“For God & Country”
January 12, 2017 Vol. 94, 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.
Membership Resource Center and Wisconsin Legion College to Highlight Midwinter Color Guard Training Returns With Funeral Honors Program scripts that can be used in outreach efforts at the local level. Department Commander Dan Seehafer is encouraging all Legionnaires to “make it personal” and reach out to veterans in our local neighborhoods and encourage them to join a local post. Qualified veterans are reminded that, even if they do not become “active” members in the post, they can support all 4 Pillars of The American Legion by joining a local post and renewing their membership. Recruiters can once again cash in at Midwinter. Legion members who sign up a new member, or renew any former member who has not paid for 2 years (since 2014) can qualify to win $1,000 at the Conference. Simply sign up
a new member, or renew any former member and enter you name through Department headquarters. 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. Contact Chris Schmidt at (608) 745-1090 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mark your calendars and save the dates of January 19th 22nd. Bring your family and enjoy the indoor water parks, attractions and many activities offered in the Wisconsin Dells. Register and reserve your hotel room now online at www.wilegion.org
Excitement over the GROUP
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM COMMANDER DAN & SANTA
The 2017 Midwinter Conference will feature exciting new training and exhibits along with special guests. Highlighting the event will be a Membership Resource Center designed to provide effective tools to Posts and new Wisconsin American Legion College courses. The Conference will once again be held at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells, running from Thursday, January 19th through Sunday, January 22nd. Register and reserve your hotel room now online at www.wilegion.org. The Membership Resource Center will provide attendees with actual lists of prospective members in your local area along with mailing labels, post cards and telephone
FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 2017 7:00 AM-6:00 PM
Lower Dells Hall
8:00 AM-10:00 AM 8:00 AM-10:00 AM 8:00 AM-10:00 AM 8:00 AM-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
Americanism Committee Fundraising Committee Membership Committee Centennial Committee Camp American Legion Committee Convention & Activities Commission Legislative Committee Communications Committee Religious Emphasis Committee Hospital Committee
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
1:00 PM-3:00 PM 1:00 PM-3:00 PM 1:00 PM-3:00 PM 1:00 PM-3:00 PM 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
VA&R Committee Finance Committee National & Homeland Security Committee Policy Committee Children & Youth Committee
Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-FG Lower Dells-E Lower Dells-I
SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2017 7:00 AM-6:00 PM 7:00 AM-6:00 PM 8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Legion Ofﬁce Registration Exhibits
Lower Dells-Salon B Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells Hall
10:00 AM-3:00 PM
8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM
*Advanced Retention & Recruiting Post Operations- WALC Basic Course M-1 Garand Training Public Relations- WALC Basic Course Color Guard Training M-1 Garand Training *Legislative Programs & Priorities Post Operations-WALC Basic Course Public Relations-WALC Basic Course Color Guard Training Funeral Honors
Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-H Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-H Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-A
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
Membership Resource Room
1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM
Baseball Directors Meeting American Legion Extension Institute ($5) *Adv. Leadership & Problem Solving Legion Programs & the 4 Pillars WALC Int Funeral Honors
Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-A
1:00 PM 3:00 PM
SAL Training SAL DEC
Upper Dells-E Upper Dells-E
3:00 PM 3:00 PM 3:00 PM
*WAL Issues & Future Challenges Historian Training Chaplain’s Training
Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-H
5:15 PM-6:00 PM 5:15 PM-6:00 PM
Catholic Church Service Protestant Church Service
Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-E
2017 MIDWINTER SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Excitement over the Midwinter Sweepstakes continues to be big news. The 2017 Ford Focus being offered as one of the Grand Prize options will be on display at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center. The Grand Prize winner will have their choice of $20,000 in cash or a 2017 Ford Focus from Boucher Automotive Group. Remember that our Rehabilitation Fund, which makes the programs at Camp American Legion and our Department Service Office possible, receives all funds raised through the Sweepstakes. Please be generous in your donation and support the important work of The American Legion.
6:00 PM Rev’s Midwinter Rally Upper Dells-AB *WALC Advance courses require the completion of the Basic and then Intermediate courses
SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2017 8:00 AM 9:00 AM
Four Chaplain’s Service Department Executive Committee Meeting
Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-B
2017 Membership Goal: 56,739 • Jan 1st Total: 49,146 • 86.62% District
87.97% 1st PLACE
86.04% 2nd PLACE
85.29% 3rd PLACE
83.64% 6th PLACE
81.79% 9th PLACE
10th PLACE 11th PLACE 12th PLACE
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: email@example.com David A. Kurtz, Executive Editor 2016-2017 Communications Committee Kendel D. Feilen, Chairman Phil Ingwell, Vice Chairman Harold Rihn, DEC Liaison Renee Kasuboski Rory Burns Jerry Lauby Geoff Sheilds Rick McCanna, Historian Loretta Shellman, Auxiliary Liaison Bonnie Dorniak, Auxiliary Liaison 2016-17 Department Ofﬁcers Commander Daniel J. Seehafer Vice Commanders Tom Strey Frank Kostka Ensley Brown Laurel Clewell Adjutant David A. Kurtz Chaplain Arthur Biesak Sergeant-at Arms Jeremy Nordie Mark Toll Service Ofﬁcer James Fialkowski NECman Ken Rynes Alternate NECman Robert Shappell District Commanders 1st – Bill Babb 2nd – Jim Lee 3rd – Harold Rihn 4th – Mark Sandow 5th – Julia Atkinson 6th – Todd Braun 7th – Ken Schoolcraft 8th – Jim Young 9th – Clarence Davister 10th – John Miller 11th – Jim Lynn 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.
“Wisconsin” American Legion Auxiliary Department of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 140 • Portage, WI 53901 Bonnie Dorniak, Editor Laurel DuBois, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
JANUARY 12, 2017
DEPARTMENT COMMANDER An anxious patient, lying on her sickbed, turned to her doctor and asked: “Doctor, how long will I have to lie here and suffer?” Dan Seehafer Department Commander “Just a day at a time,” replied the wise physician. Just a day at a time! What a wonderful philosophy of life. The new year will come to us, just one day at a time, with its new burdens, duties, hopes, and fears. As we begin our journey into the brand new year, which, if it continues at the pace of the year now past, will record great changes in the history of our country, in the history of our beloved American Legion, and in
the history of us as families and as individuals. However, let’s not be discouraged or dismayed by the overwhelming greatness of its possibilities. Let us rather find comfort and encouragement in the fact that God has cut the coming year into smaller pieces, and we shall have to live it “just a day at a time.” We cannot live tomorrow today. Nor can we live next week tomorrow. But, with God’s help, we can bear the burdens and the challenges that come to us today. I know this is probably a little unusual, an article like this, especially coming from a Department Commander. However, family, I strongly believe this is an article that not only needs to be read but also shared. Throughout my trav-
els, I have heard some messages from Post Commanders and other various Legionnaires who feel the burdens of leadership. Some of our more active members sometimes feel that they just can’t do it anymore, or that they are the only ones doing the Legion work. Remember, just a day at a time! And over time we begin to see the results of our dedication to God and Country. It’s like our annual Midwinter Conference. This conference didn’t become a powerhouse training event overnight. Just a day at a time! Just a month at a time! Just a year at a time! Now, it has become a training magnet--not only benefiting our Legion family, but also attracting attendance from other veteran’s service organizations. Further-
more, I’m overly thrilled to have almost 225 people scheduled to attend the Rev’s Midwinter Rally Banquet on Saturday, January 21st. As we fill our days this coming year in service to each other, so shall the strength we need be provided. We have God’s own assurance that each day throughout the coming year will find us equipped with that amount of strength that will be necessary to bear its burden, to endure its trial, and to fight its battle through. Just a day at a time for our fellow veterans and their families! And let’s also never forget: we have this assurance because we have a Friend who has promised to be with us in His love “even unto the end of the world.” Have a Blessed New Year, family!
SERVICE OFFICER Change in most cases is necessary and innovative change in business is praised - but not all change James Fialkowski is good. The Service Ofﬁcer claims process in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA or VA) has historically been difficult to navigate. The changes the VA has made over the last five years has made navigating this claim system more convoluted than ever. For this reason alone it is highly recommended that you get help from your local County Veteran’s Service Officer (CVSO). Your American Legion Service Office works closely with Wisconsin’s network of professional CVSO’s to streamline the VA claims process. I don’t blame the VA for attempt-
ing to update their antiquated system. The old status quo could not keep up with the increased complexity of the claims process, number of new claims, and lack of personnel. The number of pending disability compensation and pension claims had risen to nearly 900,000, of which over 600,000 were over 125 days old and considered backlogged. The VA was under pressure from Congress to bring down the backlog. In their efforts to bring down their claims inventory the VA went through an innovation process of transitioning from hard paper to electronic files. They urge that all claims be submitted electronically and have taken steps to push in that direction. They have now implemented the Fully Developed Claim program. The program promises quicker decision times for claims submitted.
While the Fully Developed Claim program is a success story, some aspects of it have caused more confusion and harm than good. The VA altered their claim submission rules, not accepting an obvious claim eloquently written with all the information on a piece of paper as required in the past. Before the submission rules changed, a well written letter would have created an informal claim at the very least, causing the VA to respond with a letter explaining the proper process along with the necessary documents. But nowadays, if a veteran writes such a letter the VA will not establish any form of a claim. Instead they will send correspondence back saying they have received documentation and if it was your intent to file a claim please go to a website or call a certain phone number. This action deters claims
from individuals who do not hear well enough to effectively communicate on the phone or feel uncomfortable navigating the internet on a computer. The VA has made so many changes over the last few years, I could go on for pages relating them. Rest assured that your American Legion Service Office is staying informed and trained to handle these changes as they occur. When we find challenges, the VA leadership is willing to work with The American Legion to work through these problems. We are hopeful of the future VA, but the fact is that the claims process has become even more confusing and unforgiving of mistakes than ever. If you or someone you know has VA benefits to seek, please get the help of your local County Veteran’s Service Officer or contact our office at (414) 902-5722.
WDVA NOTES MADISON – Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin Department of Secretary Affairs (WDVA) Secretary John A. Scocos presented grants totaling $250,000 to 42 nonprofit organizations that provide financial assistance or other services to Wisconsin veterans and their families at a ceremony at the Wisconsin State Capitol on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Among the grant awardees was the Wisconsin American Legion Foundation which received $5,000 to provide a marriage counseling retreat at Camp American Legion. “These grants to non-profit organizations like the Wisconsin American Legion Foundation are a reflection of the Governor’s belief and our belief that the veterans community is best served when all veterans organizations work together to provide the best possible services to veterans and their families,” said WDVA Secretary John A. Scocos. “We are pleased to provide resources to and partner with these non-profit organizations to ensure that our nation’s heroes receive the services they have earned by serving this great nation.” “Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our country and they de-
serve the best when they conclude active duty service,” Governor Walker said. “These grants will fund things like emergency financial assistance, transitional housing, and service dogs for veterans with disabilities. I thank all of the grant recipients for their commitment to serving Wisconsin’s veterans.” This WDVA nonprofit grant program was signed into law by Governor Walker on April 6, 2014 (2013 Act 190), after receiving broad bipartisan support in the State Legislature. The bill, Assembly Bill 805, was authored by Representative Warren Petryk (R-Eleva) and Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) The law provides a maximum total of $250,000 for grants up to $25,000 for registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Grant applications were considered by members of the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs. The grants are administered by the WDVA. Grantees include: • Artists for the Humanities, Milwaukee • Badger Honor Flight, Madison • Camp Hometown Heroes, grafton • Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin, Madi-
son • Concordia University, Mequon • Consumer Credit Counseling of Sheboygan, Sheboygan • Couleecap, Westby • Custom Canine Service Dog Academy, Sun Prairie • Fisher House Wisconsin, Milwaukee • Fox Valley Veterans Council, Appleton • Heroes’ Hunt for Veterans, Waupun • HistoriCorps, Chequamegon National Park • Horse Spirit, Hayward • Indianhead Community Action Agency, Ladysmith • Madison Area Technical College Foundation, Madison • Manufacturing Diversity Institute, Milwaukee • Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee • Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative, Milwaukee • Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteer Caregivers of Door County, Sturgeon Bay • Northcentral Technical College Foundation, Wausau • Operation Finally Home, Jackson • Porchlight, Madison
• rock Valley Community Programs, Janesville • Souls of Honor, Wausau • Stepping Stone Farms School of Horsemanship, Franksville • The Highground Veterans Memorial Park, Neillsville • Trees from Home, glendale • Trinity equestrian Center, eau Claire • United Veterans Partnership, Shorewood • University of Wisconsin Superior Foundation, Superior • University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Whitewater • USO Wisconsin, Milwaukee • Veterans Afield U. A., Oak Creek • Veterans Ceremony, Union Grove Cemetery, Rhinelander • Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin, Racine • VFW Post 8216, Middleton • War Memorial Center, Milwaukee • Warrior Songs, Madison • Wilderness Veterans Memorial Flame Foundation, Presque Isle • Wisconsin American Legion Foundation, Portage • Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired, Madison
JANUARY 12, 2017
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
–– MARCHING ACROSS THE STATE ––
Wisconsin Veterans Museum Traveling Exhibit Program
For over one hundred years, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum has connected the past to the present by sharing the stories of Wisconsin’s military veterans. Located on Capitol Square in Madison, this award-winning museum and research center chronicles the history-shaping exploits of Wisconsin’s veterans from Civil War to present day. Supported by rare artifacts, full-scale dioramas, electronic interactive elements, educational programing, and traveling exhibits, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum educates beyond the tenthousand square feet of museum space. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum’s Marching Across the State traveling exhibit program features five unique exhibits that bring the photographs, artwork, stories, and sacrifices of Wisconsin’s veterans to life. The program includes a variety of offerings suitable for diverse venues. Featured exhibits include: Fur, Feathers, and Fidelity: Military Mascots, Working Warriors: Military Life Beyond Combat, Santos Zingale: Artist Turned Sailor, and Watercolors of Corporal John Gaddis: Documenting the Civil War. The first two are in an indoor, easy-to-assemble pop-up banner format, appropriate for a variety of venues. There is no cost, except shipping, for these two exhibits. The last two are art-based exhibits. They are best suited to professionally staffed museums and require some cost for reservation, hosting and shipping. The most recent addition, Wisconsin Remembers: A Face For Every Name, is a joint collaboration by Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. This exhibit is also an indoor, easy-toassemble pop-up banner format and the only cost is shipping. Fur, Feathers, and Fidelity: Military Mascots This exhibit shines a light on the human side of military service and engages animal lovers of all ages. Heartwarming photos and stories of a lion, a monkey, a dog, and Wisconsin’s most famous mascot, Old Abe, are just a few of
the military mascots contributing as a source of pride and morale for troops. Working Warriors: Military Life Beyond Combat This exhibit highlights the 75% of non-combat military jobs in our armed services that rarely make the headlines, but are vital to every military operation. Exploring the work of beauticians, military police, dentists, mechanics, and photographers, the stories share an often overlooked but essential role of military life. The Wisconsin Humanities Council is honored to include this Wisconsin Veterans Museum exhibit as part of the Working Lives Project. Santos Zingale: Artist Turned Sailor The fine art exhibit, Santos Zingale: Artist Turned Sailor, features thirteen original sketches completed by Santos Zingale while on board the USS Bremerton during WWII. Zingale provides an intimate view of daily life on the ship, including moments of rest and relaxation. This exhibit of framed charcoal sketches is suitable for professionally-staffed museums and galleries. Watercolors of Corporal John Gaddis: Documenting the Civil War The fine art exhibit Watercolors of Corporal John Gaddis: Documenting the Civil War features fourteen framed watercolors painted by John Gaddis, while
serving with the 12th Wisconsin Infantry during the Civil War. Scenes from Wisconsin, Camp Randall, Kansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee make up this fine art exhibit suitable for professionally-staffed museums and galleries. Wisconsin Remembers: A Face For Every Name In collaboration with Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum introduced Wisconsin Remembers: A Face for Every Name as part of the museum’s traveling exhibit program. The traveling exhibit features a photo for each of the 1,161 Wisconsinites officially listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The exhibit includes additional photos for names that are listed on The Highground Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Neillsville, WI. Wisconsin Remembers is a tribute to lost life and lost potential. Marching across the State is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is located at 30 W. Mifflin St., across the street from the State Capitol, and is free to the public. For more information about the program, or to schedule one of the exhibits in your community or space visit www.wisvetsmuseum. com/exhibitions/traveling_exhibits/ or call (608) 261-0541.
2017 Season Planned for Camp Here We Go!
With a successful 2016 Camp season behind us, it’s time to focus our sights and begin efforts towards this year’s Camp schedule. In looking at what we have already scheduled and laid out it will be our biggest and most active season in our history. Our “Help to Heal” mission continues to grow and expand and that vision means we will have more special programs, weeks, weekends, retreats, summits, events and camps than ever before. The 2017 season will be very diverse in nature and be a true reflection of our ever growing mission of serving the whole military family; veterans, service members and families in any and every way. I ask you to reach out to all ill, injured and disabled veterans and tell them about Camp American Legion. Give “your” helping hand to a vet who needs one and help them come to Camp. Let all veterans and families who would qualify for one of these special weeks know about our “Help to Heal” mission and invite them to attend. In addition to telling them you can become actively engaged in helping them come. Help them fill out the application and arrange for transportation if you are able. Stick with them. The veterans and families you send will thank you greatly for the Camp experience. Camp American Legion positively impacts and changes lives. What we do for our fellow veterans can give you a very unique, special feeling. In addition to these listed programs, Camp will be actively serving the broader military family and conducting an additional 15 more special programs for veterans, service members, families, couples, spouses, children and caregivers. Camp American Legion is touching veterans, service members and families in every corner of Wisconsin. Sometime those veterans in need live in the remote areas of the state. Let’s find them and help them connect! As always, veterans can come on an individual basis during one of our open weeks and even during some of our special weeks if they
qualify. Any veteran with a physician-documented illness, injury or disability can attend Camp. If a veteran qualifies, is self-sufficient and able to function on their own, they come alone and share the week with other great veterans. If a veteran cannot take care of some area of their own basic personal care, they can bring a physicianapproved caregiver. If a qualified veteran has minor age dependent children, they can bring the whole family. Camp is here to serve them all and we want them to come. I personally thank you for your support. God bless, Kevin Moshea, Director
In 2017 we look forward to JUNe 5-9 Homeless & At-risk Veterans Week JUNe 12-16 Women Veterans Week JUNe 19-23 Korea & Vietnam Veterans Week JULy 24-30 Post 9/11 Veterans Week AUgUST 7-11 Caregiver Respite Retreat (for Post 9/11 caregivers) AUgUST 21-27 Vision & Hearing Loss Veterans Week AUgUST 28-SePTeMBer 3 Veterans Recovery Week SEPTEMBER 8-10 Diabetes Camp (Except for the Homeless Week and Caregiver Respite Retreat, attendees may be rescheduled) For more information on Camp eligibility and to get an application visit the Department website at www.wilegion.org. You can print an application right off the website. You can also contact Camp American Legion directly at (715) 2772510 or email@example.com.
Marshfield Post Hosts Children & Youth Activities Post No. 54 in Marshfield celebrated the holidays in style by holding a children’s party. A Lunch with Santa was conducted at the post on Friday, December 9th. The members of Post No. 54 and Auxiliary Unit No. 54 played host to 45 children from the Marshfield community along with their parents. There were fun activities, prize drawings and a luncheon of hot dogs, beans, potato chips, Kool-aid and desserts. The highlight was a visit from Santa Claus. Legionnaire Fred Fisher appeared in his Santa Claus costume to the delight of all and is pictured here entertaining one of the children who is working up the courage to sit Santa’s knee.
Commander Dan Seehafer received a major donation of items for Camp American Legion during the Department Fall meetings. Committee member Jim Kitchen of the Town of Rome Post No. 65 delivered a trailer full of new sheets, towels and blankets to be used. Dan Curren from Veterans Action Network of Wisconsin donated the items.
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
Happy New Year! 2017 is shaping up to be a historic year for our candidate, our Department and our organization. With no other candidate for commander, Denise Rohan is poised to be elected National Commander of The American Legion on August 24, 2017. She will be the second National Commander from Wisconsin and the 1st female National Commander in the history of the organization. Many of you know that within an hour of submitting last month’s article, Candidate Denise fell 12 feet from a ladder and broke both of her heel bones. Both the paramedic Jon Durst and the surgeon Dr. David Goodspeed are Legionnaires. Denise has received cards and messages from hundreds of Legion Family members across the state and nation. She is very grateful for your prayers and uplifting messages. We want to assure you that although Denise is moving a little slower, the campaign is still very much on track with 26 visits scheduled between now and August. During the month of December Candidate Denise was thrilled to attend the Dane County meeting to receive substantial donations from Madison Post No. 151, Madison Post No. 501 and Black Earth Post No. 313. She also attended the 4th District meeting in Greendale where she received a donation from their fundraising team for events held at Post No. 537, Post No. 416 and Post No. 434. Denise appreciates all of your
efforts in raising funds to help her cover the costs of the campaign. Please continue to help raise funds or make donations for the campaign to elect Wisconsin’s next national commander. Donations large and small are what is driving this campaign so don’t feel that your post, county or district is too small to be able to make a large donation. We ask that you talk about her campaign and decide on how much you can afford and then proudly present Candidate Rohan with your check. I guarantee she will be just as pleased as she is with every donation. You can check Denise’s schedule for availability or make donations online at www.deniserohan.org There will be fundraising activities during the Midwinter conference where you will also have the opportunity to win a 48” Samsung TV, rifle and a Shotgun, purchase raffle tickets, purchase Team Wisconsin shirts and caps and other campaign items. Mark your calendar for March 5th for an auction being help at Darlington Post No. 214. The Post will open at 10:00 AM that morning with the auction starting at noon. A meal will be served from 11:00 – 1:00. We are looking for new or gently used items to be auctioned off. If you have items to be donated contact Dave Gough at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Rohan at mdnrohan@ gmail.com or call (608) 8379763 to arrange a drop-off or pick-up.
PDC Denise Rohan receives a campaign donation from the 4th District.
JANUARY 12, 2017
Plymouth Post Hosts Wisconsin American Legion College Basic Course
On Saturday, November 19th, the Ladewig-Zinkgraf Post No. 243 in Plymouth hosted the Wisconsin American Legion College Basic Course of instruction for participants from Sheboygan and Ozaukee Counties. First Row: Katrina Glocke, David Ronn, Mark Provencher, Kelly Wilfer, Ron Spapperi, Jim Schmidt, Ron Merrimam, Alternate NEC Robert Shappell (Instructor) Second Row: Chris Kissinger, DuWayne Wieck, Joan Pearson, Al Schoessow, Les Bischoff, Francis Koranda, Allen Nohl, Gene Szudrowitz. Not pictured: Greg Eirich (Instructor)
What Does the American Flag Mean To You?
By Jeni Wergeland, Winter School District What would you say if asked the question, “What does the American flag mean to you?” Would you focus on the colors of our flag and what they represent? Would you think about saying the Pledge of Allegiance and what those words mean? Or, would you think about America and all of the beliefs and values we hold true? This question was asked of our elementary students by the Jensen-Hansen Post No. 394 of Winter. It was just after 9-11 and still a month away from Veteran’s Day when Robert Foley came to see me one morning in October. He told me that the post wanted to offer a coloring contest to the students, along with asking them to write a paragraph about what the flag meant to them as students. As we were talking it was evident that The American Legion Family wanted to involve our community and our students in a very important conversation. The teachers embraced this contest and ran with it, having all the pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students participate! The finished products were collected and sent back with Mr. Foley for consideration. Hansen-Jensen Post No. 394, along with Unit No. 394 of the American Legion Auxiliary had a difficult decision ahead as many of the responses were quite thoughtful and insightful. After narrowing down the finalists, they decided on three winners. Our winners were Madison Velleux of the 5th grade, Allison Roberts of the 4th grade and Brooke Spinner from the 3rd grade. The Legion and the Auxiliary focused on the message and
meaning of the students’ writings along with their representation of the flags they drew. Mr. Foley expressed how difficult the final choices were and how impressed they were with the students work. They also wanted to be sure that students and teachers knew how appreciative they were for their time and effort. Mr. Foley came to present the winners with a certificate and each received a monetary gift as well. Winter School would like to take this time to give our sincere thanks to the Hansen-Jensen Post No. 394 and Auxiliary for their generosity and the opportunity to partner with them. Wondering about the winning words? Here they are:
1st Place Madison Velleux “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the Unite States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, and one nation under God
indivisible with liberty and justice for all.” I love the American flag! This flag is a symbol of our freedom. And each star on the flag represents the fifty states, and the thirteen stripes represent the thirteen British colonies.” 2nd Place Allison Roberts The American flag means to me freedom, pride, honor, and respect. Freedom to do the things I love. Pride to live in such a great country. Honor and respect for those who serve to protect us. 3rd Place Brooke Spinner I thank the flag for freedom and peace. White=purity and good. Red=courage and bravery, and blue=fairness. The flag is a symbol of our country. The flag used to have 13 stars but now it has 50. There used to be 13 stripes and there still is.
Past Department Vice Commander Robert Foley with winners.
JANUARY 12, 2017
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
Candidate for Department Commander
Candidate for Department Vice Commander
Department Vice Commander Laurel Clewell is asking for your support and vote as she pursues the high office of Department Commander and pledges to work hard for the Department of Wisconsin. Vice Commander Laurel Clewell is a dual member and Paid Up For Life member of both the Johnston–Blessman Post No. 38 of Appleton and the American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 38. Laurel retired as an Army Command Sergeant Major in 2012 with 36 years in service. Commander Clewell is eligible for her American Legion membership because of her service during Desert Shield in 1991 and also in 2008 during the Global War on Terror. Her service to this great country was an honor and a privilege and she feels that her commitment to The American Legion is an extension of that service. Laurel was born and raised in Appleton and worked for the City of Appleton until she retired in 2014. Laurel is married to Gordy Clewell and has two children and 4 stepchildren. She has two granddaughters and three grandsons with one more due in July. 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 Unit No. 38. Vice Commander Laurel is committed to membership growth at all levels of The American Legion and has worked extensively on Membership outreach and revitalization at the post, county and District levels by organizing and leading efforts to strengthen our organization. Laurel currently serves as Adjutant for Post No. 38 and has also served as Finance Officer, all three Vice Commander positions and was Commander in 2011-2012. She has served on the executive committee, house committee, membership committee, finance committee, Scarlet guard honor guard and numerous special committees such as the convention corporation. Laurel went through all three Vice Commander positions and was Commander of Outagamie County. She also served on the finance committee for the 9th District, the three Vice Commander positions and Commander of the Noble 9th. Laurel was appointed to the Department Fundraising committee in 2007, then served on the National Homeland Security committee and was their chairman in 2012. She also served as the chairman of the Children & Youth committee in 2013. She is currently serving on the National American Legion Marketing Commission. She dedicates her time and energy to her family, to veterans and The American Legion. She asks for your support and pledges her wholehearted efforts if elected to the high office of Department Commander.
My name is Todd Braun. I earned my eligibility for The American Legion with 6 ½ years of active duty in the Army Military Police Corps from 1988 to 1994 and the Air Force Reserve from 2001 to 2003. I am running for the high office of Department Vice Commander. Many of you know me as your Department Sergeant at Arms from 2011 to 2013. It was during the elections in 2013 where a wise Legionnaire opened my eyes. He told me that he did not vote for me because that position should not be a career position and that I should move up the ladder. I took his words of wisdom forward and became 6th District Vice Commander and now hold the office of 6th District Commander. I have also held office as a 100% Post Adjutant for 3 years and 6th District Sergeant at Arms for 4 years. I have been the Department County Youth Government Chairman for 2 years, Department Legislative Committee DEC Liaison and currently the Department Membership Committee DEC Liaison. I was also the 6th District Americanism Chairman for 2 years and have assisted at the Department Oratorical Competition for the last 6 years. I am looking forward for the opportunity to be your Department Vice Commander. I have learned a lot along the way. First, it is not about me but about The American Legion and the great Legionnaires who support the mission. Without them a commander and the organization are nothing. Secondly, everyone has a story which one needs to take the time to listen to. Lastly, do not abandon or shut out those who have mentored you and supported you. Many times we forget where we came from and how we got there. It is with these lessons and others that I hope to do the best job possible for you. I am looking forward for your support in my campaign. Thank you for all you do. Todd J. Braun, 6th District Commander
SNOWFLAKE (continued from Front Cover) proud to admit all veterans and their spouses at no charge upon display of a DD Form 214, a VA card or your American Legion membership card. Simply present a valid American Legion membership card at the gate. Dress warmly – these are outdoor winter events! There will be bonfires and other interesting activities for the entire family. A visit to the annual Snowflake ski jumping tournament is something you won’t see anywhere else in the area, and an event you will never forget! Check out the ski club’s web site for pictures, a map, admission fees, to purchase buttons, and exciting youTube videos at www.snowflakeskiclub.com.
6th District to Host 54th Annual Americanism Banquet
All Legionnaires, Auxiliary Members, Legion Riders and Sons of The American Legion are cordially invited to attend the 54th Annual Americanism Banquet. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2017, at La Sure’s Banquet Hall in Oshkosh. Social begins at 5:00 PM with the opening ceremonies starting at 6:00 PM. Dinner will be served at 6:30 PM. La Sure’s Banquet Hall is located at 3125 South Washburn Street in Oshkosh adjacent to I-41, across from the EAA Museum and next to the Outlet Mall. Overnight accommodations are available. Rooms have
been blocked under The American Legion at Hawthorn Inn & Suites at a reduced rate of $109.00 plus tax. Hawthorn Inn & Suites is connected to La Sure’s Banquet Hall. Call (920) 303-1133 for reservations. Banquet seating is by advance reservation only. The cost is $21.00 per person and reservation requests must be received by February 3, 2017. Tickets will be available for pick-up at the door. Contact 6th District Americanism Chairman David J. Steinert at (920) 685-6691 or email him at email@example.com for banquet tickets and with any questions.
C E L E B RA T I N G
OF S E RV I C E
The Legionnaire Insurance Trust is Celebrating 50 Years of Service to Legionnaires and Legion Family Members.
TO LEGIONNAIRES AND LEGION FAMILY MEMBERS
DEPARTMENT SPONSORED MEMBER BENEFIT PROGRAMS
Department Sponsored Insurance Programs The Legionnaire Insurance Trust has been Your Department’s sponsored member benefits program for over 50 years and continues to fulfill members’ needs while being the only such program to benefit Your Department every year. For more information on the products and services provided by The Legionnaire Insurance Trust,
Call: 1-800-235-6943 Or visit us on the web at: www.theLIT.com From Your American Legion Department 39865
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
8 Waukesha Daniel Staffeldt V Thomas Peterson K Paul Bruno II Carl Barner K 9 Wisconsin Rapids Richard Semrow K 11 Green Bay Donald Egge V Lewis Konop II Lawrence Grambihler V Donald Liederbach II 14 Iola Bruce Freistedt K Joe Sprangers K Wilmar Sommer K 16 Cudahy Michael Cain V 19 Hartford Donald Beggan II Richard Foster V Richard Dueck V Leo Asunto II Francis Merkes II Richard Foster V 21 Kenosha Leo Torris II William Feemster II 26 Baraboo Walter Smith K Janet Bjornsen II 27 Milwaukee Randy Schmidt V Lawrence Brophey II 33 Neenah John Galloway II 35 Evansville Richard Eager K 36 West Bend John Becker K 38 Appleton James Clawson II Harold Bauss V Joseph Griesbach II Donald Heinen II 41 Kaukauna William Porretto II Terrance Hanson K 44 Wabeno Kenneth Edwards V Barney Jeranek II 45 Elkhorn Robert Harrington K 46 Merrill Alvin Saeger II Robert Buss K Arthur Taylor II 48 Beloit Charles Luedtke II 51 West Salem James Folstad V Clive McBain II 53 Eau Claire Robert Hischke K Stanley Semingson K Duane Pulkrabek K 54 Marshﬁeld Inez Smith II William Martens II Melvin Laird II Charles Thom V Jerome Gerum V Charles Thom V David Weichelt K 59 Stoughton Richard Kluever V
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Duane Brickson K 60 Kimberly Leo Sprangers II 66 Athelstane-Silver Cliff Jerry Popp K 73 Neillsville Gene Huth V Richard Vangorden II 74 Oconto Eugene Trepanier K 75 Fond du Lac Steve Athanasiou K Gary Miller V 77 Chippewa Falls Norbert Kinnick K John Kappus K 79 Burlington John Strike V George Sandstrom V John Zwiebel II 80 New Richmond Vern Skogland K 81 Mauston John Bakalik II John Grzenia V 84 Monroe Michael Tazioli V Marvin Ingwell K 89 Minocqua Tony Rems V Paul Braunstein II 91 Oconomowoc Robert Hornburg K 93 Tomahawk Thomas Mooney V Jerry Carey II 95 Delavan William Klein II John Isherwood II David Perkins K 103 Galesville Warren Johnson K 105 Shullsburg Richard Morrissey K 106 Seymour Ted Haase K William Davis V Arnold Lemmens II 113 Mt Horeb Gary Witte V 115 Elroy John Steffens II 117 Shawano James Schroeder II Patrick Soufal K 118 Thorp Bernard Mertens II 121 River Falls Jack Bostrack K James Olson V Tomasina Watters G/L 122 Phillips Donald Klein II Charles Holoubek V 134 Boscobel William Schultz II 141 New Glarus Arnold Kehrli II Palmer Strickler II 142 Blanchardville Orville Ayen II 143 St Croix Falls Donald Klein V 149 Sheboygan Falls Bruce Mueller K 153 Pittsville Jerrel Arnold K 155 Westby Karsten Hansen K 161 King Robert Green II Loren Abraham V 162 Alma Center Robert Rowekamp V 165 Two Rivers Dennis Chapleski V Gerald Pagel V Robert Schaus V 172 North Freedom Thomas McIntyre K David Herritz V
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176 Weyauwega Kenneth Halverson V Raymond Schalkowski II 180 Milwaukee Lawrence Kuechenmeister K 181 Durand Archie Richardson II John Brunner V 182 Park Falls Dennis Enderle K Arthur Pritzl II Robert Bradle K 188 East Troy Robert Steger V 192 Franklin Robert Goetzke V Michael Schmitt V 193 Batavia/Beechwood Jerome Sinnen K 201 Tomah Kenneth Larsen V Gary Schoonover K 207 Elmwood Gene Helmer K Timothy Talford PG 210 Waupun Alfred VanLoo II Thomas Holzman V Irvin Moldenhauer K 212 Barron William Church K 215 Pardeeville Frank Budka V 216 Lodi Ralph Jessie V 217 Bonduel Gordon Shulze II 223 Hillsboro Michael Nelson V 233 Waterloo Lawrence Holley II 237 Footville Alden Potter K 238 Greenwood Thomas Elmer K Raymond Vesel II 243 Plymouth Randolf Blech V 253 Spring Green Merlin Nelson II 261 Greenbush Roland Thuecks V Eugene Kohlman V 268 Bruce Marvin Williams V Joseph Perlongo II 270 Theresa Almond Giese K 284 Holmen Foster Holmen V Arlene Pagel II 288 Cedarburg Gerald Hammetter Henry Kernats II 293 Silver Lake Howard Werner K Eugene Jerde K 294 Hartland Andrew Weber II James Vallone II 295 Bloomer William Prince V Melvin Fanetti K Peter Brewer P 301 Woodville Gerald Strobush K Ben Sachsenmaier II 305 Johnson Creek Leo Thomas V Eugene Schlesner II Everett Nass K 318 Lake Tomahawk Walter Glas II 324 Osseo Donald Gilbertson K Wilmer Dahl II 325 Goodman James Anderson K 329 Briggsville Roland Garlock II
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SEPTEMBER JANUARY 12, 25, 2017 2014
333 Sun Prairie Floyd Schmidt II 337 Pulaski Leonard Targaczewski II Nick Knutson PG 339 Almond Andrew Jacowski II 346 Centuria Richard Klatt II 351 Montello Ronald Wuteska V 358 Unity Herschel Teter K 360 Waunakee Forrest Hayes V Daniel Teetzen V 371 Saxon James Hegbloom K David Tauer V 375 Mukwonago John Theim K 376 Fall Creek Robert Klatt K 377 Elcho Dennis Johnson K 382 Menomonee Falls Dennis Williams V Frank Seitz K 401 Cambria Arthur DeYoung II 406 Milwaukee Francis Monchek V Ralph Culver II 410 Fredonia Gregory Leider K William Klas K 415 Milwaukee Richard Ammerman II 416 Greendale Robert Huebner K Arthur Lewandowski II 423 Neshkoro Darwin Krueger K 431 Three Lakes Henry Zinsmeister K Franklin Greb K 432 Hammond Jim Hawkins K 434 Oak Creek John Kruchten K Mike Kozey II 435 Superior Roger Searle II 436 Wrightstown John Dollar K 437 Mazomanie DeVerne Simpson K
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443 Blue River Rudolph Dienes II 449 Brookﬁeld Charles Schwerm K Edward Kleine K Delbert Peterson II Sean Porter II Robert Hipenbecker II 453 Belmont William Bockhop V 454 Mt Calvary Irmin Criter II 457 Mequon-Thiensville Earl Frank K 470 Saukville Merle Doege II Elroy Maechtle II Frederick Schanen II Sean Schenk PG 486 Jackson Timothy Kraft V Frederick Kasten K Qunitin Schowalter II Ray Griesemer II 487 Cable Jackie Allen V Paul Polak V 491 Cazenovia Vincent Duren II 492 Rothschild Orville Kneisl II 494 Caledonia Stanley Howe K Donald Hiland II Lowell Wyma K Eugene Lebon V Kenneth Funk V Edward Micnovicz II 501 Madison Richard Lawrence II Merlyn Lucas K 518 Green Bay Richard Thyrion V William Pfeil II 521 Fox Lake Casey Carlin PG 527 Sister Bay Gerald Reinhard George Bush V William Cisewski K Richard Horbinski K Richard Kostka K William Duquaine V 544 Twin Lakes Leonard Rego K 2930 Portage Wayne Missling K
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JANUARY 12, 2017
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
Historian’s Workshop Set for Midwinter
100% POST COMMANDERS
Post No. 394 • Loretta Fred Leuthold
Post No. 338• Cedar Grove Rich Gillette
Post No. 322 • Babcock Greg Regalia
Post No. 313 • Black Earth Dennis Wood
Post No. 270 • Theresa Gary Erdmann
Post No. 161 • King Gary Mader
Post No. 446 • Steuben Jeffery Miller
Post No. 434 • Oak Creek John Edelblute
Post No. 306 • Green Lake Mark Kramer
Post No. 375 • Mukwonago Don Braun
Department of Wisconsin 2017 Membership Incentives Department Commander Dan Seehafer knows that there is strength in numbers and is focused on growth for 2017. every post’s first goal is to exceed last year’s total membership by 1. Each post that achieves growth and becomes eligible for the National Post Excellence Award in 2017 will be recognized for their accomplishment in the official newspaper of the Department of Wisconsin, the Badger Legionnaire.
Individual Membership Awards Legionnaires can earn other individual membership recruiting awards. 1 - The traditional “I Got 1” ME
MAKE IT PERSONAL! • Recruit 3 New Members • Renew 2 Members
pins are available for everyone who recruits a new member this year. 3 – National Commander Award – Recruit 3 new members and receive the National Commander’s incentive award to be determined 3/5 – “Reverend’s Roundup” Department Commander Dan Seehafer’s Special Award - Receive your personal die-cast money clip from Commander Dan! This special incentive award is available to all Legionnaires who Saddle up and take part in “the Reverend’s Round-up”! The first step in growing our membership is to Recruit and Retain, which is why everyone is called to Round-up our nonrenewed members and add new Legionnaires to the fold. Start by recruiting 3 new members and then renew 2 members from
Receive a Die-Cast Money Clip! 2016. Win Cash! Fill the Clip! All members who take part in the Reverend’s Round-up become eligible to receive Cash Awards* at the Midwinter Conference scheduled for January19-22, 2017 at Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells! *Must attend the Conference Banquet on Saturday, January 21, 2017 to win. These special recognition awards are offered in addition to the Badger Big 10 award, which
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Jim Widmer of Post No. 270 in Theresa is pictured here receiving a 70 Year Continuous Membership Certiﬁcate from Post Adjutant Virgil Krueger.
Commander Doug Hescher (R) and Adjutant Dave Hanks (L) recognized four WWII Veterans at the 2016 Veterans Day dinner at the Stokes-Liebman Post No. 487 in Cable. Paul Regorrah, Jack Kramer, and Bob Nagel were honored for their 70+ years of membership in The American Legion. Legionnaire Metro Maznio was unable to attend. Retired Captain Jack Kramer (center) and Petty Ofﬁcer First Class Paul Regorrah (2nd from left) were also recognized for having been responsible for starting the ﬁrst Cable area American Legion post back in 1945. Photo by Julie Horn-Friermood
On November 12, 2016, Charter members Florian Schmidt and Clarence Zahringer of the Thomas E. Kees Post No. 496 in Sherwood were presented their 70 Year Continuous Membership Certiﬁcates. ME
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can be earned by signing up ten (10) new members to be a part of this exclusive group of Legionnaires. Badger Big 10 recruiters receive a pin and a patch to wear with pride. The National American Legion is also encouraging recruitment with the Silver Brigade (25 new members) and Gold Brigade (50 new members) awards for Legionnaires who recruit 25 and 50 new members respectively. If you have any questions contact Chris Schmidt at chris@ wilegion.org or (608) 745-1090.
65 YEAR MEMEBERSHIP
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Commander Dan Seehafer wants you to “Get One” and win $1,000. To grow at the local level, each post needs to rely on their members being active recruiters. For the individual Legionnaire, membership recruiting can lead to a big reward! Legion members can simply sign up a
new member, or renew any former member who has not paid for 2 years (since 2014) and their name will be entered in a drawing to win $1,000 at the 2017 Midwinter Conference 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. Department will also award them the traditional “I Got 1” pin. Recruiters can show their pride by earning the new “I Got 1” pin. The pins are larger and more visible than ever before. Anyone who recruits a new member qualifies!
Past Department Historian Nellie De Baker, Jeff Antczak of the Community Post No. 375 in Mukwonago and David Schindler of the Noetzeman-Boodry Post No. 377 in Elcho will present Historian’s training at the annual Midwinter Conference at the Ho-Chunk Convention Center, Hotel & Casino. The Historian’s Workshop is slated to run from 3 – 5 PM in Lower Dells I on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Topics covered will include Reworking Digital Photography; working with “All-In-One” Printer/Copiers/Fax/Scanners to better document post’s history; and a comprehensive Power Point presentation on how best to compile a post year of activity. Make plans to attend!
On Saturday, December 3rd, Department Vice Commander Ensley Brown and Craig Ellis, Commander of the Corporal Cornice D. Grace Post No. 455 in Milwaukee, presented a 65 Years Continuous Membership Certiﬁcate to Legionnaire Emmitt Williams. Williams is 95 years old, a WWII US Army Air Corps veteran, and has been a member of Post No. 455 in Milwaukee since 1952.