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Badger &“Wisconsin”


July 6, 2017 Vol. 94, No. 6

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.

99th Annual Department Convention Kicks Off in Appleton

The Radisson Paper Valley Hotel and Convention Center in Appleton is slated to host the 99th Annual Department Convention July 12-16. The Paper Valley Hotel and Convention Center is a beautiful facility located in the heart of downtown Appleton and will be once again hosting a Department Convention. The hotel and surrounding area is a popular

destination with ample parking and features a number of popular shopping venues and restaurants including the famous Vince Lombardi Steakhouse. There are also additional housing choices for Legion Family members to choose from. The Johnston-Blessman Post No. 38 of Appleton is proud to sponsor the convention and have

planned a number of special activities to entertain visitors. Department Headquarters will establish a presence at the convention site on Wednesday, July 12th. Initial meetings that day will include the Wisconsin American Legion Foundation Board of Directors. The various standing Department Committees will begin

Wetzel Way Monument Dedicated at Camp

meetings at 7AM on Thursday, July 13th. The early starting times are necessary in order for the business of the sub-committees to be completed in advance of the Department Executive Committee meeting scheduled for 4 PM. The convention will begin in earnest on Friday, July 14th with District Caucuses at 7:30 AM and Opening Ceremonies at 9:00 AM. First time attendees will have a great opportunity to socialize and learn about the business of The American Legion first-hand. Convention Committee Meetings will

take place at 2:00 PM and consider a number of Resolutions related to Legion business and veterans issues at the state and national levels. The ever popular “GNUTS” meeting will take place at 4:30 PM with a “TET” party to follow. Candidates for Department offices will be hosting Hospitality Suites at the Paper Valley Hotel later in the evening. Saturday will be a busy day at convention with the election of Department officers beginning at 8:30 AM. The convention will (continued on page 4)


A new monument was dedicated on Friday, July 7th at Camp to honor Medal of Honor recipient Gary G. Wetzel of Post No. 434 in Oak Creek.

A dramatic monument at the head of the Gary G. Wetzel Way nature trail at Camp American Legion was dedicated on Friday, July 7th. Mike Burt, Commander of Post No. 139 in Coloma of the 8th District coordinated the construction of both the trail and the monument. The monument was designed by architect Jim French of CSD Structural Engineers of Milwaukee. Mr. French had previously designed the Veterans Memorial at the site of the old National Guard Armory in Whitefish Bay,

Wisconsin. The monument design is intended to represent the veteran’s combat experience and return to civilian life. The rocks and boulders at one end represent “cover and concealment” on the battlefield, and on the site at Camp, they separate the trail from the outside world. The wall then turns 90 degrees to the left which is meant to signify the abrupt change that veterans experience when they leave the military and enter back into civilian life. Progressing further along the wall, the materials change and

the wall takes shape and form as the veteran builds their life outside of the service. It takes another slight turn which represents further adjustments made as life goes on. The last section of the wall is located at the head of the nature trail and features plaques recognizing Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel as well as the groups and organizations responsible for the construction of the trail and monument. Federal Post No. 203 of the 4th District in Milwaukee funded the monument.

Registration Exhibits Blood Drive DISTRICT CAUCUSES All Districts Sergeant At Arms Meeting Convention Session Dual Members Club Meeting Legion Ballot Clerk Meeting Backwards Club WALPA Meeting CONVENTION COMMITTEE MEETINGS

7:00 AM-5:00 PM 8:00 AM-5:00 PM 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

Convention Lobby Convention Lobby Salon D

7:30 AM 8:00 AM-8:30 AM 9:00 AM 12:00 PM 12:30 PM 12:00 PM 1:00 PM-2:00 PM

As assigned Salon AB Salon AB Redwood Salon C Ebony Hickory

2:00 PM

As Posted

7:00 AM-10:00 AM 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Convention Lobby Convention Lobby

7:30 AM 8:30 AM-10:30 AM 9:00 AM 1:00 PM 2:00 PM-3:30 PM 5:00 PM-6:00 PM 7:00 PM-11:00 PM

As assigned Salon C Salon AB Orchard Salon C As assigned Post No. 38

Saturday, July 15 Registration Exhibits DISTRICT CAUCUSES All Districts Legion Election Legion General Session Chaplain’s Lunch Run-Off Election Church Services PCC Party

Sunday, July 16 Memorial Service 8:00 AM Convention Session/Installation 9:30 AM Post DEC Meeting Close of Convention

Salon AB Salon AB Rosewood/Linden

2017 Membership Goal: 56,739 • June 26th Total: 54,006 • 95.18% District


96.10% 1st PLACE



95.38% 2nd PLACE



93.72% 3rd PLACE











92.26% 6th PLACE











91.33% 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: 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.


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


juLy 6, 2017

DEPARTMENT COMMANDER Family, it's with mixed emotions that I write to you as your Department Commander for the last time before my term officially ends at the Dan Seehafer Department Commander close of the Convention on July 16th. First and foremost, I want to personally thank you for giving me this awesome opportunity to represent you, over 56,000 heroes, during the 2016-2017 membership year. I want to also thank Adjutant Kurtz for his professionalism, guidance and friendship. He always supported me, embraced my theme, "It's Personal," and enabled me to grow over those first few months as your newly elected Commander. I will never forget PDC Jim Reigel describing the very beginnings of this leadership role as "taking a drink from a fire hose." Then, again, we have one awesome staff at Headquarters! In my humble opinion, I pray that they will stay with us for a long, long time. (Ok, Wilma & Kevin, you can retire. You both deserve it!) I have received so much support that words cannot describe my heartfelt thanks for my family and friends in the Mighty 2nd, Dodge County Council and Post No. 157 of Horicon. Special thanks go to PNEC/PDC Lloyd Wagener, my co-pilot Department Historian Rick McCanna, Past Department Sergeant at Arms Jim Kell and his wife Karen who served as my campaign caterer. Of course this lifechanging journey would never have been possible without the support of my mom and my two children, Jacob and Emma, as well as their grandparents Rich and Sandy Greshay. My church and school, St. Stephen – LCMS of Horicon, was also incredibly generous and understanding in allowing me to serve the Department. I will always love you! When I left Madison after our An-

nual Convention, I would have never guessed how meaningful my underlining theme, "It's Personal," would actually be throughout the year. From the very first event I attended, the funeral of Mary Weyenberg - wife of PDC Bob Weyenberg, to attending the National Membership Workshop in Indianapolis with so many of our Department leaders to supporting PDC Denise Rohan's Candidacy for National Commander. I knew it was going to be a productive, passionate and exciting year--a year that would prove to be personal, very personal. Those first few weeks were filled with American Legion baseball activities which ranged from attending Regional games in Beaver Dam and Waupun to celebrating with the Legion All-stars in Milwaukee and throwing out the first pitch at Miller Park. Now I know why the Lord put me in the pulpit and not on the pitching mound! Nevertheless, I felt honored to represent The American Legion, just as I did while presenting the National Colors at Lambeau Field. To stand on that field for the National Anthem and salute Old Glory under a thunderous flyover was an experience that defies description. Thank you, Post No. 11 for allowing me and my guest that moving opportunity. I also attended displays of the traveling Vietnam Wall at Operation Badger Base in the 3rd District, Oshkosh in the 6th District and Germantown in the 2nd District. I have personally been to the Wall in DC and it's such a powerful, sobering witness to the reality that freedom isn't free. The American Legion helped give our Vietnam veterans in Wisconsin, their families and others these three opportunities to heal, learn and remember the sacrifices made to pay the price of freedom. I will always cherish these moments, especially Legion member Alan Nohl's gift of a Huey ride which gave me a taste of what he and others lived through.

Throughout the year, I have remained committed to being a powerful voice on behalf of Wisconsin veterans. I met with US Senator Tammy Baldwin during a Round Table discussion in Milwaukee to present our positions on Veteran's Employment. I had personal contacts with WDVA Secretary John Scocos prior to his retirement to assist in planning sessions and met privately with Governor Walker to discuss the appointment of a new secretary. The position was eventually filled by Daniel Zimmerman. You also gave me the opportunity to witness who we are and what we represent through radio spots broadcast statewide during the Veteran's Day and Memorial Day weekends. The Department has been fighting for job preference and sustaining wages for our fellow veterans through editorials and press releases printed by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the State Journal, the La Crosse Tribune and others. We have also received extensive television coverage statewide. Our message has been consistent all year - veterans deserve better. An additional message, "Carry the Legacy Forward," traveled through Eau Claire, Wausau, Shawano, Green Bay, and Appleton with our National Commander Charles Schmidt of Oregon during his official visit in October. We also conducted revitalizations with National Vice Commander Paul Martel of Florida as our guest. Family, they loved their visits, but more importantly, The American Legion emblem and the work we continue to do was communicated throughout our state. We have definitely “Carried the Legacy Forward” this year, Commander Schmidt! Camp American Legion continues to be a place of healing and recuperation even as the Camp Director position transitions from Mr. Kevin Moshea (thank you, Kevin!) to Mr. Don Grundy and his family (welcome!). We continue to utilize the ex-

panded land footprint with the dedication of a Memorial Wall at the Gary Wetzel Way Nature Trail. The monument represents the healing process. There are also proposed plans for a new Gold-Star Family cabin. Strategic planning sessions were also held to help develop the camp's full potential. The year is roaring to a close with The Rev's Run, Wisconsin’s effort to support the Legacy Scholarship Fund. I want to thank Ken, Ann, and Mike Rynes, along with John Wolfe, the Legion Riders and all the participants for opening their hearts wide for this great cause. I will always cherish and remember your dedication to easing the financial burdens of Higher Education for the children who are left behind and disabled veterans. Legionnaires have demonstrated their dedication in other ways and accomplished many things this year with their commitment. Steve Conto of Post No. 38 in Appleton continued a special effort to give the remains of abandoned veterans a proper resting place. We have created a new Law Enforcement Career Academy and a new Membership Resource Center that will help us in future years during Midwinter. We also kicked off “The Century Club” fundraiser to celebrate 100 years of serving veterans and their families. The Century Club will enable the Department to continue our outstanding programs into a 2nd century with a healthy financial commitment. In closing, I never would have thought or believed so much could be accomplished in one year. But it should come as no surprise when one reflects upon our collective commitment to the Four Pillars of our organization and the effective leadership that comes from Wisconsin, as evidenced by PDC Denise Rohan, who will be the first woman National Commander. What we bring to our communities, state and nation comes from our heart and from our soul. Deep down. "It's Personal", very personal.

DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT As the 2016-17 year comes to a close this month at Convention, it’s interesting to look back at all the milestones and David Kurtz events since the Department Adjutant Wisconsin delegation attended the 2016 National Convention in Cincinnati where the Department received the William F. Lenker National Service Trophy in recognition of our VA & R programs. A number of major Membership efforts took place in Fall 2016 with Outreach & Revitalization efforts that coincided with visits by National Commander Charles Schmidt of Oregon and National Vice Commander Paul Martel of Florida. The 2017 Midwinter Conference saw the debut of the Membership Resource Center, which provided the necessary tools for local posts to better retain current members and transfer DMS recruits into the fold. The Department finished 2016 with a healthy surplus over budget. The Department investment port-

folio achieved modest gains during the past year by adhering to our conservative Investment Policy. Our increased focus on estate planning and legacy giving continues to reap benefits as a number of individuals have left bequests to the Department. We are notified from time to time that others have included us in their estate plans. An anniversary themed “Century Club” fundraising campaign has been launched this past month. Donors are asked to donate $100 each of the next three years to support our programs in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of our founding. Changes and improvements have continued at Camp American Legion. With Camp Director Kevin Moshea stepping down, new Director Don Grundy has taken over the helm. Mr. Grundy, Director Moshea and I have worked closely with Commander Seehafer and Camp chairman Rich Ruland on strategic and transition planning. Additional changes include the new Monument and donor wall recently dedicated at the head of Wetzel Way and major renovations to the Main Lodge.

Discussions between Department leadership, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Wisconsin Professional Police Association led to the inaugural session of the Wisconsin American Legion Law Enforcement Career Academy. Governor Walker was also instrumental in supporting the initiative. This new Americanism program is similar to Boys State in some aspects and encourages high school students to enter into careers in law enforcement. 37 students between their Junior and Senior years of High School attended the inaugural session at the State Patrol Training Academy on Ft. McCoy from June 19th through June 23rd. Tremendous progress continues to be made in identifying the remains of deceased Wisconsin veterans left languishing without proper interment. A great deal of credit goes to Legionnaires Steve Conto of Post No. 38 in Appleton and Suzanne Lane of Post No. 103 in Galesville who have worked hard to ensure that unclaimed remains are given proper military funeral honors and interred at State Veterans Cemeteries. Department leadership has paid

close scrutiny to the issues that have emerged relating to the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and the King Veterans Home this past year. WDVA has undergone a number of senior staff changes with the retirement of Secretary John A. Scocos. Secretary Scocos was a strong advocate for Wisconsin veterans and an Honorary Life member of Severson-Cairns Post No. 501 in Madison. Governor Walker eventually appointed Dan Zimmerman of Ripon to the position. As the 2016-17 year winds down I want to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to Camp Director Kevin Moshea and Business Manager Wilma Frazer for their service and commitment to The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin. Congratulations to them on their recent retirements! I also want to express my admiration of the leadership that our Department Commander has demonstrated over the past year. Reverend Seehafer has consistently proven to be an outstanding spokesperson and effective leader for this great organization.

july 6, 2017


Laurel Clewell


Jrank J. Kostka

Candidate for Department 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. Candidate for Department 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 step-children. 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 District. 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.

Candidate for Department Commander

Frank Kostka, proud Paid-up for Life member of The American Legion, respectfully requests your support for his candidacy for Department Commander. Frank was born and raised in Northern Wisconsin and invested 20 years active duty 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. He then returned to his hometown in Ashland, where he became a valued business owner in the community for over 21 years. He is supported by his wife Linda of 40 years 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's candidacy has been endorsed by the KellyJohnson Post No. 90 in Ashland and the 11th District. Frank's 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 6 years. He worked to establish the new SAL Squadron No. 90 in Ashland this past year, which has already grown to 30

Inaugural Law Enforcement Career Academy Held at Ft. McCoy The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin, along with the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, partnered with the Wisconsin State Patrol to present the first Wisconsin American Legion Law Enforcement Career Academy. The session kicked off on the afternoon of Monday, June 19th and ran through June 23rd. Thirty-seven students entering their Senior year of High School from around the state attended. The program was held at the State

Patrol Academy on Fort McCoy and was a week-long introduction to opportunities in the law enforcement career field. Topics were presented by Municipal, County, State and Federal active and retired law enforcement officers. Classes such as Defense and Arrest Tactics, Firearms, Emergency Vehicle Operations, Community Policing, Accident Investigation, Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Ethics, Computer Crimes, Crimes against Children, and Interview Techniques

were presented just to name a few. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel addressed the students on Thursday, June 22nd and a graduation ceremony was held on Friday June 23rd at the Wisconsin Military Academy. Plans are that this will become an annual program of the Department.

Batter Up! Wisconsin Legion Baseball is On Deck

The 92nd season of American Legion Baseball in Wisconsin got underway in June. During the past month, over 200 teams from throughout the Badger state have been enjoying America’s National Pastime. Looking to defend their state championships are: Madison Impact in Class AAA, Menasha in Class AA, Waupun in Class A.

Oshkosh won the 17-Under title, while Bayport won the 16-Under title in 2016. Important dates to remember: July 19th – State Championships begin for 17-Under at Marshfield and 16-Under at Nekoosa. July 18 -19th – Regional play begins for Senior Legion teams. July 25th – State Championship begins for Class AAA in Kimberly. July 26th – State Championships begin for Class AA in Merrill and Class A in Clintonville. August 13th – Legion Baseball

All Star Game at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Wisconsin champions will advance and compete in National tournament action. The Class AAA champion will play in the Great Lakes National Regional held in Napoleon, Ohio, while the Class A and AA champions will play in the Central Plains National Division 2 Tournament in Dickinson, ND. National Regional play begins August 2nd. Hope to see you at an American Legion ballgame this summer.

members. He served as 11th District 2nd and 1st Vice Commander prior to serving 4 years as the 11th District Commander, leading it to 100% membership in 2016. His experience at Department level includes being a member on the Camp American Legion Committee for 2 years and a member on the Communications Committee for 1 year. Frank currently serves on the National Media & Communications Council and the National Legislative Council, as liaison to US Congressman Sean Duffy. During his service as 11th District Commander, he served as the Department Executive Committee liaison to the Americanism, Camp American Legion, Legislative, Communications and VA&R Committees. He's also been a proud member of the Legion Riders for 8 years. Legionnaire Kostka is passionate about The American Legion and walks the walk with membership, as exemplified by his recruiting efforts. Commander Kostka earned the prestigious National Silver Brigade Award in 2014 and Gold Brigade Award in 2015 and 2016. Over the last 5 years he has recruited over 200 new members. He's always promoting how The American Legion supports our Veterans and how local posts support their communities. He recognizes the value of our organization is with the post and their members. Frank will work hard for our Department and it's Legionnaires and is asking for your support to elect him Department Commander.

Membership Card Pick Up at King

2018 American Legion membership cards were distributed to District leaders on June 18th during the annual American Legion King Day event at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. Pictured here from left to right are Department Commander Dan Seehafer, 2nd District Commander James Lee and Department Membership Coordinator Chris Schmidt.

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Todd Bruan

James A. Lee

Mark Sandow

july 6, 2017

Chris Sower

Candidate for Department Vice Commander

Candidate for Department Vice Commander

Candidate for Department Vice Commander

Candidate for Department Vice 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.

James A. Lee, respectfully requests your support for his candidacy for Department Vice Commander. Jim is a 30 year member of The American Legion and a proud Paid-up for Life member of the Peter Wollner Post No. 288 in Cedarburg. Jim earned the privilege of membership in The American Legion through his service in the U.S Army. He proudly served our country for three years and attended schools in Fort Leonard Wood, MO, Fort Dix, NJ, Fort Benning, GA and spent fourteen months in Korea on the DMZ and at the 24th Division Headquarters. Jim was born in Crandon, Wisconsin but he spent his youth living in Sheboygan and Winnebago Counties, graduating from Oshkosh High School. After his discharge from the U.S Army, he attended the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh, graduating in 1963 with a BS Degree in Business and Economics. He is supported by his children Tracy and Brian in his bid for Department Vice Commander. His son Brian and grandson Kyran are members of Squadron No. 288 of the Sons of The American Legion. His candidacy has been endorsed by his post, the Ozaukee County Council, the 2nd District Past Commanders Club and the Mighty 2nd District. Jim is currently the 2nd District Commander and has held that position for the past two years. Prior to that he was 2nd District First Vice Commander and County Commander. Other experience in The American Legion includes three years as Post Commander, Sergeant at Arms, 2nd Vice Commander for several years, Chaplain for the Post. He has also served as a volunteer for the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight out of Milwaukee for the past several years. Presently he is Assistant Chaplain at his Post. Jim continues to promote membership at all levels of The American Legion and is also working with our veterans and those in need in our community to better their status. “I will continue to work diligently for the Four Pillars of The American Legion and to promote the Legion at all levels of our organization. I will be available at all times for your needs. I would appreciate your vote to continue to serve our Country and our Legionnaires.”

4th District Commander Mark Sandow announces his candidacy for the high office of Department Vice Commander. Mark is a 34year Paid-up for Life member of the Harold A. Todd Jr. Wisconsin Motor Post No. 537 in Milwaukee. He has served his Post as Finance Officer, 3rd Vice Commander, Adjutant, Historian and was a 2-term 100% membership Post Commander. He serves on the Post Executive Committee and has been on numerous committees for fundraising events. His eligibility for The American Legion comes from his service in the U. S. Navy from 1969 thru 1973 at China Lake, California and with Fighter Squadron VF-151 aboard the USS Midway in the Tonkin Gulf off the coast of Vietnam. Mark is a graduate of The American Legion Extension Institute and the Wisconsin American Legion College Intermediate Course. He has served as Department Blood Program Chairman and as the Department Executive Committee liaison to the Hospital Committee and the National & Homeland Security Committee. He attended annual Membership training in Indianapolis in 2016. Commander Sandow has earned an Associates' Degree in Transportation and Distribution Management. He has approximately 40 years in the Transportation Industry as a courier, courier supervisor and dispatcher. He is currently working part-time as a courier servicing a major international bank in Milwaukee. In addition to being a loyal Legion member, Mark is also a member of the Sons of The American Legion Squadron No. 537, Voiture No. 1519 of the 40 et 8 and the Milwaukee County Council. Mark has been the committee chairman and Parade Marshal for the City of West Allis Memorial Day Parade since 1995. He also has participated in parades for St. Patrick's Day and the Milwaukee Veterans' Day Parade. Mark has the support of his wife Sue, a past President of the Todd Post Auxiliary and his son Eric, a member of the Sons of The American Legion. His youngest son, Army SSGT Brian is a dual member of the Legion and the Sons. He has been endorsed by the Todd Post, the Mighty 4th District and the Milwaukee County Council.

Twelfth District Commander Chris Sower is declaring his candidacy for the high office of Department Vice Commander. Chris Sower is a Paid-up for Life member of Post No. 132 in Siren. Chris spent thirty-nine years in the military, retiring from Army service in 2005. He has served two years as 12th District Commander and ten years as Post No. 132 Commander. Siren Post No. 132 received the All-time high award for membership for the 2016 membership year. Chris has served as the Department Executive Committee liaison to the Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation committee and has previously served on the Fundraising committee. He is a life member of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS). Chris served on their Executive Board for twenty years as an Area Director and Area Chairman. He also served the EANGUS Auxiliary as an Area Director. He is a member of the Polk County Voiture of the 40 et 8. He is Commander of the Burnett County Law Enforcement Citizens Auxiliary and a member of Siren Lions Club. Chris Sower has also served as the Court Bailiff for Burnett County and as the Chairman for Daniels Township. Chris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the College of Idaho. Much of my later adult life has been dedicated to Veterans. Eight years were spent actively recruiting and retaining soldiers. My duties included field recruiting, military entrance processing and inter-service recruiting. It was my honor to serve as the County Veteran Service Officer for Burnett County for fourteen months.” Chris Sower will work with all veterans and appreciates their service and sacrifice to this country. Chris Sower is honored and proud to be a part of The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin.

99th Annual Convention

reconvene at 9:00 AM and many prominent speakers are expected. Department award winners will also be recognized for their accomplishments. Every one is welcome to attend the annual Past Commander’s Club party and reception Saturday evening at Post No. 38. The 99th Annual Department Convention will wind up on Sunday. The Memorial Service will begin at 8:00 AM in the convention hall. Following the installation of the newly-elected officers and

(continued from page 1) the closing ceremonies, the Grand Prize winner of the Convention Sweepstakes will be drawn. The grand prize is the winner’s choice of either $20,000 in cash or a new vehicle from the Boucher Automotive Group. All in all it is anticipated to be a busy and exciting weekend in Appleton. A comprehensive schedule appears in this edition of the Badger Legionnaire. Register for the event online at Registration on-line is fast and easy.


Post No. 74 Commander Chad Trepanier shown with (L-R) Amanda Schultz, Peyton Boucher, Jacey Jicha and Madison Mortier, recipient of the Post’s Citizenship Medal.

The Jones-Modrow-Young Post No. 74 in Oconto presents 3 scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each year to local students. Receiving scholarships this year were Amanda Schultz, Peyton Boucher and Jasey Jicha. Post No. 74 also awards a Citizenship Medal to a student active in their school and community and who has promoted good citizenship. The recipient must have a positive attitude and possess a good understanding of civic responsibility. Madison Mortier received this year’s Citizenship Medal.

JULY 6, 2017

Kendel Feilen Candidate for Sergeant at Arms

Kendel Feilen earned the privilege of membership in The American Legion by his service in the Coast Guard Reserve, enlisting in 1978. He was activated in 1990 for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm deploying to Saudi Arabia. He was activated again in 2001 in support of Operations Nobel Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and served at the Force Protection Directorate of U.S. Transportation Command, Scott AFB. He retired as a Captain in 2004. He also served on the Milwaukee Police Department for 28 years retiring as a Sergeant in 2002. He is currently in his seventh term as Commander of Milwaukee Police Post No. 415 and is a Paid-up for Life member for 26 years. He accepted the first National Post Excellence award in Wisconsin from National Commander Fang A. Wong in 2012. At the Department level, he has held the chair of the Communications Committee for the past three years, served as the 2012 - 13 Department Historian and was a member and chairman of the Legislative Committee for three years before that assignment. Additionally, he presently holds leadership positions in the Wisconsin Historians Association, the Wisconsin American Legion Press Association and is the Assistant Director for Security at Badger Boys State. He has received the endorsement of his wife, Kathleen, his Post, Milwaukee County and the 4th District.


Gail Minks Candidate for Sergeant at Arms

Department Sergeant at Arms Candidate Gail Minks is a Paid-Up-for-Life 35 year member of Post No. 33, in Neenah and the 6th District. Gail's eligibility in The American Legion is a result of his active service in the United States Air Force from 1961 to 1965 during the Vietnam Era. Gail has been married to his wife Margaret for 50 years. Gail and Margaret have two grown children - a son Alan and daughter Greta. Gail's wife and daughter both belong to Unit No. 33 Auxiliary. Gail has served in various offices in Post No. 33. He was Commander from 1983 to 1985 and again from 2012 to 2016 for a combined total of six years as Commander. He was 100% Commander in 2013. He was elected First Vice Commander for two different time frames - the second one was for ten years prior to being elected Commander for the second time. The First Vice Commander position also includes Membership Chairman. He was a Service Officer for two years. Gail has completed Funeral Honors training and is a member of the Funeral Honors team. He has been a regular at Department Conventions since 2009, becoming familiar with functions beyond the post level and developing a relationship with personnel at the Department level as well as at the County and District level. He served one year as Sergeant at Arms at the Winnebago County Legion Council and County Vice Commander for the past three years, currently holding that position. He is presently on his second term as District 6 Sergeant at Arms; first term 20132015; second term 2015 to present. Gail is endorsed by his Post, the Winnebago County Council and the Sixth District. Gail Minks seeks your support in electing him to the high office of Department Sergeant at Arms - giving him the opportunity and honor to serve at the Department level.

Jeremy Nordie Candidate for Sergeant at Arms

Department Sergeant at Arms Jeremy Nordie is a member of Post No. 354 in Ettrick of the 10th District. Jeremy’s eligibility in The American Legion is a result of his service in the United States Marine Corps during the Persian Gulf conflicts. Jeremy has been married to his wife Laura for 25 years. Laura is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, as is his grown daughter Kathleen. He also has a grown son, Michael. He and his family are active members of their church. Jeremy works for the US Postal Service as a rural mail carrier. One can easily say Jeremy lives by the principles and values of a “good American Citizen.” Jeremy is an active member of his post and has been the Trempealeau County Adjutant for five years. He has been the 10th District Sergeant at Arms the past four years as well. He is also a charter member of the 10th District American Legion Riders. Jeremy is a regular face at all Department Conventions and Midwinter Conferences. He is also proud to have served on the Department Communications committee for two years. He currently serves as a Department Sergeant at Arms. Having received endorsements by unanimous vote at his Post, Trempealeau County and the 10th District this “young” Legionnaire, Jeremy Nordie, seeks your support in being re-elected to the high office of Department Sergeant at Arms.


Mark Toll Candidate for Sergeant at Arms

Department Sergeant at Arms Candidate Mark Toll is a Paid Up for Life member of Appleton Post No. 38 in the Ninth District. Mark’s eligibility in The American Legion is a result of his service in the United States Army as a programmer/analyst at NSA during the Vietnam Era. Mark has been married to his wife Deb for 25 years. Deb is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. His son Michael is a member of the Sons of The American Legion. Mark has held several positions at Post No. 38, including two years as Sergeant at Arms, three years at the Vice Commander levels and Commander in 2012-13. He is a graduate of The American Legion Extension Institute, has completed the Basic and Intermediate courses of the Wisconsin American Legion College and Funeral Honors training. At the District level, he has served as Sergeant at Arms for four years. He is a regular at Department Conventions and has served many times as Assistant Department Sergeant at Arms. He has served on Post No. 38’s Convention Corporation four different years and was the 2015 Convention Corporation President. He currently serves as a Department Sergeant at Arms. He is endorsed by his Post, the Outagamie County Council and the Ninth District. Mark Toll seeks your support in being reelected to the high office of Department Sergeant at Arms.

Vietnam 50th Commemoration Event Held at Van Eimeren-Kolonka Post No. 27

The Van Eimeren-Kolonka Post No. 27 in South Milwaukee held a Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration event on May 31st. 109 Commemorative Pins were presented with over 200 people in attendance. Archbishop Listecki, US Army Chaplain (LTC RET) was our keynote speaker. Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel of Oak Creek Post No. 434 was an honored guest.



The Last


6 Stevens Point Chester Kluck K Harry Napiwocki K Rhody Studinski K 8 Waukesha George Zork V 9 Wisconsin Rapids Robert Houf II 10 Wausau Virginia Gosch II Edward Genrich K Frank Mueller K 13 Richland Center Gene Markley K Robert Totten II 14 Iola Corrin Flaata K William Hoks K 26 Baraboo John Kienow V 28 Valders Elden Leischner K 32 Menomonie Ralph Bosben K 37 Elk Mound Paul Becker K 38 Appleton Donald Blaese K Gerald Palmbach K Thomas Martin II David Husman K

04/09/17 06/01/17 04/27/17 05/11/17 05/16/17 05/21/17 11/01/16 06/01/17 04/08/17 04/13/17 04/23/17 06/03/17 05/09/17 05/25/17 11/26/16 05/12/17 05/21/17 05/18/17 05/21/17 05/25/17

John Council John Derks Willis Johnson 40 Bangor Robert Laxton 44 Wabeno Bill Hodgkiss Donald Koch 47 Portage Alfred Anacker 53 Eau Claire Darrell Ward 54 Marshfield Lawrence Schubert 55 Hortonville Kenneth Miller Donald King 63 Clintonville Glenn Giersbach Kevin Colden Vernon Pitt 77 Chippewa Falls Arin Stadil Jerald Dietsche 80 New Richmond Curtiss Anderson 89 Minocqua Max Fritschel 103 Galesville William Herbert 114 Eagle River Ronald Gawrys 117 Shawano Clarence Neitzel 121 River Falls George Andrews 124 New Holstein Richard Neumann Alvin Gross Cyril Niquette 126 Brillion Roman Tikalsky Chester Zorn Almond Buboltz Harland Kuchenbecker Winfred Riemer


05/28/17 06/07/17 03/29/17




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Raymond Geiger Robert Hensel V Leon Boettcher V Joseph Geiger K 134 Boscobel Lloyd Nice K/V 143 St Croix Falls Joseph Kadrmas II Allen Lucken K 156 North Fond du Lac Clifford Becker II 160 Brooklyn Robert Hanson V Joseph Lochner II 169 Amery Robert Williamson II 179 Chetek Dwayne Williams II John Heppner V James Fostvedt V 189 Watertown John Gordon K 200 Black River Falls Danny Gomer Richard Millis K 205 Janesville Carl Trieloff II 207 Elmwood Glenn Nelson II 210 Waupun Wallace Neevel K Ambrose Loecher K 215 Pardeeville Orlando Allen K 224 Alma Miles Pank V 227 Spring Valley Russell Gunvalson II Ary Arneson II 250 Adams Doran Truex V Arnold Sewell II John Kroetz K 262 Luxemburg Carol Harris V

06/28/16 06/19/16 07/05/15 04/24/15 05/30/17 05/07/17 01/19/17 06/02/17 05/07/17 04/04/17 05/24/17 05/06/17 06/02/17 05/27/17 03/25/17 05/19/17 06/12/17 06/10/17 02/04/17 05/21/17 05/17/17 05/29/17 06/12/17 05/24/17 06/03/17 05/06/17 08/07/13 07/01/16 05/15/17

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263 New London Alex Szymborski II 284 Holmen Mel Prinz II Rector Wall II Lawrence Kaatz V Larry Gramling V Duane Johnson II Wayne Bratberg II Lloyd Evenson II Allan Lindvik V 317 Wautoma David Stelter V Charles Deter K 318 Lake Tomahawk Jim Marquard V 333 Sun Prairie John Hein II Stanley Blatter II 336 Onalaska Leroy Hougom K Richard Harris V 337 Pulaski Tony Blasczyk K 352 Cassville Wayne Sagehorn II William Whyte K Paul Barrette II Melvin Houghton II 355 Grafton Frederick Nierode II 358 Unity Clinton Vaughn K 372 Forestville Gerald Uecker K 377 Elcho William Kennedy II Robert Maney V 385 Verona Jack Gentilli II 387 Franklin Harold Meinnert K 403 Webb lake Roger Fontaine K 406 Milwaukee Vernon Binsack II

04/24/17 04/12/17 03/03/17 07/15/16 05/22/16 04/15/17 08/11/16 09/14/09 06/13/17 02/12/17 05/21/17 05/30/17 06/09/17 06/15/17 05/26/17 06/06/17 05/22/17 04/19/17 05/14/17 08/03/16 07/06/16 05/23/17 05/30/17 04/07/17 06/10/17 06/12/17 10/26/16 05/11/17 06/07/17 06/12/17

413 Crivitz Charles Stodola V 415 Milwaukee Richard Muchka II Paul Vierck V 416 Greendale George Welniak II Norbert Sawicki K Richard Fischer V 420 Hustisford Ted James V 435 Superior David Weber PG 442 Wisconsin Rapids Kenneth Carah II Michael Mendrzycki V 446 Steuben Dwight Allmon K 449 Brookfield William Gebhardt V William Stolfi II Bruce Somers V 469 Marathon Leonard Olbrantz II Edwin Volhard K 479 Milwaukee Dwayne Clark G/L 481 Madison Fonzo Kyle II 482 Bagley James Mason K 483 Allenton Ronald Norman V 501 Madison Roy Johnson II 521 Fox Lake Jack Green V 523 Abrams Kenneth Brehmer K 524 White Lake Robert Obst K Jerome Becker V 534 McFarland Harvey Hermsdorf K Nate Troia K

06/10/17 05/30/17 02/11/17 05/18/17 06/10/17 06/04/17 05/16/17 05/23/17 05/31/17 06/03/17 05/26/17 05/20/17 04/06/17 12/13/16 05/22/17 05/24/17 06/02/17 03/02/17 05/27/17 05/02/17 05/30/17 05/21/17 05/27/17 05/28/17 06/02/17 05/27/17 05/25/17

WDVA SECRETARY Dear Legion Partners, We continue to see great things occurring in support of our Veterans and the LeDan Zimmerman gion and AuxilWDVA Secretary iary are steadfast partners in that progress. Thank you again. Regarding King and the homes: 1. Member care at King, and at all our homes, is exceptionally good and this excellence has been sustained over time, never once falling below the current national average. All objective and subjective measures support this. For example, WDVA homes average 4.7 stars out of 5 while the state and national averages are 3.5 and 3.2 stars, respectively. 2. Nurse staffing at King far exceeds the USDVA standard for skilled nursing facilities and proudly bucks the industry trend of cutting nursing staff to reduce costs. Nursing hours per patient day (PPD) is the total number of nursing staff providing patient care compared to the number of patients. Nursing hours PPD re-

flect the number and complexity of patients for each clinical area. The USDVA has established a minimum standard of 2.5 nursing hours PPD for skilled nursing facilities. King facilities average in range of 3.45 to 3.7 nursing hours PPD, indicating both the high acuity of its members and the facilities’ desire to maintain a top-notch nurse-to-member ratio. Although the industry is trending toward lower PPDs as cost saving measures, King embraces a higher PPD, despite a higher price tag and forced overtime, in order to maintain the best possible care for our members. 3. Despite the King nursing staff working a significant amount of forced overtime, King nurse retention rates far exceed those in Waupaca County and the state. Nurse retention rates at our other facilities are also positive in comparison to their respective markets. 4. King facilities are aging but are well-maintained. WDVA has made significant capital investment, past and present, at King and its other facilities. WDVA has also invested homes-related

funds in other Veterans programming and will continue doing so – Veterans helping Veterans is the right thing to do. Regarding Veterans businesses, Governor Walker proclaimed June 27, 2017 as Veteran-Owned Business Day in honor of our entrepreneurial Veterans. There are over 65,000 Veteran-owned business in Wisconsin employing more than 110,000 Wisconsinites recording over $20 billion in annual sales. The Veteran unemployment rate in Wisconsin is 2%, well below the state rate of 3.1%. Veterans are a critical component of the state’s economy. This proclamation coincided with the unveiling of our new Wisconsin Veteran-Owned Business logo, something that businesses can proudly display to proclaim their status as a Veteran-owned business. I encourage those who are so inclined to seek out and patronize the businesses of our brothers and sisters in arms. More information regarding the logo and certification can be found on the WDVA website. Thank you for all you do in support of the successes I mentioned

above. I look forward to visiting the annual convention and answering any questions you might have. Best to all, Secretary Zimmerman



IF . . .


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juLy 6, 2017



Post No. 325 • Goodman Terry Flannery

Post No. 478 • St. Cloud Dale Bink

Post No. 412 • Belgium Joan Pearson



Post No. 543 • Plover Rick Rossier On May 2nd five members of the District 1 Legion Riders were honored to volunteer and man the phones at the annual “Great TV Auction” to support Public Broadcasting in Milwaukee. The Riders spent 4 hours and fielded hundreds of calls using a computer system that NASA could use on a mission to Mars. L to R: Don “Alamo” Stone; Bruce “Batman” Roberts; Ron “Chunky” Kurer; Wayne “Buffalo” Blawat and Scott “Iceman” Krueger.

Post No. 403 • Webb Lake Keith Scherf

Post No. 189 • Watertown Commander Ronald Krueger and Adjutant Larry Schultz

Sheboygan County DuWayne Wieck


TEAM WISCONSIN Reno, Nevada ‘The Biggest Little City In the World' –Are You Ready?

Candidate for National Commander Denise H. Rohan has said many times that she would not be in the position she is now if it weren’t for the hard work of the Wisconsin American Legion Family. She truly believes in each of you as a veteran, as a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Sons of The American Legion and as an American Legion Rider. What you do right here in communities across the state of Wisconsin is appreciated not only by our organization itself, but by each veteran and their community as well. Thank you for what you do every day. This campaign would not have become a reality without all The American Legion Family in Wisconsin pulling together. Denise and Team Wisconsin are very appreciative of all the support given her, and the generosity of every-

one involved. The campaign costs have been high and the donations received have enabled Team Wisconsin to promote the campaign in a manner to reflect positively on the whole Wisconsin American Legion Family. As we prepare for Reno, Nevada we wanted to make note of some of the events that are mentioned in the packet that delegates have received from Department headquarters. Please note that if you are not going to Reno, you can watch the event on live video feed on your computer by going to and click on Live/On Demand. Highlights include: • Sunday August 20, 2017 - the Convention parade will begin following the Department of Wisconsin caucus meeting. • Tuesday August 22, 2017 - National Convention sessions start.

• Thursday August 24, 2017 Denise H. Rohan will be elected and installed as National Commander of The American Legion at approximately 10 AM. • Thursday August 24, 2017 there will be a celebration for the Wisconsin delegation starting at 3:30 PM with guests from other departments arriving at about 4:00 PM. We continue to raise funds as the activities of the Campaign extend well into October when Denise will host a National Homecoming event in Indianapolis, Indiana and later a Testimonial Dinner event here in Wisconsin. More information is available at where you can make donations, purchase shirts and other campaign items, see pictures and follow her travel calendar. Thank you all, for you have made this possible.

District 1 Legion Riders participated in three separate parades on Memorial Day. The Riders started out by leading Delavan’s parade at 9AM, and then hurried to Twin Lakes to lead the parade there and then on to Rochester to cap off their activities. The Riders were out in force for these parades, over 30 Riders and almost 30 bikes. The District 1 Legion Riders love to wave the flag and put over 120 miles on their cycles that day.

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Veterans, their families and their communities

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