Page 1

Badger

“For God & Country”

&“Wisconsin”

aire

November 29, 2013 Vol. 90, No. 10

Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family

www.wilegion.org

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

Midwinter Conference at Ho-Chunk to Feature Former Vietnam POW New Education and Training Seminars Covers VA Enrollment, Healthcare Research and Estate Planning The upcoming Midwinter Conference, scheduled January 17th – 19th, 2014 at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells will feature a special Team-building Banquet on Saturday evening. National Vice Commander Robert Newman of Indiana and Vietnam War POW Guy Gruters will be our special guests. All Legion Family members are invited to attend the event. Upon graduation from the US Air Force Academy, Guy Gruters volunteered for Vietnam. He flew more than 400 combat missions and was shot down twice. On December 20, 1967, Gruters was captured by the North Vietnamese and spent over five years as a Prisoner of War. The ordeal humbled his pride, tested his fortitude, and forged his faith. During his captivity, Gruters cared for fellow Air Force Academy classmate Lance Sijan of Milwaukee. His testimony was instrumental in Sijan being posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1976. Gruters’ decorations include two Silver Stars, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star for Valor, the POW Medal and other awards. Guy will share his inspirational story and speak about many of the team building techniques that he learned from the best team he was ever associated with, his fellow POW’s at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”. At the conclusion of the Teambuilding Banquet the $1,000.00 Membership Bounty incentive drawing will be held. On Saturday, January 18th new training opportunities will be provided by members of the National American Legion Staff. The new National training initiative is known as LEAD – Leadership Education and Development. Mr. Zachary Hearn of the Washington, DC office will brief attendees on VA Enrollment Priorities and Service Connected Disabilities, while Bill Sloan of the Indianapolis staff

will instruct Legionnaires on Post Operations and Membership. Mr. Sloan will also conduct valuable in-depth training for Officers at all levels of the organization. Other information and education opportunities abound. Dr. Jeffrey Whittle of the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee will chair a discussion on VA Hospital Research. VA hospitals in Tomah, Iron Mountain, Madison and Milwaukee have a research mission to improve the quality of care that veterans receive. The VA would like to develop a way for Wisconsin veterans to provide feedback on the types of research that is being done. The session will cover the types of research conducted and the purpose of the program. Discussion will also include information on how veterans can have a voice in directing VA research and becoming involved as participants. Attorney Wendy Rusch of Reinhard, Boerner, van Driesen, SC will expose the myths and realities of Estate Planning and answer your questions. Think you don’t have an estate plan? Think you don’t need an estate plan? Think again. This presentation will provide you with the knowledge you need to take control of your lifetime and post-death planning. The session will cover Probate issues, Wills, trusts, the benefits of marital property and the power of a durable power of attorney. The free information provided will help you plan for future health care needs as well as gift and estate taxes. The Americanism Program Resource Center is back for 2014 and better than ever! Make a point to “stop in” at the Resource Center on Saturday, January 18th from 10:00 AM-2:00 PM in the Upper Dells. Each of the Department Program chairmen will be on hand to provide information on the individual Americanism programs of The American Legion that benefit young people in Wisconsin. A

Guy Gruters Guy Gruters was raised in New Jersey where he spent his childhood trapping muskrat, camping, hunting and becoming an Eagle Scout. He attended the United States Air Force Academy graduating with a BS in Engineering Science. After Pilot Training and fighter gunnery school, he served six years in Vietnam, more than five as a Prisoner of War. As a POW, Gruters cared for Milwaukee native Lance Sijan, who died as a result of his wounds and subsequently was awarded the Medal of Honor. During his duty in Vietnam, Guy flew more than 400 combat missions, first in

O-1 “Bird Dog” light observation aircraft and then in the F-100 Super Sabre over North Vietnam. While flying the F-100 Super Sabres, Gruters was shot down twice. The first shoot down resulted in a parachute landing offshore of North Vietnam under heavy fire from the coastal guns. The incident and rescue is an awe inspiring story of the dedication and courage of the Jolly Green Chinook Helicopter Search and Rescue units. His second shoot down on December 20, 1967, resulted in a five year, three month odyssey as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese.

Lance Peter Sijan

Lance Sijan of Milwaukee graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1965. Upon completion of pilot training he was assigned to Da Nang Air Base in South Vietnam. On November 9, 1967 an F-4C Phantom with Sijan and LTC John Armstrong aboard was engulfed in a ball of fire over North Vietnam. Before the aircraft plunged into the jungle, Sijan managed to eject from the aircraft. An extensive search-and-rescue operation was unable to extract him. During the rescue attempt over 20 aircraft were damaged by anti-aircraft fire and had to return to base. Sijan suffered a fractured skull, a mangled right hand, and a compound fracture of the left leg as a result of his ejection and landing. He was without food, with very little water, and no survival kit. Nevertheless, he evaded enemy forces for 46 days. He was finally captured by the North Vietnamese on Christmas Day, 1967. Ema(continued on page 5)

ciated and in poor health, he still managed to overpower his guard and escape, but was recaptured several hours later. Sijan was transported to a holding compound, where he was placed in the care of two other POW’s, Air Force Colonel Robert R. Craner and Air Force Captain Guy Gruters. In considerable pain from his wounds, he suffered beatings and extensive torture from his captors, but never divulged any information other than what the Geneva Convention allowed. In his weakened state, he contracted pneumonia and died in the notorious Hanoi Hilton on January 22, 1968. His remains were repatriated in 1974 and he was buried with military honors in Arlington Park Cemetery in Milwaukee. On March 4, 1976, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his selflessness and courage in the face of lethal danger. His parents received the award on his behalf from President Gerald R. Ford.

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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: info@wilegion.org David A. Kurtz, Executive Editor 2013-2014 Communications Committee Kendel Feilen, Chairman Harold Rihn, Vice Chairman Dale Oatman, DEC Liaison Butch Van Rossum, Member Bernie Olson, Member Phil Ingwell, Member Barb McDaniel, Member Cecil Groves, Historian Loretta Shellman, Auxiliary Liaison Bonnie Dorniak, Auxiliary Liaison 2013-14 Department Officers Commander Ken Rynes Vice Commanders Robert Shappell John Wolfe Dan Rindt Larry Wrycza Adjutant David A. Kurtz Department Chaplain Greg Simonis Assistant Department Chaplain Larry Olson Sergeant-at Arms Charles Roessler Dave Wischer Service Officer James Fialkowski NECman David L. Gough Alternate NECman Steve Krueger District Commanders 1st – Dave Brisk 2nd – Dan Seehafer 3rd – Rich Ruland 4th – Claire Goodfellow 5th – Ensley Brown 6th – Jeff Puddy 7th – John Thurk 8th – Jerry Krofta 9th – Dale Oatman 10th – Ed Cooper 11th – Frank Kostka 12th – Jim Chapin 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 Joyce E. Endres, 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 info@wilegion.org

THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE

NOVEMBER 29, 2013

DEPARTMENT COMMANDER Fellow Legionnaires, another Veterans Day has come and gone. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our VietKen Rynes Department Commander nam era brothers and sisters. This, as you all know, is the 50th anniversary of that time in history. I was a youngster at the time but I still remember Walter Cronkite giving the casualty and wounded numbers every night on the TV news. I remember the protests. I am sure most of you remember those times as well. From May of 1961 when Army Green Berets were sent in to help train the South Vietnamese; to the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964; to troops

walking ashore in March of 1965, you answered the call. From Hue city; to the Tet offensive; to the A Shau Valley; to the siege of Khe Sanh, each of you answered the call. From Operation Frequent Wind in April of 1975 and finally, the Mayaguez incident, you answered the call. This is your time of remembrance, so embrace it. The sands of time will forever shift but your service in Vietnam surpasses the test of time and places you in a group that answers but only to God. We are fortunate in life to cross paths with many people. I was honored to have had the opportunity to befriend two Vietnam veterans during my service in the early 80’s. The first was a Marine grunt named Dave Barton. Dave was

in the units that walked ashore in March of 1965. Dave always told me he didn’t do anything. Sitting in a listening post with a buddy in the middle of the jungle at night is quite a bit more than nothing. Dave and I still maintain contact today. The second was Major Mark Buscemi. Mark was a UH-34 Sikorsky pilot in the early days of the war. These aircraft were eventually replaced by the famous UH-1 Huey. Mark always told me that the engine sitting below the pilots saved his life more than once. Mark did 23 years in the Marine Corps before retiring to southern California. Mark did not adjust to civilian life and three years after retirement took his own life. To this day I think of him and wonder why. Mark’s story is not an unusual

one for the veterans of Southeast Asia. It is all too common and forgotten. It is time to reach out, bring all the Vietnam vets into our ranks so that they may enjoy the camaraderie of fellow servicemen and women once again. They should have an opportunity to share their stories and maybe, find a place to release a story to the only person that might understand what they are going through. I don’t intend for this to be a membership drive. I would like you to seek out those veterans of Vietnam. Seek them out so that we can just listen to a story or guide them to a place where they can receive the help needed. It is time for them to come home so they don’t take the path of my friend Mark. Commander Ken

DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT Sha kespea re wrote, “What’s past is prologue” and as we finish 2013, we are setting the stage for 2014. One way David Kurtz Department Adjutant to reflect upon the past and build for the future is to continue to reach out to Vietnam era veterans in Wisconsin. It was recently announced that the Department of Defense is seeking partners to observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The Commemorative Partner Program is designed to thank and honor Vietnam Veterans for their service and sacrifices. To accomplish this, the Defense Department is recruiting Commemorative Partners throughout America. 50th Anniversary Commemorative Partners will include governmental bodies, veteran’s service organizations, as well as The American Legion at

various levels. Commemorative Partners are encouraged to participate by planning and conducting events that will recognize Vietnam Veterans and their families. The idea is to recognize, thank and honor this specific group of veterans who saw our country through one of the most challenging conflicts we were ever involved in. Is your post, unit or squadron looking for an opportunity to recognize and be of service to Vietnam veterans? Here is a great opportunity. The program is veteran-focused with the primary goal of honoring Vietnam veterans in the local communities where they live! For many of these veterans and their families, it will be the first time in 50 years that they have been recognized for their service and sacrifice. Partners in the program include the State of Wisconsin and The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin.

See details about this important program in this issue of the Badger Legionnaire. The upcoming Midwinter Conference, scheduled January 17th – 19th, 2014 will afford us a unique opportunity to recognize Vietnam veterans. The 2014 Midwinter will feature a special Team-building Banquet on Saturday evening with two very special guests. Guy Gruters spent more than five years as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. He will join us along with Janine Sijan, sister of Medal of Honor recipient Lance Sijan of Milwaukee. There will also be a host of new training opportunities. Two members of the National American Legion Staff will provide instruction from the new National training initiative is known as LEAD – Leadership Education and Development. Other training and education opportunities will include a presentation by Dr. Jeffrey Whittle of

the Medical College of Wisconsin on ways to improve the quality of care that veterans receive from VA facilities in Wisconsin. Attorney Wendy Rusch of Reinhard, Boerner, van Driesen, SC in Milwaukee will attend and provide a free seminar on Estate Planning issues. In addition to Funeral Honors and M1 Garand training, Department Program chairmen will be on hand to provide information and answer questions on all the individual Americanism programs of The American Legion. For those interested in American Legion Baseball, a “Baseball Spring Training Camp” will be conducted for anyone interested in this signature program. All in all, we are looking forward to a very exciting and educational Midwinter Conference January 17th through the 19th in the Wisconsin Dells. You won’t want to miss it, so make plans to attend.

WDVA SECRETARY November in the Veterans community is a special month. On the 11th, we recognize Veterans Day – a John A. Scocos WDVA Secretary day to honor all those who honorably wore the uniform of a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine or Coast Guardsman. The importance of Veterans Day cannot be understated, especially while new veterans are this very minute being forged on the battlefields of Afghanistan. At the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month of the year, in 1918, World War I ended. It was a costly and bitter war in which America lost 116,000 of its own on the battlefields and in the trenches of Europe. It was declared “the war to end all wars” – so deadly, costly, and massive at the time, few could imagine another war on that scale.

We know from the last 95 years of world history that World War I was not the end of wars, but in many ways actually set the stage for future wars, including World War II – which was far more deadly and widespread than the First World War. What good that did come out of the trenches of World War I was patriotism, honor, stories of courage, respect and admiration of the U.S. servicemember. It is in the end of that “Great War” that Veterans Day had its beginning. A year after the conclusion of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson set aside November 11 as a day of annual remembrance for those Americans who had fought in the war. It became known at the time as “Armistice Day” – marking the official treaty that ended the combat of World War I. After World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day was re-

named to Veterans Day – to honor the service and sacrifice of those who fought so desperately to save the world during the Second World War and to stop the spread of communism on the Korean Peninsula. From the very beginning, America owes its very existence to those that sacrificed so much to fight for it, build it, and sustain it. The personal sacrifice and determination of the American Veteran has preserved our nation in the toughest of times, of which there have been too many. Without the veterans of the Revolution, America would not exist. Without the veterans of the War of 1812, our new democracy would’ve been lost. Without the veterans of the Civil War, the condition of slavery would have continued on. Without the veterans of World War II, the forces of darkness and evil would have conquered the world. In the past half century our veterans have served to liberate op-

pressed peoples, restore order, and stand behind our allies, deterring aggression when possible, and backing it with force when required. When peace and diplomacy fail, as they sometimes do in a world of competing interests and brutal dictators, war arrives. In our relatively young nation, we have heard the call to arms many times – to which Americans have always responded. We understand that it is real, but only those who have lived it firsthand truly know the cost. Our men and women in uniform are currently serving, as they always have, with honor, loyalty and a sense of duty – duty to their country, families, friends and their comrades-in-arms to their left and right. Without veterans our nation would not exist. If our veterans are not supported, there will be few who answer the call to service to maintain what our veterans have fought so hard for since the birth of our nation.


NOVEMBER 29, 2013

THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE

Deserving Legion Member in Milwaukee Receives Vehicle Farmer’s Insurance and Marshall Auto Body Donate Car to Iraq Combat Veteran Alan J. Lewis of the Cornice D. Grace Post No. 455 of Milwaukee received a 2004 Buick Rendezvous at the conclusion of the 2013 Milwaukee Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 9th. Alan served with the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq and was severely wounded during the initial invasion of Bahgdad. Department Commander Kenneth J. Rynes of Richland Center and National Vice Commander

Robert Newman of Indiana were on hand at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center to make the presentation. Also in attendance were National American Legion Auxiliary President Nancy BrownPark of California and Wisconsin Auxiliary President Joyce Endres of Waunakee. Working in conjunction with the Department of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin American Legion Foundation, Marshall Auto Body of

Waukesha and Farmers Insurance Group conducted a campaign to donate a 2004 Buick Rendezvous to an OIF/OEF veteran living in Southeastern Wisconsin. Farmers Insurance donated the vehicle and a number of applications were submitted for consideration. The goal was to help a veteran in their local community because reliable transportation is important and can provide a family with a new lease on life

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DEPT. CHAPLAIN Dear Legion Family, We are now in the Merry Month of November. We think of November for many Greg Simonis Department Chaplain fond reasons. November brings us Thanksgiving and the Fall Harvest, the annual Deer Hunting Season, and most of all - Veterans Day. Thanksgiving lets us enjoy the bounty of food, family festivities, football and preparation for the Christmas Season. Deer Hunting season is an annual tradition that brings families together to help in pursuit of the wily “Whitetail”. November is also a time to reap the bounty of crops that God has given us the opportunity to grow. It is a time to relax after a long season of preparing, planting, weeding and nurturing of our fields. Veterans Day is that one day set aside to honor all those who honorably, and with much sacrifice, gave this Nation the reputation that it has built. It allows us to honor each

branch of the service for those individuals who have given us the opportunity to do what we do today. Veterans Day is a very somber day in our nations history. If it were not for our Veterans, much of the civilized world would still be in “chains and pain” from its oppressors. So as we participate in our various activities during the month of November, let us keep our priorities straight. Enjoy yourself, hunt safely, harvest your crops, shop ‘til you drop, but take time also to recognize those who fought the good fight, and although they may no longer be with us, remember them for “who they were”, “what they did” and “why they did it”. And most of all pray for their brave souls and offer your praise to God for the most precious gifts that these brave men and women gave to us. The Gifts of “Life”, “Love”, “Liberty”, “Freedom” and “Moral Responsibility”. God Bless each and everyone of you, you are in my prayers. -Chaplain Greg Simonis

Alan J. Lewis of the Cornice Grace Post No. 455 of Milwaukee was the recipient of the 2004 Buick Rendezvous donated by the Wisconsin American Legion Foundation, Farmers Insurance Group and Marshall Auto Body of Milwaukee. Comrade Lewis suffered extensive wounds at the International Airport in Baghdad, Iraq while serving with the 3rd Infantry Division in 2003. Commander Rynes is pictured here with Alan Lewis.

Oratorical Competition Scheduled for February 15th at Ripon College The 75th Wisconsin Regional and Department Oratorical Contests are scheduled for Saturday, February 15, 2014 at Ripon College, Ripon, WI. The American Legion Oratorical Scholarship Competition is designed for high school students, including home schooled, who are looking for an academic challenge and enjoy public speaking. The contest was developed to increase awareness and appreciation for the Constitution of the United States. Participants develop leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly, and become prepared to accept the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. Students begin at the local

Post level and progress through County, District, Regional and State Competitions. Winning orations are based on content and presentation. The subject matter is based on some aspect of the Constitution of the United States with emphasis on the duties and obligations of a citizen. Complete rules and information can be found at www.legion.org. • District winners eliminated at the Regional Competition receive $600 scholarships • 3 Regional winners receive $1,000 scholarships and compete for the State title – 2nd runner up receives an additional $1,000 scholarship – 1st runner up receives an additional $1,500 scholarship

– Department winner receives an additional $2,000 scholarship and competes at the National American Legion finals in Indianapolis, IN • Ripon College offers a $5000 scholarship to each of the three Department finalists upon enrollment at Ripon College • National finalists receive scholarships of: – 1st place-$18,000; – 2nd place-$16,000; – 3rd place-$14,000 If you are interested in volunteering to assist as a moderator, judge, host or helper, contact Kim Shanks at Department Headquarters. Kim can be reached at (608) 745-1090 or by e-mail at kim@wilegion.org.

Past Department Vice Commander Joe Story of Bronsted-Searl Post No. 93 presented a Good Citizenship Citation to Chandler Tollison of Tomahawk. Chandler received the award at his Court of Honor, a prestigious ceremony to honor a Boy Scout who has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Post No. 93 in Tomahawk has been sponsoring a Boy Scout troop for over 80 years.

The 2nd District Oratorical Contest Comes to Midwinter You are invited to attend! If you have never witnessed high school students participate in the Oratorical contest, don’t miss this opportunity. On Saturday, January 18, 2014 beginning at 10:00 a.m., students from the 2nd District will be competing for the District title. The contest will be held in Upper Dells-C at the Ho-Chunk Convention Center. Each contestant will appear two times. The first time students must

deliver prepared remarks for 8-10 minutes on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Next, an assigned topic shall be drawn by the contest official in full view of the audience immediately before the last speaker begins delivery of his/her prepared remarks. The assigned topic will be made known to the audience and each contestant ap-

proximately five minutes prior to their second appearance. During their second appearance, each contestant is allowed 3-5 minutes for delivering remarks on the assigned topic. The Regional and State Final contests will be held at Ripon College on February 15, 2014 with the Regional contest beginning at 10:00 a.m. and the State Final contest beginning at 2:00 p.m.

The 1st District Chapter of the Wisconsin American Legion Riders were once again honored to lead the Carthage College Homecoming Parade on Saturday, October 12th. The leader of the pack was Jimmie “JR” Rosko. After the parade, Riders immediately headed to Brighton where they led a second parade on a wet and rainy day. Although wet to the bone by the time they were finished, the Riders once again proved that their patriotism is totally weather proof.


PAGE 4

Dave Brisk

THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE

Rich Ruland

NOVEMBER 29, 2013

Dale Oatman

Bob Shappell

Department Vice Commander Bob Shappell announces his candidacy for the high office of Department Commander. Bob is a Paid-up for Life 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 Second District Commander, Ozaukee County Commander, and three years as a 100% Post Commander. Bob served two years on the Department Membership Committee, including a year as Membership Chairman. He also served three years on the Children & Youth Committee. He was County and Post Adjutant, as well as Post Service Officer. 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 supported by his wife, Pauline (also a Paid-up for Life Legionnaire), Post No. 288, the Ozaukee County Council, and the Second District. He is an affiliate faculty member of Cardinal Stritch University and teaches classes in business, management, human resources, and leadership. Bob has a master’s degree in management and supervision, and has completed all coursework toward a doctoral degree in business administration. Bob believes the keys to success for The American Legion are displaying outward pride in one’s Post and in all Legion programs; maintaining integrity in all we do; having respect for everyone’s opinions; demonstrating and fostering initiative; and promoting greater teamwork within the Legion Family at all levels. Instilling these factors in all aspects of our Legion activities will go a long way toward achieving the final key to our success – strength in numbers and growth in our membership.

Candidate for Department Vice Commander

Candidate for Department Vice Commander

Candidate for Department Vice Commander

First District Commander Dave Brisk is a candidate for Department Vice Commander. Dave is a Paid-up for Life member of the Daniel J. Martin Post No. 8 in Waukesha and served as a sergeant in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, mobilizing for the Berlin Crisis. He has served his Post as Service Officer, Vice Commander and Commander with 100% membership in 2009 and 2013. He also served as Honor Guard Captain for eight years. He was named 2006 Legionnaire of the Year at his post and has served on the Department Legislative Committee and National/Homeland Security Committees. He is presently Liaison to the Department Convention & Activities Commission and is a graduate of The American Legion Extension Institute. Dave and his wife Gerry have been married for 52 years and have a son Lee, a daughter Gina, and four grandchildren - Alison, Katie, Tara and Cole. Gerry is currently President of Auxiliary Unit No. 8 and Gina, Alison, Katie and Tara are Auxiliary members. Commander Brisk has the support of his family and the endorsement of Post No. 8, the Waukesha County Council, and the 1st District. Dave believes that supporting Veterans in need and their families, along with recruiting new members and retaining our current members, should be top priorities for all Legionnaires.

Third District Commander Rich Ruland announces his candidacy for the high office of Department Vice Commander. Rich earned his eligibility to join The American Legion by virtue of his service in the United States Air Force from 1969-1973. Rich served in the Republic of Vietnam in 1970-71 and is endorsed by the Severson-Cairns Post No. 501 of Madison, as well the Dane County Council of American Legion Posts and the 3rd District. Commander Ruland is a Graduate of The American Legion Extension Institute. He currently serves on the Department Executive Committee and as Liaison to the Hospital Committee. Rich is a retired Carpenter and has one son who is a member of the Sons of The American Legion. Rich has devoted a lot of time in the Legion Family as well as to his community. He is committed to Troop and Family Support activities, having supported numerous veterans Job Fairs and Business Symposiums. A vote for Rich brings a passionate, knowledgeable Legionnaire to help move our organization forward.

Ninth District Commander Dale Oatman announces his candidacy for the high office of Department Vice Commander. Dale has been a 44 year continuous year Life Member of the Anderson-Sather Post No. 524 in White Lake. His Legion eligibility was earned through 20 years of active service in the US Air Force, with a one-year tour of duty in South Vietnam. He has a bachelor’s degree in business. Dale is a graduate of The American Legion Extension Institute. He served as Liaison to the Department Policy Committee and is currently Liaison to the Communications Committee. He has been appointed by the National Commander to the National Health Administration Committee. He attended Badger Boys State in high school and is a strong supporter of the program. Dale was named the 2006 Legionnaire of the Year by his post for his service to his post and the community. Commander Oatman is member of VFW Post 9438, DAV Chapter 23, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 206 and past Chef de Gare and current Grand Box Car Directeur of 40 et 8 Voiture Locale No. 1204. Dale is currently the Langlade County Veterans Service Officer and plans to retire next year. His fellow CVSO’s elected him to the CVSO Association Executive Committee and their Advisory Committee to the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. He served on the coordinating committee for LZ Lambeau, the May 2010 Vietnam Homecoming at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Dale is a past officer of the Knights of Columbus and was a Boy Scout Leader for 15 years. He is supported by his wife of 42 years and is endorsed by his Post, County and District. Dale is a true advocate for veterans with a wealth of knowledge of veteran’s benefits at the State and Federal levels.

Candidate for Department Commander

SPECIAL GIFT! 7" Lett Brass S you er Op word r $5 ene 0 D r wi ona th tion !

NEW!

Department Commander Ken Rynes attended the dedication of the new Shiocton Area Veterans Memorial on October 27th. Pictured left to right are Commander Rynes, Senior Master Sergeant Mike Schmaling of the Wisconsin Air National Guard and 9th District Auxiliary President Linda Coppock, who served on the Memorial Building Committee. Sergeant Schmaling was master of ceremonies and also served on the committee.

Legionnaire Labels

Wisconsin American Legion PO Box 388 Portage, WI 53089-0388

You should have received your Legionnaire Labels! Please use them with pride and remember your donation supports programs of The American Legion! We will also send you this handsome brass 7” sword letter opener with your $50 donation!


NOVEMBER 29, 2013

THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE

PAGE 5

50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Observed United States Department of Defense Seeks Commemoration Partners The Department of Defense is seeking partners in communities across the country to observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. 50th Anniversary Commemorative Partners in the program include the Federal, State and local governments, as well as The American Legion at various levels. The commemorative program seeks to achieve the following objectives: 1. To thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing

MIDWINTER (continued from page 1) highlight this year will be “Baseball Spring Training Camp” for Legionnaires, Coaches, Managers, Directors and anyone interested in American Legion Baseball. Team sponsorship and Registration, Background checks, Rules & Regulations are a few of the topics that will be covered. If you are looking for information on the High School Oratorical Contest, Badger Boys State, Boy Scouting, American Legion Baseball, Jr. Shooting Sports, County Youth Government Day, the A&G Scholarship Program, Schneider-Emanuel Scholarships, Sons of The American Legion, as well as Children & Youth programs this is an opportunity for you. Resource tables for each program will be packed with information for your Post to accept the challenges of sponsoring and conducting Americanism activities that foster wide-ranging community service, youth development and educational advancement. Please mark your calendars and save the dates of January 17th through 19th, 2014. Bring your family and enjoy the indoor water parks, attractions and many activities offered in the Wisconsin Dells and the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center. Visit www.wilegion.org or call Department Headquarters at (608) 745-1090 for Housing and Registration Forms.

in action, for their service and sacrifice as well as the families of these veterans. 2. To highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of Federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the Armed Forces. 3. To pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War. 4. To highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine

related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War. 5. To recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War. The Comemorative Partner Program is designed to assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring Vietnam Veterans and their families. Commemorative Partners are encouraged to participate in the Commemoration of the Vietnam War by planning and conducting events that will recognize Vietnam Veterans and

2014 MIDWINTER CONFERENCE SCHEDULE (subject to change) Friday, January 17 8:00-10:00 AM Americanism Committee Lower Dells-E 8:00-10:00 AM Fundraising Committee Lower Dells-FG 8:00-10:00 AM Membership Committee Lower Dells-A 8:00-10:00 AM Convention & Activities Commission Lower Dells-I 10:00AM-12:00PM Camp American Legion Committee Lower Dells-B 10:00AM-12:00PM Legislative Committee Upper Dells-C 10:00AM-12:00PM Communications Committee Lower Dells-CD 10:00AM-12:00PM Religious Emphasis Committee Lower Dells-Salon A Upper Dells-E 10:00AM-12:00PM Hospital Committee 12:00 PM Past Sergeant At Arms Meeting Stand Rock Buffet 12:00 PM NEW! Past Dept. Vice Comm. Lunch Upper Dells-D 1:00-3:00 PM VA&R Committee Lower Dells-CD 1:00-3:00 PM Finance Committee Lower Dells-A 1:00-3:00 PM National & Homeland Security Committee Lower Dells-FG 1:00-3:00 PM Policy Committee Lower Dells-E 1:00-3:00 PM Children & Youth Committee Lower Dells-I 3:00 PM WI Legion College Alumni Assoc. Upper Dells-E 3:00 PM Wisconsin Historian’s Association Upper Dells-Board Rm 3:30 PM Golf Association Upper Dells-Board Rm 4:00 PM GNUTS Social Meeting Upper Dells-D 5:30 PM Past Commanders Club Meeting Lower Dells-E 2:00 PM-4:00 PM SAL Meeting Lower & Upper Dells Saturday, January 18 10:00-3:00 PM Blood Drive Lower Dells-A 10:00-2:00 PM Americanism Resource Area Upper Dells Atrium 9:00 AM VA Enrollment & Priorities Lower Dells-CD 9:00 AM Post Operations & Membership Dev. Lower Dells-E 9:00 AM Roberts Rules of Order Lower Dells-GF 9:00 AM Computer/Website Training Lower Dells-H 9:00 AM Auxiliary Finance Meeting Upper Dells-Board Rm 10:00 AM Baseball Spring Training Camp Upper Dells-A 10:00 AM 2nd District Oratorical Contest Upper Dells-C 11:15 AM Service Disability Claims Development Lower Dells-CD 11:15 AM District/County/Post Leadership Training Lower Dells-E 11:15 AM Funeral Honors/M1 Training Lower Dells-B 11:15 AM Public Speaking & Post Administration Lower Dells-H 11:15 AM VA Medical Research Project Briefing Lower Dells-I 12:00 PM Auxiliary Luncheon Upper Dells-B 1:00 PM Dual Members Club Luncheon Sunrise Cliffs Café 1:00 PM National Appointments Luncheon Upper Dells-D 1:00 PM Chaplain’s Luncheon Sunrise Cliffs Cafe 1:00 PM WALPA Upper Dells-Board Rm 2:00 PM American Legion Baseball Directors Mtg Upper Dells-A 2:00 PM VA Enrollment & Priorities Lower Dells-CD 2:00 PM Post Operations & Membership Development Lower Dells-E 2:00 PM Roberts Rules of Order Lower Dells-GF 2:00 PM Computer/Website Training Lower Dells-H 2:00 PM Funeral Honors/M1 Training Lower Dells-B 3:00 PM SAL Detachment Executive Committee Upper Dells-E 4:00 PM Service Disability Claims Development Lower Dells-CD 4:00 PM District/County/Post Leadership Training Lower Dells-E 4:00 PM Public Speaking & Post Administration Lower Dells-H 6:00 PM Catholic Church Service Upper Dells-E 6:00 PM Protestant Church Service Upper Dells-C 7:00 PM Team-building Banquet & Dinner Celebration Upper Dells-B Sunday, January 19 9:00 AM Department Executive Committee Lower Dells-B Noon Midwinter Sweepstakes Drawing Lower Dells-B

their families. Events and activities should be dignified, memorable occasions that show a sensitivity and appre ciat ion for the solemnity of war and the losses suffered by many. Commemorative Partners should communicate how their events will achieve the objectives of the program. To become an official Commemorative Partner, organizations must submit an application and a signed Statement of Understanding. Applications are available at www.VietnamWar50th.com on the Commemorative Partner Program.

The approval process is usually less than 30 days. Partners are kept informed through electronic notifications. Commemorative Partners will be provided with a starter kit of mater ials for developing and implementing their prog ra ms. Questions regarding the Com memorat ive Partner Program application process can be directed to: whs.vnwar50th_cpp@mail.mil. The Department of Defense is looking forward to working with American Legion posts across Wisconsin in assisting a grateful nation to thank and honor Vietnam Veterans and their families.

“The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration” is the official title given to the Department of Defense program. Above is the official flag.

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PAGE 6

THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE

The Last Bugle

3 Antigo Kortland Koutnik 4 Athens Graydon Peterson 9 Wisconsin Rapids George Lehmann 10 Wausau Robert Warosh 11 Green Bay Clement Kabacinski Paul F Desrochers 13 Richland Center Joseph T Durkin 15 Juneau Rodney Doughty 18 Milwaukee Clarence Knoblock 19 Hartford Norbert Breitkreutz Lucian M Darin Lloyd B Kluck Neil Park Szabolcs Degyurky 21 Kenosha Calvin H Hewitt 32 Menomonie Frank S Davis Sr Thomas A Jacobson Jewel T Wilson 35 Evansville Donald M Miller Arthur R Baumgarten 38 Appleton Harold P Weiland Donald W Muenster Roy L Julius Robert C Hebert 39 Marinette Patrick J Lahiff 40 Bangor Robert W Dengel 42 Platteville Dean Ostendorf James L Leitl 43 Ripon Alan J Kennedy 47 Portage James L VanEpps 48 Beloit Kevin G Hauser 51 West Salem Marlin J Wehrenberg Karl T Yellick 53 Eau Claire Robert D Kindschi Michael D Hill Jerome E Gugel 54 Marshfield Marvin E Kuehner Glenn Anderson Jr Gerald Weigel 55 Hortonville Laverne Herzfeldt 67 Lake Mills Gerald Zablocki Gordon Christensen 73 Neillsville Gerald R Kuehn 81 Mauston Michael J Laporte Earl E Duffy 82 Port Washington Roger A Wach

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K II

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II II V II

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83 Sheboygan Charles Kostmerchock 84 Monroe Marvin Wells 85 Muscoda Frank W Shadewald 91 Oconomowoc Rueben Sauer James Boyer 93 Tomahawk Richard Bierlich Robert Gessler Lauren R Hulce Kenneth C Clements 95 Delavan William Oninski 100 Sparta Given Klein Graydon Garlough Zel Rice Floyd Trombley 105 Shuyllsburg Carl L Burgess 120 West Allis William C Arndt 125 Chilton Eugene Berrens 126 Brillion Gerhard D Lau Willis A Scharf 128 Stockbridge Jerome L Mueller 133 Camp Douglas Milo Ladell 141 New Glarus Elwood J Anderson 146 Beaver Dam Earl A Klossner Victor W Buss 149 Sheboygan Falls Raymond M Visser Edgar A Vogt Jr Donald Perronne 157 Horicon Lewis E Milner 158 Maiden Rock Curtis Nelson 161 King Robert L Hunt Paul J Frank Jr Earl H Lederhaus Jack L Zahn Claire D Trepanier 164 Jefferson Harlow Brumm Robert E Mero 179 Chetek Ray Olson 183 Genoa City Michael R Katzenberg 186 Independence Ed Dauer 189 Watertown Samuel J Luchsinger Buford F Luedtke 204 Ellsworth Richard W Klein 205 Janesville Charles T Sanford Homer V Brodie 206 Wonewoc Albin C Ennis 209 Orfordville Thomas E Phillips 212 Barron Glen M Springer Reuben Kringle 216 Lodi Clarence Bushnell 223 Hillsboro James E Stanek 224 Alma Mildred E Huebner 226 Manawa Melvin L Bonikowske 234 Omro Donald R Christman Sr 240 Baldwin Eldon J Bowen

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244 Westfield Duane J Miller 253 Spring Green Warren Hoyer 258 Little Chute Jerome A Thomson Norbert F Kilsdonk James M Peeters 262 Luxemburg Wallace L Dufek 263 New London William N Jurack Sigurd W Krostue 271 Poynette John Moll Nicholas Fiore Lloyd Chadwick 272 Butternut John Petroski 284 Holmen Eric W Milisch 288 Cedarburg James E Gresch 294 Hartland Warren Hornburg Daniel Thomas 295 Bloomer Clayton Olds 302 Oconto Falls Robert Mortell 306 Green Lake Harold H Bunkelmann 310 Racine James S Hayek 312 Peshtigo Richard J Wiltzius 333 Sun Prairie William Reynolds Ivan Knutsen 337 Pulaski Darrell R Snethen 339 Almond Stu Stelow Melvin V Roman 340 Berlin John Richter 342 Lena Alfred Imig 345 Hingham George Harrison 351 Montello Robert R Ross 352 Cassville Marcus J Brinkman

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Lee G Cadwell V Charles M Russell II 355 Grafton Delvin A Koopmann K 363 Denmark Phillip Coppersmith K 375 Mukwonago George Motto II 382 Menomonee Falls Patrick J Patton II Robert H Sallmann V A.E. Siegel II 385 Verona Clarence Deyager K 386 Cascade Alois O’Reilly II 393 Edgar Roman Andraska II 399 Okauchee Keith B Olson K 402 Washington Island Richard Ellefson II 406 Milwaukee Don Sametz II 413 Crivitz August C Heabel II 414 Bowler Donald Jahnke V 415 Milwaukee Mark Newell P 420 Hustisford Donald A Wolter V Joseph J Gillich Jr II Joseph G Koch II Ardell F Kiefer II Harold E Held K 425 Exeland Woodrow W Garrett V 426 Milwaukee Robert Krejci II Roger B Peelen II Robert J Gliszinski K Richard H Schmidt II 431 Three Lakes Otto C Krause II Bernhard R Kuhl II George L Leimbacher II Dan Petras K Roman J Weinborn II Edward Tratz K Vern Joslin K 439 Melrose Pliny C Peterson K

NOVEMBER 29, 2013 10/16/13 440 Clinton V 11/09/13 John Gau Richard J Mark K 10/23/13 446 Steuben William E Groom II 11/03/13 454 Mt Calvary Stephen Abler V 10/05/13 457 Mequon-Thiensville Thomas E Mohr II 10/14/13 470 Saukville K 10/16/13 Ralph Vandeboom 03/26/13 476 Loomis Matthew Zepka II 07/09/13 484 Glenbeulah Fredk Hasler II 11/10/13 497 Keshena Benjamin L Ninham K 09/20/13 500 West Allis Frank E Gerich II 10/31/13 501 Madison Albert L Roehling II 06/30/13 503 Dane William L Biwersi V 05/04/13 519 Stetsonville Frank Bieniek K V 10/30/13 John Kelley 521 Fox Lake K 11/03/13 Charles Ehlenfeldt 525 Phlox V 10/17/13 Michael E Decker 534 McFarland K 02/28/13 Donald R Skare 05/17/13 535 Eagle K 08/01/08 Gerald Lutz K 08/29/12 Edward A Fisher K 02/18/13 Jack Rolfe Gerald W Lutz K K 07/12/13 Jack Rolfe Edward Fisher K 08/26/13 539 Green Bay 09/07/13 Louise U McMahon II 10/26/13 543 Plover K 10/20/13 Jack Fahrner Fred L Beggs V K 08/21/13 James Brooks II 11/23/12 Lloyd Wallin V 11/17/12 Vance Krebsbach 08/06/13 Lawrence Mansavage II V 04/21/13 Michael Garsomke II 04/08/13 Esther J Gear II 10/29/13 Robert Puariea Donald Schumitsch K 10/21/13 544 Twin Lakes Raymond E Rorie II Michael J Cardamone K

Who Will Help You? Today’s travel can involve unexpected financial risks. But you’re GUARANTEED help in case there’s a medical emergency away from home. The Legionnaire Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) Program offers you and your family security you need while traveling. EA+ delivers high-value benefits to protect you such as: ☞ Emergency Medical Assistance ☞ Medical Evacuation & Transportation Home ☞ Travel Assistance For You & Your Companion

From Your American Legion Department

To learn more about the benefits and services provided to you by Your American Legion Department, visit us online today at www.theLIT.com/EAP or call 1-888-310-1547. This information is only an overview of the plan’s features. Terms & Conditions apply. ©2013 Worldwide Rescue & Security

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10/22/13 10/14/13 09/13/13 10/29/13 10/25/13 08/02/13 10/26/13 10/09/13 10/16/13 10/27/13 05/04/13 11/23/12 10/19/13 10/03/13 10/23/13 10/01/13 10/09/13 06/30/13 09/09/13 10/26/13 06/30/13 10/26/13 09/09/13 06/17/12 05/23/12 09/26/11 10/09/13 11/29/11 02/17/13 01/14/12 02/27/12 10/05/11 03/08/13 11/25/11 09/07/13 09/30/13


NOVEMBER 29, 2013

THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE

PAGE 7

100% POST COMMANDERS Exciting New Membership Incentives for 2013-14 Commander Rynes wants you to “Get One” and Win $1,000

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FEELING LUCKY? Additional Midwinter Sweepstakes Entries are available from Headquarters! If you would like additional entries, please contact Sandy Miller at (608) 745-1090 or email her at sandy@wilegion.org MIDWINTER

SWEEPSTAKES

Simply sign up a new member, or renew any former member who has not paid for 2 years (since 2011) and your name will be entered in a drawing to win $1,000 at the 2014 Midwinter Conference at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. There is no limit to the number of times you can qualify – you get one chance for every new member you recruit. You’ll also qualify for a traditional “I Got 1” pin. This year the new “I Got 1” pins are larger and more visible than ever before. Anyone who recruits a new member qualifies! National Commander Dan

Dellinger is raising the ante and offering any Legion family member who recruits 5 new members a special Building for Tomorrow Today Pin. A new member is defined as any eligible person joining for the 2014 membership year who was not a member of The American Legion during the 2013 membership year. Commander Ken Rynes is offering the opportunity to join the elite “Badger Big Ten” team. Sign up ten (10) new members and be a part of this exclusive group of Legionnaires. You’ll receive a pin and a patch to wear with pride. For any Legion family member who obtains 15 new mem-

bers for 2014, National Commander Dan Dellinger will award his National Commander Coin. To maintain the integrity of the National Commander’s pin and coin incentive programs, only one of each will be awarded per individual. The National American Legion is also encouraging recruitment with the Silver Brigade (25 new members) and Gold Brigade (50 new members) awards for Legionnaires who recruit 25 and 50 new members respectively. If you have any questions you can contact Chris at chris@ wilegion.org or call headquarters at (608) 745-1090.

2013 Fall Meetings Held at Headquarters Department Commander Ken Rynes of the Bayard De Hart Post No. 13 in Richland Center presides at the Department Executive Committee Fall meeting held October 19th at headquarters in Portage. Post No. 13 is named in honor of PFC Bayard C. De Hart, who died on June 6, 1918 during the Battle of Belleau Wood, was the first soldier from Richland County to die in service to our country during WWI.

November 2013 pages 1 7  

November 2013 Pages 1-7

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