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Have a question for someone at The American Legion but not sure who you should contact? Check out the list of staff and their primary responsibilities below: Department Staff



Amber Nikolai, Department Adjutant Angie Chappel, Administrative Manager Dwight Johnson, Business Manager Chris Schmidt, Membership Coordinator Dawn Brauner, Programs Coordinator

All things Legion Events, Meetings, etc. Finances, Donations, Grants All things Membership All Americanism Programs except Badger Boys State and WALLECA Friendly voice answering the telephone Address Changes, Last Bugle Submissions WALLECA, Badger Boys State, Fundraising

Carol Swanson, Administrative Assistant

Sheri Hicks, Programs Coordinator

2930 American Legion Drive, PO Box 388, Portage, WI 53901 Phone: 608-745-1090 Fax: 608-745-0179 Website: Twitter: @WIlegion Instagram: Wisconsinamericanlegion Facebook: @WIAmericanLegion

American Legion Service Office:

VA Regional Office 5400 W. National Ave, #164, Milwaukee, WI 53214 Phone: 414-902-5722 • Fax: 414-902-9401 Camp American Legion:

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8529 Cty Rd D, Lake Tomahawk, WI 54539 Phone: 715-277-2510 Fax: 715-277-3425 Website: Facebook: @Campamericanlegion

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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.

How to Contact Legion Staff

Don Grundy, Camp Director

February 15, 2018 • Vol. 95, No. 2


We had so much good stuff submitted for inclusion in this monthʼs issue of The Badger Legionnaire that we ran out of room! Check out our online Digital Extra for more great stories and photos: media/badger-legionnaire

Remembering PDC and PNC Keith Kreul

Originally published on The American Legion Website, January 10, 2018 Reprinted with Permission

American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan has fond memories of Past National Commander Keith Kreul, who passed away Dec. 28 at age 89 in Lancaster, Wisconsin. One of those, in particular, reminds Rohan of how humble and unassuming Kreul was. Right around the same time Rohan was endorsed by The American Legion Department of Wisconsin as a candidate for national commander, the department was honoring Kreulʼs 30th anniversary as national commander. A few weeks later Kreulʼs post had a similar event for Kreul that Rohan and her husband Mike attended. “Keith was weaker at the time, and through his wife he made a big deal about me being there and that I would be Wisconsinʼs next national commander,” Rohan said. “He was again turning the attention off of himself ... and wanted to make sure that people knew who I was. “Immediately after my endorsement came up at our department convention, the first letter of congratulations I received was from Keith Kreul. It was a very nice note that congratulated me and said how proud he was of me.” Kreul, who served as national commander from 1983-1984, was a U.S. Army veteran and member of American Legion Post 184 in Fennimore. Kreul also served as depart-

ment commander, national vice commander and chairman of the National Legislative Commission. Rohan first met Kreul approximately three years after Kreul had finished up as national commander. She met him at her first department convention when, at lunch, she was looking for a place to sit and noticed Kreul at a table by himself. “Iʼm guessing he was sitting all by himself because everybody thought ʻyou canʼt sit with the national commander,ʼ” Rohan said. “It was the only place I could sit. I very sheepishly went over and asked if he minded if I sat with him.” Rohan said Kreul very cordially said yes. “When we sat and talked, he was so friendly and humble,” she said. “Thereʼs part of it that reminded me of my dad. It was like I had to draw information out of him. I really wanted to hear stories about what it was like to be a national commander. He shared with me about going to the White House and meeting the president, testifying, traveling across the United States, the people he met. Iʼm getting to experience a lot of the same things that he shared with me. “He was always quiet and seemed to be listening. He never really inserted himself into conversations. I never heard him say things like, ʻI was national commander. We should do it this way.ʼ He was quiet, listening and let people make decisions,

but he would also help mentor.” Wisconsin Legionnaire David Gough – who has served as department commander, National Executive Committeeman and national vice commander – said his relationship started with Kreul when Gough became active at the district level. “We became good friends, and he acted as a mentor to me,” Gough said. “As I was running for state offices, Keith always supported me. I saw him just before I was sworn in as national vice (commander), and he was proud as punch.” Gough regularly stayed in touch with Kreul and said the PNC was “very happy about Denise when Wisconsin endorsed her (for national commander).” During his tenure as national commander – in which the United States dealt with the attack on a Multinational Force barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, which resulted in the deaths of 241 U.S. servicemembers, as well as the U.S. invasion of Grenada – Kreul stressed the importance of Legionnaires being active in their communities “to spread the word about The American Legion.” He also urged Legionnaires to get involved in the election process, saying that, “The right to cast a ballot is not to be taken lightly. We who put our lives on the line to defend it also have a commensurate responsibil(continued on page 5)

February 2018 cover  

Serving Veterans, their families and their communities for 100 years

February 2018 cover  

Serving Veterans, their families and their communities for 100 years