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“For God & Country”



Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family

December 3, 2015 Vol. 92, No. 10

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

Color Guard Training Featured at Midwinter

Drill Instructors from the Wisconsin Army National Guard Recruiting & Retention Battalion will provide Color Guard training at the 2016 Midwinter Conference. This will be the first time that Legionnaires will be able to receive handson training from military professionals in the proper posting and retrieval of the National Colors. All equipment will be available on site so there is no need to bring anything. The training will take place on Saturday, January 16th as part of the annual Midwinter Conference which will once again be held at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. Another new feature at the 2016 Midwinter will be the 1st American Legion Family Joint Testimonial Dinner that will be held on

A team of Drill Instructors from the Wisconsin Army National Guard Recruiting & Retention Battalion will provide Color Guard training on Saturday, January 16th. All post Color Guards are encouraged to attend and receive professional, hands-on instruction in the proper posting and presentation of the National Colors. Training will include the basic positioning of the Colors, Posting and Retrieving the Col-

Saturday evening, January 16th. The banquet will honor Department Commander Dale Oatman, Auxiliary Department President Laura Calteux, SAL Detachment Commander Mike Kollmansberger and Wisconsin American Legion Riders Association President Ray McSherry. Tickets are $32 and are available through Department headquarters on a first come first serve basis. Training venues will also include the Americanism Programs Resource Center which is designed to help posts promote the programs of The American Legion in your community. National American Legion staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide details on how you and your post can become involved. Additional activities include a

ors and Movement of the Color Guard to the Rear. The National Guard team will demonstrate the proper procedures followed by hands on training. Training will take place in an open learning environment. All attendees will have the opportunity to break out into small groups and perform all the necessary Color Guard movements with the direct oversight of Wisconsin Army National Guard Drill Instructors.

demonstration Shooting Sports range where attendees can use competition rifles on an indoor range. Department Shooting Sports Chairman Steve Shanks will be on hand to answer questions and provide details on how your post can become involved in American Legion Junior Shooting Sports. Other training featured at the Midwinter Conference includes courses of the Wisconsin American Legion College conducted by graduates of the National American Legion College, Leadership training and Membership training. There will also be a Historians Workshop and a Chaplains Workshop. Courses on Direct Marketing Programs for Membership Retention and Acquisition, Care and Maintenance of the M1-Garand rifle, Funeral Honors training, Post Operations and Children & Youth programs will be offered along with the American Legion Extension Institute Course. The schedule is subject to change depending on demand. Legion members who sign up a new member, or renew any former member who has not paid for 2 years (since 2013) can qualify to win a prize of $1,000 at the Conference. Simply sign up a new member, or renew any former member and enter your name. The drawing will take place on Saturday at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. There is no limit to the number of times an individual can qualify – recruiters get one chance for every new member they recruit. Please mark your calendars and save the dates of January 14 through 17, 2016. Bring your family and enjoy the indoor water parks, attractions and many activities offered in the Wisconsin Dells. Register and reserve your hotel room online at

2016 MIDWINTER SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 7:00 AM-6:00 PM 8:00 AM-5:00 PM 8:00-10:00 AM 8:00-10:00 AM 8:00-10:00 AM 8:00-10:00 AM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 12:00 PM 11:30 AM 1:00-3:00 PM 1:00-3:00 PM 1:00-3:00 PM 1:00-3:00 PM 1:00-3:00 PM 3:00 PM 3:00 PM 3:30 PM 4:00 PM 5:30 PM 2:00 PM-4:00 PM 7:00 AM-3:00 PM 8:00 AM-5:00 PM 10:00 AM-3:00 PM 7:00 AM-10:00 AM 7:00 AM-10:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 9:00 AM 10:00 AM 11:15 AM 11:15 AM 11:15 AM 11:15 AM 11:15 AM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 2:00 PM 2:00 PM 2:00 PM 1:00 PM 3:00 PM 4:00 PM 4:00 PM 4:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM 6:00 PM-7:00 PM 7:00 PM 8:00 AM 9:00 AM

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2016 Registration Exhibits Americanism Committee Fundraising Committee Membership Committee Centennial Committee Camp American Legion Committee Convention & Activities Commission Legislative Committee Communications Committee Religious Emphasis Committee Hospital Committee Past Sergeant At Arms Meeting Past Dept. Vice Commander Lunch VA&R Committee Finance Committee National & Homeland Security Com. Policy Committee Children & Youth Committee WI Legion College Alumni Assoc. Wisconsin Historian’s Association Golf Association GNUTS Social Meeting Past Commanders Club Meeting SAL Meeting

Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells-E Lower Dells-FG Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-H Upper Dells-C Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-Salon A Upper Dells-E Stand Rock Buffet Upper Dells-D Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-FG Lower Dells-E Lower Dells-I Upper Dells-E Upper Dells-Board Rm Lower Dells-Board Rm Wo Zha Wa Bar Lower Dells-E Upper Dells-A

SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2016 Registration Exhibits Blood Drive Americanism Resource Area Shooting Sports Shooting Range Post Operations Americanism & C&Y in Your Community ALEI- $5.00 Fee Funeral Honors/M-1 Garand Historian’s Workshop Leadership- WALC Basic Course 2nd District Oratorical Contest Direct Marketing Programs for Membership Economic- Education-SM Business and more Funeral Honors/M1 Training Chaplain’s Workshop Color Guard Training Dual Members Club Luncheon National Appointments Luncheon Chaplain’s Luncheon WALPA Meeting Baseball Directors Meeting Post Operations Americanism & C&Y in Your Community Color Guard Training SAL Training SAL DEC Direct Marketing Programs for Membership Economic- Education-Small Business & more Membership – WALC Intermediate Course Catholic Church Service Protestant Church Service Legion Family Cocktail Hour Legion Family Testimonial Dinner SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2016 Four Chaplains Service Department Executive Committee

Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells-E Upper Dells Atrium Upper Dells A Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-Salon A Lower Dells-B Upper Dells-C Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-H Sunrise Cliffs Café Upper Dells-D Sunrise Cliffs Cafe Upper Dells-Board Rm Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-H Upper Dells-E Upper Dells-E Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-E Upper Dells Atrium Upper Dells-A Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-B

2016 Membership Goal: 59,000 • November 25th Total: 47,356 – 80.26% 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 81.28%

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

District 5

District 1

District 7

District 10

District 8

District 6

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 2



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

District 3



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

District 11



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

District 12

2015-2016 82.21%

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

District 9

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 Bernard Olson Harold Rihn Rory Burns Dan Osero George Buchanan, 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.


DEPARTMENT COMMANDER Veterans Day is behind us and I want to thank all the Posts, Squadrons, Units and outside organizations that invited Dale Oatman Department Commander me for their functions over the three week period. It was an honor helping celebrate our deceased and living veterans with you. By the time the Badger Legionnaire is published, Thanksgiving and hunting season will also have passed. I hope everyone had joyous celebrations with family and friends and that the hunters had a successful season. Pearl Harbor Day is upon us and I regret not being able to celebrate with the many veterans at King. However, I hope to join them for the laying


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

of the wreath on December 12th. The 2015 calendar year is rapidly closing which means those Legionnaires who have not renewed their membership will pay at least $5.00 more in the coming year and possibly more with many Posts increasing their dues. Pay your dues now to prevent those additional costs. Post, County and District officers should have contacted you about those added costs so heed their plea and save yourselves some money. National Headquarters submitted their membership report on November 23rd and Wisconsin continues to be in first place nationally for the ninth week in a row. I want to thank all of you for your efforts with renewals and recruitments thus far but National Commander Dale Barnett continues to worry that we are not do-

ing enough since, nationally, The American Legion is behind tens of thousands from our renewal and recruitment activities of last year at this time. Wisconsin is also down by around 600 from last year so we really need to step up our efforts for the remainder of this year and into next year. The 9th District leads the Department and they may be the District to beat for the remainder of our 2015 – 2016 membership year. Congratulations to all Posts who have reached 100%. I now look for Counties to hit 100%. All 100% County Commanders will have a chance to join me for the Lincoln Pilgrimage in February. Look for additional details in this edition of the Badger Legionnaire. I look forward to all the training planned for Midwinter on Janu-

ary 16th at Ho-Chunk Convention Center in Baraboo. Don’t miss out on training like post operations, Americanism and Children & Youth, economic & marketing programs, leadership, funeral honors & color guard workshops, membership, chaplain and historian workshops and much more. After the training, stay for the combined Legion Family Testimonial dinner honoring the entire Legion Family. Check with your Adjutant or Commander for additional details since this information and a lot more was provided in Post mailings. Also, don’t forget about the upcoming Oratorical Scholarship contests. As we head into the Christmas season, I want to express a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

CAMP DIRECTOR Camp Season Ends Beautifully!

The annual deer hunt marks the close of another fantastic Camp American Kevin Moshea Legion Season. Camp Director We served nearly 1,300 campers this year, just 6 short in fact, to mark a new record. We also saw our second largest yearly increase over a previous year. Families bought 252 children of all ages to Camp this year, the youngest being only 2 weeks old. 853 campers came with a group. 286 were first time attendees. 20% of our veterans this year were women and we were proud to host 8 veterans of WWII - twice as many as last year. We can all feel proud, individually and as one big team on what has been accomplished. We were

able to assist so many who needed a helping hand, from WWII to Post 9/11 veterans, active-duty, National Guard & Reserve service members, families, spouses, caregivers and children; we helped them all. The power of Camp American Legion’s healing environment has once again done magic. During the last half of the Camp season we hosted our Post 9/11 Veterans Week. These younger veterans bring great energy to Camp. They are our fastest growing group of veterans we serve now year to year. The 950th Engineering Company families also came to Camp. They gave each other a lot of support and lifted spirits as they wait for the return of their soldiers away on deployment. Once reunited, they plan on returning in 2016 for a family re-

integration week. We then hosted our Caregiver Respite Retreat for Post 9/11 veterans, which grows little by little every year. This was followed by Camp Serenity for our Families-of-the-Fallen. This is the fifth year we have hosted Gold Star families from the Wisconsin National Guard Survivor Outreach Services group and helped them honor their loved one here at this place of God and nature. Once again our Hearing & Vision Loss Veterans Week was a fun week. They are a group of veterans who love to have fun and they don’t let their disability stop them. This year’s theme was a Mexican Fiesta and what a party they had. We also conducted Veterans Recovery Week and the annual Diabetes Camp which is becoming well regarded by medical

professionals throughout the state. The U.S Army Recruiting Battalion held their team building retreat. The 2015 season closed with soldiers of the 121st Field Artillery and 127th Infantry Battalions of the Wisconsin Army National Guard occupying Camp. Not only did they come together to reestablish their camaraderie and to lift each other up, they helped us start the process to close down for the winter. As Director, I want to recognize and thank our volunteers and the entire Wisconsin American Legion Family. Camp American Legion continues to grow and provide more help to Wisconsin veterans and their families every year. Camp’s success is the result of us all working as a team. With great feeling, I thank you.

WDVA SECRETARY It is truly a day that has lived in infamy and brought the United States in World War II. John A. Scocos WDVA Secretary

American Legion Auxiliary Department of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 140 • Portage, WI 53901

DECEMBER 3, 2015

On December 7, 1941, at 7:55 AM the Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hawaii, was attacked by Japanese torpedo and bomber planes. The attack ended just before 10:00 AM. In less than two hours, the American forces at Pearl Harbor were devastated. Twenty-one ships of the U.S. Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged. More than 2,400 Americans died and another 1,100 were wounded. All eight battleships moored on Battleship Row – the Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia – were sunk or damaged during the Japanese assault.

Even the passage of 74 years cannot diminish the magnitude of the attack or the extreme sacrifice of the thousands of brave Americans who lost their lives during this attack. It is important for all of us to remember their legacy, some of whom were our friends and neighbors here in Wisconsin before leaving to serve in the military. Dorwin Lamkin, a native of Hudson, was one of those who witnessed the attack first-hand and survived. A Navy medical corpsman assigned to the USS Nevada, he was sleeping late that day when a messenger came and told him the Japanese were attacking. Remembering only his shoes, Lamkin rushed to his battle station, the ship’s sick bay, wearing only his skivvies. There he heard the sounds of the raging battle and then began receiving and treating the wounded. Then the Nevada was hit. According to Lamkin, the

Japanese blew a hole “the size of a house” into the bow of the ship and before long his station began filling with oily water. One of the fortunate Sailors that day, he and the six others at his station were rescued, being hoisted up one-by-one before the ship sunk. Mello Stapleton, of North Lake, was another Wisconsin native there that day in Hawaii. Stationed at Hickam Field near Pearl Harbor, he heard an explosion while on his way to breakfast and quickly realized an attack was underway. He ran with others to grab machine guns from the armory to fight back against the Japanese planes. At one point he was thrown by a close bomb blast and wounded by shrapnel. Another Wisconsinite who was there that day was Army nurse Rhoda Ziesler of Manitowoc who was stationed at Schofield Barracks, some 20 miles from Pearl

Harbor. When she first heard the sounds of low-flying planes that morning, she assumed it was a practice attack, but not long after she saw the fire and smoke and the Japanese planes that were attacking. Ziesler was the head nurse of a medical ward, supervising six nurses and spent that fateful day treating the wounded. Many thousands of Wisconsinites served in World War II and days like December 7th each year are cause for remembrance, reflection, and celebration. We remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice – from Pearl Harbor right to the end of the bitterest fighting of the war. We are given the opportunity to reflect on the service and sacrifice our World War II generation and how they shaped our world. With each day of remembrance and reflection also comes a chance to celebrate the achievement of the generation that saved the world.


DECEMBER 3, 2015



LEGION COLLEGE – Class of 2016 –

Oral History Program: Preserving History Dedicated to the state’s citizensoldiers, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum (WVM) affirms, commemorates, and acknowledges the achievements and sacrifices of Wisconsin veterans. The WVM is an educational activity of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. The WVM Oral History Program seeks to record the first-hand narratives of these men and women in order to create primary sources concerning what it truly meant to serve. With over 2,000 interviews in the collection WVM encourages attention not only to the creation of these interviews, but also to the preservation and accessibility of the information for researchers, visitors and future generations. Below we feature one of our recent narrators and a segment of his compelling interview. Ann Fritsch served as an occupational therapist and a physical therapist in the Army Medical Specialist Corps from 1951 through 1983. Her service included two deployments during the Vietnam War where she worked at the 8th Field Hospital and the Military Assistance Command Vietnam. She served at numerous hospitals stateside, including Valley Forge Army Hospital, Institute for Surgical Re-

search-Armed Forces Burn Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In her oral history interview, Fritsch recounted the story of what she refers to as her “masterpiece” patient. The doctor called and he said this young man had to get up, he had to start moving, or he was going to die, and we were to get him up walking. He wouldn’t talk to anyone, he wouldn’t eat, he wouldn’t move. He just, well, he wanted to die really, I think…. We stood him up, they put a walker on his cast, so that he could stand on that casted leg, and we stood him up, and I got down on my knees and I pushed one leg, one leg, one leg. He started to scream and he screamed and screamed and screamed. He called me every obscene name you could think of… I pushed those legs forward and got in front of him and pushed him back. They put him back in the bed, the next day they did the same thing, and we did this for about a week. Finally, he decided well, you know, we’re not going to let him die so he’ll do something about it, and he asked for food. He had been on a feeding tube up until then. So one by one, they kept pulling the tubes out. Then he got the casts off and

he started walking with crutches, and then he got down to a cane. Fritsch remembered releasing the patient and the emotional goodbye everyone experienced. I looked around and the corpsmen were crying and the patients were crying, everybody who had gone through this with this kid was standing there crying...But he came in and he put his arms around me and he kissed me goodbye and he whispered “Am I your masterpiece?” And I thought, “Yeah, you were my masterpiece.” I’ll never forget that kid, ever, and the fact that he knew that we were practicing the art of medicine. Fritsch’s passion for medicine and hard work earned her the rank of Colonel before her retirement and the honor of receiving the Vietnamese Technical Service Medal and the Legion of Merit. To learn more about Colonel Fritsch’s story, or any of the over 2,000 interviews in our Oral History Collection, or to learn how you can participate in our Oral History Program please contact the WVM Oral Historian at oralhistory@dva. or (608) 261-0537. You can also visit our website:


The Onalaska High School Alumni Association developed the “Wall of Honor” at Onalaska High School to recognize former students that died or were declared missing in action while serving in an official capacity of the United States Military. The idea for the Wall first surfaced in the spring of 2012 and then developed over the next two years. After identifying criteria for inclusion on the Wall, the alumni members spent significant time researching and identifying the former students that should

be included. The efforts resulted in the identification of nine former students starting with a World War I Veteran and spanning through two 2001 graduates. Alex Gumz, the student representative on the alumni board, wrote the nine biographies that are included on the plaques. The OHS Alumni Association hosted two dedication ceremonies; the first one was on Saturday, November 7, attended by over 200 family members and community members and the second ceremony

was on Wednesday, November 11 for the OHS students and staff. The OHS band and choir performed at both ceremonies and the keynote address was delivered by David Limberg, a graduate of OHS and West Point. The Onalaska American Legion played a large role in making generous donations, providing a color guard for both ceremonies and aiding in research along the way. The American Legion also assisted in planning the ceremonies to ensure proper decorum was followed.

Susan Knudson of Richard Ellis Post No. 205 in Janesville represented the Department of Wisconsin and attended National American Legion College October 25th through October 30th in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is pictured here with National Commander Dale Barnett of Georgia.

Volunteers Needed for 79th Annual Oratorical Competition The Department is proud to announce the 2016 High School Oratorical Scholarship Competition. The American Legion Oratorical Scholarship program is a wonderful opportunity for young people to learn about the Constitution of the United States of America. This year is the 79th year of the Department’s program. Twelve students representing each District will compete for the Department title at Ripon College on February 13, 2016. It takes many volunteers to have a successful event – from moderators, to time keepers, judges, escorts, tabulators and Sergeant at Arms - if you’ve been a part of the competition in the past, we hope that

you will join us again – if you are new to the program but would still like to volunteer, please do so as it will be well worth your time. Please fill out the volunteer application that appears below and mail it to Department Headquarters. Fillable volunteer forms are also available on the Wisconsin Legion website (http://www. You will be notified at a later date what your assignment will be. Thank you for your support and we hope to hear from you very soon! Robert P. Stone Dept. Oratorical Chairman

The American Legion • Department of Wisconsin

79TH ANNUAL HIGH SCHOOL ORATORICAL REGIONAL/DEPARTMENT CONTEST February 13, 2016 • Ripon College I would like to volunteer for the following during the Department Oratorical Contest: My First Choice:____________________________ My Second Choice:__________________________ Name: ______________________________________________ Post #:______________________ District #:__________ Address: ____________________________________________ City:________________________________________________ email address: ________________________________________ Zip Code: ___________________________________________ Phone #: ____________________________________________ Comments: __________________________________________ ____________________________________________________

OHS Alumni Association and Squadron No. 336 member Erik Sjolander, his father Legionnaire Jerry Sjolander, Past Post No. 336 Commander Clarence Stellner, and OHS Principal Jared Schaffner at the OHS Wall of Honor.

Please submit no later than January 8, 2016 Mail form to to: WI American Legion, Attn. Dawn, PO Box 388, Portage, WI 53901



Coach Bo Ryan Delivers Legion Message

(Portage, Wis.) – Coach Bo Ryan, an Army veteran of the Vietnam era and Legion member, showed his commitment to veterans and heralded their sacrifices recently in a special Veterans Day message for the Wisconsin American Legion that was broadcast throughout Wisconsin from Monday, November 2nd through Wednesday, November 11th. “We want to express our heartfelt thanks to Coach Ryan for supporting our veterans and the Wisconsin American Legion by recording a very special Veterans Day radio message,” said Commander Dale Oatman of American Legion Post No. 524 in White Lake. “His military experience and subsequent success are no coincidence. So many Vietnam and Vietnam era veterans like Coach Ryan used their military experience and the benefits they earned to build lives for themselves and enrich our communities. Thank you Coach, and congratulations on your coming induction into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.” Visit The American Legion, De-

partment of Wisconsin website at to listen. Ryan served in the US Army during the Vietnam era as a military police officer at Fort Gordon, GA after completing basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The coach comes from a family with a distinguished service background. His father received a Bronze Star in World War II and his uncle served as an Army Ranger in the Korean War. Ryan himself was the top pistol shooter in his class during his military police training at Fort Gordon. His service included

escorting military prisoners to prison at Fort Leavenworth. After discharge, Coach Ryan used his GI Bill to go back to school for coaching and teaching. He used his VA Home Loan benefit to purchase a home. The Coach has described his experience in the military as positive, as well as his feeling that it was his responsibility as an American. Visit The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin website at to listen. Contact American Legion State Adjutant David Kurtz at for further information.

DECEMBER 3, 2015

Stoughton Area Veterans Park

Approximately 150 people attended the ground breaking ceremony for the Stoughton Area Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday, September 26th. The colorful ceremony began with the playing on “Reveille” prior to the posting of the National Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance. Master of Ceremonies duties were performed by Bud Erickson of Stoughton Post No. 59. Other speakers included Stoughton Post Commander Sonny Swangstu. Dignitaries then turned the

first shovels of dirt and the construction of the Stoughton Area Veterans Memorial Park was under way. Following the 30 minute ceremony, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 59 hosted a reception at the Post Memorial Building, located at 803 North Page Street in Stoughton. For more information on the Stoughton Area Veterans Memorial Park, contact Bud Erickson at (608) 873-5305 or email Bud at



USO Wisconsin, Inc. is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of the US Armed Forces personnel and their families who reside or transit the state of Wisconsin. The US has been engaged in conflict since 2001 creating a generation of military families who have sacrificed much to protect our freedoms. Much of the general public is unaware that there are more than 15,000 service members who live in Wisconsin and are away from their support structure of extended families and friends. USO Wisconsin provides proven programs that give citizens a chance thank service members and their families in a meaningful way. USO Wisconsin, Inc. is a 501(c) (3), non-profit organization and has had a continuous presence in Wisconsin since 1941. USO is one of the few organizations that focus primarily on active duty military. USO has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Defense and is chartered by Congress to support the Armed Forces. This allows open communication with military contacts and helps USO identify the needs of

service members. USO Wisconsin is NOT funded by the government, military or USO worldwide organization. USO Wisconsin is solely supported by the generosity of private citizens, service organizations, corporate gifts and foundations. USO Wisconsin’s goal is to provide stress relief and an opportunity to reconnect for the more than 15,000 service members and their 20,000 family members who live in our local communities. Through the help of volunteers, USO Wisconsin has developed new programs to ensure families stay strong. In 2011, USO Wisconsin opened two centers in Milwaukee, one at Mitchell Field and the other at the Military Entry Processing Center. In 2015, USO Wisconsin opened two centers near Tomah at Fort McCoy and acquired a mobile vehicle to reach units in remote areas, and in 2016 will open another center at the La Crosse Airport. USO Wisconsin Centers • Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) Relaxing area while new recruits go through the Commander Oatman is pictured here in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Madison on the evening of Tuesday, November 10th prior to the annual Veteran’s Day Reception.

lengthy processing schedule and volunteers support military families who are dealing with a loved one joining the armed forces. • Milwaukee & La Crosse Airports VIP room supplied with WiFi, comply furniture and free food for military families while in transit, deployments, welcome homes, and families of the fallen. • Fort McCoy Near Tomah, WI Opened on the training grounds in May and had 14,000 contacts with service members relied on the WIFi, called home, ate comfort foods, played corn hole and watched movies. USO Wisconsin Programs Operation Christmas An event for families who would not otherwise have a Christmas. Parents pick out free presents for their children and children get to wrap presents they can give to their parents. It also includes decorating stockings for veteran’s, cookie decorating and of course—Santa. United Through Reading A USO staff member videos a service member reading a book. Then, that book video are given to the service

member’s children to watch during deployment. Unit Activities Meeting location and food for families is provided during a Deployment/Welcome Home, Family of the Fallen, or volunteering a Family Unit Activity. How Can You Help USO Wisconsin has shared a strong relationship with The American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliaries in Wisconsin. We have collaborated to provide better programs and services to military families in our community. If anyone wants to learn how they can help more, below are some opportunities. CENTER VOLUNTEERS work regular shifts at one of the centers: Milwaukee Airport, Fort McCoy, La Crosse Airport or Milwaukee Military Entrance Processing Station. EVENT VOLUNTEERS interact with military at: Operation Christmas, Father Daughter Dance, and many others. NO DOUGH DINNER is an event where USO Wisconsin finds service members who could use a good meal or family members of

Commander Dale Oatman was greeted with a corsage by Unit No. 355 President Cathy Brunnquell at the Rose-Harms Post No. 355 in Grafton on Saturday, November 14th where he attended the annual Veteran’s Day Dinner.

those deployed and partners with an organization who provides food, a location and volunteers. COLLECTION DRIVE is a great way for a group to make a large impact with minimal effort. Service members at Fort McCoy and the airports often pack light so USO Wisconsin offers food items, personal care items and leisure activities. With more community support that is offered through volunteering, USO Wisconsin will be able to reach more military families who have been identified through programs that have been already been developed. “Without you being here a lot of the soldiers would be in a much worse place emotionally. A cup of hot coffee and internet is life changing, and the only lifeline many of these guys have to their families right now.” --Service member at Fort McCoy 2nd District Commander James Lee of the Peter Wollner Post No. 288 in Cedarburg discusses membership strategy with Department Commander Dale Oatman during the annual Veteran’s Day Dinner at Rose-Harms Post No. 355.

DECEMBER 3, 2015


Daniel Seehafer

Frank J. Kostka

Candidate for Department Commander

Candidate for Department Vice Commander

Department Vice Commander and Past Planning Committee, and the Department National Chaplain Daniel Seehafer an- Membership and Finance Committees as nounces his candidacy for the high of- the DEC liaison. He has also served on fice of Department Commander. Dan is a the Department Americanism Committee Paid-up for Life member of Post No. 157 as chairman of the County Youth Governin Horicon. He was commissioned as a ment program. Pastor Seehafer is a graduNaval Officer in March of 1995 and en- ate of both The American Legion Extenrolled in the Navy Chaplaincy program. sion Institute and The American Legion His service time as a chaplain candidate College, and is certified as a trainer for the in the Navy enabled him to spend time not ALEI course and as an instructor for the only with the Navy personnel in San Diego Wisconsin Legion College. Dan is a member of the ANAVICUS, CA, Newport RI, Everett WA and aboard the USS Paul F. Foster, but also with the NALCAA, Past Commander’s Club, Sons Marines at Camp Pendleton CA. He will of The American Legion and is very active always cherish the time spent in uniform, within his community. Commander Seein which he earned the privilege to join The hafer was recognized as the “Legionnaire of the Year” in 2009 by the Dodge County American Legion. As his uniform changed through the Council and the 2nd District. Reverend Seehafer received a Bachelor years, his service to God and Country certainly have not. He has held numer- of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Concorous positions within The American Le- dia University and a Master of Divinity gion throughout his 19 consecutive years from Concordia Theological Seminary in of membership. From his first leadership Fort Wayne, IN. In August of 1997, he position as Post Adjutant, Dan eventually came to Horicon and was installed as the became Post Commander and led his Post Assistant Pastor of St. Stephen Lutheran family to six 100% memberships and an Church and School. He has served as all-time high. He served as Dodge Coun- Administrative Pastor at St. Stephen since ty Commander - 2008-2010, 2nd District October 2000 and was most recently electCommander - 2013-2015, Department ed Circuit Visitor. Dan is supported by his church family Chaplain - 2006-2007, and National Chapand endorsed by Post No. 157, the Dodge lain - 2010-2011. Daniel has served on the National Amer- County Council, and the 2nd District. With experience, knowledge and pasican Legion System Worth Saving Task Force and is currently serving on the Na- sion, Dan will definitely be a powerful THE AMERICAN for you as your next Department tional Cemetery Committee. He has served voice LEGION Commander--as, together, we will continon the Department Religious Emphasis OF DEPARTMENT WISCONSIN ue to provide service to our veterans, their Committee, the 2010 National Conven2016 Midwinter Conference families and their communities. tion Corporation, the Department Strategic January 15-17, 2016 Ho-Chunk Hotel & Convention Center ~ S3214 Highway BD ~ Baraboo, WI 53913

REGISTRATION FORM Form 2016 Midwinter Registration Pre-register for the 2016 Midwinter Conference by returning this registration form and $20.00 per person (1 person per registration form) to Department Headquarters by January 4, 2016 and save $5.00! Registrations received after January 4, 2016 will be $25.00 per person. Or Register online at (Please type or print clearly in order for your badge to be printed correctly)












ITEM Registration Fee Reg. Fee After 1/5/16 Saturday Evening The American Legion Family Testimonial $1,000.00 “Get One” Bounty drawing and 3$500.00 Post Drawings


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Return to: The American Legion, Department Return to: of Wisconsin • Attn: Chris Schmidt PO BoxThe 388 American • Portage, WI 53901 Department or email to: Legion, of Wisconsin

Attn: Chris Schmidt P.O. Box 388 Portage, WI 53901


Frank Kostka, proud PUFL member of The American Legion, respectfully requests your support for his candidacy for Department Vice Commander. Frank was born and raised in Northern Wisconsin and invested 20 years in the US Air Force from 1974 to 1994. He was an Electronic Technician, had many Supervisory Positions and culminated his career as Project Manager for the GPS Navstar Ground System Equipment at the Air Force Space Command headquarters in Colorado Springs Colorado. Within 6 months of retiring from the service, Frank returned to Ashland where he opened his own business. Frank established the first ever Pawn Shop in Northern Wisconsin and over time his success even demanded expansion to a larger facility. He has become a valued business owner in the community for over 20 years. He is supported by his wife of 40 years, Linda, and their 4 children, Matthew, Darcy, Joshua and David. Matthew is Post Adjutant at Post No. 514 and Joshua is a proud member of the Sons of The American Legion. Linda and Daughter Darcy, as well as 8 Granddaughters are all members of Unit No. 90 of the American Legion Auxiliary. Frank was endorsed by the Kelly-Johnson Post No. 90 in Ashland and the Eleventh District.

His experience in The American Legion includes having served as Post No. 90 Commander from 2004 to present. The post has achieved 100% in membership each of the last 5 years. Frank worked to established the new SAL Squadron No. 90 in Ashland this past year. He served as 11th District 2nd and 1st Vice Commander. His experience at Department level includes member on the Camp American Legion committee for 2 years and member on the Communications Committee for 1 year. He currently serves as a member of the National Legislative Council as a liaison to Congressman Duffy. During his service as 11th District Commander, he has served as the Department Executive Committee liaison to the Americanism, Camp American Legion, Communications, Legislative and VA&R Committees. Legionnaire Frank Kostka is passionate about The American Legion as exemplified by his membership recruiting, earning the prestigious National Silver Brigade Award in 2014 and Gold Brigade Award in 2015. He looks to continue promoting how The American Legion supports our Veterans at large and how Local Posts support their Communities as a Department Vice Commander and asks for your support.

Laurel Clewell Candidate for Department Vice Commander

Candidate for Department Vice Commander Laurel Clewell is a Paid Up For Life member of the Johnston–Blessman No. Post 38 in Appleton as well as a Paid Up for Life member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 38. She is eligible for her American Legion membership because of her service during Desert Shield in 1991 and also during 2008 for the Global War on Terror. Laurel retired from the U.S. Army as a Command Sergeant Major in 2012 with 36 years in service. She also retired in 2014 from the City of Appleton where served in an accounts payable position. She dedicates her time and energy to her family, to veterans, and The American Legion. Laurel married Gordy Clewell in 2013 and has two children and 4 step-children. She has one granddaughter and two grandsons with one more grandson due in December. Her son Pete is a member of the Sons of The American Legion and her daughter Teresa is a Paid Up For Life member in the American Legion Auxiliary. Her stepson Ryan is a member of The American Legion. She has served Post No. 38 as Finance Officer, all three Vice Commander positions,

Commander in 2011-2012 and is currently the Post Adjutant. She has served on the executive committee, house committee, membership committee, finance committee, Scarlet Guard color guard and special committees such as the Department Convention Corporation. Laurel served Outagamie County in all three Vice Commander positions and as Commander. She has served the 9th District in the three Vice Commander positions, on the finance committee and is currently the 9th District Commander. Laurel has extensive experience on Department committees, having served on the Fundraising Committee in 2007. She has served as Committee chairman of the National and Homeland Security, as well as the Children and Youth committees prior to assuming the position of 9th District Commander. Also, she has recently been appointed to the National American Legion Marketing Committee. Laurel has been endorsed by Post No. 38, the Outagamie County Council, and the 9th District. She is asking for your support and vote as she pursues the high office of Department Vice Commander.



The Last


3 Antigo Doran Arrowood V 8 Waukesha Richard Miller V 10 Wausau Robert Brainard 11 Green Bay Mike Pyatt V Dale Oconnell V Mike Kellner K 13 Richland Center Elgie Turnipseed K Wayne Crapser V Howard Hansen II 19 Hartford Gene Wittenberger II 22 Amherst Kenneth Trinrud II 23 Glendale Gerald Gleason K 32 Menomonie Thomas Mason V 33 Neenah George Kenny K John Helms V 36 West Bend Herb Timmerman K 38 Appleton Bruce Marcks K William Bartell II Jim Cutler II 39 Marinette Velvie Finn II Francis Lebick K 41 Kaukauna Marvin Heindl V Thomas Gast V George Greenwood K Wallace Mooney II 47 Portage Robert Metcalf K 53 Eau Claire Robert Williams II 54 Marshfield Terrence Frank V Dale Stelson II 60 Kimberly James Nirschl II 67 Lake Mills Robert Stark V Gene Sukow V Michal Elliott V 74 Oconto Jack Maas K 79 Burlington Pat Lloyd K 83 Sheboygan Donald Anderson II Richard Bahr K 87 Rice Lake Leland Scribner II 89 Minocqua Robert Wagner II 91 Oconomowoc Edward Polzin II Richard Petershack II 93 Tomahawk Theodore Haring II Robert Koth II 106 Seymour Alvin Socha V Emil Gosse II

10/25/15 11/03/15 10/20/15 11/13/15 04/16/15 11/16/15 10/16/15 10/28/15 11/09/15 10/21/15 01/17/15 11/03/15 10/28/15 10/25/15 11/02/15 06/01/15 11/03/15 11/15/15 11/17/15 10/20/15 11/06/15 08/28/15 07/20/15 06/29/15 09/20/15 10/26/15 07/20/15 10/20/15 09/30/15 10/16/15 10/15/15 10/22/15 11/05/15 10/16/15 11/14/15 05/12/15 09/28/15 01/15/15 09/24/15 10/29/15 08/05/15 11/14/15 11/16/15 11/03/15 11/05/15

110 New Lisbon Raymond Bailey II 113 Mount Horeb Donald Frisch K Gordon Wahlgren K 114 Eagle River Harold Madsen II 118 Thorp Jerome Wnek K Donald Weggen V 121 River Falls Bob Pearson II 122 Phillips Glen Melville II 125 Chilton John Schmitz K 128 Stockbridge Dan Roberts K 133 Camp Douglas George Delap K George Frohmader II 142 Blanchardville Richard Johnson K 143 St Croix Falls Lyman Samo II 151 Madison John Arnost K Michael Rellahan V 153 Pittsville James Goode K 154 Mondovi Walter Pederson V 155 Westby Robert Johnson K Carlyle Sherry II Donald Jefson K 167 Sauk City Gordon Richardson K 170 Mineral Point Bruno Galle II Donald Spink V 173 Whitewater Richard Chamberlain K 176 Weyauwega Lawrence Kapitzke II 200 Black River Falls Robert Austin Jerry Bares II 201 Tomah Donald Jerdee K 204 Ellsworth Charles Chadwell V 205 Janesville David Knoer II Melvin Peterson K 207 Elmwood Bernard Bechel II 210 Waupun Daryle Miller K 212 Barron Royal McEwen II 217 Bonduel Roger Olson II 219 Milwaukee Edward Hoffmann II 237 Footville William Wingerson V 238 Greenwood Verne Vollrath K Donald Hoffmann II Burton Jolivette K 239 Tigerton Archie Huss V 258 Little Chute Dennis Hendricks V Raymond Schommer K 263 New London James Oashger II 272 Butternut Max Bruch II 277 Necedah Donald Parker V Robert Schoff K Gust Nudi II Arnold Zellmer K 282 Markesan C Ken Werth II

10/26/15 12/27/14 11/22/15 10/11/15 10/25/15 10/27/15 11/01/15 04/23/15 11/06/15 07/15/15 11/16/15 11/17/15 11/17/15 10/19/15 09/22/15 08/10/15

286 Oostburg Lawrence Borucki K 288 Cedarburg Harold Nicholas II Gerald Walker K 293 Silver Lake Morris Tillman V 295 Bloomer Mike Bromberek P 301 Woodville Russell Lund II Wayne Albrigtson V Elton Johnson II 306 Green Lake Robert Schmidt V Carol Manley K 317 Wautoma Charles Gazzana V Robert Czarnecki PG Anthony Lynch K 318 Lake Tomahawk Wayne Paugel K 324 Osseo James Blom V 327 Lyons Harold Flack II 333 Sun Prairie Herbert Huber II Donald Gallagher II

11/01/15 11/09/15 11/15/15 10/21/15 10/20/15 10/19/15 10/17/15 11/07/15 11/20/14 11/11/15 10/30/15 10/22/15 10/05/15 11/09/15 10/29/15 10/21/15 08/27/15 10/29/15


SEPTEMBER DECEMBER25, 3, 2015 2014

339 Almond Edward Durrant K 357 Bay City Thomas Tyler II Thomas Fleming K Kenneth Helmer II 365 Plum City Lawrence Vonholtum K 372 Forestville Francis Froze K 382 Menomonee Falls Merle Meister K Richard Rafferty II Philip Paradies II Merle Meister K 385 Verona Albert Frazier II Robert Feller II 401 Cambria Delwin Busse K 412 Belgium Robert Chamberlain II Sylvester Weyker V 416 Greendale Robert Mueller V 420 Hustisford Harold Lehmann K Frederick Wenger K 422 Highland Robert Miess K

10/28/15 09/13/15 08/13/15 08/20/15 10/21/15 10/24/14 10/02/15 09/16/15 11/02/15 10/02/15 10/20/15 10/28/15 10/19/15 09/14/14 10/30/15 11/01/15 04/26/14 08/25/15

431 Three Lakes Karen Carlsen 440 Clinton James Bugge Jack Stoney Gary Jensen 449 Brookfield Donald Lodl 453 Belmont Lyle Habel 457 Mequon Frank Bolz 473 Potosi Jack Cardey 481 Madison Matthew Paprock 485 Rudolph Pete Radtke 494 Caledonia Marvine Fennigkoh 519 Stetsonville Gary Schafer 526 Hazel Green Robert Champion Raymond Hillary Irene Schroeder 553 Madison Floyd Jones




10/29/15 10/23/15 09/24/15


















10/14/15 10/24/15 10/26/15




10/28/15 08/25/15 09/27/15 10/17/15 10/22/15 10/23/15 10/20/15 10/23/15 10/11/15 10/29/15 11/03/15 11/16/15 08/14/15 07/13/15 10/28/15 08/26/15 10/19/15 10/31/15 10/20/15 10/31/15 11/03/15 10/31/15 10/19/15 11/13/15 11/07/15 02/15/15 10/29/15 10/24/15 11/02/15 10/07/13 03/03/15 10/11/15 07/18/15 10/20/15

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DECEMBER 3, 2015


100% POST COMMANDERS Post No. 65 • Rome James Kitchen

Post No. 510 • Hollandale Mark Chrostowski

ATTENTION: County Commanders Win a trip to the Lincoln Pilgrimage!

Post No. 306 • Green Lake Mark Kramer

Post No. 540 • Haugen Lloyd Meinen

Post No. 236 • Algoma Cletus Conard

Post No. 287 • Mattoon John Priebe

TEAM WISCONSIN Team Wisconsin’s campaign for National Commander continues in high gear. At this point, our Candidate Denise Rohan has been invited to 24 different states for campaign visits. She is working on scheduling visits to the other states, as well. Denise has visited Texas, Oregon, Missouri and Idaho. All the Departments made her feel very welcome and one thing is certain – The American Legion is doing wonderful things across this nation. Between campaign travel and the cost of hospitality rooms, campaign costs are adding up and we need to continue to work on fundraising. The November Post and Unit mailings contained information about the upcoming “Club 600” Raffle. Only 600 tickets will be sold at a cost of $50.00 each. Top prize is $2,000.00 with a total of $5,000.00 in prizes to be awarded. You can purchase these tickets at

the campaign table at Midwinter or by contacting Jan Pulvermacher-Ryan or Diana Sirovina. Proceeds from this raffle will be split between Denise’s National Commander Campaign and Diane Duscheck’s National President Campaign. Look for additional opportunities to donate toward Team Wisconsin’s campaign during the Midwinter Conference. There will be a ‘Wing Span” raffle Friday and a Yahtzee Game option on Saturday. Bring extra cash and stop by the campaign table to learn more. Thank you to the Posts and Counties who are continuing to plan fundraising events, have donation jars out and to Men’s Hair House (www.menshairhouse. com) for their support. Please remember the Christmas in July fundraiser planned for Convention in Middleton. Denise was recently asked why she wanted to be National Commander; her answer was “I’m not


doing this for myself; I’m doing it for Wisconsin.” The delegates at the 2012 Department Convention endorsed her as Wisconsin’s candidate for National Commander. With that endorsement came the support of the entire Department. It is reassuring to know we have over 59,000 Wisconsin Legionnaires and the rest of The American Legion Family as part of the Team. If you would like Denise to participate in or speak at an event in your area, send her an email at or call her at (608) 225-1423 to make arrangements. You can check her availability by going to her web site; and click on CALENDAR to see what dates she has available. You can also go to the web site to make a donation by credit card or print a donation form to send with your check to her campaign headquarters. Thank you all for your continued support!

The 82nd Annual American Legion Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Abraham Lincoln will be held February 11th and 12th, 2016 in Springfield, IL. Commander Oatman is announcing the County Commander Pilgrimage Challenge. All County Commanders who achieve 100% of their 2016 Membership Goal by January 13, 2016 will have their name entered into a drawing to be held at the Wisconsin Legion Family Testimonial Dinner to be held on Saturday, January 16th at the Midwinter Conference. The winner will receive a

trip to The American Legion Pilgrimage to the tomb of Abraham Lincoln. The package includes hotel accommodations on Thursday, February 11th, a visit to President Lincoln’s tomb the following day with Commander Oatman and the Wisconsin Legion Delegation, as well as a commemorative jacket and pin, a visit to the Lincoln Presidential Library and a formal breakfast and lunch on Friday, February 12th. County Commanders must achieve 100% of their 2016 Membership Goal by January 13, 2016 to qualify.


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December 2015 pages 1 7  


December 2015 pages 1 7