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“For God & Country”



November 23, 2016 Vol. 93, No. 10

Official Publications of The Wisconsin American Legion Family

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

Membership Resource Center and Wisconsin Legion College to Highlight Midwinter Color Guard Training Returns With Funeral Honors Program

individual can qualify – recruiters get one chance for every new member they recruit. Contact Chris Schmidt at (608) 745-1090 or Please mark your calendars and save the dates of January 19 through January 22, 2017. Bring your family and enjoy the indoor water parks, attractions and many activities offered in the Wisconsin Dells. Register and reserve your hotel room now online at www. and watch for more details in the next edition of the Badger Legionnaire.














“make it personal” and reach out to veterans in our local neighborhoods and encourage them to join a local post. Qualified veterans are reminded that, even if they do not become “active” members in the post, they can support all 4 Pillars of The American Legion by joining a local post and renewing their membership. Recruiters can once again cash in at Midwinter. Legion members who sign up a new member, or renew any former member who has not paid for 2 years (since 2014) can qualify to win $1,000 at the Conference. Simply sign up a new member, or renew any former member and enter you name through Department headquarters. The drawing will take place on Saturday at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. There is no limit to the number of times an


The 2017 Midwinter Conference will feature exciting new training and exhibits along with special guests. Highlighting the event will be a Membership Resource Center designed to provide effective tools to Posts and new Wisconsin American Legion College courses. The Conference will once again be held at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells, running from Thursday, January 19th through Sunday, January 22nd. Register and reserve your hotel room now online at The Membership Resource Center will provide attendees with actual lists of prospective members in your local area along with mailing labels, post cards and telephone scripts that can be used in outreach efforts at the local level. Department Commander Dan Seehafer is encouraging all Legionnaires to

excitement over the 2017 midwinter Sweepstakes Continues! The 2017 Ford Focus being offered as one of the Grand Prize options will be on display at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center. The Grand Prize winner will have their choice of $20,000 in cash or a 2017 Ford Focus from Boucher Automotive Group. Remember that our Rehabilitation Fund, which makes the programs at Camp American Legion and our Department Service Office possible, receives all funds raised through the Sweepstakes. Please be generous in your donation and support the important work of The American Legion.

Commander Daniel J. Seehafer of Horicon Post No. 157 assisted with the presentation of our National Colors prior to the Green Bay Packers game on Sunday, November 6th at Lambeau Field.



Lower Dells Hall

8:00 AM-10:00 AM 8:00 AM-10:00 AM 8:00 AM-10:00 AM 8:00 AM-10:00 AM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Americanism Committee Fundraising Committee Membership Committee Centennial Committee Camp American Legion Committee Convention & Activities Commission Legislative Committee Communications Committee Religious Emphasis Committee Hospital Committee

Lower Dells-E Lower Dells-FG Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-I Lower Dells- B Lower Dells-H Upper Dells-C Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-Salon A Upper Dells-E

1:00 PM-3:00 PM 1:00 PM-3:00 PM 1:00 PM-3:00 PM 1:00 PM-3:00 PM 1:00 PM-3:00 PM

VA&R Committee Finance Committee National & Homeland Security Committee Policy Committee Children & Youth Committee

Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-FG Lower Dells-E Lower Dells-I

SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2017 7:00 AM-6:00 PM 7:00 AM-6:00 PM 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Legion Office Registration Exhibits

Lower Dells-Salon B Lower Dells Hall Lower Dells Hall

10:00 AM-3:00 PM

Blood Drive

Lower Dells-E

8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM 10:00 AM

*Advanced Retention & Recruiting Post Operations- WALC Basic Course M-1 Garand Training Public Relations- WALC Basic Course Color Guard Training M-1 Garand Training *Legislative Programs & Priorities Post Operations-WALC Basic Course Public Relations-WALC Basic Course Color Guard Training Funeral Honors

Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-H Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-H Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-A

12:00 PM-3:00 PM

Membership Resource Room

Upper Dells-A

1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM 1:00 PM

Baseball Directors Meeting American Legion Extension Institute ($5) *Adv. Leadership & Problem Solving Legion Programs & the 4 Pillars WALC Int Funeral Honors

Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-B Lower Dells-CD .Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-A

1:00 PM 3:00 PM

SAL Training SAL DEC

Upper Dells-E Upper Dells-E

3:00 PM 3:00 PM 3:00 PM

*WAL Issues & Future Challenges Historian Training Chaplain’s Training

Lower Dells-CD Lower Dells-I Lower Dells-H

5:15 PM-6:00 PM 5:15 PM-6:00 PM

Catholic Church Service Protestant Church Service

Lower Dells-GF Lower Dells-E

6:00 PM Rev’s Midwinter Rally Upper Dells-AB *WALC Advance courses require the completion of the Basic and then Intermediate courses

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2017 8:00 AM 9:00 AM

Four Chaplain’s Service Department Executive Committee Meeting

Lower Dells-A Lower Dells-B

2017 Membership Goal: 56,739 • Nov 17th Total: 44,018 – 77.58% District


78.36% 1st PLACE



78.04% 2nd PLACE



77.92% 3rd PLACE











75.41% 6th PLACE











72.14% 9th PLACE










10th PLACE 11th PLACE 12th PLACE

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

“Badger Legionnaire” The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 388 • Portage, WI 53901 Phone: (608) 745-1090 E-mail: David A. Kurtz, Executive Editor

2016-2017 Communications Committee Kendel D. Feilen, Chairman Phil Ingwell, vice Chairman Harold Rihn, DEC Liaison Renee Kasuboski Rory Burns Jerry Lauby Geoff Sheilds Rick mcCanna, Historian Loretta Shellman, Auxiliary Liaison Bonnie Dorniak, Auxiliary Liaison 2016-17 Department Officers Commander Daniel J. Seehafer Vice Commanders Tom Strey Frank Kostka Ensley Brown Laurel Clewell Adjutant David A. Kurtz Chaplain Arthur Biesak Sergeant-at Arms Jeremy Nordie mark Toll Service Officer James Fialkowski NECman Ken Rynes Alternate NECman Robert Shappell District Commanders 1st – Bill Babb 2nd – Jim Lee 3rd – Harold Rihn 4th – mark Sandow 5th – Julia Atkinson 6th – Todd Braun 7th – Ken Schoolcraft 8th – Jim Young 9th – Clarence Davister 10th – John miller 11th – Jim Lynn 12th – Chris Sower Change of Address & Other Information: Subscribers: To report any upcoming changes of address, please ask your Post Adjutant to fill out a Membership Data Form and forward it to Wisconsin American Legion Headquarters. The change of address form that will be completed by the Post Adjutant should not be confused with the change of address card filled out at the Post Office. Department financial statements are available to Legionnaires in good standing upon written request through their District Commanders.


American Legion Auxiliary Department of Wisconsin 2930 American Legion Drive P.O. Box 140 • Portage, WI 53901

Bonnie Dorniak, Editor Laurel DuBois, Department President Bonnie Dorniak, Exec. Secretary/Treasurer To change your address: Notify Unit Secretary Unit Secretary: Notify Department Headquarters on a Member Data Form The “Wisconsin” deadline for copy is 4 weeks before publication date.

Publication Schedule

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


NOvEmBER 23, 2016

DEPARTMENT COMMANDER I pray that everyone had a wonderful Veterans Day and a blessed Thanksgiving. I am also hoping that my fellow deer huntDan Seehafer Department Commander ers enjoy a successful 2016 hunt! At this time of year many of us will say or hear: “Thank you for your service.”, “Happy Thanksgiving!” and “Thank you, Heavenly Father, for that forty point buck!” (At least that’s what I hope you would say if it actually happens). But anytime we hear, receive or say those words, something had to happen. In fact, someone had to give. So, as we enter the season of giving, I want to highlight a few moving, personal examples of what your military service has meant and the effect it has on those around us. First of all, because of the gracious invitation of the SullivanWallen Post No. 11 in Green Bay, I had the privilege of joining the Honor Guard on the fifty yard-line at Lambeau Field--as the Packers paid tribute to all veterans on No-

vember 6th. As my Historian Rick McCanna could not attend due to a recent surgery, I asked a fatherfigure and a fellow member of Post No. 157 to attend in his place. Knowing the treatment this veteran received coming back from Vietnam, I hoped this experience would be different--and the Packer fans, even the Colts fans, didn’t let me down. In fact, he said, “Since coming back, I’ve never been ‘thanked’ like that before.” It was a heartfelt, joyous ceremony which included the UW Marching Band, fireworks, and a flyover. More importantly, it was clear that the 78,000 in attendance deeply appreciated how military veterans have impacted their lives. Never forget that you touch the lives of future generations because of your service. Now, that’s personal. Our military service and the example we set impacts the lives of young people in our communities. A Veterans Day program was held recently at a school in central Wisconsin. What was unusual about this program was that it was student led, rather than conducted by the school staff. The student

council not only insisted on this program, but planned the event. But here’s the most moving point: a student got a hold of The Badger Legionnaire and read my latest article to the school body. Now, what student would do that? It’s a student who realized and understood the service and sacrifice of veterans like you, and he just wanted to say, “Thank you for your service.” Now that’s personal! Of course, the effects of our service can also be internal to our organization. When National Vice Commander Paul Martel of Florida came to visit, he was truly impressed with our newest post, Post No. 139 of the 8th District. As we toured the Operating Engineers training facility in Coloma, their passion for God and Country was just as evident as it was when they completed the new handicapped accessible nature trail at Camp American Legion. Here is a group of veterans with fire in their eyes and wide-open hearts because they witnessed firsthand how their work helps veterans and their families. This is a newly-formed group of veterans wanting to give back,

wanting to also say “Thank you for your service.” This is the same reason why units of the Wisconsin National Guard support Camp American Legion. We are deeply grateful to the 128th Civil Engineering Squadron who built the new fish cleaning station, and we are grateful for the major donation of $15,000 from the 8th District Legion Riders and the additional grant from the Oshkosh Defense Corporation. Additionally, a great company I worked for while going to college, Kolbe & Kolbe of Wausau, also said “thank you” with an awesome gift: new custom windows & doors for the Camp’s main lodge worth over $90,000. These are truly actions that say “Thank you for your service.”! Never forget that your service to our communities, state and nation is appreciated and it will continue to leave a personal, positive effect upon future generations. Just as we gave during our military service, we continue to give, helping to ensure that future generations understand and benefit from The American Legion’s important contributions to Veterans, Defense, Americanism and Youth.

CAMP DIRECTOR Camp American Legion ends another season serving more veterans, service members and families than Kevin moshea ever before. The Camp Director total of 1,343 campers on site reflects an increase in every area of service to the whole veteran and military family community. This includes children, caregivers, couples, spouses and families-of-the-fallen. We lifted the spirits of the homeless and women vets and “helped to heal” vets with thoughts of suicide, moral injuries, vision & hearing loss and those in recovery from substance abuse. We taught vets with diabetes how to live a better life. The old and young, WWII to post 9/11, they came and we served, including National Guard families living through the deployments of their soldiers and then enjoying their re-

turn. Camp hosted over 20 special programs, reaching out to serve those who needed a Camp experience in their lives. Groups of all sizes came from VA hospitals, veterans homes and elsewhere from all over the state. These programs help to expand Camps reach and healing mission. The Warrior 2 Soul Mate Retreat renewed, reconnected and reclaimed relationships impacted by military service, deployment and war. This program was so successful that a second session is scheduled for 2017. Our Military Kid’s Leadership Summit taught resiliency skills to children of service personnel in a fun way and the OT Lifestyle Group came from Zablocki VA in Milwaukee. Their goal is to make healthy living a way of life. One of their activities is walking and they all wear bright red “WAMM” t-shirts for “Walk a Mile or More”. They walked Camp and in future years will really en-

joy Wetzel Way, our new nature trail. Veterans Wellness Camp was another new program that teaches new healing techniques to help veterans in unique ways. These healing techniques include mindfulness, reflexology, reiki, meditation, yoga, creative writing, poetry, art, music and more. One of the most rewarding experiences was the 950th Engineer Company Family Reintegration Week which brought full families back to Camp with their soldiers after they returned from deployment. These families were able to reconnect, bond and have fun. I want to close by thanking the entire Wisconsin American Legion Family for all you do for Camp American Legion. The success of Camp is a “WE” thing. It takes the entire Legion family working together year after year after year. Thanks to all of you. I also want to extend a special thanks to the Camp staff and volunteers. Our

staff and volunteers are the best and we are blessed to have them. Those are very special people who give of themselves by personally serving our campers. Some give of themselves for a day and others for the whole camp season. Many are working from dawn to dusk, giving of themselves from the day we open in the spring until the day we close in the fall. Our thank you bulletin board is over flowing with cards and letters from campers, thanking us for the special service they have received. These all are a positive reflection of the work our staff and volunteers do. I have always seen them as my family, as my brothers and sisters. They are special. So we have closed Camp for 2016 and we can celebrate for a while but, by the way, did I forget to mention that the 2017 Camp season is just four and half months away? God bless you all.

WDVA SECRETARY As I retire from public service, there are great many people to whom I owe a great many thanks. John A. Scocos Foremost, I WDVA Secretary thank our military veterans. As a veteran myself and an advocate for my fellow veterans, I am proud to have led the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs since 2011 as the department’s first cabinet secretary and to have brought our agency fully into the 21st century in support of providing Wisconsin veterans the very best programs, benefits and services in the nation. The great position of public trust to

which Governor Walker appointed me five years ago has truly been a remarkable experience and capstone to a career of military and public service. I appreciate Governor Walker’s thankfulness to our veterans, his confidence in me, and his steadfast support of the department. Not too long ago, I closed out a 30plus year military career as a U.S. Army officer. Just a short time later I now end my career as a Wisconsin civil servant. My time at WDVA has been a time of great, essential change. When I was appointed, our Veterans Homes were operating millions of dollars in the red. Within a few short years the homes were operating several millions in the black due to the ability to make changes at an executive level

without going through a highly politicized board. This improved situation with the homes also benefits the Veterans Trust Fund; revenue from the homes can be used to fund the numerous programs, benefits and services for which Wisconsin is known. This means WDVA receives much less general purpose revenue from the state and its taxpayers than would otherwise be needed. Our Wisconsin G.I. Bill is one of the best in the nation. Our Veterans Homes are exceptionally rated. Our cemeteries do a beautiful job of honoring those veterans who have passed. I leave the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs in a much better condition than when I started as secretary. Some of the job by necessity is

facts and figures and knowing where the agency has been and where it is headed financially, but one the most enjoyable things as secretary has been personally interacting with veterans from across Wisconsin and the nation and hearing their stories. As secretary I have come to know many advocates from the veterans community at all levels; national, state, county and beyond. I have met veterans from Janesville to Superior and from the towns along the Mississippi River to the cities along Lake Michigan. I have also met veterans from across the nation through Commander Seehafer Comments on Secretary Scocos Retirement – See Page 3

NOvEmBER 23, 2016



2016 Sees Major Improvements at Camp Attn: Boys State Sponsors The 2016 Camp season saw many projects to expand Camp’s footprint and operational capabilities. As most of us know by now, Wetzel Way, a new nature trail was built on our newly expanded land. Through a partnership with Local 139 of the International Union of Operating Engineers and generous donations from corporate partners in the road building industry, a beautiful, handicap accessible nature trail was built. It was done in collaboration with Local 139’s “Combat 2 Construction” veteran’s apprentice program. The whole project was built by veterans in the training program and has been formally dedicated as “Gary G. Wetzel Way” in honor of Vietnam veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel of the Oelschlaeger-Dallmann Post No. 434 in Oak Creek.

The 128th Civil Engineers of the Wisconsin Air National Guard built a new Fish Cleaning Station for their two-week annual training exercise. It was done in collaboration with Oshkosh Defense Corporation. Our campers and especially our volunteer fishing guides can’t wait to use it next year. After Camp closed, we tore up and repaved the main road through Camp where all the cabins sit. This large project is just being completed as this edition of the Badger Legionnaire goes to press. It will be a very nice upgrade and will bring improved safety to our campers. And the biggest project of 2016 is just under way, with the complete exterior restoration of our Main Lodge building. The whole exterior of the building will be refurbished making it a real showcase for Camp. All new custom-built

American Asphalt, a division of Mathy Construction, recently completed the replacement of the main road through the rehabilitation Camp from the new Chapel to Chipmunk Alley.

windows and doors have been received for installation from Kolbe & Kolbe of Wausau. This generous donation is valued at $90,000 and will help make this building look brand new along with replacement siding. Never to be overlooked are our Cabin Sponsors. The work they did on their cabins once again shows their love and commitment to Camp. The painting, new siding, porches, windows, doors, roofs, ceilings, carpeting and work on every area of the cabins helps us to improve Camp programs. Some of our cabins are 100 years old; some are new. Whatever their age, our cabin sponsors keep them safe, solid, beautiful, heart-warming and welcoming. Our sincere thanks to all cabin sponsors. Thanks also to Superior Health Linens for another year of their donated linen cleaning service As the Department of Wisconsin and Camp American Legion approaches our 100th year, these projects and others demonstrate our strong commitment to the future care of Wisconsin’s veterans. Our new walk-in freezer, playground, bus and everything else make Camp an exciting place for veterans and their families. These improvements are a testament to the entire Wisconsin American Legion Family and the good citizens of Wisconsin. Without the generous donations we receive, we could not continue to serve Wisconsin veterans. Thank you for all the individual and group donations, big and small. They all support Camp as its moves ever forward.

Post No. 480 Tree Cutting Ceremony

WWII veteran and Presque Isle Post No. 480 member Chet Dumask cut the first tree in celebration of a long anticipated Veterans Memorial to be built

Shown here is WWII veteran and Presque Isle Post No. 480 member Chet Dumask, who cut down the 1st tree during site clearing for the new Veterans Memorial to be built in Presque Isle.

in Presque Isle. Dumask is the last living charter member of the Post, which was formed seventy years ago. The memorial has been chartered by Post No. 480 to be built on Legion property adjacent to Pipke Park. It will be integrated into the park to honor all our Veterans, living and deceased. Easily accessible from County Highways W and B in Presque Isle, it is designed to be a regionwide facility and will feature educational components as well as honoring military veterans of all branches. “We are excited about our project because it is unique to our area, a special tribute to our men and women who have served selflessly to preserve our county and our way of life,” said Larry Gorrilla, Post No. 480 member and President of the Wilderness Veterans Memorial Flame Foundation. The Memorial will be located on a three acre peninsula, formerly owned by the Wisconsin DNR, which juts into a body of

water. The land has since been developed into a public park. “The setting is perfect for the memorial,” continued Gorrilla. “The adjacent park and water create a serene setting which we have contributed to by designing a meditative, comforting space.” A continuously burning flame will be centered atop the granite Walls of Honor, which will have space for 600 Veteran’s names. Post No. 480 Commander Joel Green expects the Memorial to be completed in the Fall of 2017. “We need contributions from everyone to complete the project. It has been our dream for 15 years and now it is coming true; it’s a memorial for every veteran from everywhere.” Contributions can be sent to WVMFF, PO Box 83, Presque Isle, WI 54557. Inquiries about having a relative or friend’s name engraved on the Wall of Honor should be directed to Larry Gorrilla at (715) 686-2517. More information is available at www.

By Chad Plenge Badger Boys State is a program that positively changes the lives of young men throughout the state of Wisconsin. For more than 75 years, the Wisconsin American Legion has put together a world-class program promoting governmental process and structure, leadership, citizenship, and patriotism to nearly 900 young men annually. The program is only possible because of the generous donations from American Legion posts, community civic organizations, and individuals who sponsor each citizen. The cost for sponsoring a boy for the weeklong program is $250. The posts and organizations who sponsored a boy in the past should have received a letter reminding them of the upcoming deadlines to sponsor a boy for the 2017 session. If you or your post have

not sponsored a boy in the past, now is your chance to make a difference. You can find more information about sponsorship and the Badger Boys State program, as well as contact information, at Thank you to all of the donors and volunteers who make this program possible.

• • •

Here are the key dates for sponsors: January 31 – Sponsorships are due. You can still donate after this time, however, donating by January 31 guarantees your spot. March 31 – Deadline by which to ask for a refund April and May – Badger Boys State orientations held June 10-17 – Badger Boys State 2017

Secretary Scocos

(continued from page 2) national meetings of each state’s vet- erans along with the ability for veteran affairs department and through erans to sign up for it, and many national veterans service organiza- other benefits, digitally. In fact, that tions. Every veteran I meet reminds first generation to use the G.I. Bill of me of why I chose to serve those of Rights by signing up on a paper who have served on our behalf. form is nearly gone. While we look Our veterans service organizations back at that era with great respect remain stalwarts in protecting vet- and admiration for their monumenerans and gaining ground on their tal accomplishment, with younger behalf. Iraq and Afghanistan Veter- generations come new ideas, new ans of America, Vietnam Veterans benefits and new ways to commuof America, the Military Officers nicate – many of which the WDVA Association, The American Legion, has implemented during my time Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled here. Our department is now more American Veterans, American Vet- accessible than ever and is the first, erans, Military Order of the Purple best stop for veterans seeking to use Heart and others have all been their benefits. friends, allies and comrades in asI would not have been an effective sisting our veterans. secretary were it not for the excelOur counties and their veterans lent mentorship I received throughservice officers have been a contact out my career. The same is true of for veterans in their local communi- the exemplary staff I served with ties since after World War II – de- in state service. I appreciate the livering on the state and federal years of guidance and camaraderie promises to care for our veterans from both those people for whom I when they return home. These CV- worked and also those who worked SOs connect county veterans with tirelessly in the department on beUSDVA and WDVA benefits and half of our veterans. Every day we programs and are an essential part came to work and did something of getting our older veterans the as- great for the veterans of our state – sistance they need. of that I am proud. Much has changed in 70 years I want to again thank all those since World War II. We have tran- who I have known along the way – sitioned to new benefits, new pro- all those who stood up and helped cesses and new technology. There make Wisconsin the best state in the is a new G.I. Bill for post-9/11 vet- nation for our veterans.


                           Contact:   November  10,  2016                                                David  Kurtz                                WAL  State  Adjutant   FOR                                                                          (  608)            Contact:     IMMEDIATE       RELEASE   697-­‐6319   November  10,  2016                                                  David  Kurtz                              WAL  State  Adjutant       WDVA     Secretary           isconsin                    A      merican                          (608)   697-­‐6319   J  ohn  Scocos   R   etirement:   W Legion  

Statement –  State  Commander  Daniel  J.  Seehafer       WDVA  WSis.)   ecretary   John  DSepartment   cocos  Retirement:   Wffairs   isconsin   American   Legion   (PORTAGE,   –  Wisconsin   of  Veterans  A Secretary   John  Scocos   has  been  a   –  State   Commander   Daniel  Secretary   J.  Seehafer   was  never  been   tireless  advocate  Statement   for  Wisconsin's   veterans   and  their  families.   Scocos     one  to  sit  idly  by  while  there  were  unmet  needs  within  our  community.  His  focus  and   determination   elped  veterans   immensely.   Our  oArganization   will  aJlways   be  grateful   for  hais   (PORTAGE,   Wis.)  h–as    Wh isconsin   Department   of  Veterans   ffairs  Secretary   ohn  Scocos   has  been     unwavering   support   nd  friendship.   tireless   advocate   for  Waisconsin's   veterans  and  their  families.  Secretary  Scocos  was  never  been     to  sit  idly  by  while  there  were  unmet  needs  within  our  community.  His  focus  and   one   We  wish  him  haas   nd  hhelped   is  family   clear  simmensely.   kies  and  fair   in  the  years   to   come.  be  grateful  for  his   determination   veterans   Ow ur  inds   organization   will   always     unwavering   support  and  friendship.       We  wish  him  and  his  family  clear  skies  and  fair  winds  in  the  years  to  come.    



November 23, 2016

Past Commanders Club Annual Fall Dinner

Willis Chapel Post No. 306 in Green Lake hosted the Annual Past Commanders Club dinner on November 6th. In attendance were Susan Knudson, Janesville; Ray Pasbrig, Milwaukee; Mark Kramer, Green Lake; Ken Kilgas, Little Chute; Chuck Cooney, Milwaukee; Nellie DeBaker, Luxemburg; Bill Cruckson, Kingston; Claire Goodfellow, Milwaukee; Mark Sandow, Milwaukee; Steve DuBois, St. Croix; and Wayne Jensen, Milwaukee.

Our high quality gourmet Arabica coffee is available in 16, 36 and 80 count single serve brew cups.

Superior Post Supports Students

Richard I. Bong Post No. 435 Commander Dennis Bee and Post Scholarship chairman Ray Beauto recently presented $1000 scholarships to Questan Barker and Evan Willoughby at the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center in Superior. Barker will be a student at the University of Wisconsin – Superior and plans to major in pre-law. Willoughby will be attending Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College to pursue a degree in nursing. Pictured here from left to right are Commander Dennis Bee, Questan Barker, Legionnaire Ray Beauto, and Evan Willoughby.




Milwaukee Restaurant Supports Camp Pictured here is Eli Rivera, Manager from Cafe’ Centraal in Milwaukee, presenting a check from the Sausage Day event to help support Camp American Legion. Also shown are Past Department Sergeant at Arms Dave Wischer and Milwaukee County Vice Commander Jim Waltich.

Department Golf Committee Report The Department Golf Committee met at the Fall Meetings in Portage on Friday, October 14th and awarded the following Department Golf Scrambles; 2017 event hosted by Post No. 106 of Seymour is scheduled for September 9, 2017 at Crystal Springs Golf Course; 2018 event hosted by Sommers Post No. 552 will be held on September 8, 2018; the 2019 event was awarded to Marshfield Post No. 54 to

be held on September 14, 2019. The 2020 event will be open for bids presented through the Convention & Activities Commission. An application can be requested from Department Headquarters. A member of each of the Posts awarded a future event will serve on the Golf Committee representing their Post. The Golf Committee meets at Midwinter, as well as the Department Spring and Fall Meetings.

November 23, 2016



Frank J. Kostka

Kendel D. Feilen

Gail Minks

Candidate for Department Commander

Candidate for Department Sergeant At Arms

Candidate for Department Sergeant At Arms

Frank Kostka, proud Paid-up for Life member of The American Legion, respectfully requests your support for his candidacy for Department Commander. Frank was born and raised in Northern Wisconsin and invested 20 years active duty in the US Air Force from 1974 to 1994. He was an Electronic Technician, had many Supervisory Positions and culminated his career as Project Manager for the GPS Navstar Ground System Equipment at the Air Force Space Command headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He then returned to his hometown in Ashland, where he became a valued business owner in the community for over 21 years. He is supported by his wife Linda of 40 years and their 4 children, Matthew, Darcy, Joshua and David. Matthew is Post Adjutant at Post No. 514 and Joshua is a proud member of the Sons of The American Legion. Linda and Daughter Darcy, as well as 8 Granddaughters are all members of Unit No. 90 of the American Legion Auxiliary. Frank’s candidacy has been endorsed by the Kelly-Johnson Post No. 90 in Ashland and the 11th District. Frank’s experience in The American Legion includes having served as Post No. 90 Commander from 2004 to present. The post has achieved 100% in membership each of the last 6 years. He worked to establish the new SAL Squadron No. 90 in Ashland this past year, which has already grown to 30 members. He served as 11th District 2nd and 1st Vice Commander prior to serving 4 years as the 11th District Commander, leading it to 100% membership in 2016. His experience at Department level includes being a member on the Camp American Legion Committee for 2 years and a member on the Communications Committee for 1 year. Frank currently serves on the National Media & Communications Council and the National Legislative Council as liaison to US Congressman Sean Duffy. During his service as 11th District Commander, he served as the Department Executive Committee liaison to the Americanism, Camp American Legion, Legislative, Communications and VA&R Committees. He’s also been a proud member of the Legion Riders for 8 years. Legionnaire Kostka is passionate about The American Legion and walks the walk with membership, as exemplified by his recruiting efforts. Commander Kostka earned the prestigious National Silver Brigade Award in 2014 and Gold Brigade Award in 2015 and 2016. Over the last 5 years he has recruited over 200 new members. He’s always promoting how The American Legion supports our Veterans and how local posts support their communities. He recognizes the value of our organization is with the post and their members. Frank will work hard for our Department and Legionnaires. He is asking for your support to elect him Department Commander.

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

• Eligible for The American Legion • 4 years active duty United States Air Force 1961-1965 • 35 year member of Post No. 33 Neenah, 12 years as a Paid-up for Life member • 4 years as Post Commander 2012 to 2016, also Commander 1984 and 1985 for a total of 6 years combined. • 100 % Commander 2013 • 1st Vice Commander of Post No. 33 on two different occasions, the second one - for 10 years - prior to being elected Commander for the second time. • The 1st Vice Commander also includes Membership Chairman. • Was a Service Officer for two years for Post No. 33. • A member of the Funeral Honors Team, Firing Squad. • Winnebago County Legion Council. • County Sergeant at Arms one year. • County Vice Commander past 3 years, presently holding that position • 6th District Sergeant at Arms - first term 2013-2015; second term 2015 to present. • Married to Margaret, will be 50 years May 6, 2017. Have two grown children, one son and one daughter. • Wife and daughter both members of the Legion Auxiliary. I would appreciate your vote for the opportunity and privilege to serve the Legion at the Department level.

Germantown Post No. 1 Serves the Community and Honors Vietnam Veterans Germantown Post No. 1 hosted “The Moving Wall”, a replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC, over this past Labor Day weekend on the athletic grounds of Kennedy Middle School. In addition to the replica Vietnam Wall, other events were held including a Healing Field of 400 flags, a visit from a UH-1 “Huey” helicopter, a ‘Welcome Home’ parade and a hands-on walk through time in the Vietnam Era Educational Hall at the post. The event drew an estimated crowd of 25,000 people with many return visitors. The bright blue skies brought out many groups including students, families and veterans to share in the healing of The Moving Wall. The number of volunteers, veteran’s groups, civic groups and area businesses that participated was well over 200. Local area school districts scheduled field trips on the Friday prior to Labor Day weekend to allow over 1,000 students to learn first-hand what their grandparent’s generation experienced during the Vietnam War. Prior to the event several high

school students interviewed Vietnam veterans and created interactive displays for the Educational Hall inside Post No. 1. Others wrote essays on ‘What Freedom Means to Me’. As part of the fundraising for the event, the Healing Field flags can be ordered by members of the community to honor of a veteran or first-responder. A full-color keepsake book

was published honoring the 14 fallen from Washington County. It includes pictures of the Educational Hall and stories of local Vietnam Vets. Both are still available on a limited basis through Germantown Post No. 1. Check the post website at for pictures, a YouTube video of the event and details.



The Last


3 Antigo David Simon K Jack Marciniak V 6 Stevens Point Richard Suchon V Jerome Kowalski V 7 Rhinelander Thomas Tambellini V Lavern Keso V 8 Waukesha Milton Ziebell K Roland Richards II 9 Wisconsin Rapids Thomas Billmeyer II Ronald Bartley K William Eggett K 10 Wausau Donald Kerstner K 11 Green Bay Roy Doran II Robert Cook K Claude Hebert K Gerald Baye K Roy Doran II Harvey Farvour K Raymond Vandenack II 13 Richland Center James Ursin II 26 Baraboo Frederick Bayer K Lewis Peterson II 28 Valders Norbert Schuh II 36 West Bend Arthur Fliss II 38 Appleton Russell Luckow II 40 Bangor Richard Chapiewsky V 42 Platteville Donald Seitz K Donald Riess K 47 Portage Willard Ramsay II 53 Eau Claire Omar Christianson K 54 Marshfield Marvin Duerr II 60 Kimberly Carl Lemmers II 66 Athelstane-Silver Cliff Patrick Havey V 74 Oconto Gerald Bickel K 75 Fond du Lac Matt Klumpyan II John Stepp II Jerry Tighe K Robert King V 80 New Richmond Thomas Hess V 81 Mauston David Johnson K 83 Sheboygan Glenn Morrical V 87 Rice Lake John Leja II Robert Kann II John Coleman K 88 Manitowoc Leroy Lasee V 89 Minocqua Timothy Moscinski V

09/21/16 10/25/16 09/16/16 10/21/16 11/01/16 10/19/16 10/30/16 11/07/16 10/04/16 10/15/16 11/01/16 01/20/16 10/18/16 09/27/16 09/14/16 10/30/16 10/24/16 11/05/16 10/24/16 09/20/16 10/30/16 10/23/16 10/18/16 10/26/16 10/15/16 09/27/16 09/22/16 08/05/16 11/01/16 10/30/16 10/16/16 08/23/16 10/17/16 10/07/16 09/28/16 09/19/16 09/16/16 10/18/16 10/03/16 10/14/16 10/01/16 10/17/16 10/24/16 11/05/16 06/11/16 10/10/16

93 Tomahawk Steve Kawleski II Alfred Ryan K Donald Leu K 95 Delavan Armand Brastad K 100 Sparta Frank Brabant K Einar Olson II 106 Seymour Robert Ulmen K 115 Elroy Donald Olson V 117 Shawano David Moss V Albert Spiegel II George Smith II Larry Murdock II 121 River Falls Marvin Widgren II 123 Owen Allen Fritz K 143 St Croix Falls Brian Mortenson V Richard Hanson K 146 Beaver Dam Clarence Buedler II 149 Sheboygan Falls Dale Marquardt K Robert Roehre K Bernard Lorenz II 150 Wausaukee Leonard Filut V 151 Madison Donald Ward V Donald Parr V 153 Pittsville Peter Horban II Robert Karloske K 158 Maiden Rock Merlin Wahlund II 161 King Paul Boyd II Kenneth Hansen II 163 Wautoma John Groskreutz V 166 Fort Atkinson Lawrence Lemerand II Rex Young K Merlin Thompson II Samuel Kuykendall II Rodney Bakken V 171 Union Grove Lee Steffens II 173 Whitewater Thomas Funk V 180 Milwaukee Donald Peterson K 182 Park Falls David Feest V Nick Jarosinski V 188 East Troy Cletus Dockendorf II 189 Watertown George Prahl II Daniel Oestreich V Richard Draeger PG Robert Kruegel V Steve Siegel V 201 Tomah Gilbert Seflow II Bernard Felber II Norman Randall II 210 Waupun Robert Smith V 214 Darlington Eugene Meyers V Rebecca Ross V David Hendrickson V 215 Pardeeville Darrell Redders V William Wolff K 224 Alma Vance Larson V 225 Shell Lake Lee Bitner II 238 Greenwood Stanley Olson K

12/12/15 05/26/16 10/31/16 06/27/16 09/29/16 10/08/16 10/22/16 10/16/16 01/30/15 10/15/16 10/07/16 10/28/16 10/30/16 10/22/16 10/12/16 09/14/16 01/14/16 09/24/16 11/03/16 11/04/16 11/05/16 10/04/16 10/19/16 09/27/16 10/29/16 10/14/16 08/30/15 11/05/16 10/04/16 05/14/16 09/01/16 09/30/16 10/17/16 10/22/16 10/08/16 07/12/16 07/05/16 10/21/16 03/17/16 11/07/16 10/08/16 10/11/16 09/17/16 09/28/16 10/22/16 07/19/14 10/14/16 10/26/16 10/10/16 10/16/16 10/13/16 09/27/16 10/21/16 11/01/16 10/25/16 10/04/16 11/05/16

243 Plymouth Richard Desmidt V 244 Westfield Milton Heeren II 260 Deerfield Donald Gilbertson K Rolland Eide K 272 Butternut Paul Altman V John Linsmeyer II 274 Rib Lake William Mathias V Charles Strebel K 280 Coleman Harvey Tachick K Clifford Lentz V 283 Suring Norman Kufner II 286 Oostburg Paul Harmeling II Scott Wykhuis V 295 Bloomer Francis Robey K 301 Woodville Vernon Lund K Donald Larson K 306 Green Lake George Hayashi II 313 Black Earth Barry Brodt V 316 Sheldon Andrew Krizan II 324 Osseo Raymond Seipel K 333 Sun Prairie Rudy Suchomel II Raymond Dobbel II 336 Onalaska Robert Rochester V John Liethen K 338 Cedar Grove Ronald Osborne K Leslie Wieberdink K 348 Deforest Julius Bellin II 355 Grafton Claude Wollner K 357 Bay City Robert Schlichting V 371 Saxon Lawrence Kasper K 375 Mukwonago Richard Whalen V 377 Elcho Marjorie Raith II 382 Menomonee Falls Bill Carson V Martin Buschman II 412 Belgium Lloyd Haupt K 413 Crivitz Daniel DeKeyser V James Carnitz II 415 Milwaukee Norman Hoffman II Edward Ihlenfeld II

08/23/16 02/15/16 09/27/16 11/06/16 10/05/16 10/25/16 10/07/16 10/22/16 10/18/16 10/22/16 10/05/16 10/15/16 10/21/16 10/28/16 10/17/16

SEPTEmBER NOvEmBER 23, 25, 2016 2014

Paul Girdes II James Menger K Michael Seigner II 416 Greendale Ralph Steffens V Lucile Mainz II 440 Clinton Leroy Mathewson K John Wolter V Richard Becker V 449 Brookfield Michael Quade V Kenneth Claffey II Wayne Olson II Leonard Krebs K 451 Boulder Junction James Schoesser II 453 Belmont Kenneth Vondra K 455 Milwaukee Dollie Williams V Jerome Gibson K 457 Mequon-Thiensville Isadore Sand II 477 St Nazianz Michael Billmann V TO LEGIONNAIRES AND LEGION FAMILY MEMBERS

08/04/16 10/10/16 09/29/16 10/20/16 08/27/16 02/27/16 08/24/16 08/06/16 07/11/16 08/10/16 08/22/16 10/01/16 10/06/16 10/16/16 09/28/16 10/04/16 05/01/16 10/20/16

479 Milwaukee Gus Kelly V Donald Lewis V 485 Rudolph Ronald Jagodzinski K 490 Milwaukee George Zylka II 501 Madison Rodney Rossdeutscher II Howard Hasz K 509 Rosholt Thomas Garski V 519 Stetsonville Henry Pernsteiner K 526 Hazel Green Harold Heller II 531 Port Wing Dave Noble II Bruno Notzke V 537 Milwaukee Richard McClain K William Starich K 544 Twin Lakes Joe Coady V 2930 Portage Rebecca Ross V David Stangel K

09/28/16 10/12/16 10/12/16 07/04/16 11/02/14 09/28/16 10/14/16 10/04/16 11/05/16 08/31/16 11/01/16 10/29/16 11/01/16 10/04/16 10/13/16 11/05/16


09/11/16 10/30/16 10/23/16 09/07/16 09/16/16 09/26/16 10/21/16 10/27/16 10/11/16 10/30/16 03/05/16 10/09/16 10/07/16 10/10/16 10/09/16 09/15/16





Over Five Decades of Partnership for a Healthy America The Legionnaire Insurance Trust (LIT) was formed in 1966 with two primary goals: to provide Legion families with lowcost insurance protection, and to provide a source of revenue to participating Legion Departments. The Trust has been so successful in its over fifty years that today over 500,000 Legionnaires in 49 participating Departments are enrolled in this unique program. Also, in the same period of time, almost $1 billion dollars in claim benefits have been paid to Legionnaires and their families through the LIT; and over $100 million in allocations have been paid to participating Legion Departments. The first Trust insurance plan to be offered was the Hospital Income Protection plan, a program designed to pay fixed dollar amounts for periods of hospital confinement. Over the years, other insurance coverage offered included: Cancer, Accidental Death, Critical Illness, Disability Income, Emergency Assistance, Long Term Care, Medicare Supplement, Discount Cards, Dental, Whole Life, Auto, Homeowners, Identity Theft, and Home Health Care. Since its creation, AGIA has worked closely with the Trust to develop insurance programs especially designed for Department members and their families. We are proud to serve you through the Trust and invite your inquiries and suggestions on any aspect of our activities. 39905

©2016 AGIA

10/09/16 07/26/16 06/15/16 03/29/16 03/13/16

POST EVERLASTING CEREMONY IN MARSHFIELD On October 6th, 32 members of Marshfield Post No. 54 who passed away over the preceding 12 months were remembered and honored at a Post Everlasting ceremony. Post members and survivors were present for the solemn observance. In this photo the simulated post records of the deceased were transferred by fire to Post Everlasting by Chaplain Roy Lippert. Ceremonial certificates were given to family and survivors. A light luncheon was enjoyed by all following the ceremony. 8th District Commander

Jim Young and Wood County Commander Jerry Krofta ad-

dressed the assembly and were witness to the transfer of records.

NOvEmBER 23, 2016


Department of Wisconsin 2016 – 2017 Membership Incentives



100% County Commanders Incentive Award Extended they recruit. Department will also award them the traditional “I Got 1” pin. Recruiters can show their pride by earning the new “I Got 1” pin. The pins are larger and more visible than ever before. Anyone who recruits a new member qualifies! Individual Membership Awards Legionnaires can earn other individual membership recruiting awards. 1 - The traditional “I Got 1” pins are available for everyone who recruits a new member this year. 3 – National Commander Award – Recruit 3 new members and receive the National Commander’s incentive award to be determined 3/5 – “Reverend’s Roundup” Department Commander Dan Seehafer’s Special Award - Receive your personal die-cast money clip from Commander Dan! This special incentive award is available to all Legionnaires who Saddle up and take part in “the Reverend’s Round-up”! The first step in growing our membership is to Recruit and Retain, which is why everyone is called to Roundup our non-renewed members and add new Legionnaires to

the fold. Start by recruiting 3 new members and then renew 2 members from 2016. Win Cash! Fill the Clip! All members who take part in the Reverend’s Round-up become eligible to receive Cash Awards* at the Midwinter Conference scheduled for January 1922, 2017 at Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells! *Must attend the Conference Banquet on Saturday, January 21, 2017 to win. These special recognition awards are offered in addition to the Badger Big 10 award, which can be earned by signing up ten (10) new members to be a part of this exclusive group of Legionnaires. Badger Big 10 recruiters receive a pin and a patch to wear with pride. The National American Legion is also encouraging recruitment with the Silver Brigade (25 new members) and Gold Brigade (50 new members) awards for Legionnaires who recruit 25 and 50 new members respectively. If you have any questions contact Chris Schmidt at chris@ or (608) 745-1090.

MAKE IT PERSONAL! • Recruit 3 New Members • Renew 2 Members

Receive a Die-Cast Money Clip!

Post No. 286 • Oostburg Post No. 484 • Glenbeulah Ron Biskobing Jan Harmelink

Post No. 550 • Brackett Commander Brian Flaskrud and Membership Chairman Frank Cynor

TEAM WISCONSIN Our Candidate, Denise Rohan is working hard representing the Department of Wisconsin as she travels the country meeting with The American Legion Family and local politicians who are doing great things for our veterans. Since October 2016, she has visited the Department of North Carolina, Department of Minnesota, Department of Nevada, Department of New Mexico and the Department of Florida. Denise is extremely grateful for this journey you have put her on. In the next nine months Candidate Rohan will visit twenty-six more Departments, host a hospitality room in Indianapolis and a reception in Washington, DC. If you are going to Reno, show your “Wisconsin Pride” and plan to stay Thursday night August 24, 2017 for a reception for all delegates and guests. Between campaign travel and the cost of hospitality rooms, campaign costs are adding up and we need to continue to work on fundraising. With less than 9 months left before the election in Reno, Denise needs your help. Would you please consider having a fundraiser or donate to her campaign for National Commander? Thank you to the Posts and Counties who are continuing to plan fundraising events, have donation jars out and to Men’s Hair House ( for their support. Watch for more information on the March 5, 2017

auction at Darlington American Legion Post No. 214. We would like to feature your fundraiser in the next issue of the Badger Legionnaire. Look for additional opportunities to donate toward Team Wisconsin’s campaign during the Midwinter Conference. There will be a ‘Wing Span” raffle Friday and a Yahtzee Game option on Saturday. Bring extra cash and stop by the campaign table to learn more. We will also have detailed information on the National Convention in Reno with dates, times and maps of the area. Stop by the table to buy a parade shirt or hat or register for the “Heads or Tails” raffle where someone will win at least $200 in cash. Let us show Denise how much we support her campaign! If you would like Denise to participate in or speak at an event in your area, send her an email at or call her at (608) 225-1423 to make arrangements. You can check her availability by going to her website; and click on CALENDAR to see what dates she has available. You can also go to the website to make a donation by credit card or print a donation form to send with your check to her campaign headquarters. Thank you all for your continued support! Past Department Commander Roger Mathison Campaign Fundraising Chairman





Department Commander Dan Seehafer has extended the 100% County Commander incentive to December 31st. All County Commanders that reach 100% of their membership goal by December 31st will receive a personalized American Legion uniform shirt embroidered with their name and county. Department Commander Dan Seehafer also knows that there is strength in numbers and is focused on growth for 2017. Every post’s first goal should be last year’s total membership PLUS 1. Each post that achieves growth and becomes eligible for the National Post Excellence Award in 2017 will be recognized for their accomplishment in the official newspaper of the Department of Wisconsin, the Badger Legionnaire. Commander Dan Seehafer wants you to “Get One” and win $1,000. To grow at the local level, each post needs to rely on their members being active recruiters. For the individual Legionnaire, membership recruiting can lead to a big reward! Legion members can simply sign up a new member, or renew any former member who has not paid for 2 years (since 2014) and their name will be entered in a drawing to win $1,000 at the 2017 Midwinter Conference at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. There is no limit to the number of times an individual can qualify – recruiters get one chance for every new member






Whitish-Funk Post No. 184 of Fennimore recently recognized three members who have achieved 70 years of continuous membership. Left to right in the photo are: Herbert “Herb” Brun, Jerome “Peck” Hauk and Harold “Barney” Bausch.

Badger Legionnaire for November 2016 Pages 1-7  

Veterans Benefits and Scholarships

Badger Legionnaire for November 2016 Pages 1-7  

Veterans Benefits and Scholarships