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“For God & Country”



Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family

May 26, 2016 Vol. 93, No. 5

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

Local 139 of Operating Engineers Work to Shape Camp Nature Trail

Special to the Badger Legionnaire by David Backman LAKE TOMAHAWK – The echo of 9/11 still is heard here, resonating against the hilly pine forests and rippling across the serene lakes of north-central Oneida County. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, increasing numbers of physically and emotionally scarred Wisconsin veterans have signedup for a week of healing at the 300-acre Camp American Legion. Many of these survivors fought in the Wisconsin National Guard, or in Army Reserve units. They served multiple tours of duty. They witnessed friend, foe and noncombatants maimed and killed. The camp also is open to activeduty personnel. As it has served since 1925, the facility is a place offered free for weary servicemen and women to rest and decompress. It’s a place to swim, fish, play yard games and card games, to work at crafts, to try

to rebuild the soul and to begin to reconnect with spouses and children who are welcome to stay in 21 lakeshore cabins with them. Turning off Highway D, southwest of the main camp, the Operating Engineers have built a handicapped-accessible trail through 228 acres, owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and now leased by The American Legion. The trail is an old logging trail, roughly 12 feet wide. It winds for about a mile through the American Legion State Forest adjacent to McGrath Lake. The paving surface is milled asphalt, reclaimed this spring from the rebuilding of nearby Highway 51. Mathy Construction Co., Onalaska, supplied the milled asphalt. James Peterson Sons Inc., Medford, donated trucking services to haul the material from Highway 51 east to the trail site. Case Construction Equipment, through its MillerBradford & Risberg Inc. dealership in Sussex, furnished two dozers,

two excavators, a compact track loader, a wheel loader, a compaction roller, an asphalt paver, and a motor grader. David Kurtz, American Legion state adjutant, describes the trail as a symbolic path for veterans to follow in a manner similar to that walked by the man for whom it is named – Local 139 member and Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel. “This is the trail ahead for younger veterans, following Gary,” Kurtz said. “He served in Vietnam, had injuries, found a career through the Operating Engineers, and has provided leadership for other veterans for many years. Now others have to navigate their trail ahead.” Kurtz said the Operating Engineers were a natural partner to carve out the trail largely because of Wetzel’s 41 years in the construction union and lifetime membership in Oelschlaeger-Dallmann Post No. 434 in Oak Creek. Camp American Legion Direc-

tor Kevin Moshea added, “To me, this trail is the first, initial step in an overall development plan for that land.” Future additional uses

may include camping and hunting. Local 139 President/Business Manager Terry McGowan noted (continued on Page 4)

Some of the Operating Engineers involved in the handicap-accessible trail project at Camp American Legion are pictured here from left to right Army veteran and Legion member Woody Wickersheim - Local 139 training center site coordinator; apprentices Mike Jole, Matt Melvin, Leroy Miller, and Terry Tilson; Instructor Mike Burt; apprentices Chase Freimark and Dave Sutter. Apprentice Nick Franda is on the roller. Photos courtesy of Local 139. Military veterans work on improving an existing logging road at Camp American Legion as part of their Union apprenticeship training. The improved handicap-accessible nature trail will provide better use of the land recently added to the Camp for the benefit of Wisconsin veterans and their families. Local 139 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, along with a number of corporate sponsors in the road construction industry, have donated materials, services and their time to benefit Camp.

98th Annual Department Convention Approaches

National Commander Dale Barnett and Walk for Veterans Headline Event

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 room reservations and submit their registration to Department headquarters immediately. A feature event this year will be a Walk for Veterans led by National Commander Dale Barnett of Georgia and Department Commander Dale Oatman of Antigo. “The purpose of this Walk is to raise public awareness about the crucial issues facing America’s veterans and their families,” said Commander Oatman. “An estimated 22 veterans

a day commit suicide. Traumatic brain injuries have become a signature wound of the Global War on Terrorism and up to 20 percent of the men and women who served in Iraq or Afghanistan are believed to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Veterans still have difficulty receiving health care in a timely manner and many have been waiting years to have their disability claims resolved. We owe it to those who served our country to never forget their sacrifice and devotion. We are walking for those who marched for us.” 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 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: or call (608) 745-1090. Department Headquarters will establish a presence at the convention site on Wednesday, July 13th. Initial meetings that day will include the Wisconsin American Legion Foundation Board of Directors. The various standing Department Committees will begin meetings at 7AM on Thursday, July 14th. The early starting times (continued on Page 3)

2016 Membership Goal: 59,000 • May 19th Total: 55,950 – 94.83% 12th PLACE

10th PLACE










2015-2016 96.90%



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


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District 5

District 8

District 2

District 7

District 6

District 1

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2015-2016 98.70%



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District 4


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District 10


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District 12

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District 9

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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


MAY 26, 2016

DEPARTMENT COMMANDER With National and Department Spring Conferences behind us, we now focus on our Department Convention in Dale Oatman WI Department Commander Middleton, where we gather at the Madison Marriott West at 1313 John Q Hammons Dr. I look forward to a packed Convention Center with a record number of delegates in attendance. The committee meetings will start at 7:00 AM with the DEC at 4:00 PM on Thursday July 14th, which will make for a long day but necessary in order to move into the District Caucuses and General Sessions Friday and Saturday. Governor Walker signed into law AB 693 on April 25th which will protect funeral homes and WDVA from liability for the release and burial of veterans’ remains. I expect funeral homes will start providing

the names of deceased veterans for eligibility determination and then release the remains for burial at a state cemetery with proper military rites. A large contingent of Legionnaires was on hand for the signing at the Montgomery – Plant Post No. 10 in Wausau. I recently had the opportunity to tour Camp American Legion with my wife, Rita, who was a first time visitor and totally thrilled with what we offer veterans and guests at no cost to the veteran in need of rest, relaxation and rehabilitation. We also toured the construction of the nature trail which will be finished by the time this edition of the Badger Legionnaire is published. The trail will be paved with crushed blacktop offering a smooth surface for veterans to walk on, pushed in a wheel chair or motorized wheel chair/cart. I look forward to the formal dedication of this trail with Gary G. Wetzel present since the trail was named after him and his

heroic action in Vietnam earning him the Medal of Honor. We continue to have some successes with membership with 152 posts and 7 counties at or over 100% with their membership. The 11th District is the only District ahead of last year’s membership drive and may be the only 100% District. Our Department remains in 7th place with all other Departments as well as ahead of the other Departments under National Vice Commander David Gough’s purview. However, we are around 2,500 behind what we were last year at this time and Nationally behind well over 50,000 members from 2015. The Membership Committee, District and Department Vice Commanders were asked to continue the push with membership by knocking on doors and just asking expired members to renew and eligible veterans to join. My legacy scholarship fund raising is slow in coming in. Please keep those donations coming or present

them at the various stops during the Legacy “Run for PRIDE”. Our stops are from the western part of the 3rd District, then north covering parts of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Districts, with a final stop at the Veterans Home at King on Father’s Day, which is Sunday, June 12th. Remember to keep supporting our Legion Family members campaigning for National Offices. For three nights at National Spring Conference in Indianapolis, I enjoyed standing in a receiving line to greet Legion Family members with Adjutant Kurtz, Past SAL National Commander David Faust, SAL National Chaplain Mike Lawler, Auxiliary candidate for National Vice President Diane Duchek, Alternate NECman Ken Rynes, NECman Steve Krueger and Mike Rohan, spouse of leading candidate Denise Rohan. Denise was hosting her hospitality room. Keep those campaign donations coming in.

DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICE With all of the small veterans related non-profit groups that have started up since 9/11, I am happy to be part of a James Fialkowski tried and true Service Officer orga n i zat ion. An organization, that continues to serve the United States of America. The American Legion remains dedicated to the four main pillars of service and advocacy; Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation; National Security; Americanism; and Children & Youth. The services our organization provides help change lives. Just the other day, I had a veteran come into the office to thank us for helping him. When he started to speak, I hardly recognized him. This particular veteran had come to our office when he was at an extremely low

point in life. With some guidance and help he received the benefits he earned. With this push in the right direction he got his feet under him and here he was years later coming back to thank us. He said to me; “Thank you for saving my life”. I started to discount our involvement but he stopped me, assuring me that our office was his last stop for help. He said that had he not been helped in such a caring way, he would have followed through with his plan to end his life. Few of our interactions are as dramatic, but this profound statement of thanks epitomizes the life altering service the Department Service Office provides. The Department Service Office workload has increased greatly over the last two years, as more veterans are choosing The American Legion to assist them with their claims. In March, we hit 20,000 active tracked

claimants. To handle the added workload, we have worked hard to efficiently add capability. We have improved processes’, modified the office seating for added staff, and made much needed equipment updates. We are proud of the track record we have established helping veterans and family members attain their due Veterans Administration benefits. For our active claimants over the past year (May 1, 15 – April 30, 16) your service office has helped to obtain benefits totaling $179,760,201.48. This equates to approximately $14.98 million a month. The total amount received by all of our assisted veterans and family members totals $55,044,032 a month. We have many happy outcomes on which to reflect. Two veterans recently had their claims approved with retroactive effective dates of over 50 years. One retroactive payment made to a veteran

was over $600,000. In addition to Veterans Administration benefits, the Department Service Office assists with atomic exposure claims administered by the Department of Justice. We also travel to participate in Veteran’s Benefit Supermarkets and Stand Downs around the state. We maintain our skill with semiannual legal training and receive regular updates on court cases and law changes in order to knowledgably represent our clients. We also administer financial assistance programs like the National American Legion’s Temporary Financial Assistance program, as well as the Department Troop & Family Support and Veterans Assistance funds. Our Department could not continue to provide these services without your continued and much needed loyal support. I thank you for your service, and commitment in “Still Serving America”.

WDVA SECRETARY On the most solemn of our nation’s veteran recognition days, Memorial Day, one is often reminded to take John A. Scocos pause and reflect WDVA Secretary upon what the “ultimate sacrifice” means to this country and her people and especially to those individuals and families affected by the loss of a service member. This day remains important because we have still have warriors in the fight. The Afghanistan war is in its 14th year and has claimed the lives of more than 2,000 Americans. The Iraq war cost more than 4,000 lives. According to the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, between Afghanistan and Iraq, Wisconsin has lost 126 ser-

vice members. The United States is again in Iraq, this time battling ISIS, and this month lost its third service member in combat, a special operations sailor killed while fighting alongside Kurdish forces. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen from nearly every generation have answered when their nation called. Those who have been called have answered knowing they would be sent into harm’s way. Many of those brave warriors gave their lives in that call to arms, which is what sets this day apart from all other special days of recognition we observe for our military veterans. While Veterans Day honors all who served, Memorial Day specifically honors our war dead, who deserve our utmost respect. First observed 150 years ago following the Civil War, this day has

come to recognize all those great patriots who died in action in all armed conflicts. These brave men and women are the very reason we have America. Why America has remained free. Why America has been a symbol of strength. It is these things because of those who donned the uniform and served, sacrificed. Most of the names of those who sacrificed their lives on our behalf are not listed in any history book and are largely unknown aside from their families or comrades-inarms. Their individual names may be unknown to the masses, but their deeds and sacrifices on this day are recognized and remembered in ceremonies across our nation. As the beneficiaries of their legacy, we must ensure that the achievements and sacrifices of those who served are never forgotten, which is

why we gather to remember. Those who distinguished themselves on the battlefield started by simply answering the call to serve, but with their service left an indelible impression on those who knew them. On Memorial Day we ensure that their legacies are remembered. Remembering those who have gone before us is why our nation has many state and federal veterans cemeteries, including three here in Wisconsin. These are the final resting places of millions of veterans, including many thousands who died in combat from the Revolutionary War to the present day conflicts in the Middle East. Whether at a veterans cemetery or during other holiday weekend activities, take a moment and remember the reason for the long weekend – it was earned for us by those who selflessly sacrificed on our behalf.

MAY 26, 2016


Department Convention (Continued from Page 1) 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 that same day. The convention will begin in earnest on Friday, July 15th 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 Madison Marriott West 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 reconvene at 9:00 AM and many prominent speakers are expected. Department award winners will also be recognized for their accomplishments. The Past Commanders Club of Wisconsin will hold a party in the evening. 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. More details and a comprehensive

schedule will appear in the next edition of the Badger Legionnaire. 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.

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The American Legion Department of Wisconsin

98th Annual Department Convention REGISTRATION FORM This is your registration form only, NOT your delegate form. Delegate forms are mailed to the post 30 days prior to Convention June 15, 2016 per the Constitution and Bylaws. It is advised however, to register and book your rooms prior to this date. Remember all Legionnaires are encouraged to attend the Department Convention, not just Delegates and Alternates. You can also register online at First Name__________________ Last Name _____________________________

A volunteer recognition program was recently held for Legion members at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. Receiving the awards and citations are Post No. 161 members (pictured from left to right) Will Pope, Duffy Replogle, Ron Miller and Gary Mader. Congratulating them is Department Vice Commander Jerome Krofta of Post No. 9 in Wisconsin Rapids.

Member ID Number __________________ District _________________________ AL Post # ________

Auxiliary Unit # ______

SAL Squadron # _________

Street Address _____________________________________________________ City ___________________________State_____________Zip _______________ Email _____________________________________________________________ Home Phone (__________ ) __________________________________________ Cell Phone (__________ ) ____________________________________________ ITEM




Registration Fee




Reg. Fee after July 11, 2016




Total Enclosed


Make check payable to The American Legion, Dept. of Wisconsin or enter credit card information below. Cash


Credit Card

Card Type__________________Card # __________________________________ Expiration Date ______________ Security Code _____________ Return to: The American Legion, Dept. of Wisconsin Attn: Chris Schmidt • P.O. Box 388 • Portage, WI 53901

2016 DEPARTMENT CONVENTION HOUSING For Hotel accommodations at the Madison Marriott West call 888-7452032 and ask for the WI American Legion Conference block. All reservations are on a first come first serve basis, the cost is $115.00, plus tax, for a double occupancy. A list of alternate hotels is attached. The cutoff date for rooms is June 22, 2016 provided there are rooms still available.


Homewood Suites by Hilton 479 Commerce Dr., Madison, WI (608) 271-0600 • Cut off 6/14/16 $119 Studio Suite • $129 1 Bdrm Suite Courtyard by Marriott 2266 Deming Way, Middleton, WI (608) 203-0100 • Cut off 6/14/16 $99.00-King w/sofa sleeper Hampton Inn & Suites 483 Commerce Dr., Madison (608) 271-0200 • Cut off 6/14/16 $114.00 King room • $134.00 2 Queen Hilton Garden Inn 1801 Deming Way, Middleton

(608) 831-2220 $149.00 King • $149.00 2 Queens Roadstar Inn 6900 Seybold Rd., Madison (608) 274-6900 $70.00 King • $75.00 2 Queens

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The Legionnaire Insurance Trust Celebrates its 50th Anniversary with The Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors CHICAGO, Illinois (April 2016) - The Board of Directors of the Legionnaire Insurance Trust (LIT) held their 50th annual meeting on April 19, 2016 in Laguna Niguel, California. Forty-six of the forty-nine participating Departments of The American Legion were represented at the meeting.

Since its inception in 1966, the LIT has returned over one billion dollars in benefits to insured Legion families and nearly $78,000,000 to the participating Departments for their use in areas such as veterans’ affairs & rehabilitation. The meeting was presided over by Frank Barrett of Maryland –




Chairman of the LIT. This year, the Board met to receive the financial report for the past year, and to distribute over $4 million to participating departments. The report outlined both the 2015 activities and 2016 plans on behalf of the Trust and introduced the proposed changes and additions to the Trust’s portfolio of products.

Local 139 of Operating Engineers Work to Shape Camp Nature Trail (Continued from Page 1)

that while the Operators could provide manpower and machines for constructing a trail, the union was looking for a community project on which apprentices could enhance their skills. “We are extremely proud to partner with the Wisconsin American Legion on this project,” McGowan said. “This is a natural extension of our Combat to Construction program which aims to help our veterans acquire career skills and find employment with our signatory contractors.” Apprentice Operators cleared and grubbed, excavated, and paved the trail over about a month in AprilMay. Most of the apprentices are veterans such as Leroy Miller of New Berlin. “I learned about the Camp American Legion project at our union meetings,” said Miller, a secondyear apprentice who served in the Army’s 10th Mountain Division

and was wounded in combat in Afghanistan. “I had a compelling feeling of wanting to serve my country and, after leaving the military, I wanted to continue that and to build for America. When the project started, Woody (Local 139 Training Center Site Coordinator Woody Wickersheim) called me and asked if I wanted to be a part of it and I said ‘absolutely.’ “To provide this type of service for other veterans is an overwhelmingly emotional experience for me, to get veterans out of their daily grind, veterans who are restricted to their homes, or their wheelchairs, and to get them out into the woods where they need to be for healing reasons. “It’s also medicating for me.” Another Army veteran, Mike Burt, supervised the trail-building project. Burt is an instructor at the

union’s training center in Coloma. He watched some of the apprentices return to the site in the early evening of April 27, after eating supper at the mess hall at Camp American Legion, so they could get additional seat-time operating heavy equipment. “It’s fulfilling to watch them grow as Operators, from being tentative to being confident in what they’re doing. “We cut a hill and created a slope maybe two or three times. But that’s OK. That’s why we’re here, to learn. These apprentices are learning basic techniques that we teach at the training center, like excavating below subgrade, topsoil stripping, and slot dozing. Our days are the same number of hours as we would put in at the training center and even longer, sometimes, because some of these guys volunteer to come back and work after supper.”

County Veterans Service Officers in Wisconsin Bill Rosenau President, CVSOA-WI In a speech following the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln very eloquently gave voice to our National Obligation “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” The citizens of Wisconsin declared their commitment and their intent to meet this obligation through the legislature by a mandate for local government to maintain a County Veteran Service Office. Concerned veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) initially took it upon themselves to aid and assist the veterans, dependents and survivors of their counties to gain benefits, either through the G.A.R., or through whatever other resources were available. Their services continued through the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, a number of other conflicts and into World War I. Following WW I, the duties of Service Officer usually evolved into an appointed or elected member of one of the Veterans Service Organizations. This method of delivering services continued until sometime in the early thirties, when the Fond du Lac County Soldiers’ and Sailors’

Relief Commission (now known as the Veterans Service Commission) approached the county board asking to hire “a full-time contact man to enable the county to care for its disabled veterans.” The board appointed Leo J. Promen as the first CVSO in Wisconsin in 1932. In fact, Mr. Promen was the first CVSO hired in the United States. In rapid succession, other counties Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Relief Commissions picked up on the idea, and in conjunction with their Veterans Service organizations, (most notably The American Legion) this led, in 1935 to a state law authorizing counties to voluntarily hire a CVSO. By the end of 1935 about 20 of the counties in Wisconsin had hired a County Veterans Service Officer. In 1936, the benefits of local outreach and support really began to gain momentum, seeing the hiring of CVSO’s almost state-wide, and the initial formation of the CVSO Association of Wisconsin. The CVSOA-WI was created to ensure that there was training available, and a forum in which to exchange ideas and best practices, to ensure Wisconsin’s veteran were being cared for. The

MAY 26, 2016

Association took on the additional role of ensuring the integrity of the CVSO office was both figuratively and literally maintained. The value of having local, dedicated representation for our veterans was truly realized in 1946, when the Wisconsin Legislature passed a law requiring that each county appoint a CVSO to “render all possible assistance to veterans, their dependents and survivors.” Since that time, Wisconsin Veterans have gained support through this mandated structure. Although the populations, the available benefits, and even the needs of the veterans may change, the purpose of the Association and the individual CVSO’s remains committed and constant. To provide caring, client focused counseling and assistance and to act as an advocate for veterans, their dependents and survivors in the pursuit of the benefits their service and their sacrifice earned. Since WWI, veterans of all eras have held the office of CVSO and rendered service to their comradesin-arms in time of need. As long as there is one veteran, dependent, or survivor in need, there will be a CVSO to lend an ear, lend a hand and care.

Stephen Krueger Candidate for National Executive Committeeman Stephen “Steve” Krueger is a candidate for re-election to the office of National Executive Committeeman. Steve served as Department Commander in 2001-2002 and is an Honorary Life Member of the O.L. Arnold – D.K. Slayton Post No. 100 in Sparta. He has been a member for forty continuous years and served as a 100% Post Commander in 1991-1992, both years being an all time high. Steve was also a 100% County Commander for two years. He has served on and chaired many Department Committees including the Americanism & Government Testing program, Membership Committee, Safety Committee, Hospital Committee, Fundraising Committee, Convention & Activities Commission, the Wisconsin American Legion Foundation and the Department Executive Committee for nine years. He has attended every Department Convention and Midwinter Conference since 1988. He has attended eleven National

Conventions, serving on both the Americanism Committee and the Security Council. He has served at various levels of the Forty et Eight and is a charter member of the Past Chef De Gare Club. Steve has been appointed to review applications for Military Academies by Congressman Ron Kind for the past eleven years. Steve earned the right to join The American Legion by serving in the Navy from June 1966 to October 1969, most of which in Vietnam. After a short stint in the Naval Reserves, he joined the Wisconsin National Guard and retired as a First Sergeant in 1990. He worked at G. Heilman Brewing until 1990, when he froze his retirement and went to work at Fort McCoy. In 2006 he started his own trucking company. Steve works to improve the Department of Wisconsin. He believes in The American Legion Family and that service to fellow veterans, their families, community, state and nation are the most fulfilling acts a veteran can perform.

Bob Shappell Candidate for Alternate National Executive Committeeman Past Department Commander Bob Shappell announces his candidacy for the high office of Alternate National Executive Committeeman. Bob is a PUFL member of the Peter Wollner Post No. 288 in Cedarburg. His Legion eligibility was earned through 26 years active duty service in the US Air Force after graduating from the US Air Force Academy. He previously served as Department Vice Commander, 2nd District Commander, Ozaukee County Commander, and three years as a 100% Post Commander. Bob served on the Department Membership Committee, including a year as Membership Chairman. He also served three years on the Children & Youth Committee. He performed duties as the Ozaukee County Adjutant, as well as Service Officer and Adjutant at Post No. 288. He is a member of the Sons of The American Legion (in honor of his father, a 63-year Legionnaire), 40 ET 8 Voiture No. 1330, life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, life member of the Military Officers Association of America and life member of the Air Force Association.

Bob is an affiliate faculty member of Cardinal Stritch University, teaching evening and online classes in business, management, human resources, and leadership. He has a Master’s degree in management and supervision, and has completed all coursework toward a Doctoral degree in business administration. Since completing his term as Department Commander, Bob has continued efforts to establish Legion posts on college campuses. He is a member of the 128th Air Refueling Wing Community Council and the Wisconsin Army Community Advisory Board. He serves as Chairman of the Board for Badger Boys State. As Dean of Education for the Wisconsin American Legion College, Bob is dedicated to making it the finest Department educational program in the nation. Bob’s in-depth knowledge of current Wisconsin American Legion programs, issues, and people make him the ideal choice for Wisconsin’s Alternate National Executive Committeeman, and to represent and advocate for Wisconsin to the national organization.

MAY 26, 2016



OSHKOSH DEFENSE CONTRIBUTES TO CAMP AMERICAN LEGION By Brian Jopek, Reporter Reprinted by permission of the Lakeland Times An annual, internal contest conducted by Oshkosh Corporation has resulted in a substantial donation for Camp American Legion near Lake Tomahawk. Wednesday, the camp’s director, Kevin Moshea, accepted on the camp’s behalf a check for $27,500 from Oshkosh Defense, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation. The relationship the camp has with the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Civil Engineering Squadron played a very important role in the donation from the company. Kyle Fugar, energy manager for Oshkosh Defense, led a team competing in the “Oshkosh Excellence Awards.” When he isn’t working for Oshkosh Defense or home with his family, he’s also a senior master sergeant in the civil engineering squadron of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing. “Basically, everyone has their segment level and would prepare a presentation for a project they had done throughout the fiscal year,” Fugar said. “Projects could be as small as recycling items at an outbuilding in Florida to engineering projects.” The four categories to be addressed in the projects were environmental responsibility, human development, innovative excellence and delighting customers. “The projects could be a month long, two months long or the entire year,” Fugar said. There are different monetary award amounts depending on placement in each of the four categories. Fugar said there’s also an Employee’s Choice award, which gives members of the 20 teams the opportunity to vote for their favorite projects. After the segment level, a single

project with enough votes receives the Global Oshkosh Excellence Award, and a $10,000 grand prize. Fugar’s energy team won first place in the environmental responsibility category at the segment level, an employees choice award and the grand prize, a total for all three of $27,500. “A major highlight of our team effort was that we saved almost $870,000 in annual energy expenses in fiscal year 2015,” Fugar said. “That was a 50 percent reduction from the year before.” He said Oshkosh Corporation does the excellence awards but it’s Oshkosh Defense that chose Camp American Legion as the charity. Wednesday marked the first time at Camp American Legion for Don Bent, vice president of operations for Oshkosh Defense. After being briefed by Moshea about what the camp provides for veterans and their families, he said there “is a bigger picture than serving our military as we traditionally know it.” “We as a society and a company need to support our veterans,” Bent said. “This shows me what a wonderful infrastructure there is in Wisconsin to support our veterans. It personally brings me great pride that Oshkosh Defense has been able to help to support that.” The 128th connection Moshea said the camp has been connected with the 128th for the past five years. “They do significant training projects here,” he said. Fugar is no stranger to Camp American Legion. In the fall of 2014, he was one of several airmen assigned to the 128th’s CES who did their annual training there, completely rebuilding, from the ground up, one of the camp’s cabins that had belonged to the American Legion post in King. It was the experience working on the cabin and what Camp Ameri-

can Legion does for veterans and their families that helped with the decision to donate the money from Oshkosh Defense to the camp. Another member of the 128th’s CES involved in the cabin project and present for Wednesday’s check presentation was Chief Master Sgt. Harry Wilkinson, who served as the project’s non-commissioned officer in charge. The 30-year veteran is also not a stranger to Camp American Legion. Nearly a decade before the cabin renovation project, Wilkinson told The Lakeland Times in 2014, he and a few of his friends were at the camp on a purely volunteer basis. “We tore down a cabin on the main camp grounds and put up a new one,” he said then. In September, there are plans for members of the 128th’s CES to once again be on annual training status for a construction project at Camp American Legion. This time, it’ll be to build a new, state-of-the-art, fish cleaning shack and following Wednesday’s check presentation, Fugar and Wilkinson were among those who walked over to where the fish shack is to be. While preparations for the fish cleaning shack continue, members of the 128th CES’s water and fluids team spent the weekend at Camp American Legion on training status, helping the Legion’s water team get all the water turned on for the season, which once again this year begins the first weekend in May. “The Legion team has been turning the water on up here at camp for 30 years,” Moshea said. “It’ll be a nice, collaborative effort between our guys and the 128th.” He said it’s the type of connection the camp has with the 128th ARW and other Wisconsin National Guard units that help make the camp successful in its mission - to be there for veterans and their families.

Oshkosh Defense presented a check to Camp American Legion. Pictured, from left, are commander of the Wisconsin American Legion, Dale Oatman; vice-president of operations for Oshkosh Defense, Don Bent; Aimee McClure with Oshkosh Corporation’s Pierce Manufacturing; Kyle Fugar with Oshkosh Defense; director of Camp American Legion, Kevin Moshea; and Wendy Fromm and Ryan Meyers with Oshkosh Defense.

Kevin Moshea, left, director of Camp American Legion, talks with Chief Master Sgt. Harry Wilkinson Wednesday during a site tour of the location for a new fish cleaning shack at the camp.

New Camp Playground Installed

New playground equipment has been installed at Camp for the benefit of the many children of veterans and service members who visit. The equipment was made possible through generous donations from the American Legion Auxiliary and American Legion Riders.

1st District Legion Riders Support Fisher House at Zablocki VAMC – Qualifying wartime veterans of any era – – Any type motorcycle of 500cc or greater – – Member of The American Legion Family (Legion, Auxiliary or Sons) • Participate in parades • Provide color guard services • Provide support to other veterans and veteran organizations • Fundraising for the Legacy Scholarship Fund (a fund for children of military persons killed in the current war)

Contact: State President Robert Lloyd (608) 873-5926 or

During the festivities marking the dedication and opening of the Fisher House on the Clement J. Zablocki Medical Center grounds on April 23, 2016, the District 1 American Legion Riders were honored to present Fisher House of Wisconsin President Andrew Roberts with a donation for $532. Making the presentation is District 1 Riders’ President Frank “Phantom” Koneiska.



The Last


3 Antigo Joseph Steagall K 6 Stevens Point Chester Betker K 8 Waukesha Bernard Denter V 9 Wisconsin Rapids Dominick Jackan II 10 Wausau Gene Breitzman II Aaron Brummond K Milton Laffin II Robert McCain II Wilburn Johnson II 14 Iola Alton Amundson II 21 Kenosha Leroy Anderson K William Salerno II Farris Demonbreun V George Brack V 23 Milwaukee James Finnerty V Helen Wilke II Henry Marohl II Robert Schaus II Frank Stuiber K 33 Neenah Robert Blank II 38 Appleton Jerome Kamphuis V Emmett Erdmann K 39 Marinette Donald Conant K William Story K 41 Kaukauna Eugene Verhagen II 42 Platteville Melvin Ingersol V 44 Wabeno Dennis Osgood V Hollis Lance V Richard Lowery K 45 Elkhorn Frank Nappe II

04/09/16 04/05/16 04/06/16 04/19/16 04/01/16 05/02/16 05/03/16 04/16/16 04/11/16 04/21/16 11/22/15 09/10/14 08/03/13 04/22/16 04/15/16 04/27/16 05/03/16 04/28/16 04/07/16 04/13/16 05/16/16 03/01/16 03/21/16 04/06/16 04/05/16 07/03/15 04/27/16 05/09/16 04/14/16

53 Eau Claire Florence Chandler II Arnold Anderson K Burton Elvig II John Hancock II 54 Marshfield Larry Jakobi V Roland Westerveld II Douglas Gorst II Ervin Holbrook II 63 Clintonville Neil Burton K Paul Eberhardt V Delbert Owen K Ed Krings K 67 Lake Mills John Schoofs II 72 Sturgeon Bay Robert Graef II Robert Vanduyse K 73 Neillsville David Eisentraut V 74 Oconto Ernest Schroder II 75 Fond du Lac John Hauer II Melvin Heller II Melvin Bohlman II Frederick Krueger II 80 New Richmond Thomas Quinlan K Duane Bartos V Robert Soderquist II Gerald Brennan V 81 Mauston Leo Steiner II Thomas Johnson K 82 Port Washington Eugene Streff K 89 Minocqua Richard Gourley II 90 Ashland William Blake II Ben Marguard G/L Robert Baron K Albert Hoffman II 91 Oconomowoc Daniel Oshea V 93 Tomahawk Fred Timm II Robert Storm V Eugene Luedtke II 95 Delavan Emmett Schulz II Eugene Pyrz II 97 Dodgeville Henry Brennan II 106 Seymour Harvey Springstroh V Myron Spranger K Leo Vandehei V

04/13/16 04/13/16 02/20/16 02/19/14 04/11/16 03/27/16 05/03/16 05/02/16 04/09/16 04/08/16 05/09/16 05/05/16 04/20/16 03/31/16 01/08/16 04/30/16 05/09/16 03/31/16 04/04/16 04/05/16 04/20/16 03/29/16 04/07/16 05/10/16 05/12/16 02/19/16 03/13/16 03/08/16 04/15/16 11/26/15 03/27/16 08/01/15 09/09/15 04/09/16 04/22/16 05/08/16 05/10/16 04/13/16 05/13/16 04/24/16 04/27/16 05/05/16 05/04/16

108 Clear Lake Elden Spencer II 115 Elroy John Rader II Ernest Schirmer K Lyle Jefferies II Carol Manson II Kenneth Schweiger K 118 Thorp Henry Nyckel II 125 Chilton Carl Gebhart K 131 Colfax Patrick Walters V Merlin Jackson II-K-V 134 Boscobel Darrell Hackett K Hubert Bacon K 138 Viroqua Roland Williams II Henry Hendrickson II 143 St Croix Falls Clarence Prokop II 146 Beaver Dam Alvin Burbach II 147 Medford Alfred Palmer II 148 Bloomington Harold Wagner II 150 Wausaukee Jerome Reilley K Donald Ridgley K David Schlies V 153 Pittsville William Hiles V 154 Mondovi Francis Gruber K Carl Patzner V 159 Cadott Howard Vandenheuvel K 160 Brooklyn William Legler K 171 Union Grove James Fonte II/K Steve Savas K 185 Grantsburg Roger Hess V 188 East Troy Ernest Recknagel II 189 Watertown David Cochran II Richard Bahr II Robert Liners II 197 Brodhead Glenn Williams V 200 Black River Falls Berton Sherman II James Reeves K 203 Milwaukee Anthony Vitale II David Holada V

SEPTEMBER MAY 26, 25, 2016 2014

05/06/16 04/13/16 12/09/15 12/11/15 03/11/16 04/03/15 05/03/16 05/06/16 04/14/16 04/23/16 04/08/16 04/17/16



From Your American Legion Department

Any time you have an accident or sudden illness while traveling away from home, Legionnaire Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) ( ) provides a crucial safety net that can help pay for emergency medical transportation expenses your health or travel insurance generally will NOT cover.

+ + + +

Medical Evacuation (by air and/or ground) Transportation after Stabilization Vehicle Return Costs Return of Traveling Companion, Children or Grandchildren

EA+ rates specially negotiated for Legionnaires and their Families.


The Legionnaire Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) Program is available to Legionnaires at a 35% discount off the broad market rate. A recent enhancement to EA+ now includes escorting you home with a qualified nurse, if deemed medically necessary by EA+ physicians, saving members anywhere from $5,000 - $25,000.


For more information log on to or call toll-free 1-888-310-1547 today to speak with a benefit representative.

04/01/16 04/24/16

04/08/16 02/28/16 04/10/16 04/11/16 04/13/16 04/25/16 04/16/16 04/15/16 04/22/16 04/11/16 04/18/16 05/05/16 04/15/16 04/10/16 04/11/14 03/30/16 05/02/16 04/07/16 04/16/16 04/02/16 11/25/15 11/19/15

*This information is only an outline of the plan’s features. The full terms, benefits and conditions of the plan are shown in your Member Benefit Guide. Please read it carefully. ©2016 Worldwide Rescue & Security 40064

209 Orfordville Joseph Bastian V Leonard D’Angelo II 210 Waupun William Burmeister K 214 Darlington Joe Stoddard K Robert Burgess K Richard Ray K Leland Furrer II Dennis Murphy V 216 Lodi Joseph Rubesch II Leon Orcutt II 217 Bonduel Gordon Ainsworth II 218 Hayward Thomas Kershaw V Wallace Partlow II 220 Soldiers Grove Roger Salmon G/L 238 Greenwood Edward Trunkel II Larry Sowle V 243 Plymouth Stanley Seurer II 250 Adams Patrick Corcoran V Ervin Radmer K 262 Luxemburg James Vanness V 287 Mattoon Leonard Baker K 316 Sheldon Roger Kolar II 318 Lake Tomahawk Roy Woller II 326 Boyd James Raycher V 346 Centuria Raymond Christensen K 348 DeForest Carlton Heise II 351 Montello George Thompson K 355 Grafton George Mayer K 360 Waunakee Eugene Vosberg K 363 Denmark Virgil Kolstad II 378 Brandon Milton Born II 382 Menomonee Falls Gordon Dorn K Ralph Bitters V 384 Kewaskum Edward Preo 385 Verona Julian Rhiner K Randall Ahlstron II

04/14/16 05/03/16 05/10/16 09/18/15 10/18/15 02/16/16 02/20/16 03/02/16 02/05/16 03/26/16 04/09/16 03/30/15 12/12/15 05/12/16 04/30/16 05/08/16 04/23/16 05/03/16 05/05/16 05/02/16 05/03/16 09/12/15 04/13/16 04/16/16 04/18/16 05/01/16 05/04/16 03/25/16 04/04/16 04/14/16 04/09/16 05/10/16 05/10/16 04/22/16 04/11/16 04/14/16

387 Franklin John Kolo 392 Cecil David Peplinski 395 Kingston Diane Burger 406 Milwaukee Robert George 412 Belgium Richard Hausner 413 Crivitz William Diehlmann Nicholas Orlando Donald Witt 427 Milwaukee Earl Lee Richard Schmidt John Damman Robert Gliszinski Donald Schaning Arnold Polzin 438 Norwalk Robert Kruk 449 Brookfield Melvin Tates 457 Mequon Clarence Groth 461 Pembine James Reed 470 Saukville Bruce Klein Eugene Fransee Leroy Thielke Albert Rudolph 476 Loomis Warren Bernardy 483 Allenton Norman Doll 494 Caledonia Dennis Haas 507 Mindoro Charles Hanson 522 Hubertus William Winkler 534 McFarland Rich Steinhauer Leroy Holzwarth Edwin Neitzel 537 Milwaukee Wayne Goldbach 538 Carlton Donald Brusky 540 Haugen Gary Johnson 544 Twin Lakes Jack Faulhaber 546 Racine Acie Dogans 2930 Portage James Sargent












04/10/16 04/11/16 04/29/16


12/04/13 10/20/13 08/07/13 10/25/13 04/18/16 04/22/16










03/17/16 10/05/15 11/01/15 01/05/16












05/03/16 04/20/16 05/18/16













MAY 26, 2016




Post No. 15 • Juneau Dennis Nampel

Post No. 30 • Edgerton Al Decker

Post No. 38 • Appleton Bill Falck

Post No. 90 • Ashland Frank Kostka

Post No. 396 • Indian Creek Oscar E Schmidt

Post No. 106 • Seymour Greg Goetz

Post No. 102 • Walworth Peter Kahl

Post No. 231 • Blair Lannie Howe

Post No. 209 • Orfordville Leonard Funk

Post No. 206 • Wonewoc John Jurkowski

Post No. 147 • Medford Leroy Jensen

Post No. 122 • Phillips Marshall Vich

Post No. 71 • Pewaukee Joe Bromley

Post No. 109 • Lancaster • Mike Lieurance, Cdr • Andrew Robbins, Membership Chairman


Post No. 141 • New Glarus Steve Hodgson

Post No. 382 • Menomonee Falls - John Lukaszewski

Post No. 387 • Franklin Allen Nohl


non-golfers that would like to come, the cost for lunch would be $10.00 per person. The event takes place on June 25th at the Reedsburg Country Club. We are also asking for donations of Raffle Prizes. The main item is for your post to sponsor a hole at the cost of only $50.00. Hole sponsorship is not just for your Post but for Auxiliary, the SAL, Legion Riders, businesses and individuals. Each sponsor will be recognized with a custom sponsorship sign. Submit your Entry Form, Sponsorship or donated prize by June 10, 2016. Make checks payable to “Wisconsin Candidate for National Commander” and send them to: Ted DeMicchi, PO Box 123, Somers, WI 53171 If you need any more information, contact Ted at or (262) 945-1496.

Post No. 127 • Hilbert Gordy Hauser

Post No. 337 • Pulaski Kevin Sampo

Post No. 283 • Suring Jeff School

Post No. 375 • Mukwonago Don Braun

Post No. 354 • Ettrick Steve Vehrenkamp

Post No. 383 • Lone Rock Arthur Temby

GOLF REGISTRATION Whether you have a foursome, or want us to pair you up with other golfers, please sign below. The prize is $70.00 per person and includes 18 holes, Cart, Lunch and Door Prizes. If you have non-golfers the would like to come, the cost for lunch would be $10.00 per person.

Golf Outing Fundraiser

Past Department Commander Ted DeMicchi is once again serving as State Chairman of the Golf Outing Fundraiser for Denise H. Rohan, Candidate for National Commander of The American Legion. We are limited to 144 golfers. Use the form to the right to sign up to 4 golfers. If you only have 1, 2 or 3 people, we will pair them up with others. The golf outing is open for everyone; Legion, Auxiliary, SAL, Legion Riders and any individual. The price is $70.00 per person and includes 18 holes, Cart, Lunch and Door Prizes. If you have

Post No. 43 • Ripon Mike Meeker


$50 Please help suppost the event and sponsor a hole or take this form to businesses in your community and ask them to sponsor a hole. Thank you!

Sponsor Name __________________________ Address _______________________________ City, St., Zip ___________________________ Email _________________________________ Please make checks payable to Wisconsin Candidate for National Commander and send it to: Ted DeMicchi, PO Box 123, Somer, WI 53171 or call Ted at (262) 945-1496

Reedsburg Country Club

3003 E. Main St., Reedsburg, WI (608) 524-6000

Name _____________________________________ Address ___________________________________ City, St., Zip _______________________________ Phone # ___________________________________

GOLFER #2 Name _____________________________________ Address ___________________________________ City, St., Zip _______________________________ Phone # ___________________________________

GOLFER #3 Name _____________________________________ Address ___________________________________ City, St., Zip _______________________________ Phone # ___________________________________

GOLFER #4 Name _____________________________________ Address ___________________________________ City, St., Zip _______________________________ Phone # ___________________________________

May 2016 pages 1 7r  
May 2016 pages 1 7r