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Badger &“Wisconsin”


November 24, 2017 Vol. 94, 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.

Welcoming the new Adjutant, Amber Nikolai

Throughout her personal life and professional career, Amber Nikolai has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving our nation’s most cherished segment, our Veterans and their families, as well as the children and youth of our communities who represent the next generation of Americans. In service to her country, Amber proudly and faithfully served in the United States Navy as a Master at Arms (Security Police, E-5) from February 2002 to January 2005; during which time she earned numerous promotions due in large part to her hard work ethic, technical prowess, and professionalism. Amber’s exemplary service was recognized with the Armed Forces Combat Expeditionary Medal in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and a Letter of Commendation from a Navy Rear Admiral. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Care Management with a Minor in Criminal Justice from Concordia University (graduating Summa Cum Laude). She is also currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, with an emphasis in Non-Profit Organizational Management and Leadership from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. In service to Wisconsin Veterans, Amber served for five years as the Agency Liaison/Veterans Program Supervisor for the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King (WVHK), the largest skilled nursing facility in Wisconsin. Her experience in this role included legislative advocacy on behalf of Veterans and their families, strategic leadership/ management, state budgeting/ procurement, outreach/educa-

tion to community stakeholders, public relations, marketing, member recruitment, and event coordination. She has been recognized and awarded for superior performance thoughout her professional career. During her time at WVHK, Amber saw first-hand the positive, empathetic and compassionate impact The American Legion family of volunteers had daily on the life of the members and staff. Amber’s real-life experiences touch all Four Pillars of the American Legion: her passion for Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation is shown in her service at WVHK; her commitment to National Security and the profession of arms is shown in her Honorable Naval service; her selfless work in the community demonstrates an on-going commitment to the American way of life, and; her engagement with citizens of all ages, through volunteerism, shows a commitment to Children and Youth. Amber’s commitment to God is shown in her role as proud wife to Kevin, caring mother to Logan, and loving pack member to their two dogs Shelby and Baby.

FRIDAY • JANUARY 19, 2018 Come and learn all that is going on in The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin. Standing Committee Meetings will be held from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Friday evening meet your 2018-2019 candidates for office at their Hospitality Suites.

SATURDAY • JANUARY 20, 2018 Training sessions will run from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

“My comrade, you have chosen to assist your Commander in the wise and effective administration of the office and to serve not only your fellow Legionnaires, but also those whose relationship to our organization has led them to look to us for guidance and relief. You will find the duties many, varied, and at times taxing of your crowded hours and resources. The successful accomplishment of our programs depends, to a great extent, upon you and your performance of the duties of your office.” -- Charge Quoted from The American Legion Adjutant Installation Ceremony

Some NEW classes featured this year are: POST COMMANDER’S COURSE For current Post Commanders and anyone interested in becoming a Post Commander. QPR (QUESTION, PERSUADE, REFER) TRAINING Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade and refer someone to help. COMMUNICATIONS WORKSHOP The Department Communications Committee will be on hand to help Post, Counties and Districts with their online presence and communication skills. This is a hands on class and you are encouraged to bring your phones, laptops, tablets etc.


Saturday evening join Department Commander Laurel M. Clewell for the 2018 celebration dinner. The Midwinter Sweepstakes will be drawn, Membership drawings held and a presentation on WWII POW Camps in Wisconsin. OUR GUEST SPEAKER: Betty Cowley, Author of Stalag Wisconsin

SUNDAY • JANUARY 21, 2018 Join Department Chaplain Milton Duntley and fellow Legionnaires at the Four Chaplain’s Service at 8:00 AM. Department Executive Committee Meeting will follow at 9:00 AM. Go to for more information and registration forms.

2018 Membership Goal: 53,500 • November 16th Total: 43,728 • 81.73% 9
























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: Amber L. Nikolai, Executive Editor 2017-2018 Communications Committee Renee Kasuboski, Chairman Rebecca Amundson, Vice Chairman Ray Pasbrig, DEC Liaison Susan Knudson Phil Ingwell Kendel Feilen Jennifer Rumbold Gordy Clewell, Historian Bonnie Dorniak, Auxiliary Liaison 2017-18 Department Officers Commander Laurel Clewell Vice Commanders James Lee Todd Braun Mark Sandow Chris Sower Adjutant Amber L. Nikolai Chaplain Milton Duntley Sergeant-at Arms Jeremy Nordie Mark Toll Service Officer James Fialkowski NECman Ken Rynes Alternate NECman Robert Shappell District Commanders 1st – Bill Babb 2nd – Greg Eirich 3rd – Harold Rihn 4th – Ray Pasbrig 5th – Julia Atkinson 6th – Jerry Lauby 7th – Ken Schoolcraft 8th – Ron Fregien 9th – Clarence Davister 10th – Paul Beseler 11th – James Lynn 12th – Don Slattery 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 Bonnie Jakubczyk, 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 24, 2017

DEPARTMENT COMMANDER Legion Family, Th a n k yo u for the ca rds, thoughts, and prayers. It has been an emotional time but Laurel Clewell Department Commander I am reminded of the blessings in my life and the wonderful people in my family and my Legion family. Thank you for everything! When you receive this message, it will be after Veteran’s Day but I wanted to thank all of you for your service to this great country and the American Legion Family. We have to remember not only to thank our veterans but we need to

talk about veterans. The American Legion was created almost 100 years ago as Veterans serving Veterans. We need to keep fighting for our veterans and their benefits. We cannot afford to be silent and we need to continue to fight for those who can’t fight. That is the American Legion mission. As you know, the Veteran’s Assistance Fund was approved and we are starting to collect donations. Now we need to get the word out to the communities so we can start to assist the Veterans in Wisconsin. Please contact James Fialkowski at or call 414-902-5722.

So what do we need to KNOW TO GROW: • Do you know that the Department of Wisconsin has a new Task Force to help create new events across the state and hopefully to help open our doors to younger veterans and their families? • Do you know who to contact in the Task Force and how you can share ideas or information? (Vice Commander Todd Braun is heading the Task Force at or 920904-2701). • Do you know if your post is planning anything for the upcoming centennial?

• PLEASE SHARE IDEAS and work on the information to publish in the Best Practices Book. Be proud of what your posts are doing in the community. Thank you to the 20 Posts that have already made 100% in membership. We need less than 12,000 to make Wisconsin reach our 100% and I know we can all grow to make this goal. Let’s continue to make the National Commander Denise Rohan proud of Wisconsin and keep Wisconsin on the top in the Nation. May God bless all of you and may your holidays be filled with family, friends, love, laughter, and fun. Be safe and enjoy the holidays.

DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICER As we come together as a nation on Veteran’s day we are reminded of James Fialkowski the significance Service Officer of this federal holiday. Ever since the first Veterans Day which was originally established in 1919 as “Armistice Day,” Americans have taken time to remember the sacrifice and salute the service of our military women and men. This year, we celebrate the 99th anniversary of Armistice Day, the day that marked the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. The armistice was signed in France on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.” President Wilson proclaimed the recognition of Armistice Day the following year on November

Veterans Day 2017

11, 1919, with these words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” From the beginning of our great nation, through the years of peace and conflict, the courage of America’s military forces has never wavered. In every era, through every war, our military made a vow to the survival of our Nation. No matter the magnitude of the conflict, from epic battles to little-known skirmishes remembered only by those who fought them, our defenders upheld their vow.

John Maxwell Edmonds once said, "The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example." Sadly we don’t speak in the same poetic tones as our ancestors did but the words of President Wilson, Edmonds, and so many others kindle the same spirit within us today. This Veterans Day, some of you will have spent time with the veterans of your community. Some marched in parades while others attended other types of civic ceremonies. No matter your choice, as we embark on this day of celebration for our military heroes, I beseech you to teach others the significance of our military’s contribution to our great nation. Let them know that their legacy surrounds us. It is found in the many liberties and freedoms that many here take for granted. It is found in

our freedom to worship freely, as we please, in our own way, in cathedrals, churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues. Their “great example” is seen in our public meeting places, where we gather to celebrate and to speak openly and freely, the freedom of speech where our media is free to write and broadcast without fear of reprisal, and their gift to us is in our polling places, where we cast our voting ballots freely for those whom we choose to govern this great land. We truly are blessed as a nation and it is just and right to honor those who have fought for and protected the freedoms and liberties that few other nations’ citizens enjoy. On this and every Veterans Day, may all of our military always be exalted and remembered for their contributions and sacrifice.

CAMP DIRECTOR As I write this article today, something tells me that winter has arrived here in the Northwoods. It could Don Grundy Camp Director be that there are no campers on campus, or that last Saturday we woke to 3” of snow, or perhaps it is the forecast for later this week showing a low of 11 degrees. I hope to be posting winter wonderland pictures on our Facebook page very soon. Now that the official seasonal close of Camp is behind us, we are in all out construction mode. As I had discussed in the last Badger Legionnaire article, if we are to continue the Legacy that is “Camp American Legion,” it is imperative that we invest in a solid foundation to our infrastructure. For Camp to be able to continue to serve another 90 years and beyond, we need to

evaluate our existing structures, plan our approach, repair where possible and rebuild where necessary. With that said, I am happy to say our Department leadership, our key committees and our wonderful Legion family partners are fully onboard to support the continued needs here at Camp. We have several projects on the schedule for this winter. To say we have our hands full is likely an understatement. But again, we embrace this because the rewards that will come from our efforts will live far beyond us. We embrace this because it is our belief that what we do today must have a positive, lasting effect for all those who we serve. We are very excited for the spring opening to show everyone the transformation; we are confident you will be pleased. I struggled with the idea of putting the following informa-

tion in this article. However, very frequently we get requests from folks in the community and from our Legion family for an “In-kind wish list.” I have been promising to get this out to everyone, so here it is. One of the most helpful items we receive are gift cards. Often times there are unforeseen expenses that come up that are not budgeted for. Gift cards from Home Depot, Walmart, Trigs, or BP are the most helpful as we make frequent visits to those retailers in our area. Additionally, other items that are helpful include: • Liquid Laundry Detergent • Iron Out Spray • Pine Sol • Lysol Disinfectant Spray • Bleach (We use a lot of bleach!) This last season we started doing more outdoor cookouts around the camp fire and in effort to be friendlier to our environment, we are moving away from

styrofoam and plastic products. We need heavy duty paper plates and cups. You know, the kind of plates that our guests can load up lots of food and feel confident the plate can handle it. My family and I have finished our first successful season here at Camp. We could not have done it without of all of you. So, let me close by saying thank you. Thank you for the warm welcome from the Legion Family, the amazing support from all the volunteers, the helpful advice from those of you that have been a part of Camp for so many years and thank you to the professional and dedicated staff here at Camp and our HQ. I know you all have heard this before, but I feel it needs to be said again… Camp American Legion does not exist without the Wisconsin American Legion Family. We are so proud to be a part of that. Happy Winter Everyone!

NOVEMBER 24, 2017


Wisconsin American Legion Law Enforcement Career Academy

Program Goal: The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin in partnership with the Wisconsin Professional Police Association (WPPA), will sponsor a Law Enforcement Career Academy open to 40 Wisconsin students between their junior and senior years of high school. Similar in structure to Badger Boys State, the program will provide first-hand experiences and insight into the operations of law enforcement agencies. The program also affords highly motivated young people an opportunity to consider law enforcement as a potential career choice. Recruitment of high school students, both male and female, representing all communities and backgrounds in Wisconsin, is one goal of the program. The American Legion is particularly interested in outreach to urban communities to better educate and influence young people about the role that law enforcement officers have in their communities. Once

participants have been selected to attend the program, active and retired members of the law enforcement community will present a program that instills an understanding and respect for law enforcement professionals and their techniques. Qualifications: The program is available to all high school students who have completed their junior year of high school, have their senior year remaining before graduation, and are in good academic standing. They should be of good moral character and possess a desire to learn more about the law enforcement profession. Their high school should recommend students who meet these qualifications. Curriculum and duration: The programs will offer physical fitness training coupled with classroom instruction and hands-on training. Some topics of instruction include Drug/OWI Enforcement, Crime Scene Investigation, Crash Investigation, Computer Crimes, Crimes against Children, Firearms, MultiCultural Diversity and many more.

The program will be held June 18-22, 2018 at Fort McCoy, WI. Application process: The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin will select, approve and place students in the program. • Physical fitness certifications from a physician will be required of all applicants. • Release of liability forms will also be required. • To apply for the program have students go to wisconsin-american-legion-lawenforcement-cadet-academy. • Applications will soon be available on line. Application deadline is February 26, 2018. Post Participation: Posts are asked to contact their local high schools, introduce the program and identify students who would qualify and be interested in the program. Go to page/content/programs/wisconsinamerican-legion-law-enforcementcadet-academy for more information and application.

Preparing for Badger Boys State – 2018 Session Approximately 885 young men from every part of Wisconsin will come to Badger Boys State this year. These young men will be grouped into cities and counties, ultimately forming a “51st” state. For eight days, they will carry out all the main functions of city, county and state government using basic laws and fundamental procedures with the State of Wisconsin as their guide. The program is designed to teach young men the American form of government including justice, freedom and democracy as principles of the Constitution. Joining together, they will elect their own municipal, county and state officials. In doing so, the aldermen or county supervisors will frame, present and pass their own

ordinances and laws. Attorneys will prosecute, defend, or as judges, hear cases in their own courts. Future leaders will develop a sense of individual obligation to their community, state and nation. Activities include discussion sessions in education, medicine, law enforcement, engineering, political processes, ecology, ministry and military; participation in the Boys State band and chorus, editorial and production activities for The Badger Bugle Citizen newspaper, and sports. Sponsorship: Each young man must be sponsored by an organization or American Legion Post that pays all sponsorship fees. The sponsorship fee for the 2018 Badger Boys State session is $300 per young man sponsored. Spon-

sorships are currently being accepted at Department Headquarters. If you do not have the 2018 Sponsorship paperwork and are interested in sponsoring a student, please call Sheri at 608-745-1090 or email Candidate Eligibility: Young men who have just completed their junior year in high school and have their senior year remaining before graduation are eligible to attend Badger Boys State. Homeschooled students are eligible, but must be considered among the pool of students in what would be their school district. Additional information on the Badger Boys State Program can be found on the Department website,, or at

Greetings from the Department Membership Chairman!

Membership for the Department of Wisconsin is currently over 75%. This is great, but we can’t stop now. After the holidays, it gets very difficult to get members to renew. It is important to make contacts early. has renewal form letters so all you have to do is print them off and send them to members who haven’t had a chance to renew. You can also print labels for the renewal letters! Of course, the most effective means of renewal is the personal visits. DuWayne Wieck, two year 100% County Commander for Sheboygan County, has attributed his success to the personal visits. What a better way to get to meet your current or new members than by a visit to see how they are doing!

As part of the Department Strategic plan, several membership rallies have been scheduled for the current membership year. We have successfully completed rallies in the 4th and 5th Districts, 3rd District with a focus on the Madison area and most recently the 9th District. Upcoming rallies will be in the 10th District, Eau Claire, on December 1st and 2nd and the 7th District at a location to be later named on December 8th and 9th. One area that we haven’t utilized to its full potential is the Direct Mail Solicitation (DMS) or 2930 lists. Due to a resolution passed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) earlier this year, all members that are signed up by National are now pushed through to the Department level for the local Posts to

make that early contact and transfer them into the Post. These lists are available on under the Find Members in My Area. Enter the zip code you would like to search and a radius around that zip code that you feel people would want to drive. A list will come up that you can print as either a PDF or Excel file. The Excel file will allow you to sort the information. I would like to thank you for all the hard work that has been accomplished so far for membership and for the work that I know is yet to be done. If anyone has any questions or would like some help, please feel free to call me at 920-382-4028 or email at Thank you, Julie Muhle Dept. Membership Chairman



By Resolution adopted at the 2017 Department Fall Meetings, The Troop and Family Support Fund and the Veterans Assistance Fund have been merged into the Veterans and Family Support Fund. The mission has not changed. The VFAF will provide emergency funds to both veterans and active duty service members and their families. When we look into our communities we see veterans or families of the deployed in need. Our Challenge: We have a donor who will match the first $30,000 we raise throughout the Legion family by July 2018. This equates to less than $1.00 per member. Those Posts that meet the challenge

will receive recognition in the Badger Legionnaire. The Post Challenge, if met, would provide approximately $80,000 to the VFAF. Department Commander Clewell said, “This program impacts veterans and their families—in their time of need.” Commander Clewell encourages Posts to commence fundraising efforts to ensure the success of the challenge. Submissions to meet the challenge should be addressed to: Wisconsin American Legion Headquarters VFAF Challenge PO Box 388 Portage, WI 53901

35000 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 Oct 1-31

Oct 1-31 GoalOctober 1-31 $ 2,588.57 $ 30,000.00 $2,588.57


Goal $30,000.00

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By Jeff Pederson, Sheboygan Falls News Editor, originally printed in the Sheboygan Falls News, October 6, 2017. Reprinted with permission For someone dealing with a mobility issue or disability, the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in comfort and convenience is something that is hard to put a price tag on. Thanks to the recent efforts of the Northern Kettles Chapter of the National Wildlife Turkey Federation (NWTF), people with mobility limitations in Sheboygan County and the surrounding area will be able to have access to an Action Trackchair for hunting, fishing, hiking, bird watching or any other outdoor activity at no charge. Sheboygan Falls American Legion Post 149 recently took ownership of the chair, following a community fundraising campaign initiated and organized by the Northern Kettles Chapter NWTF in association with other organizations and individual donors from the Sheboygan County area. The fundraising effort got off the ground in January based on the suggestion of Northern Kettles NWTF member Frank Sterzen, who had previously rented an Action Trackchair for his son Andy for hunting excursions. “Frank’s son, Andy, had used the chair for hunting and he was thrilled with how well it worked,” Northern Kettles Chapter NWTF President Dennis Stuckmann said. “He thought it would be a great project for us to raise funds

Submitted by Larry Gorrilla The Winegar American Legion Post 480 and its sister the Wilderness Veterans Memorial Flame Foundation, Inc. (WVMFF) recently dedicated the newest Veterans Memorial in Wisconsin with a dramatic lighting of an eternal flame. The Memorial, dedicated on October 14, 2017, has taken three years to become a reality, but now is open to all visitors every day of the year. Post 480 Member, Vietnam Veteran and Foundation President, Larry Gorrilla was instrumental in seeing the project through to its completion. He, along with the Foundation Board and the Post spent many hours fundraising and finally constructing the impressive monument which lists honorably discharged veterans regardless of rank or type of service. “We decided that all veterans needed to be acknowledged for their service. 414 veterans are now engraved on our Honor Wall and each have a photo and biography page on our website. Many more names are waiting to be engraved next year,” Larry said.


Getting on Track for a Good Cause

for one of the Action Trackchairs to make available to anyone with disabilities that wanted to enjoy a day doing anything outdoors. It didn’t take us too long to think about it before we decided it was a great idea and something we needed to do.” Over the next nine months, Northern Kettles members spearheaded a drive to raise $17,500 for the purchase of the chair and a trailer. “So many people were very generous in their support,” Northern Kettles Chapter Trackchair Committee Member Chuck Grosskreutz said. “Through various donations and grants, it only took us about four weeks to raise the $17,500 needed for the chair and trailer, which is remarkable.” Additional contributions came from the Sheboygan County Conservation Association (SCCA), Hearthstone of Wisconsin, the Between the Lakes Chapter of Muskies Inc. and the Button Group. “We had several outdoor and conservation organizations that really stepped up to make this happen,” Grosskreutz said. “There were a number of other smaller donations from individuals here and there that also helped to cover the cost of the chair and trailer. We are still accepting donations to help cover the cost of ongoing expenses, such as maintenance and insurance fees,” he said. “We want to continue to offer this chair to the public at no charge and any financial assistance we receive to ensure that this happens is greatly

appreciated.” Built by Action Manufacturing of Marshall, MN, the motorized battery-powered Action Trackchair all-terrain wheelchair was introduced in 2008. The chair is designed to allow riders to negotiate all forms of terrain, including mud, snow, sand, shallow water, sticks and tall grass, which makes it perfect for navigating mountain roads, campgrounds, woods, beaches, hiking trails, frozen lakes, shallow streams, muddy and snowy terrain. Hearthstone of Wisconsin President Jon Rost said assisting with the purchase of the Trackchair aligns perfectly with the goals of the organization. “Hearthstone was formed 21 years ago by parents of young people with developmental disabilities who needed some assistance in transitioning out of high school and into the real world,” Rost said. “Young people with disabilities can find themselves leaving high school and having really nowhere to go or anyone to turn to for help. The social and financial opportunities are often not there for them and many have a really hard time. There was a need for an organization to be an advocate for this group of people and we have made some great strides over the last 21 years,” he said. “Supporting this effort to make a Trackchair available to anyone with a disability was a no-brainer for us. It fits exactly with our mission to help disabled young adults live, work and play in their home communities.”

Stuckmann said the Trackchair project also works within the framework of the goals of the Northern Kettles Chapter NWTF. “The main goal of the NWTF is to increase hunter numbers, including hunters with disabilities,” Stuckmann said. “It is great to see anyone getting out to hunt and enjoy the outdoors. It is wonderful to have a piece of equipment like this for people with disabilities and it is great to now have it available.” The Northern Kettles Chapter NWTF supports youth hunting programs on an annual basis but this is the first time it has gone allin on such a large scale fundraising project. “We support youth turkey hunting education programs and we’ve done a target shoot event for disabled people in the past, but this is the first time we’ve done something at this level.” Now that the chair and trailer are

Small Town Honors Vets Big Time

The memorial centers on two 12 foot tall granite Honor Walls and a granite spire emitting an eternal flame. Flanking the monuments are flags of all military branches, the US flag, Wisconsin Flag and POA/MIA Flag. The walkway to the center is also flanked by granite monuments which describe the major conflicts our country and our military have been involved in since we became a country in 1776. Mr. Gorrilla

added, “We want this project to be a living memorial and available to all, especially the young, to learn about the sacrifices our military persons have made.” Plans for educational programs as well as veterans’ programs are underway. The event was attended by more than 450 guests followed by a celebratory lunch. Post 480 and Boulder Junction’s Post 451 performed the flag ceremony

and 3-gun salute. The US Flag was presented by a 4th grade girl and raised by two young veterans during a rendition of our National Anthem. The Flame was lit by a third-grade boy. “We wanted to include youngsters,” said Mr. Gorrilla. Presque Isle is a small northern Wisconsin town located on the Michigan border and is noted as “Wisconsin’s Last Wilderness.” The town developed as a logging

NOVEMBER 24, 2017

available onsite at the Sheboygan Falls American Legion Post 149 headquarters, Frank Sterzen is driven to see the chair get plenty of use. “I want to keep this chair busy,” Sterzen said. “We have it here now, which is such a great thing for the community. Now our goal is to see it used often.” “Anyone with a mobility issue is invited to use it for hunting, fishing, bird watching, to the beach, really anything involving getting around outdoors,” he said. “We want to reach out to as many people as we can to let them know this is available to them.” An online reservation system will soon be available on the Sheboygan County Conservation Association website, but in the meantime, the chair can be reserved by contacting Dennis Stuckmann at 920-9469967 or Chuck Grosskreutz at 920-207-4280.

community in the early 1900’s and many of its finest young men were conscripted into the First and Second World Wars. “Everyone is welcome to visit,”stated Joel Green, Commander of Post 480. The Memorial is open 24/7/365, on Hwy W, two blocks west of downtown, next to Pipke Park and near the snowmobile and the bike trails. More information is available on the website or by calling 715-686-2517.

NOVEMBER 24, 2017



Todd J. Braun

Frank J. Kostka

William E. Babb

Candidate for Department Commander

Candidate for Department Commander

Candidate for Department Vice Commander

My name is Todd Braun and I am your current Department Vice Commander. It is with great pleasure and honor that I am announcing my candidacy for the high office of Department Commander. I obtained my eligibility for the American Legion by my honorable service in the US Army from 1988 to 1994 in the Military Police Corp and the US Air Force Reserves Security Forces from 2001 to 2003. My American Legion career started at my first meeting where I was appointed Adjutant. I was elected three times after that and achieved 100% membership three years in a row. I also held the office of 6th District Sgt at Arms, Department Sgt at Arms, and 6th District Commander. I am also a Legion Rider and have held office as 6th District Vice President and Road Captain. I am a member of the Past State Sgt at Arms Club and Past Commander’s Club. I have learned a great deal about the American Legion over the years by attending and graduating from all the courses of the Wisconsin American Legion College. I have also been on committees at the Post, District and Department levels. I have learned a great deal by watching other leaders in our organization. I have had many of our leaders mentor me over the years and I wish to thank them. While membership is an important piece of the American Legion, my focus will be on preparing for tomorrow today. What I mean by this is we are not getting any younger. If we do not mentor our new and younger members, our organization and our veterans will suffer in the future. How many of you have been thrown into a position of leadership or on a committee and have had no earthly idea of what to do? I would bet many of you reading this. We owe it to those filling our shoes, to our veterans, and to the American Legion to mentor our future leaders. I look forward to the opportunity to be your Department Commander leading our Department into the next 100 years. I also look forward to meeting as many of you as I can and continuing to learn from each one of you. God bless you, The American Legion and the United States of America!

Frank Kostka, a proud PUFL member of The American Legion, respectfully requests your support for his candidacy of 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 41 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 Eleventh District. Frank's experience in The American Legion includes having served as Post No. 90 Commander from 2004 to 2017. The post has achieved 100% in membership each of the last 7 years. He worked to established the new SAL Squadron No. 90 in Ashland last year, which has already grown to 30 members. He served as 11th District, 2nd and 1st Vice Commander and culminated his 4 years as 11th District Commander by leading it to 100% for 2016. His experience at Department level includes member on the Camp American Legion committee for 2 years and member on the Communications Committee for 1 year. Frank currently serves as a National member of the Media and Communications Council and Legislative Council, as liaison to US Congressman 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 American Legion Riders for 9 years. Legionnaire Kostka is passionate about The American Legion and walks the talk with membership; as exemplified by his recruiting efforts, earning the prestigious National Silver Brigade Award in 2014 and Gold Brigade Award in 2015, 16 and 17. Over the last 6 years he's recruited almost 300 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 with the Posts and its members. Frank will work hard for our Department and its Legionnaires and therefore, is asking for your support to elect him Department Commander.

William “Bill” Babb, First District Commander requests your support for candidacy for the high office of Department Vice Commander. Bill is a 15 year PUFL member of Richard Ellis Post 205 in Janesville. Bill earned the privilege of membership in The American Legion through his service in the U.S. Navy from 1963-67, aboard the USS Forrestal CVA59, and is a Vietnam Era Veteran. He attended training at Naval Station Great Lakes, IL. Bill joined The American Legion in Post 495 Indianapolis, IN in 1969 until 1975 and was a member of its Honors Team for that duration. He moved to Janesville and rejoined The American Legion Post 205 in 2008, following his retirement from General Motors after 30 years. He is a graduate of National American Legion College Class of 2011; American Legion Extension Institute, both online and in residence; and is completing Wisconsin American Legion College. He attended National Membership Training in Indianapolis for 3 years. Bill is currently serving as 1st District Commander and has held that position for the past two years. Prior to that, he was 1st District 1st Vice Commander for 2 years, 3rd Vice Commander for 2 years, and Rock County Council Sergeant at Arms for 2 years, 2nd Vice Commander for Post 205 for 1 year, and Post 205 Adjutant for 5 years. He was 100% Adjutant for two consecutive years. He has been actively involved in post and county revitalization campaigns. Bill has attended three National Conventions and served on National and Department Committees: National Membership Convention Committee and National Legislative Convention Committee for two years. Department Committees include Membership Committee for three years, Liaison for the Americanism Committee and presently as Liaison for the Membership Committee. He has served as Escort for the Department Oratorical Contest in 2016. As a member of the Legion Riders, Bill has regularly participated in parades and as Funeral Escort; he is a member of the Past Commanders’ Club, and has served as 40&8 Correspondent and Chef de Gare. Bill is a Vietnam Veterans of America PUFL, served as a Patriotic Society Board Member for 3 years and is a Charter Member of the Wisconsin American Legion College Association. He has also served as a volunteer for the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaigns and the Red Poppy Campaigns. His candidacy is supported by endorsement from Post 205, Rock County Council, and the 1st District Legion Riders. His family is behind him in his participation in The American Legion; his wife, daughter and son are members of The American Legion Family, with Amanda in the Auxiliary and Curtis in the Sons. His two grandsons are members of the Air Force Reserve in Indiana, so service is strong in his family. Bill continues to promote membership at all levels of the American Legion; his goals are to support the Four Pillars, and membership and the growth of The American Legion. Thank you for your support and vote to this High Office. Thank you for all you do as Legion Members.

Post No. 54 Fish Boil Benefit

Marshfield Legion Post No. 54 Adjutant Mert Fischer recently presented a check to Marshfield Police Chief Rick Gramza following a fish boil hosted by the Post on November 3rd. Proceeds from the meal will be put towards the purchase of MPD radio upgrades.

Happy Holidays



The Last


8 Waukesha Donald Sheskey K Roy Fox II 11 Green Bay Wilmer Christopherson K Gordon Dewane II Clarence Baierl V 19 Hartford Budd Reth II 20 Waterford Jeffery Zaremba V 21 Kenosha Jay Johnson V Glenn Hackler V 33 Neenah Richard Toeppler K 36 West Bend Franklin Walbrink II 38 Appleton Russell Brudtke V Gerald Bayer K Gerald Long K 42 Platteville Nathan Swallow K James Kingeter K 46 Merrill Arthur Taylor II 51 West Salem Robert Indahl V 53 Eau Claire Richard Fox K Thomas Wanzong K 58 Hurley Earl Brackett II William Vokolek II 60 Kimberly Ralph Lamers V 68 Prairie du Chien Donald Lochner II 74 Oconto Clarence Hooten II 75 Fond du Lac Marvin Akey K Leroy Bahr II Dolor Krauel K Ruth Honeck II John Hauer K 77 Chippewa Falls Raymond Smith II 79 Burlington Paul Spiegelhoff II 80 New Richmond Vernon Lokker V Richard Chevrier V Gwynn Christensen II 82 Port Washington Dustin Brede PG Richard Hauser II Wayne Lemke V 83 Sheboygan Donald Grzezinski II Thomas Simonich K 88 Manitowoc Donald Kautzer K 95 Delavan Donald McSorley K 98 Cumberland Edwin Ernst K 100 Sparta Richard Beyer K

10/18/17 10/24/17 10/05/17 10/06/17 10/13/17 07/10/17 10/04/17 10/15/17 10/24/17 10/17/17 10/19/17 10/16/17 10/23/17 08/29/17 10/10/17 12/26/16 10/27/17 10/01/17 11/03/17 09/19/17 10/12/17 09/13/17 11/01/17 10/23/17 07/03/17 07/05/15 05/01/17 04/02/17 03/23/16 10/18/17 09/01/17 10/29/17 09/22/17 11/05/17 09/23/17 10/20/17 10/25/17 10/13/17 09/15/17 06/02/16 10/15/17 09/22/17 10/15/17

110 New Lisbon Garnet Karner K 113 Mount Horeb Philip Halverson II 117 Shawano Roger Goerl K Harvey Marotz II 121 River Falls John Hanson II 125 Chilton Donald Gebhart K James Skarda II 126 Brillion Carlos Prochnow K 133 Camp Douglas Lawrence Bergs K 136 Niagara Dale Larsen II 141 New Glarus Allen Fjelstad V Robert Freitag V Jack Allen V 144 Albany Gerald Heitzman II Timothy Jones V Robert McCullick K 154 Mondovi Merlin Becker K 155 Westby Harlan Rude II 157 Horicon Ed Miescke V 158 Maiden Rock Neil Auth V 159 Cadott Robert Thorson II 160 Brooklyn/Oregon Ralph Bergland II 170 Mineral Point Barton Swindall II Richard Kieler V Robert Regan II Wayne Berg V Robert Flum II Raymond Hanson II Donald Hawkins II 174 Hawkins Andrew Francis V 180 Milwaukee Peter Saggio V 188 East Troy Myrl Amann K 189 Watertown Herbert Zoellick K Herbert Toebe II Howard Hilgendorf K 191 Whitehall Frederic Berns V Lowell Patterson II 192 Franklin James Decker K Ramon Talamantes K 200 Black River Falls Donnelly Shepherd 204 Ellsworth Duane Blaisdell V David Knoll II 205 Janesville Robert Holty V 208 Rio Henry Bennett II 215 Pardeeville Eunice Shannon II 226 Manawa Leroy Juergens K 238 Greenwood Lester Severson II 240 Baldwin George Conrad II/K Wallace Shefland K 255 Shell Lake Rolland Schaefer K 271 Poynette Armin Ohnesorge K Eldon Saager II

10/15/07 10/19/17 10/24/17 09/26/17 10/02/17 09/28/17 10/22/17 09/03/17 10/04/17 10/27/17 10/13/17 10/12/17 10/04/17 10/10/17 07/04/17 05/07/17 09/02/17 06/30/17 10/06/17

288 Cedarburg Gerald Tenpenny V 295 Bloomer John Dachel II 306 Green Lake Robert Hawse V 308 Gays Mills Louis Borgman V James Knoble V 324 Osseo Gregory Doverspike V Warren Robinson II C G Markgren II Roger Myren K Duane Merritt K 326 Boyd Catherine Anderson V 328 Springbrook Lawrence Neste II 333 Sun Prairie Allan Lewis V David Chase K 336 Onalaska Billy Ulry V 339 Almond Julian Wierzba K 346 Centuria David Lilygren K John Wilson K 350 Reedsburg Jerome Harms II 351 Montello Thomas Murray II

10/06/17 04/03/17 10/21/17 11/01/17 11/05/17 08/30/17 08/18/17 07/10/17 06/04/17 10/24/17 10/10/17 08/13/16 10/01/17 10/10/17 09/23/17 10/01/17 10/08/17 10/18/17 10/21/17 10/20/17

SEPTEMBER NOVEMBER 24, 25, 2017 2014

354 Ettrick Arild Engelien II David Tranberg V Vernon Bergerson K Willard Robinson 358 Unity Raymond Miller K 360 Waunakee Michael Eckstein V 365 Plum City James Robey II 366 Princeton James Schrott V 370 Wild Rose Frederick Frater II 382 Menomonee Falls Donald Bodenbach K 390 Gresham Jack Schmidt K 391 Fremont Daniel Hanson V Douglas Meshke K 393 Edgar Duane Raschke K 402 Washington Island Allen Thiele V 406 Milwaukee Kenneth Weisl K James Duncan K 410 Fredonia William Rathsack K 415 Milwaukee Lawrence Murray II

06/26/17 07/19/17 04/09/17 11/01/17 10/20/17 10/16/17 08/30/17 09/24/17 09/10/17 10/30/17 07/28/17 10/03/17 08/21/17 01/26/17 09/23/17 10/26/17 10/28/17 10/08/17 11/07/17


417 La Crosse Dennis Bentzen 427 Milwaukee David Dey 436 Wrightstown Bernard Ribarchek Howard Brooks 437 Mazomanie Robert Meili 440 Clinton Marvin Hahn 449 Brookfield Carl Isonhart Douglas Weare 457 Mequon Willard Geidel 481 Madison Michael Ryan 486 Jackson Raymond Rechlin 496 Sherwood Carl Henrickson 501 Madison Thomas McEvilly 506 Iron River Michael Beneke 507 Mindoro Everett Hoff 543 Plover Norman Wallner Frederick LaRosa 547 Lublin Bernard Prokopiak 552 Somers Terrence Constant






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10/29/17 09/08/17





10/25/17 LEGION FAMILY: IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION FOR LEGIONCARE Endorsed by Your American Legion Department

Anyone enrolled in LegionCare will be covered for as long as they maintain their membership in the Legion Family — TAL, ALA, & SAL. This new “one and done” approach will save you from needing to re-enroll every 5 years. The LegionCare program will continue to cover you for $1,000 of AD&D coverage. If the accidental loss occurs when on official Legion Family Business, we will cover you for $5,000 of AD&D coverage.*

09/15/17 07/27/17 07/30/17 07/08/17 10/03/17 07/30/17 03/29/17

• Coverage has been arranged on your behalf by Your American Legion Department. • This coverage is Underwritten by Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company, (Cedar Rapids, IA), and paid for by The Legionnaire Insurance Trust.



08/20/17 05/23/17 09/05/17 10/10/17 02/12/17 10/25/17 11/04/17 11/24/16 10/16/17 10/31/17 09/08/17 09/22/17 10/27/17 10/11/17 08/31/17 03/09/17 10/27/17 10/19/17 11/01/17 08/30/17 10/06/17 07/28/16





• Regardless of your age, health or occupation, your acceptance is guaranteed.** • Your coverage will become effective the date your Enrollment is received by the Administrator.


We want you to know too, LegionCare is now available to all members of the Legion Family including the American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion members 18 years and

older. The Legionnaire Insurance Trust has been working hard with Transamerica to provide valuable benefits to your entire family and we look forward to continuing to serve veterans’ insurance needs.


• This No Cost to you coverage is endorsed by your Department. It qualifies for complete approval and endorsement. • Your Department has arranged this coverage at No Cost to you because of the need for this type of protection and the recognition that many Members may not have enough protection. EXCLUSIONS: suicide; self-inflicted injury while sane or insane; sickness, disease, bodily or mental infirmity or medical or surgical treatment thereof; war or acts of war (declared or undeclared); while serving in the military; flying, except as a fare-paying passenger on a scheduled airline; participation in any speed or endurance contest; bacterial infections.


*For Purposes of the Legionnaire Insurance Trust, a member of the Legion Family, with current year’s dues paid, could be eligible for the Accidental Death benefit if he/she is traveling to, attending, or returning from a function at which the member represents his/her local, state, or national Organization in an official capacity. Bonus Benefit Rider is not available in MN and NH. **This is a supplemental health insurance plan that requires you to have major medical coverage, Medicare, or other health coverage that meets "minimum essential coverage" as defined by the Affordable Care Act. Accidental death coverage underwritten by Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company, Cedar Rapids, IA. Coverage is paid for through the Legionnaire Insurance Trust. For more information please call 1-800-235-6943 ©2017 AGIA AT#1384937

A Riders Thing - Saying Goodbye to One of Our Own Submitted by Don Stone, American Legion Rider Historian, District 1 One of the toughest things we have to do is provide funeral escort and military honors for one of our own. On Monday, October 23, 2017, the 1st District Legion Riders were honored to provide this support for Jay “Just Jay” Johnson (Post 21), long time member and past for our unit. Jay was a 24 year veteran of the U.S. Navy. On a typical Navy day (cold, windy and spitting rain) we had 23 bikes, each flying an American and a Navy flag in our escort. As

a Riders’ touch, you will notice that the Navy flag in the group picture is upside down. Some 11 years ago, while we were leading the Milwaukee Veteran’s Day parade, Jay and Char Johnson rode the entire parade

route without noticing that their flag was upside down. This, of course, became instant Riders lore….we never forget. It was with great pride, love, honor, and a little humor, that we said our goodbyes to Jay.

NOVEMBER 24, 2017



Attendance to Anniversary Celebration

2018 DEPARTMENT MIDWINTER SWEEPSTAKES NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. See our official rules at: The drawing will be held at 7:00 pm on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at the Department Midwinter Conference, Ho-Chunk Casino Hotel & Convention Center, S3214 US Highway 12 in Baraboo, WI. NEED NOT BE PRESENT TO WIN! • Grand Prize: $20,000 Cash* or a 2018 Vehicle from Boucher* • 2nd Prize: $10,000 Vehicle Allowance from Boucher* • 3rd Prize: $5,000 or a Trip to Hawaii* • 4th Prize: $2,500 or Hunting Rifle* • 5th Prize: $1,000 or Big Screen TV* Our programs which assist veterans in Wisconsin are dependent on your donations. Your donation will support our Rehabilitation Fund which provides funding for Camp American Legion, the State Service Office and our hospital programs.

Frank Tennies recently attended the Executive Residence of the Governor for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 32nd Brigade and the 70th anniversary of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. Tennies is an active member of Legion Post No. 9 in Hartford, WI.

Although a donation is not required to enter or win the sweepstakes, we encourage you to support the American Legion by making a small gift in the amount of $5 per entry, $20 for six or $30 for twelve entries. Entry forms were mailed out earlier this fall and need to be returned to Department headquarters as soon as possible, but no later than January 16, 2018. Be sure to print your name, address, (or use a return address label) and phone number on each form. When making a donation, please send a check or money order payable to: “The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin.” For questions or additional entry forms, contact Department Headquarters at 608-745-1090 or * Subject to Federal Tax withholding. Some restrictions apply. See official rules at

Post No. 133 Honors Jameson

VA DISABILITY APPEALS Tom Hagen, Attorney at Law Lt. Col., U.S. Army (Retired), JAG “A Veteran Helping Veterans” Bradley Berkland Hagen & Herbst, LLC Woodbury, MN Rodney Jameson, age 90, formerly of Camp Douglas, WI, now a resident at the Wisconsin Veteran's Home at King, was recently honored by members of Earl Gulligan Post 133 for being a member of their Post for 52 years. Jameson is photographed with Post No. 133 Legion members Gene Halvorson, Jon Bailey and Everette Burdick.

Recognition of Vietnam-era Veterans

On Saturday, September 23, 2017, the Edwards-Foye American Legion Post 534 in McFarland conducted a ceremony to recognize the service of 15 local Vietnam-era veterans. The honorees are: Sitting (L-R) Larry White, Dennis Dancker, Mike Larson, Russ Reppen, Dick Becker, Stuart Allbough; Standing (L-R) Jerry Murphy, Jim Meili, Jim Peters, Bill Peters, Paul Peters, Alvin Orvis, Bob Schneider, Jr., Tom Grannis II, Warrant Officer Nate Weier US Army.

(507) 593-4098

November 2017 pages 1 7  
November 2017 pages 1 7  

Veterans, their families and their communities.