorative banquet will be held featuring National Vice Commander Robert Newman of Indiana and Vietnam War POW Guy Gruters as our special guests. All Legion Family members are invited to attend the event. Guy Gruters is a US Air Force Academy graduate who flew more than 400 combat missions over Vietnam and was shot down twice. Captured by the North Vietnamese on December 20, 1967, Gruters spent over five years as a Prisoner of War. During his captivity, Gruters provided care for fellow Air Force pilot Lance Sijan. Sijan, a Milwaukee native, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1976 largely due to Gruter’s testimony. Gruters’ own decorations include two Silver Stars, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star for Valor, the POW Medal and other awards. Guy will share his inspirational story and (continued on page 5)

Commander Ken Rynes joined the Sullivan-Wallen Post No. 11 Honor Guard at Lambeau Field to present the National Colors prior to the Green Bay Packers game on December 8th. The Packers managed to defeat the Atlanta Falcons that day by a score of 22 to 21.

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“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 2013-2014 Communications Committee Kendel Feilen, Chairman Harold Rihn, Vice Chairman Dale Oatman, DEC Liaison Butch Van Rossum, Member Bernie Olson, Member Phil Ingwell, Member Barb McDaniel, Member Cecil Groves, Historian Loretta Shellman, Auxiliary Liaison Bonnie Dorniak, Auxiliary Liaison 2013-14 Department Officers Commander Ken Rynes Vice Commanders Robert Shappell John Wolfe Dan Rindt Larry Wrycza Adjutant David A. Kurtz Department Chaplain Greg Simonis Assistant Department Chaplain Larry Olson Sergeant-at Arms Charles Roessler Dave Wischer Service Officer James Fialkowski NECman David L. Gough Alternate NECman Steve Krueger District Commanders 1st – Dave Brisk 2nd – Dan Seehafer 3rd – Rich Ruland 4th – Claire Goodfellow 5th – Ensley Brown 6th – Jeff Puddy 7th – John Thurk 8th – Jerry Krofta 9th – Dale Oatman 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.

“Wisconsin” American Legion Auxiliary Department of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 140 • Portage, WI 53901 Bonnie Dorniak, Editor Joyce E. Endres, 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

JANUARY 9, 2014

DEPARTMENT COMMANDER Greetings fellow Legionnaires. Ann and I hope that your holiday season found you and your family with health and Ken Rynes Department Commander happiness. The system does work! Many times we talk about our resolution process wherein a post can draft a resolution and submit it up the chain eventually ending up at our National convention and, if approved by the body, becoming the position of all Legionnaires. Such was the case at our recent convention in Houston. Three resolutions were passed pertaining to unfair practices by the IRS in auditing Legion posts. This topic has generated more questions directed to me than any other as I travel the state. So, I am happy to say the sys-

tem does work. The IRS, after meeting with The American Legion, released a memorandum revising audit procedures. According to the new audit rules, the DD214 is no longer their primary means of membership verification. The auditor will now ask for: 1.) membership list which we all maintain, 2.) a document which shows the dues structure and classes of membership (i.e. your constitution and bylaws), 3.) the document used to create membership, such as the membership application or membership cards or other similar documents other than the DD214, 4.) documents showing the organizations policies and procedures for controlling membership eligibility and means of enforcing it (constitution and bylaws). Finally, the last option is that, if the agent has information that contradicts the above,

they may ask for the DD214 with all personal information blacked out. I hope that you see the positive impact of this new policy in regards to your post record-keeping responsibilities. Each post still has the responsibility of maintaining an accurate membership list and copies of cards along with an upto-date constitution and bylaws, but no longer needs to provide a secure place for the DD214, which has privacy act implications. If the documents mentioned above are maintained, which we should all be doing anyway, an audit will be painless. I would like to share, that, if your post is conducting business in a legal and forthright manner, your chances of being audited are very minimal. Don’t raise any “red flags”. I hope you understand both sides of this article. First of all, we have

clear guidance on a long-standing question when it comes to satisfying the IRS and secondly, we have seen the positive result of our organizations resolution process and how it can work. If your post has an idea, don’t hesitate to send it up the chain. I will close with a big thank you for all your work so far in keeping Wisconsin in the top three in membership this entire year. We have won the first membership bet with the Department of Pennsylvania and there are many more to come. You all know that I would never talk trash to those that we beat. So make sure we win the other bets too. (LOL) History, however, dictates that this is when the slide begins. I hope you continue to focus on the “big picture” of all that we do and put Wisconsin No. 1 at the end of this membership year. -Commander Ken

DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICER Your staff at the Department Service Office considers it a privilege and an honor to represent The AmeriJames Fialkowski Service Officer can Legion. It comforts me to know that veterans and their survivors will receive the benefits that were earned by virtue of military service. The Department Service Office has had another busy year, continuing to earn our good reputation, of which we are proud. We have completed a two year project digitally converting our 15,000+ local files. Be assured, during the process we made certain that all documents were handled appropriately. Over the last 12 months, your Service Office assisted veterans and their families in attaining over 142 Million dollars in due benefits. This equates to over $11.8 million a month in federal dollars coming into Wisconsin. To accomplish this goal

we completed over 45,000 Veteran client services. During that same time, we have received 20,000 pieces of mail, 11,000 phone calls and assisted 2,500 walk-in clients. Benefits include education, vocational rehabilitation, burial, compensation, pension, death pension, automobile allowance and dependent indemnity compensation. Our office administers the National American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance program (TFA), which is designed to protect children of veterans who are in danger of homelessness. Through early December, we have obtained approval of 11 TFA grants that assisted 23 children with funds totaling $11,342.68. Since January of 2007, the Service Office has assisted a total of 144 children with grants totaling $78,936.72. Additionally, Service Office staff participates in Veteran’s Benefit Supermarkets and Stand Downs around the state. We are also available to provide training at the Department Midwinter Conference

or District conferences around the state. We also maintain direct contact with the Directors of the Milwaukee VA Medical Center and Regional Office, as well as American Legion Hospital volunteers. One of the most rewarding activities we engage in is reaching out to veterans who may have been affected by hazards they were exposed to during their military service. Once again I am requesting your assistance in advocating on behalf of two little known yet important issues. The first issue being the presumption of ALS (otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) as a service connected disability. ALS is a Veterans Administration service connected disability to any qualifying veteran who suffers from the disease. A veteran with ALS or their widow(er) should submit a claim to the VA. The second item relates to legislation known as the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act or “RECA”. The United States conducted nearly 200 atmospheric nuclear weapon

development tests from 1945 to 1962. RECA establishes lump sum compensation awards for individuals who contracted specified diseases. Qualifying individuals fall into three defined populations, with different award levels for each: Uranium miners, millers, and ore transporters – $100,000; “Onsite participants” at atmospheric nuclear weapons tests – $75,000; Individuals who lived downwind of the Nevada Test Site (“downwinders”) – $50,000. Claims can be filed by the qualifying individual’s family members from grandparents down to grandchildren, if the individual is no longer with us. You may get assistance through your local CVSO or the Department Service Office. Although the Department of Wisconsin has accomplished so much for veterans and their families, the future holds much more to be done. Without your loyal support and commitment in “Still Serving America”, this continued assistance would not be possible. Thank You!

WDVA SECRETARY The holiday season and the end of the year is good time to reflect on all we have accomplished and all John A. Scocos we have to look WDVA Secretary forward to as we begin a new year. It’s also a fitting time to remember that we still have servicemembers in harm’s way in Afghanistan, as well as in other troubled places throughout the world. Some of these men and women in uniform have spent more holidays deployed than they have at home – another sacrifice made in service to their nation. As always, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs is here to serve our military veterans when they come home. From World War

II to Afghanistan our veterans return home to the best benefits in any state. Some of the best benefits available are our veterans homes. When Governor Walker appointed me Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2011, the Department faced a $12.9 million deficit related to operations of our Veterans Homes. I am very pleased to inform you that now, two years later, the Department’s homes are operating at the highest positive income in its history. With the Legislature’s support I have taken deliberate steps to not only improve the financial condition of the homes but to also improve the quality of life for the members of our homes. The Veterans Homes are very popular among Wisconsin’s veterans, evidenced by the occupancy levels and waiting

lists associated with each home, and our staff retention rate exceeds that of comparable facilities across the state. In February of this year we opened our newest Veterans Home in Chippewa Falls. Our five-year business plan projected it would take three years to overcome the start-up expenses and begin operating with a net positive income. We have achieved that in less than one year. As of November 30th, this year’s operating income is $671,737, with an occupancy rate of 99 percent. The Department also operates homes at Union Grove and King. At Union Grove we repurposed Gates Hall from assisted living to skilled nursing, consequently increasing the occupancy rate from 10 to 99 percent since its re-opening in June. The change enabled us to

realize positive operating income at Union Grove for the first time in its 12-year history and has boosted the overall occupancy rate at Union Grove to 97 percent. Occupancy at King remains consistently strong at 98-99 percent. The 2013 State Budget provided additional nursing positions, thereby reducing overtime and contract nursing expenses. I am very proud of the improvements we have achieved to deliver highquality services to our veterans and improve the fiscal condition of our Veterans Homes. As we enter a new year, we will continue to build upon our successes and continually strive to provide the very best programs, benefits and services to our military veterans. Happy Holidays and I wish you all a Happy New Year

JANUARY 9, 2014



Camp American Legion: Making a Difference It’s “that time of year” and once again the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” has been enjoyed by a whole new generation of viewers. At the start of the film, James Stewart’s character George Bailey was feeling an all-consuming sadness which led him to say “I wish I had never been born”. But by the end of the story he is filled with total joy, contentment and happiness. It all happened simply because he finally saw in his heart all the people that cared for and loved him. Through his Guardian Angel, Clarence, he finally realized how his life positively impacted and changed the lives of many others. He saw just how important his life really was and the true value of it. Over the holidays I received a very beautiful card that pulled at my emotional heart-strings. It was a thank you card that touched me so, that I wanted the message to touch your heart as well. Susan and Noah attended our “Camp Serenity” Families-of-theFallen weekend this past summer

here at Camp American Legion. It is held annually for Wisconsin families who have lost a service member and it is an incredible time of emotional sharing and healing. They came to honor Bradley S. Tetting of the Wisconsin Army National Guard who was 34 years old when he died on October 6, 2012. Christmas is such a special time and Susan’s words take on a special meaning. One might be struck with sadness upon first reading Susan’s words but for me, that sadness quickly turned to joy. We can all take comfort because Camp American Legion, “our camp”, helped to heal Susan and Noah. Wisconsin American Legion Family; Susan’s card is not to me. She is writing to each and every one of you to say “Thank you”. And I thank you also. Legionnaires, Sons, Auxiliary members, and Legion Riders; always remember that often the good work we do may go unnoticed. None of us really know when we will profoundly touch someone’s life in a very deep and meaningful way. We don’t know when we will positively

impact someone’s life or maybe even positively change someone’s future. That is the work we do, big and small. The services we provide are very important and making a difference in real people’s lives. Please feel happy and proud. I’m truly convinced that Camp American Legion is a real treasure and a gift we can give to our fellow veterans and their families. Camp is among all the programs and services we offer as gifts to our communities, state and nation. Everything we do in service to help our veterans, servicemembers and their families is a gift from us to them. They are more of a gift than those wrapped under the Christmas tree. It is my desire that Susan and Noah know that while Bradley left us as a relatively young age, he lived a wonderful life. Susan and Noah, the Wisconsin American Legion Family and Camp American Legion thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve you and help you heal. God bless. Kevin Moshea Director Camp American Legion

Department Legislative Committee Report As Department Legislative Committee Chair I am thrilled to share many of the State legislative successes for 2013. It has been a great year for veterans in Wisconsin and The American Legion deserves a great deal of credit for the achievements. Because the details of the many initiatives would take up this entire issue of the Badger Legionnaire, I would like to provide a summary of each below. If you have any questions regarding specific items, more information is available by contacting Department headquarters. I look forward to continuing to serve as Legislative chair and am available for any questions you may have, as well as hearing your ideas on how each of us who has worn the uniform can receive the treatment and benefits we have so rightfully earned. PASSED IN TO LAW Wisconsin ACT 17- Indication of veteran status on a state issued driver’s license. Wisconsin ACT 18- Designation and marking of State Highway 128 as the “128th Infantry Memorial Highway”. Wisconsin ACT 19- Creation of an individual income tax exemp-

tion for military income received by active duty members of the U.S. armed forces who die in a combat zone (prior to this law’s passage, only federal income was exempted). Wisconsin ACT 55: Creation of the “Purple Heart Conservation Patron” license within the Department of Natural Resources. This law provides for all Purple Heart recipients, who are residents of Wisconsin, a catch-all license that covers all outdoor hunting and fishing (except for bear and wolf) and admission to state parks at an annual rate of only $10. Further, the law provides that non-resident Purple Heart recipients can hunt and fish in Wisconsin for the resident fee. Wisconsin ACT 56- This law provides veterans and members of the armed forces priority registration for courses at the University of Wisconsin system schools and technical colleges. And of course the passage of a biennium budget by the Governor and Legislature that was one of the best pro-veteran budgets we have seen in years. ONGOING EFFORTS The current legislative session

ends on April 3, 2014. Below are some bills that the Legion is still working on: AB 114/SB 106- Creating a veteran-themed lottery game, and changing the primary sources of funding for the veterans and surviving property tax credit. SB 370/AB 466- Setting a goal for the State to issue procurement contracts, and certain construction contracts to certified service connected disabled veteran owned businesses of 1% of all contracts. SB 13/AB 19- Changes to torts and personal injury trust legal claims. This legislation would detrimentally affect the efforts of veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their time in the service (and after) from seeking justice and compensation for suffering and ultimately dying from mesothelioma. The American Legion opposes this legislation and encourages all of its members to contact Majority Leader Senator Scott Fitzgerald’s office and Governor Walker’s office asking that this bill not pass. Thank you for the honor of serving as the Department Legislative Committee Chair. Jason E. Johns US Army - OIF 2003-04

We would like to wish all Legionnaires and their families a happy and healthy New Year!

Bradley S. Tetting

ANNUAL COMMUNITY BREAKFAST On December 15th, the Carl E. Grabman Post No. 329 of Briggsville in Marquette County held a free community breakfast. The annual breakfast is designed to show appreciation for the support the community provides the post

during the year. Legionnaires cooked up a hearty meal and Santa made a visit with the help of post member Matt Friend. American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 329 provided the treats and held a Christmas Cookie bake sale.


David Wischer


Charles Roessler Stephen Krueger

JANUARY 9, 2014

John Wolfe

Candidate for Department Sergeant At Arms

Candidate for Department Sergeant At Arms

Candidate for High Office of National Executive Committeeman

Candidate for High Office of Department Commander

David Wischer is a Candidate for reelection as a Department Sergeant at Arms. He served in the Army during the Vietnam era and is a Honorary Life Member of the H.A. Todd Jr. Post No. 537 in Milwaukee. He has served twice as Post Commander and achieved 100% in membership in each term. David also served as the 4th District Sergeant at Arms for five years and was instrumental in support of the 2010 National Convention held in Milwaukee. He is a graduate of The American Legion Extension Institute and served on the Department Membership Committee for seven years. David attended Badger Boy’s State as a High School student and is currently involved with orientation and registration at Badger Boys State. His wife Trish and their two sons and two grandsons are all members in The American Legion Family. He has the endorsement of his Post, the Milwaukee County Council, and the 4th District. “It has truly been an honor to serve as one of the Department’s Sergeant at Arms this year and I would like to continue assisting the Department and its Members.”

Charles Roessler earned the privilege of joining The American Legion through service in the US Air Force from 1975–1979. Charles also served with the 128th Aerial Refueling Wing, WI Air National Guard from 1982– 2003 where he retired as a Master Sergeant with 27 years of military service. Charles served as a Milwaukee Police Officer for 25 years and has over 30 years of total law enforcement experience. He served 2 terms as Milwaukee Police Post No. 415 Commander reaching 100% membership each year. He also served 2 terms as the 4th District Sergeant at Arms and is presently serving as a Department Sergeant at Arms. He is currently a consultant to the National American Legion Countersubversive Activities Committee (3 years) and served on the Department Fundraising Committee for three terms. Charles served on the 2010 Milwaukee National Convention Committee as a board member, provost and distinguished guest chairman. In 2005 he was named the Department Edward Ormsby Law Enforcement Officer of the Year as well as National American Legion National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. He is married to his wife Nancy of 28 years and has two children, Daniel and Valerie. It has been his honor to serve the Department and he looks forward to continuing to serve as your Sergeant at Arms in the future.

Steve served as Department Commander in 2001-2002. Steve is an Honorary Life Member of the O.L. Arnold – D.K. Slayton Post No. 100 in Sparta. He has been a member for forty continuous years and served as a 100% Post Commander in 1991-1992, both years being an all time high. Steve also was a 100% County Commander for two years. He has served on and chaired many Department Committees including the Americanism & Government Testing program, Membership Committee, Safety Committee, Hospital Committee, Fundraising Committee, Convention & Activities Commission, the Wisconsin American Legion Foundation and the Department Executive Committee for seven years. He has attended every Department Convention and Midwinter Conference since 1988. He has attended nine National Conventions, serving on both the Americanism Committee and the Security Council. He has served at various levels of the Forty et Eight and is a charter member of the Past Chef De Gare Club. Steve has been appointed to review applications for Military Academies by Congressman Ron Kind for the past eleven years. Steve earned the right to join The American Legion by serving in the Navy from June 1966 to October 1969, most of which in Vietnam. After a short stint in the Naval Reserves, he joined the Wisconsin National Guard and retired as a First Sergeant in 1990. He worked at G. Heilman Brewing until 1990, when he froze his retirement and went to work at Fort McCoy. In 2006 he started his own trucking company. Steve works to improve The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin, and to provide service to fellow veterans and their communities. He truly believes in The American Legion Family and that service to fellow veterans, their families, community, state and nation are the most fulfilling acts a veteran can perform.

Department Vice Commander John Wolfe announces his candidacy for the high office of Department Commander. John, a 9th District Legion Rider, is a PUFL member of Sullivan-Wallen Post No. 11 in Green Bay. He earned his Legion eligibility by serving in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1975 during the Vietnam Era. He has served as Department Vice Commander, District Commander and was a Commander of Post No. 11 for four years, three as a 100% commander. John is a graduate of The American Legion Extension Institute. John served two years as Chairman and DEC liaison to the Badger Legionnaire committee, as well as DEC liaison to the Legislative committee. He has served on the National Distinguished Guests committee, the National Foreign Relations Council and is presently serving on the National Veterans Employment and Education Council. He has also served as the Legislative liaison to U.S. Representative Ried Ribble for the National Legislative Commission. He is presently the Chef de Gare of Voiture No. 774 of the 40 et 8. John believes that Legionnaires should be active in the community and that the Legion and community organizations working together can only improve the services that we provide to the veterans of the state of Wisconsin. Commander Wolfe is a member of the Loyal Order of Moose 801, and is a member and Trustee of Elks Lodge 259 in Green Bay. Annually he provides numerous volunteer hours to the March of Dimes, Multiple Sclerosis, Leukemia Foundation and a host of local community events. He was named post Legionnaire of the Year in 2004 for his service to the community. John is supported by his wife of 40 years, Suzanne and has the endorsement of Voiture No. 774, Post No. 11, the Brown County Council and the 9th District.

John Thurk

Candidate for Department Vice Commander

7th District Commander John Thurk announces his candidacy for the high office of Department Vice Commander. John earned his eligibility to join The American Legion by serving in the United States Army during the Korean War era. Commander Thurk has been an American Legion member since 1996 and is proud to belong to the Coon Valley Post No. 116. John has served in a number of positions at Post No. 116 including 5 years as Post Commander. The post reached all-time highs in membership 3 times during his tenure. John has served as Vernon County Commander and currently serves as 7th District Commander. Commander Thurk has also served as the Department Americanism & Government Scholarship test program Chairman for 4 years. John encourages everyone to ask a veteran they know to join The American Legion and is asking for your support and your vote for the high office of Department Vice Commander.

Message From The Legionnaire Insurance Trust The Wisconsin American Legion and the Legionnaire Insurance Trust (LIT) are constantly looking to improve the value of your membership. And, we have some exciting news to report! Since 1966, the LIT has been offering a competitive, dependable package of insurance choices to protect Legionnaires and their families. Our goal is to continue serving The American Legion family for decades to come. With the future in mind, we are pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2014, the A+ rated Transamerica family of insurance com-

panies will become the new provider for our Hospital Indemnity Protection and Cancer Care programs with additional programs to follow soon. Transamerica is committed to serving Wisconsin Legionnaires and their families with superior customer service that has made them an industry leader for over 100 years. Transamerica is also dedicated to staying ahead of your insurance needs in a changing world and will periodically update their coverages to stay current with insurance laws and regulations as well as how healthcare is delivered. If you are one of the thousands of Legion families currently enrolled in these products, rest assured that the transition

will be as simple as possible. All you have to do is pay your next bill and your coverage will continue. New products will be coming on board soon because of the LIT’s partnership with Transamerica and you will see these items offered to the Wisconsin American Legion family in the coming months. We look forward to this new partnership with Transamerica, and to continuing our commitment of service and protection to you and your loved ones. NOTE: Don’t forget the “No Cost To You” LegionCare Accidental Death policy available to all members. To apply, contact Department Headquarters at (608) 745-1090 for information and an enrollment form.

JANUARY 9, 2014


South Korea Offers Gift to Korean War Era Veterans Free Commemorative Book Now Available To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War, the Wisconsin Departments of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs are partnering to distribute a special book to those veterans who served in that conflict. “Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation Honors War Veterans for 60 Years of Growth” is available for free to Korean War Veterans or family members as a gift of gratitude from the Korean government. The hardbound, full-color, 175page commemorative is provided to honor these great veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. The Korean War began in June 1950, when the pro-communist North Korean Army invaded South Korea. American troops entered

the war as part of the United Nations forces defending South Korea. Nearly 1.8 million Americans served in Korea from 1950 to 1953, and over 36,000 were killed. More than 132,000 men and women from Wisconsin served in the war. Today, there are over 40,000 Korean War veterans living in Wisconsin. The book was published in Salt Lake City and was paid for by the South Korean public and private sectors. The free book is available to be picked up at the following locations: • County Veteran Service Offices • WI Veterans Museum on the Capitol Square in Madison • WI Department of Military Affairs, 2400 Wright Street, Madison

• Also various veteran service organizations and the Wisconsin Korean War Veteran Association will have copies available. Request the book online ( bookRequest.asp) or call 608242-3239. The book is available one per veteran or family.

Midwinter 2014

Department Commander Ken Rynes met with Major General Don Dunbar of the Wisconsin National Guard in December. Commander Rynes briefed the General on recent developments at Camp American Legion and other programs that support Wisconsin service members and their families.

(continued from page 1) speak about many of the team building techniques that he learned from the best team he was ever associated with, his fellow POW’s at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”. At the conclusion of the Team-building Banquet the $1,000.00 Membership Bounty incentive drawing will be held. Please mark your calendars and save the dates of January 17th through 19th, 2014. Bring your family and enjoy the indoor water parks, attractions and many activities offered in the Wisconsin Dells and the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center. Visit or call Department Headquarters at (608) 745-1090 for Housing and Registration Forms.


2014 MIDWINTER CONFERENCE SCHEDULE (subject to change) Friday, January 17 8:00-10:00 AM Americanism Committee Lower Dells-E 8:00-10:00 AM Fundraising Committee Lower Dells-FG 8:00-10:00 AM Membership Committee Lower Dells-A 8:00-10:00 AM Convention & Activities Commission Lower Dells-I 10:00AM-12:00PM Camp American Legion Committee Lower Dells-B 10:00AM-12:00PM Legislative Committee Upper Dells-C 10:00AM-12:00PM Communications Committee Lower Dells-CD 10:00AM-12:00PM Religious Emphasis Committee Lower Dells-Salon A Upper Dells-E 10:00AM-12:00PM Hospital Committee 12:00 PM Past Sergeant At Arms Meeting Stand Rock Buffet 12:00 PM NEW! Past Dept. Vice Comm. Lunch Upper Dells-D 1:00-3:00 PM VA&R Committee Lower Dells-CD 1:00-3:00 PM Finance Committee Lower Dells-A 1:00-3:00 PM National & Homeland Security Committee Lower Dells-FG 1:00-3:00 PM Policy Committee Lower Dells-E 1:00-3:00 PM Children & Youth Committee Lower Dells-I 3:00 PM WI Legion College Alumni Assoc. Upper Dells-E 3:00 PM Wisconsin Historian’s Association Upper Dells-Board Rm 3:30 PM Golf Association Upper Dells-Board Rm 4:00 PM GNUTS Social Meeting Upper Dells-D 5:30 PM Past Commanders Club Meeting Lower Dells-E 2:00 PM-4:00 PM SAL Meeting Lower & Upper Dells Saturday, January 18 10:00-3:00 PM Blood Drive Lower Dells-A 10:00-2:00 PM Americanism Resource Area Upper Dells Atrium 9:00 AM VA Enrollment & Priorities Lower Dells-CD 9:00 AM Post Operations & Membership Dev. Lower Dells-E 9:00 AM Roberts Rules of Order Lower Dells-GF 9:00 AM Computer/Website Training Lower Dells-H 9:00 AM Auxiliary Finance Meeting Upper Dells-Board Rm 9:00 AM Take Control of Your Estate Planning Lower Dells-I 10:00 AM Baseball Spring Training Camp Upper Dells-A 10:00 AM 2nd District Oratorical Contest Upper Dells-C 11:15 AM Service Disability Claims Development Lower Dells-CD 11:15 AM District/County/Post Leadership Training Lower Dells-E 11:15 AM Funeral Honors/M1 Training Lower Dells-B 11:15 AM Public Speaking & Post Administration Lower Dells-H 11:15 AM Take Control of Your Estate Planning Lower Dells-I 12:00 PM Auxiliary Luncheon Upper Dells-B 1:00 PM Dual Members Club Luncheon Sunrise Cliffs Café 1:00 PM National Appointments Luncheon Upper Dells-D 1:00 PM Chaplain’s Luncheon Sunrise Cliffs Cafe 1:00 PM WALPA Upper Dells-Board Rm 2:00 PM American Legion Baseball Directors Mtg Upper Dells-A 2:00 PM VA Enrollment & Priorities Lower Dells-CD 2:00 PM VA Research Lower Dells-I 2:00 PM Post Operations & Membership Development Lower Dells-E 2:00 PM Roberts Rules of Order Lower Dells-GF 2:00 PM Computer/Website Training Lower Dells-H 2:00 PM Funeral Honors/M1 Training Lower Dells-B 3:00 PM SAL Detachment Executive Committee Upper Dells-E 4:00 PM Service Disability Claims Development Lower Dells-CD 4:00 PM District/County/Post Leadership Training Lower Dells-E 4:00 PM Public Speaking & Post Administration Lower Dells-H 6:00 PM Catholic Church Service Upper Dells-E 6:00 PM Protestant Church Service Upper Dells-C 7:00 PM Rhino’s Midwinter Team Building Ball Upper Dells-B Sunday, January 19 9:00 AM Department Executive Committee Lower Dells-B Noon Midwinter Sweepstakes Drawing Lower Dells-B

Camp Meeting at Midwinter Wisconsin American Legion Family, I personally invite you to attend this meeting of the Camp American Legion Committee. Wherever you live I encourage you to pack a lunch, saddle up your horses and come to the Wisconsin Dells. Pull together your Post, Unit and Squadron members and make a Post sign to hold up and make your presence known. Camp American Legion is “your” camp. Every one of you is important

to Camp. You show your personal commitment to Camp every day through your fundraising, donations, cabin sponsorship, work parties, volunteering and all you do. Camp’s success over the years has come about only through your efforts. Now is the time to celebrate 2013 and plan for 2014. I look forward to greeting you at the door, shaking your hand and thanking you personally. Kevin Moshea, Camp Director

MIDWINTER CONFERENCE Camp American Legion Committee Meeting January 17, 2014 – 10:00 AM-12:00 AM



The Last Bugle

9 Wisconsin Rapids Edward Aughey II 10 Wausau Barney W Bagby K 18 Milwaukee Donald D Peterson V 19 Hartford Eugene Priesgen V 29 Kewaunee Kenneth E Skarvan K 31 Milwaukee Robert R Lenz II 36 West Bend Arthur A Washick V 38 Appleton Norman J VanHeuklon II William E Pulda V Lawrence Van Zummeren II Donald Torbeck II 39 Marinette Carl H Johnson K 41 Kaukauna Harold Steinbach II 44 Wabeno Clifford Marshall K 47 Portage Raymond F Robinson II Harold Hill II Robert Okan K 48 Beloit Herbert A Dahlberg K 50 Hudson Chester Bahneman K 53 Eau Claire Charles A Schultz II David R Pressler K Dennis Slack V 55 Hortonville Milan G Vollmer K 61 Prescott Herbert Gerke K Clair Eaton II John Most II 63 Clintonville Kenneth Wege Richard Popp V 70 Oshkosh William Crane II 75 Fond du Lac Roy A Tindall II Michael M Wettstein II 80 New Richmond Douglas Krumm K 82 Port Washington Todd E Hilton P Allan J Schowalter K Leland M King II 93 Tomahawk Gary L Baier V Edward Mattheeussen K 97 Dodgeville Lavern F Heuer II 118 Thorp Stanley Kaszubowski II Richard Alger K 123 Owen Donald L Kraut II Chester W Nirva II 125 Chilton Lloyd L Broker K 126 Brillion Lloyd L Habermann II

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131 Colfax Kenneth V Iverson II 138 Viroqua Charles O Johnson II Daniel R Jacobson II 146 Beaver Dam Frank Koronkiewicz K 148 Bloomington Harold Crubel II 152 Menasha Dean T Kamps II 162 Alma Center Francis N Michels II 179 Chetek George Webb II 180 Milwaukee II Edward Rybicki 182 Park Falls Eugene Miesbauer K 185 Grantsburg Robert W Anderson K 188 East Troy Frank G Krueger II 189 Watertown Kenneth J Robillard K Charles L Wendt V 193 Batavia/Beechwood Gaylord Krahn II 205 Janesville Ralph L Schuett 206 Wonewoc Dale E Scott V 243 Plymouth David Reichardt V 245 Cross Plains Philip J Virnig V 250 Adams Joseph Pietrowski K 261 Greenbush Victor R Schilling V 272 Butternut Gregory Halverson V 280 Coleman Robert Martens II 286 Oostburg Howard J Arentsen II Erwin Hendrikse II 288 Cedarburg Garth Hoffmann II 294 Hartland Frederick Kandler 304 Palmyra Clarence Drewa II 305 Johnson Creek Dalen Soholt K 310 Racine Calvin C Kousek II 315 Stoddard Lawrence C Anderson V 318 Lake Tomahawk Gene A Martishus II 324 Osseo Bruce A Brechlin K Richard Garber K 329 Briggsville Michael A Johnson V 332 Black Creek Orville H Zuberbier K 333 Sun Prairie Donald Stoiber II 338 Cedar Grove Carl Huibregtse K 348 DeForest Edwin E Wipperfurth II Delos Derouchey K 350 Reedsburg Charles L Montgomery II 355 Grafton John Klas V James Joyce II 372 Forestville Wilfred Gebauer II 385 Korea Paul Marty K 387 Plymouth Orville Knoener K

12/4/13 1/25/12 9/1/11 11/13/13 12/2/13 9/24/13 12/5/13 11/12/13 12/6/13 11/21/13 11/25/13

406 Milwaukee Edward Seidner Floyd K Hubatch 411 Milwaukee Lester J Schneider Donald A Schulz Richard D Heis Jerome C Grisham 412 Belgium Eugene J Pierron 436 Wrightstown Emmett Berken 449 Brookfield Melvin Dreikosen Leon D Gosse Lloyd D Doney Fred Honkamp 451 Boulder Junction Robert F Goodwillie 452 Spirit Carl A Nelson


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8/14/13 9/15/13 6/1/13 10/15/13





Henry Schilling Robert Tripp 455 Milwaukee Willie Adams Leon Whittaker 473 Potosi Gary R Boyd 482 Bagley Richard L Blodgett 483 Allenton Allen Konrath Raymond C Miller 486 Jackson Avery W Powers 491 Cazenovia Joseph F Duren 494 Caledonia John Grubisic 501 Madison Clarence F Olson Abraham G Gross



10/11/13 Lloyd N Kempfer 4/7/13 Peter R Dooley 518 Green Bay 10/14/13 George Kornowske 12/11/13 519 Stetsonville Frank McLellan 11/22/13 521 Fox Lake Donald A Willey 12/5/13 522 Hubertus John A Bayliss 11/23/13 527 Sister Bay 12/12/13 George Kufrin 534 McFarland 10/17/13 Bert L Pullar 539 Green Bay 11/16/13 Janice M Belleau 546 Racine 11/26/13 Elzy L Hill


11/22/13 7/2/13



6/14/13 11/16/13



















11/15/13 11/21/13 11/30/13 11/25/13 12/6/13 12/16/13 4/28/13 11/3/12 11/15/13 12/8/13 11/24/13 4/28/13 8/8/13

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.

11/26/13 11/8/13

The Trust has been so successful in its over forty-five years that today over 1,600,000 Legionnaires in 49 participating Departments are enrolled in this unique program.

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Also, in the same period of time, hundreds of millions of dollars in claim benefits have been paid to Legionnaires and their families through the LIT; and over $52 million in allocations have been paid to participating Legion Departments.

11/24/13 11/19/13 11/30/13 12/7/13 12/15/13

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.

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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.

12/9/13 12/16/13 11/7/13 11/17/13 11/21/13 11/26/13 12/10/13 11/29/13 A

JANUARY 9, 2014



100% POST COMMANDERS Milwaukee County American Legion Christmas Party Commander Rynes attended the annual Milwaukee County American Legion Christmas Party which was held December 4th at Tanner-Paull Post No. 120 in West Allis. Also in attendance were Milwaukee County Commander Ray “Godfather” Pasbrig, 4th District Commander Claire Goodfellow and 5th District Commander Ensley Brown. A naughty/nice list was not made available.

POST NO. 103 Harold Vaughn

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$1,000 Membership Bounty at Midwinter Severson-Cairns Post No. 501 Commander Keith Lovell and 1st Vice Commander Thomas W. Stolarczyk assist post member William L. Robbins in filling out his entry to win the $1,000 bounty offered by Commander Rynes for recruiting new members. The membership bounty drawing will be held at the Midwinter Conference. Legionnaire Robbins qualified to enter the bounty drawing by signing up his wife Christine as a new member of Post No. 501

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Bl january 2014 pages 1 7  

January 2014 Edition of the Badger Legionnaire Pages 1-7

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