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“For God & Country”



Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family

June 30, 2016 Vol. 93, No. 6

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

New Trail Dedicated at Camp

Department Convention Approaches

Gary G. Wetzel Way Inspires Young Veterans

The new handicapped accessible nature trail at Camp American Legion was dedicated on Friday June 17th during a ceremony conducted by Department Commander Dale Oatman. The work on the trail was a collaborative effort between Local 139 of the International Union of Operating Engineers and The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin. Several construction contractors in the road building

industry also donated time, equipment and materials. The trail is named “Gary. G. Wetzel Way” after the Vietnam war veteran and long-time Oak Creek Post No. 434 member who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in combat. Wetzel was on hand for the dedication and commented on its importance to veterans; “They meet new friends or maybe other veterans who have

Medal of Honor recipient Gary G. Wetzel of the Oelschlaeger-Dallmann Post No. 434 in Oak Creek is shown here offering some brief remarks at the dedication of the handicapped accessible nature trail at Camp American Legion named in his honor.

The ceremonial ribbon cutting and official opening of Gary G. Wetzel Way took place on Friday, June 20th at Camp American Legion. Shown here from left to right are; Local 139 Business Manager Terry McGowan, Medal of Honor Recipient Gary Wetzel, Department Commander Dale Oatman, WDVA Secretary John A. Scocos.

National Commander Dale Barnett to Lead a Walk for Veterans

The 98th Annual Department Convention, scheduled for July 14th through July 17th at the Madison Marriott West is fast approaching. Delegates, alternate delegates and guests are encouraged to make the Walk for Veterans, led by National Commander Dale Barnett of Georgia, a part of their Convention experience. The Walk will begin at 8:00AM on Saturday, July 16th. The length of the walk is approximately 1.3 miles and will start and end at the Madison Marriott – West. The

some of the problems they do. They can talk about it, just sit and relax, take a nice little walk and think about life,” said Wetzel of his vision for the trail. “Having their thoughts and doing what they want to do because of freedom,” Wetzel said. “Because of the veterans that take time out of their lives so you and I could be here.” “Camp American Legion had a nature trail, but unfortunately wheelchair bound veterans did not have access to it” explained Local 139 Business Manager Terry McGowan. The union’s veteran training program, “Combat to Construction”, allowed union apprentices to work on the project. Former Army Airborne Ranger Leroy Miller was one of them. “It’s challenging, but it’s also service. Service to America. We continue to get to build things for America... build things for Americans and support my family. So it’s great. It’s an amazing program,” he explained. Before Miller and his crew worked on it, the trail had been an overgrown logging road. “We took what was great. We made it greater. We did it for the vets,” he said. Though the trail bears his name, Wetzel said it represents far more than that. “Anybody, him or her, with a handicap, can walk this trail, take their time, think about things, think about America, think about their life, and just kind of relax and kind of take it easy,” Wetzel said. Wetzel finds it especially meaningful that the trail for veterans was made by veterans. It’s a feeling Miller and his coworkers share. “You try so hard to give back as much as you can,” Miller said. “To be able to do it is great. It’s great. It’s amazing.”

registration fee is $ 20 and will include a t-shirt. For more information about The American Legion Walk for Veterans or to register, please visit: www.wilegion. org or call (608) 745-1090. The convention will begin on Friday, July 15th with District Caucuses at 7:30 AM and Opening Ceremonies at 9:00 AM. Convention Committee Meetings will take place at 2:00 PM and consider a number of Resolutions related to Legion business (continued on Page 3)

Walk for Veterans 98th Annual Department Convention Saturday, July 16, 2016 8:00 AM

Commander Dale Barnett will be joining us for The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin 98th Annual Department Convention. On Saturday July 16th you can join him for a 1 mile Walk for Veterans or take part in a 5k run/walk. The event is open to the public and the walk will begin at the Madison Marriott West in Middleton, WI and will go to the start of the run course 8001 Terrace Avenue, Middleton, WI 53562 (about a ½ mile from the Marriott. The 5k will begin when the National Commander arrives from the Marriott. The American Legion’s mission is to provide service to veterans, their families and their communities. All money raised by The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin helps Wisconsin Veterans. For information on who we are and what we do go to To register for the walk or run, please fill out the bottom portion of this form and return as indicated or go to for online registration. Name: ________________________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________________ City: ____________________ State: ____________________ Zip: ________________ Email: ____________________________ Phone #: ____________________________ Shirt Size (Shirts available in Adult S-4X and Youth S-L): _______________________________ Check One:

1 Mile Walk

5K Run/ Walk

The cost is $20.00 and includes a t-shirt. Please enter payment information below:


Check No. ___________

Credit Card

Name on Card: __________________ Type of Card: ____________________________ Card #: ___________________ Exp: __________________ Code: ________________ Email: ____________________________ Phone #: ____________________________ Return completed form to: The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin Attn: Angie • P.O. Box 388 • Portage, WI 53901 or email to

2016 Membership Goal: 59,000 • June 23rd Total: 56,262 – 95.36% 12th PLACE 2015-2016


10th PLACE

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




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




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




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




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

2015-2016 98.07%

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

District 5

District 8

District 10

District 12

District 6

District 1

11th PLACE








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

District 4



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

District 3



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

District 2



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

District 7



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

District 9


100.94% P.R.I.D.E. P. R.I.D.E. District 11

PAGE 2 “Badger Legionnaire” & “Wisconsin” The Badger Legionnaire & Wisconsin are the official publications of the Wisconsin American Legion Family and are published ten times annually, once every five weeks, by The American Legion, Dept. of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 388, Portage, WI 53901. Periodicals Postage Paid at Portage, WI and additional mailing offices. USPS ID Number 010-135 ISSN: 2154-2627 Post Master: Send address changes to Badger Legionnaire and Wisconsin, P.O. Box 388, Portage, WI 53901

“Badger Legionnaire” The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 388 • Portage, WI 53901 Phone: (608) 745-1090 E-mail: David A. Kurtz, Executive Editor 2015-2016 Communications Committee Kendel D. Feilen, Chairman Phil Ingwell, Vice Chairman Jim Young, DEC Liaison Geoff Shields Harold Rihn Rory Burns Dan Osero Gerald Brown, Historian Loretta Shellman, Auxiliary Liaison Bonnie Dorniak, Auxiliary Liaison 2015-16 Department Officers Commander Dale H. Oatman Vice Commanders Dan Seehafer Jeff Puddy Ed Cooper Jerome Krofta Adjutant David A. Kurtz Chaplain Clif Sorenson Sergeant-at Arms Jeremy Nordie Dave Wischer Service Officer James Fialkowski NECman Steve Krueger Alternate NECman Ken Rynes District Commanders 1st – Tom Strey 2nd – Jim Lee 3rd – Mary Lloyd 4th – Mark Sandow 5th – Ensley Brown 6th – Todd Braun 7th – Mark Lesko 8th – Jim Young 9th – Laurel Clewell 10th – John Miller 11th – Frank Kostka 12th – Chris Sower Change of Address & Other Information: Subscribers: To report any upcoming changes of address, please ask your Post Adjutant to fill out a Membership Data Form and forward it to Wisconsin American Legion Headquarters. The change of address form that will be completed by the Post Adjutant should not be confused with the change of address card filled out at the Post Office. Department financial statements are available to Legionnaires in good standing upon written request through their District Commanders.

“Wisconsin” American Legion Auxiliary Department of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 140 • Portage, WI 53901 Bonnie Dorniak, Editor Laura Calteux, Department President Bonnie Dorniak, Exec. Secretary/Treasurer To change your address: Notify Unit Secretary Unit Secretary: Notify Department Headquarters on a Member Data Form The “Wisconsin” deadline for copy is 4 weeks before publication date.

Publication Schedule All articles due to the Editor four weeks before publication date. Send all copy to


June 30, 2016

DEPARTMENT COMMANDER This will be my last Commander’s message in the Badger Legionnaire. It has been an exciting and rewarding year that I will cherish Dale Oatman Department Commander for many years to come. I had a lot of help along the way so if I miss anyone in this article, my apologies. The year in office had a lot of travel and I thank my wife, Rita, for her support taking care of the extra chores around the house, continued care of her mother up to her death in February and many more things. A thank you to the entire Headquarters Staff for their support across the spectrum of all programs. Our Department could not survive without the Program Coordinators. Adjutant Kurtz led the way at Headquarters with the most difficult job of reporting to and working with a new Commander each year which can be a daunting and thankless job but a job where he keeps the Department in the black year-in-

and-year-out. I thank the Department Vice Commanders who stepped in for me when I could not attend functions. They also helped with membership, revitalizations, and leadership efforts with the Districts under them. Thank you District Commanders and Committee members for your leadership and commitment to your Counties, Posts and Legionnaires, not to mention your support of me. It was certainly a pleasure traveling within and outside our great state with Auxiliary President Laura Calteux. She inspires the entire Legion Family with her presence and it has been a joy working with her. I wish her well in her future endeavors. The SAL was phenomenal this year with their membership over 100%. Thank you Commander Mike Kollmansberger for your efforts and support. Past Department Commanders were very supportive and I appreciated their guidance. To the family of Pastor George Buchanan go my deepest sympathy. He had a vision to help spread our Legion Family news using both The American Legion and Legion Family facebook

pages far more than anyone could have imagined, especially documenting events that I had attended. His pastoral commitment, technical abilities and love of the Legion Rider program were enormous and have been missed by many. We all lost a great friend. Badger Boys State was very exciting this year as we celebrated the 75th session with a visit by National Commander Dale Barnett. The Commander was extremely complimentary of our programs so kudos go to the staff over those 75 years. It certainly is a great program and one I am proud to be a part of. The dedication of the nature trail at Camp American Legion went very well and the trail is now named “Gary G. Wetzel Way”. Thank you Gary for your presence and allowing us to name it after you. Also, thank you for your service and congratulations as a Medal of Honor recipient of the Vietnam War. The Legacy Scholarship Run for PRIDE ended on Father’s Day, June 19th, at the Veterans Home at King. The King event was also the 61st annu-

al Legion Day with a parade, chicken dinner and program supported by the Legion Family and 40 et 8. Thank you to the 8th District for organizing the event and to the staff and volunteers at King for hosting the event. Now back to the Legacy run. The Legion Riders did a fantastic job organizing and completing the run. Thanks go to PDC and Alternate NECman Ken Rynes, his wife Ann and John Wolfe. The Riders had excellent weather and only minor incidents. The three-day ride took in around $22,000 and with prior donations, the total amount to date is a little over $30,000. This is below my goal of $1 for every Department Legionnaire which is 57,500 so keep those donations coming. Speaking of donations, the Department’s sweepstakes fund raiser is behind from prior years. We need to turn this around for the sake of keeping our programs intact to prevent a Department dues increase. Well, this is farewell as your Commander. However, I will not fade into the deep dark but remain a loyal Legionnaire. God’s speed to all.

DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT Heading into the 98th Annual Department Convention, the Department can look back on a very active year. Following last summer’s ConvenDavid Kurtz Department Adjutant tion in Appleton, Department staff has remained engaged in supporting Commander Oatman’s agenda for the 2015-16 Membership year. Considerable effort and time was devoted to Camp American Legion. The addition of over 200 acres of land has allowed us to expand services. The trail has been possible through many donations of equipment and materials at no cost to the Department. The trail has been named the “Gary G. Wetzel Way” in recognition of the Medal of Honor recipient and long-time member of Post No.434 in Oak Creek. Department staff

is working to take maximum advantage of the project for public awareness and better brand the Wisconsin American Legion. Former University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan, a Vietnam era veteran, was featured in our November radio commercials heard statewide. Following Midwinter, tens of thousands of Children’s Activity books, developed in partnership with the Milwaukee Art Museum, were distributed across the state free of charge as an effort to promote Americanism to children at the pre-school and elementary school level. The books have proven to be very popular. Tremendous progress has been made this year on the issue of unclaimed remains of Wisconsin veterans. A great deal of credit goes to PDSO Tom Ludka and DVC Ed Cooper for their efforts. A new law helps to streamline the process of transferring unclaimed

remains from funeral service providers to the WDVA State Veterans Cemeteries for interment. Department staff has also worked aggressively to enhance our Service Office at the VA Regional Office in Milwaukee. Staffing adjustments were made and a satellite office was established to provide outreach to homeless and “at-risk” veterans. Staff also took part in discussions related to legislation affecting veteran services statewide. Following an assembly hearing where the proposal was tabled, discussion began about addressing the delivery of veteran’s benefits and services in the foreseeable future. As a result, a Resolution calling for a comprehensive study of the issue was adopted by the Department Executive Committee at the 2016 Spring meetings. Significant revisions to the Wisconsin American Legion Baseball Association Bylaws and the Constitution & Bylaws for the Sons of The American Legion,

Detachment of Wisconsin were completed this past year through the efforts of Policy Committee Chairman Ted DeMicchi, Judge Advocate Steve Kaminski and staff. The Baseball Association Bylaws were revised to better standardize game misconduct punishments and streamline the appeals process. An amended version of the Constitution & Bylaws for the Sons of The American Legion, Detachment of Wisconsin was adopted by the Department Executive Committee this spring and two Resolutions that would amend the Department Constitution are being offered at this year’s Convention. One would provide a means to better monitor the process of selling and mortgaging Post-owned real estate and the other would better define the proper procedure for disciplining members. All in all, it has been a busy and productive year – about to be capped off at Convention. I hope to see you there.

WDVA SECRETARY Wisconsin is a leader in the country when it comes to investing in veterans and we have the best and brightest staff overseeing John A. Scocos all these efforts. WDVA Secretary The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) excels in providing modern tools to our nation’s heroes so that veterans are able to reintegrate into civilian society with housing, education, health care and meaningful jobs. The Veterans Trust Fund (VTF) has been the main source of revenue for providing these essential veterans benefits in Wisconsin since 1961. Maintaining a healthy trust fund is critical to our service mission. Over the years the VTF relied on revenue generators like special taxes (liquor, tobacco, etc.) and, more recently, interest payments from loan programs administered by the WDVA. However, as the nation’s economy changed, so did our ability to use loan interest as

a source of revenue. Fewer and fewer veterans applied for our loans, instead turning to banks that were providing loans at interest rates that a small state agency could not compete with. That, coupled with the fact the loan programs no longer generated enough revenue to cover expenses, meant that it just didn’t make sense for us to continue to invest resources in loan programs. Seeing the decline in revenue generators, Governor Walker has provided the VTF with more than $10 million since 2012, the first general fund appropriations that the VTF received since 1988. Additionally, the Legislature, with bi-partisan support, gave us the ability to transfer funds to the VTF from our main source of income, the Wisconsin Veterans Homes, which provide 24-hour skilled nursing care to nearly 1,000 veterans and their spouses. That the Homes generate revenue sufficient to support transfer to the VTF is itself a success. In 2011, the Homes were operating nearly $13 million in the red. Deliberate analy-

sis and decisions led to reforms that turned the homes around. Today our Homes are some of the best in the country (with 5 star ratings per the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and we are operating about $40 million in the black. The VTF is the healthiest it’s been in many years. Spending the VTF wisely is paramount, as it allows us to provide direct services to veterans and their families. A primary service is claims assistance. In fiscal year 2015, the US Department of Veterans Affairs completed 43,670 Wisconsin claims for veterans. Of those, the WDVA represented veterans in 22,143 claims – over 50 percent. The impact of those benefits to veterans represented by WDVA was $33.2 million in 2015. Claims assistance is an important benefit other states, like Ohio and Michigan - which boast significantly larger veterans populations than Wisconsin – do not provide. The WDVA runs three veterans cemeteries, including 5th busiest state

veterans cemetery in the nation. To date in fiscal year 2016, our staff has interred over 1,000 veterans and their spouses and our Military Funeral Honors Team has coordinated nearly 5,000 funerals. We also operate the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, educating the public with the stories and history of Wisconsin’s veterans. A Smithsonian affiliate, it is a unique treasure that welcomes more than 120,000 visitors per year. These are just a few of the things we do. In Wisconsin, we have invested in the most generous collection of veterans benefits of any state in the nation – making us a national leader in veterans affairs. We have laid a strong foundation so that we can continue to provide the best quality programs, benefits and services to those who have served our great country. Wisconsin cares deeply about our veterans and the WDVA at the direction of Governor Walker will continue to work hard to make sure our veterans – who have given and sacrificed so much – have everything they need to succeed.

June 30, 2016



Hospitality Suites at the Madison Marriott - West later in the evening. Saturday will be a busy day

2016 Department Convention Schedule Registration & Exhibits 7:00 AM-5:00 PM Blood Drive 10:00 AM-3:00 PM District Caucuses 7:30 AM Convention General Session 9:00 AM Dual Members Club Meeting 12:00 PM Past Sergeant At Arms Meeting 1:00 PM Backwards Club 1:00 PM WALPA Meeting 1:00 PM Convention Committee Meetings 2:00 PM-4:00 PM Wisconsin Historians Assoc 4:00 PM GNUTS Social Meeting 4:30 PM

Convention Lobby Monona Michigan LaCrosse Salon H Private Dining Room Salon A Breakout Rooms Salon H Sprechers

SATURDAY, July 16th Registration & Exhibits District Caucuses Walk for Veterans Legion Election Convention General Session 20 & 4 Meeting Catholic Church Service Protestant Church Service Past Commanders Club Party

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

Convention Lobby Madison Marriott West Geneva Michigan Green Bay Salon F Salon A Wisconsin





FRIDAY, July 15th

with the Walk for Veterans beginning at 8:00 AM and the election of Department officers beginning at 8:30 AM. The convention will reconvene at 9:00 AM and many prominent speakers are expected. Department award winners will also be recognized for their accomplishments. The 98th 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 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 Ford from the Boucher Automotive Group. All in all it is anticipated to be a busy and exciting weekend in Madison. Register for the event by using the Registration Form in this edition of the Badger Legionnaire or log on to Registration on-line is fast and easy.


and veterans issues at the state and national levels. Candidates for Department offices will be hosting


Department Convention (Continued from Page 1)




Elmbrook Post No. 449 recently honored member George Cavros with a Certificate recognizing his 70 continuous years of membership in the post. Commander Ronald Anderson (left) is shown here making the presentation to George.

SUNDAY, July 17th Memorial Service 8:00 AM Convention Session/Installation 9:30 AM Post DEC Meeting Close of Convention

Michigan Michigan Wisconsin

Camp Receives New Outboard Motors

The Madison Fishing Expo donated four (4) new Mercury outboard motors for Camp American Legion. The motors are 9.9 horsepower and include all accessories. Madison Fishing Expo Secretary Charlie Grimm and Director Hal Bohne are pictured here presenting the donation valued at $10,000 to Camp Director Kevin Moshea. The Madison Fishing Expo is an annual event that helps promote the sport of fishing. They believe that a fishing rod is a tool that will inspire wholesome family memories. The Madison Fishing Expo experience doesn’t just offer products and services, but an avenue to make fishing a lifetime hobby that will help

families stick together. In fact, portions of the proceeds from the show help fund projects that make fishing better right here in

the state of Wisconsin. For more information on the Madison Fishing Expo, contact Charlie Grimm at (608) 249-9694.

Receiving a 70 year member recognition plaque is Ken Speich, a veteran of WWII and member of the Wallis-Hinker-Brux Legion Post No. 238. of Greenwood. Mr. Speich is a Past Commander of Post No. 238, organized and served on the Legion Drill Team and been an active member. Pictured from left to right are Dick Larson, Ken Speich, Bob Vesel, Bernie Kitzhaber, Pete Dejno, and Don Lindner. Also honored for 60 years was Edward Trunkel (not pictured).

40 Year Post Adjutant Recognized Wallis-Hinker-Brux American Legion Post No. 238, Greenwood, Wisconsin, presented Harry Johnson with a special plaque in appreciation for his dedication as Post Adjutant for more than 40 years. Harry now leads the Post No. 238 Honor Guard/ Drill Team. Presenting the plaque is the new Adjutant, Roger Schwarze.

1st District Riders Lead Memorial Day Parade

The 1st District American Legion Riders were honored to lead 4 different parades on Memorial Day. They started the day, 30+ bikes strong, leading the parade in Delavan and upon completion the Riders split their forces and hustled to do both the Twin Lakes and Genoa City parades. Pictured here from left to right is the line-up for the Twin Lakes parade with Claude “Claw” Berry and Brian “Flashover” Penny. Following the parades in Twin Lakes and Genoa City, the Riders regrouped to lead the Memorial Day Parade in Rochester. A very busy, but satisfying day for the 1st District American Legion Riders.

Kingfish baseball 1st Pitch Past Department Commander Ted DeMicchi threw out the 1st pitch at a Kenosha Kingfish baseball game recently. The Kenosha County Council of The American Legion hosted the 50/50 raffle as a fundraiser at the event.



June 30, 2016

A Faded Sense of Honor (Continued from Cover)

as her husband, and ran the family farm during John’s long absences in Philadelphia, and later, France, the Netherlands, and England. Her support of the American cause was just as ardent as her husband’s, but with a twist- she kept on reminding him to “not forget the ladies,” while he was in Congress, and while he was president. A feminist long before it became fashionable, Abigail Adams was a moralistic and honorable revolutionary, though unfortunately kept more into the background in those more male-dominated times. George Washington, unlike John Adams, did not receive a classical education, but as the son of a gentleman farmer in Virginia, he learned the practical trades of surveying, animal husbandry, and tobacco farming. He studied a book on manners and morals so much, that whole passages were embedded in his brain. Though not considered an intellectual, he was well-read and studied ancient history and warfare. In 1753 Major Washington, age 21, as a member of the Virginia militia, was sent by Virginia’s governor to Fort Duquesne, at the site of what is now Pittsburgh, PA, to order the French to evacuate the premises, as it was land claimed by Britain. A year later, he precipitated the French and Indian War (175463), firing the first shots! Though he saw limited action in 1755 during the failed Braddock campaign, Washington proved his courage and coolness under fire, earning the admiration of his men. In 1775, after the Revolution broke out, as a member of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Washington was nominated by John Adams to be the commander-in-chief of rebel forces. He accepted. Though his inexperience in battle showed at the Battles of New York, and at White Plains, in 1776, his brilliant conduct at Trenton, Assunpink Creek, and Princeton in 1776-77 earned him the love and devotion of nearly every soldier who served under him. Leading a small, sometimes ragtag army against the greatest military might in the world, Washington lost more battles than he won, but he won the war in the end. As general and later president,

Ken Rynes Candidate for National Executive Committeeman Alternate National Executive Committeeman Ken Rynes is announcing his candidacy for the high office of National Executive Committeeman. Ken is a 17 year Paid-up for Life member of the Bayard de Hart Post No. 13 in Richland Center. He earned the privilege of membership in The American Legion through his service in the United States Marine Corps 1983-1987, as well as the U. S. Army Reserves 2007-2010, having spent one year on active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Ken has held offices at the

Post, Department and National level. Ken is a 2010 graduate of the National American Legion College. As a charter member of the 3rd District American Legion Riders he is the only Rider in the state to participate in all ten American Legion Legacy Scholarship runs, logging over 30,000 miles for the cause. He and his wife Ann helped to establish the annual “Fall Ride to Camp” and continue to coordinate the event. The annual Fall Ride to Camp has raised over $60,000 for Camp American Legion since its inception. Ken served as Department Com-

mander in 2013-2014, establishing a state wide motorcycle run for the Legacy Scholarship. That year the event raised $75,000 for the children of our fallen heroes. He currently serves as your Alternate NEC man and sits on the National organizations’ Legion Riders advisory committee representing the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. With your vote Ken will represent you enthusiastically and professionally to ensure that the lines of communication between the Department and National level are open and accurate.

Wayne “Swifty” Jensen Candidate for Alternate National Executive Committeeman Candidate for Alternate National Executive Committeeman, Past Department Commander Wayne “Swifty” Jensen served 5 years in the US Navy. His service included a 1 year tour of duty in Vietnam aboard “Swift” boats from November 1967 through October 1968. He also served 6 years in the Coast Guard Reserve and 13 years in the US Air Force Reserve and was activated for Operation Desert Storm. He attained the rank of Master Sergeant. After 35 years on the Milwaukee Police Department he retired as a Lieutenant of police. During that time he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Mt. Senario College and was a founding member of the Police Officer Support Team and Milwaukee

Police Department Honor Guard. He is a Paid-up for Life member of Milwaukee Police Post No. 415 with 41 years of continuous membership and is presently the Adjutant and Honor Guard Captain. His achievements include being named as the 1989 Department of Wisconsin Ed Ormsby Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. He was the 2010 Corporation President for The American Legion National Convention in Milwaukee. Since his tenure as Department Commander he has been Adjutant of the Past Commanders Club, Judge Advocate of the Milwaukee County Council and completed 21 years as Director of Special Services at Badger Boys State, as well as 13 years as President of the Boys State Board of Directors. His 15 continuous years as a del-

egate to the National Convention include 13 years on the Foreign Relations Committee, 2 years on the National Security Council and 14 years on the National Legislative Council where he was named as the National Legislative Council Member of the Year in 2005. He has also served as a judge at the Department/Regional Oratorical Contest at Ripon College for the past 7 years. His wife of 45 years, the former Donna Powers, and his daughters Wendy and Sheila and granddaughters Ivy & Fiona are all members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 415. Wayne “Swifty” Jensen has the endorsement of Milwaukee Police Post No. 415, the 4th District and the Milwaukee County Council.

2016 AMERICAN TRIBUTE RIDE Saturday, July 23, 2016

When it comes to your to-do list, put your future first.

Registration: 9:30 to 11:30 AM

Honoring those that have made the Ultimate Sacrifice

Pre-Registration: Single at $25.00; Two-up at $35.00 On-Site Registration: Single at $30.00; Two-up at $40.00 STARTS at Open Road Harley-Davidson on Rolling Meadows Road, Fond du Lac ENDS at King Veterans Center with a Memorial Service to honor those that have served our communities and country by making the Ultimate Sacrifice.

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Washington was a man of high morals, superhuman perseverance, an unshakeable belief in the cause, and honesty. His one major flaw was that he owned slaves, but without his stupendous leadership and common sense on the battlefield, and later as our first president, he was unequaled. After the Revolution, Washington was asked to become King George I of America. He turned it down, saying that he wasn’t going to be a hypocrite by replacing a British king with an American one. He had it if he wanted it. He said “no.” He did the right thing. Lack of space does not allow me to fully describe all of our great Revolutionary and post-Revolutionary leaders, but I could add to the list the likes of Generals Nathanael Greene, Henry Knox, and John Glover, who all fought under Washington. James Madison and John Quincy Adams were certainly intellectual and moralistic giants. Thomas Jefferson I would add only for his intelligence, and authorship of the Declaration of Independence, but not for his beguiling and double-dealing style of statesmanship. Alexander Hamilton likewise falls into that latter category. In later decades, others such as Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Theodore Roosevelt, Alice Paul, and others, were regarded as upright-minded leaders. They’re long gone. Morality. Honesty. Integrity. Class. Intelligence. Decency. Honor. Many people today still have these qualities, but in the political world, they are as rare as hens’ teeth. We are now at the mercy of politicians guided by greed, lust for power, dishonesty, complacency, special interest groups, and that damned reelection they’re always campaigning for. We wait and ponder a change, a return to past ideals and morals, but that old clock keeps ticking... Editor’s note; Tom Lowe is a member of Post No. 281 in Gloucester Township, New Jersey and a veteran of the US Navy. Tom states he has very fond memories of Wisconsin, having visited often in 1973 while stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Center for both basic training and radar school.

Germantown, WI 53022 414-460-7548

Member SIPC

June 30, 2016



Wisconsin American Legion College

Tom Strey Candidate for Department Vice Commander

The Wisconsin Legion College conducted Basic Course classes at Johnston-Blessman Post No. 38 in Appleton on Saturday, from June 11th.

First District Commander Tom (Tomar) Strey is a candidate for Department Vice Commander. Tom served in the US Navy from 1968-1970 as a 3rd class Engineer aboard the USS Gearing DD710. He is a 42 year member of Edwin L. Jones Post No. 91 in Oconomowoc. Tom has been in all chain of commands. With Post No. 91, he was a 4 time 100% Commander. He served 2 years as County Commander with 1 year being 100%, and at the District level he has spent 6 years as 1st, 2nd and 3rd Vice

Milton Duntley

Intermediate Courses were taught on Sunday, June 12th. The Intermediate Course graduates are pictured here.

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Commander. Tom is currently serving in his 2nd year as 1st District Commander which is in 2nd place in membership. Tom is a member of the 40 et 8, SAL and received the Badger Big Ten Membership Recruiting Award several times. Tom has earned the National American Legion Silver Brigade Recruiting Award for his membership efforts this year. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Legion Bowling Association, is a Board Member of VVA 635, and a member of the Knights of Co-

Candidate for Assistant Department Chaplain Pastor Milton Duntley is a candidate for the high office of Assistant Department Chaplain. Upon graduation from Whitewater High School in June of 1962 he enlisted in the US Navy and became an Electricians Mate E-5. He attended nuclear power school and received submarine

training in New London, CN, serving aboard the USS Torsk - SS423 and the USS Sagamore. Upon discharge from the Navy on December 7, 1966, Legionnaire Duntley worked ten years for Wisconsin Bell prior to owning and operating a well drilling business. Pastor Duntley and Hazel, his wife of

James France Candidate for Assistant Department Chaplain I am using this forum to announce my bid for the office of Department Assistant Chaplain. I started my service in the Army training for helicopter crew chief and medic. Two weeks before I was to leave for Vietnam I was injured during a drill. I was medically dis-

charged under honorable conditions and returned home. I joined The American Legion in Bluffton, Indiana where my family was living and three years later transferred my membership to Madison, Wisconsin after moving back to my home state. I lived in Madison until the fall

38 years, reside in Adams County where he serves as Pastor of Big Flats Community Church, a nondenominational congregation. For the past 24 summers, he has also worked Coloma Farms four days a week as his schedule permits. His working relationship at the farm allows him the freedom to minister to church members and attend to American Legion business. He is a charter member of the Ryan Larsen Post No. 65 in the Town of Rome where he serves as Chaplain and was elected Chaplain of the Adams County Counsel of The American Legion, a position he still holds.

of 2003 when I moved to Lancaster, Wisconsin transferring my membership again. After two years in Lancaster I moved and transferred to Cassville, Wisconsin Post No. 352. During my time in Cassville I have participated in parades, meetings, service projects and on the funeral squad. I was elected Chaplain and still serve in that capacity. I was appointed Grant County Chaplain and enjoy serving in that capacity visiting members in nursing homes and hospitals. I am honored to have been asked to run for the Assistant Chaplain post and I need your support and votes. Thank you.

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To Enroll or Reactivate, visit or call 1-800-235-6943. For purposes of the Legionnaire Insurance Trust, a member of the Legion Family, with current year’s dues paid, could be eligible for the $5,000.00 Accidental Death benefit if he/she is traveling to, attending, or returning from an official function at which the he/she represents his/her Post, District, Department, or National Organization in an official capacity. Bonus benefit for Legion business travel in not available in MN and NH.

lumbus. Tom has served 4 years on the Department Convention & Activities Commission, once as Vice Chairman and once as DEC Liaison. He spent 1 year on the National Homeland Security Committee and is currently serving as DEC liaison to the Americanism Committee. Tom has attended 7 National Conventions, served on several convention committees, was 2013 Department Convention Corporation President and he started the 1st ever Legion Rider Legacy Fun Ride at the convention level. Tom and his wife Kathy have been married for 40 years. They have 5 children and all are members of The American Legion family. Tom currently is employed by the Oconomowoc School District where he works with children with special needs. He is endorsed by Post No. 91, the Waukesha County Council and the 1st District.

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The Last


8 Waukesha Edward Fitzgerald V Charles Woelfel K Richard Lundy V 11 Green Bay Ignatius Kielpikowski K 13 Richland Center Lawrence Gethings K 14 Iola John Hotvedt II 20 Waterford Earle Steinke II 23 Milwaukee Michael Struver V Donald Goniu II Robert Strehlow II Carl Hoppe II Donald Rupert II 26 Baraboo Myron Martiny K 32 Menomonie John Kosman K 35 Evansville Alvin Trawicki V 36 West Bend George Mumm II Aloys Peterson K 46 Merrill Edward Klune K 48 Beloit Ethel Beckus II Ken Rehard K Marvin Buchholz II 53 Eau Claire Norman Peterson II Douglas Lundholm V James Becker K Richard Rose II 60 Kimberly William Marvin K Robert Wyngaard V Raymond Buzzard V 63 Clintonville Gilbert Johnson K

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70 Oshkosh Robert Lincoln II Norman Neidl II Andrew Hetzel K Herman Jolitz II Martin Brand II Herman Fritz K Donald Jones II Eugene Jordan II Leon Genz K James Herbig II Dennis Bauman K Richard Binder II 73 Neillsville Heron Vangorden II Donald Simpson V 74 Oconto Donald Rhode II 77 Chippewa Falls Roger Stiles V 79 Burlington Leroy Welke II Charles Peterson K Thomas Barr V Robert Funk II 82 Port Washington Donald Rismeyer II 86 Manitowoc Wallace Hallfrisch II 87 Rice Lake William Marsh II 89 Minocqua Fred Bergman V Ronald Furry V John Gittens II Robert Meier V 95 Delavan Leroy Himebauch II 97 Dodgeville Eugene Gilbertson K Donald Martin K 108 Clear Lake William Olson II 118 Thorp Ted Meyer II 121 River Falls John Howard II Clifford Hilden II 125 Chilton Jerry Clavers II 127 Hilbert Christian Glasow K 133 Camp Douglas Debra Letexier PG 143 St Croix Falls K Robert Wright 146 Beaver Dam Glenn Bennett K Robert Neuman II

05/18/15 05/06/15 12/01/15 10/13/15 01/16/16 11/29/15 12/28/15 12/10/15 07/29/15 10/17/15 12/11/15 09/03/15 05/19/16 06/01/16 05/24/16 05/25/16 05/23/16 05/29/16 06/08/16 06/13/16 05/09/16 06/14/16 05/14/16 04/30/16 05/24/16 04/26/16 06/03/16 05/12/16 05/22/16 06/04/16 06/01/16 05/17/16 05/25/16 06/02/16 05/06/16 06/05/16 05/21/16 05/21/16 04/16/16 05/25/16

148 Bloomington Herbert Krohn V James Krogman II Arthur Erickson II 151 Madison John Driscoll K 158 Maiden Rock Terrence Schruth II Norman Murray K 159 Cadott Herbert Wriedt K 161 King James Lewinski K Gary Walters II Stanley Coates II 169 Amery Robert Peterson K Harry Hansen II 170 Mineral Point Donald Powell II 171 Union Grove Joseph Squires V 173 Whitewater James Connor II 180 Milwaukee John Moynahan K 189 Watertown Gerald Lipski II 192 Franklin Margaret Radiano II 198 Marion Vilas Lehman II 200 Black River Falls Carl Canaday V 205 Janesville Edward Struebin K Richard Hanson II Eugene Palan K 207 Elmwood Raymond Phillips V 209 Orfordville Roger Beier II Robert Holden II David Thompson G/L Barbara Stuvengen II Patrick Wygans V 212 Barron Lloyd Olson II 214 Darlington George Hirsbrunner K 216 Lodi Curtis Walstad V 220 Soldiers Grove Gary Banta K Larry Gage V 229 Mount Hope Paul Becker II 234 Omro Richard Holz K

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September June 30, 25, 2014 2016

237 Footville K Dale Doty 239 Tigerton Charles Ostrander K 243 Plymouth Edward Wegner II 258 Little Chute Ronald Coenen K 277 Necedah Andrew Truslow II 280 Coleman Ernest Banaszak II 284 Holmen V Larry Gramlin 288 Cedarburg Dennis Gierach V 293 Silver Lake Donald Hoellerich K 295 Bloomer Sidney Etlicher K Edwin Lueck II 301 Woodville II Eugene Wolden 306 Green Lake V Gordon Farrell Alan Williams K 318 Lake Tomahawk K Joseph Debay 320 Humbird Laverne Anderson K 324 Osseo Allen Skoyen K Conrad Johnstad II 330 Wilson V Daniel Knotz 339 Almond Thomas Barden V 343 Hancock Marvin Heller II 348 DeForest V William Scafe 366 Princeton Jimmie Stellmacher V Howard Davis V 380 Menomonee Falls Carl Gielow K 391 Fremont Kenneth Voiss II Gaylord Erickson K 392 Cecil Duane Horsens II 401 Cambria Robert Jones II

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406 Milwaukee Edward Plansky II Blanche Scherbarth II 410 Fredonia Leander Kultgen K 416 Greendale William McKillen K 417 French Island II James Snyder Neil Collins K 427 Milwaukee K Elmer Lucas 431 Three Lakes V Tony Durocher 432 Hammond John Steem K 433 Barneveld Ervin Mieden II 434 Oak Creek Richard Machniewicz V Arthur Nowack K 435 Superior Norman Nelson II 436 Wrightstown Robert Reschke II Ervin Van Dyke II 442 Wisconsin Rapids Brian Novitzke G/L Robert Westfall V 455 Milwaukee Gregory Holley V 470 Saukville Joe Bichler K 479 Milwaukee James Boling K 480 Presque Isle Robert Michaelsen II 485 Rudolph Harlyn Brown K 486 Jackson Jerry Chapman II Robert Koeckenberg K Michael Vasarella V 509 Rosholt Anton Omernik K 511 Ridgeland Lewis Hanson K 523 Abrams Marshall Moss K 537 Milwaukee Robert Carr V 539 Green Bay Ruth Hawks II 541 Northfield Lyle Jessie II

05/15/16 06/09/16 06/09/16 02/21/16 06/19/16 06/11/16 05/16/16 06/18/16 05/19/16 04/06/16 05/17/16 06/06/16 05/25/16 05/04/16 05/13/16 06/01/16 06/08/16 05/04/16 05/26/16 05/31/16 05/05/16 06/18/16 04/15/16 04/27/16 03/03/16 06/11/16 06/12/16 05/19/16 04/29/16


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June 30, 2016




September 10, 2016

The Valley Golf Course 2016 Mondovi, Wisconsin American Legion $70 Per Person

State Golf Outing Post No. 3 • Antigo Lawrence Montour

Post No. 130 • Sharon Jerry Gibbons

Post No. 278 • Balsam Lake Steve Williams

Post No. 385 • Verona Roger Ringgenberg

Includes: Green Fees, Cart, Lunch, and Banquet! (Extra dinner ticket $15)

Tee Time Starts at noon

Legion Post No.______ City_________________________ Scramble is open to Legion, Auxiliary, or SAL Card # Phone # Name 1.___________________________________________________________ 2.___________________________________________________________ 3.___________________________________________________________ 4.___________________________________________________________ Team Captain Name and Phone Number:____________________________

Post No. 179 • Chetek Robert Anderson

Post No. 192 • Franklin Linda Pfieffer

Post No. 237 • Footville Ron Kimball

Post No. 258 • Little Chute Keith Fleming

____________________________________________________________ Email Address:_________________________________________________ Total enclosed $:_______________________________________________ Extra @ $15 each = __________ on site at The Valley Golf Course Please make checks payable to: American Legion Post No. 550 Send payment and form to: Brian Flaskrud at 7375 Hickory Rd. • Eau Claire, WI 54701 or call (715) 271-9995 Entries must be postmarked by August 31, 2016

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WISCONSIN'S CANDIDATE FOR NATIONAL COMMANDER Denise, I support your “Family First” Campaign! I want to be part of making history in electing the first woman to serve as National Commander of The American Legion. Your campaign is important to all veterans regardless of gender or war era. To help prepare the way for a National Campaign, I have enclosed my special gift of:



Please charge my gift to:

$50 Check

$100 Visa

Other $________ Mastercard

American Express

Please make checks payable and mail to: Denise Rohan for National Commander PO Box 930100 Verona, WI 53593-0100

Name on Card:_________________________________________________________________ Post/Unit/Squadron:_____________ Card No.:___________________________________________________ Expiration Date:_________________ CVV No.__________ Address:___________________________________________________________________________________________________ City:__________________________________________________________________ State:_____________ Zip:_________________

Thank you for your support!

June 2016 pages 1 7  
June 2016 pages 1 7  

Veterans Benefits- Serving Veterans