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January 22, 2015 • Vol. 92, No. 1 “For God & Country”
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.
Badger Boys State – History, Vision and Success
USAA’s values mirror those of The American Legion. We believe the military community, veterans who have honorably served and their eligible family members deserve a higher level of service. Like The American Legion, our commitment to service is a core part of everything we do.
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Two decades ago, I attended my ﬁrst National American Legion Boys State Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The conference is put on for the leadership of the 49 American Legion Boys State programs around the country. Only Hawaii is without a session. I attended this meeting with the encouragement of two Badger Boys State (BBS) visionaries, Jack Mercier and Jack Saunders. Some would call them dreamers. They had a vision of a program that would be all that it could be. They wanted a pro-
gram that would remain continued input of energy, viable and relevant. It the universe would evenwould be one excellent tually shut down. Kind of program that would last like a teenager’s room! Leaders of these declinlong beyond the time of ing Boys State programs their involvement. knew that something had Jack Saunders and Jack Mercier understood that to be done. In some cases to transform and then the leaders had no clue to maintain that type of how to proceed. In other program, we would have programs, certain conto change. And it would straints would not allow take individuals capable effective change to take of facilitating that change place. Others were unsure of the direction to take. to make it happen. 2016 Few understood the levels Some at Indianapolis that year were in pro- of expertise their volungrams suffering from en- teers brought to the table, tropy. Entropy is a phys- especially in the inforics concept which essen- mation technology area. tially says that without a They were bogged down in paper, and policies and personnel that stunted their ability to change. There probably were no real bad Boys State Programs but there were few excellent Boys State Programs. Over the next several years, the BBS Board would begin to change and evolve. Members
Santa Spotted at Milwaukee VA
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like Dr. Leo Weinshel, Judge William Haese, Rev. Bill Spencer, Glen Duven, Tom Goss, Bill Fehrenbach, Fred Heinle, Dr. Len Szudy, and Clyde Knox would move on. Many had almost ﬁve decades of service with the program. They were replaced by other Legionnaires like Mike Feirer, Wayne Jensen, Rob Moodie, Ted Duckworth, Marty Jansen, Chuck Cooney, Bud Mautz, Lloyd Wagener, Al Richards, Bob Batty, Fred Berns, and Jim Reigel. These Legionnaires enacted program, personnel, and Bylaw changes that would transform both the program and the make-up of the Board of Directors. One dramatic change was that for the ﬁrst time in BBS history, non-Legionnaires would serve on the Board with both “voice and vote.” This was no small deal. Non-Legion members
American Legion Riders from Chapters in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Districts gathered at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee on the evening of December 10th to share some Christmas cheer with veterans undergoing medical treatment. Harley Davidson t-shirts, candy and Christmas cards were presented to the patients and hearty holiday greetings from Santa were shared by all.
Commander Bob’s Testimonial Dinner Sat�rday, June 6, 2015 5PM Cocktails - 6PM Dinner Count�� Inn & Suites 350 E Seven Hills Road • Por� Washing�on WI Come join in a celebration of who we are and what we do! More info to follow……