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“For God & Country”



October 20, 2016 Vol. 93, No. 9

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.

National Commander Charles Schmidt to Tour Northern Wisconsin in October National Vice Commander to Visit Milwaukee and Fox River Valley in November

National Commander Charles E. Schmidt of Oregon is scheduled to arrive in Eau Claire on the evening of Sunday, October 23rd to begin a tour of Northern Wisconsin that will end with his departure from Appleton on Wednesday, October 26th. Commander Schmidt, who served in the US Air Force from 1965 to 1993, is slated to join Department Commander Daniel Seehafer on a tour of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls on Monday, October 24th. His travel itinerary includes visits to Eau Claire, Wausau, Shawano, Green Bay and Appleton. Department Commander Seehafer and National Executive Committeeman Ken Rynes will accompany him. The tour corresponds with Membership outreach efforts by the 8th, 9th and 10th Districts. Membership renewal and recruiting events are scheduled for

1PM on Sunday, October 23rd at Bracket Post No. 550; Monday, October 24th at Eau Claire Post No. 53 and at Wausau Post No. 10 from 10AM to 4PM ; Tuesday, October 25th at Wausau Post No. 10, Marshfield Post No. 54, Shawano Post No. 117 and Green Bay Post No. 11 from 10AM to 4PM; and on Wednesday, October 26th at Appleton Post No 38 from 10AM to 4PM. Department Vice Commanders Frank Kostka and Laurel Clewell will lead the membership efforts along with Department Membership Chair Darla Porter of Wausau Post No. 11 and 9th District Commander Clarence Davister. National Vice Commander Paul Martel of Florida will visit Wisconsin and will be the Guest of Honor at Oak Creek Post No. 434 for a Fish Fry at 6PM on Friday, November 4th. He will join Commander Dan Seehafer

and Alternate National Executive Committeeman Bob Shappell at the Milwaukee Veterans Day Parade the following day. A member of American Legion Post No. 120 in Holly Hill, Florida, Martel served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army as a UH-1 helicopter crew chief in a Medivac unit. He has held various positions at every level of The American Legion, including Department of Florida commander. At the National level he served as a member of the National Security Commission and National Legislative Council. Vice Commander Martel also was National sergeant-at-arms in 2009-2010. His tour coincides with Membership outreach efforts by the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 9th Districts. Sunday, November 6th will be a busy day in Milwaukee County with HA Todd Post No. 537 hosting a Pancake breakfast

from 8AM to 12 Noon at the post located at 9159 W Beloit Rd in Milwaukee. Membership renewal and recruiting events will take place that day at North Shore Post No. 331 of the 5th District and Greendale Post No. 416 of the 4th District from 12 Noon to 4PM. The 2nd and 6th Districts will work membership in Sheboygan and Manitowoc Counties on Monday, November 7th and Tuesday, November 8th from Post No. 243 in Plymouth during the hours of 10AM to 4PM. Fond du Lac Post No. 75 will conduct a Membership outreach on Tuesday, November 8th from 10AM to 4PM at the post located at 500 Fond du Lac Avenue. Vice Commander Martel’s tour will culminate in the 9th District at Appleton Post No. 38 on Tuesday, November 8th with Membership outreach from 10AM to 4PM.

Legionnaire Charles Schmidt of Oregon was installed as the 2016-17 National Commander on Thursday, September 1st at the close of the 98th Annual National Convention in Cincinnati. Commander Schmidt will be travelling in late October and visiting Eau Claire, Wausau, Green Bay and other locations in north central Wisconsin to work with members of The American Legion family.

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

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 “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 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 and watch for more details in the next edition of the Badger Legionnaire.

National Vice Commander Paul Martel of Florida was also installed in office on Thursday, September 1st at the National Convention in Cincinnati. Vice Commander Martel will visit Milwaukee, Plymouth, Fond du Lac and Appleton in early November to assist in Membership outreach efforts.

2017 Membership Goal: 56,739 • Oct 13th Total: 39,067 – 68.85% District


70.16% 1st PLACE



69.14% 2nd PLACE



68.86% 3rd PLACE











65.97% 6th PLACE











63.08% 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


OCTOBER 20, 2016

DEPARTMENT COMMANDER Dear Family, As we continue to journey through our membership year under the theme “It’s Personal,” we are without a Dan Seehafer Department Commander doubt approaching upon a very personal day-Veterans Day. Throughout our great state, numerous members of our Legion Family are prepping and finalizing their events for this special day of recognition--from school programs and community ceremonies to open houses and evening banquets. Whatever the planned event may be, it’s done to recognize with heartfelt appreciation our living veterans, that is to say: Thank You! Thank you for your service! Thank you for my freedom! A “thank you” that’s done with eye-to-eye contact, with smiles

and handshakes, and with hugs and, even with tears of joy. This reminds me of Dieter Dengler, a German-born United States Navy aviator during the Vietnam War and later a private aircraft test pilot and commercial airline pilot. He was one of two survivors, the other being Phisit Intharathat, out of seven prisoners of war who escaped from a Pathet Lao prison camp in Laos. He was rescued after 23 days on the run following six months of torture and imprisonment and was the first captured U.S. airman to escape enemy captivity during the Vietnam War. And, yet, what really moved me from his personal experience (not that being a POW doesn’t already, of course) was the fact that when he returned home, he used to open everything up. For example, opening a cupboard door, then closing it, then opening it once again, and so on. Weird? Absolutely

not! Here was a POW that couldn’t open anything without permission; yes, couldn’t do anything without permission. Brings the concept of freedom into a new light, doesn’t it? So, when I have the privilege to speak on Veterans Day, especially to our grade school and high school students, I highlight freedom and how freedom is the lifeblood of a veteran. That’s why it’s so important to say “thank you,” and to say “thank you” while they are still with us. Personally, I knew that I wanted to be a pastor within the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod by the time I reached the 7th grade. After high school, I wanted to attend Concordia University in Mequon and then to Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN. It was the Lord’s plan, of course, but a plan that was possible because of the service and sacrifice of America’s

veterans. Veterans are special men and women who have provided to me, along with other Americans, the freedom to choose careers and education – along with other things we probably take for granted: like having ice in our drinks, flavored creamer in our coffee, and opening a packed refrigerator and saying “there’s nothing here to eat.” This Veterans Day, let’s say “thank you” to every Wisconsin veteran! Let’s make a personal statement to our National organization--that every day is Veterans Day in Wisconsin, and that our Legion Family stands together through word and deed. One little deed with great impact is to renew your stake in our American Legion family by renewing your membership today. Remember, when you do, you are sending a personal thank you to those who also wore the uniform. Happy Veterans Day! And thank you!

DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT The wearing of the cap and usage of The American Legion emblem, facilities and political donations.

According to Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution of The American Legion, “The American Legion David Kurtz Department Adjutant shall be absolutely nonpolitical and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles nor for the promotion of the candidacy of any person seeking public office or preferment.” The National Charter, approved by Congress, also stipulates The American Legion as an organization is nonpolitical* which has been interpreted by the National Judge Advocate as “nonpartisan” in modern lingo. Therefore, The American Legion as an organization is prohibited from contributing, helping or endorsing a candidate. However, a member, as a private citizen, and not representing the organization, can employ whatever legal and ethical means to advance his or her candidate. The Legion cap is considered the

official Legion uniform (see p. 42 of The American Legion Officers Guide and Manual of Ceremonies). It is not an individual Legion member’s decision on the appropriate usage of the cap and emblem. If attending a political event, The American Legion cap, or any clothing with the emblem visible, should be removed so as not to imply endorsement by The American Legion. The problem is the assumption of endorsement by those who see the emblem or name worn at an improper location, such as a partisan rally. The American Legion does not endorse, or oppose, any candidates. When using post facilities to host candidates, the post should remove or cover the emblem and Legion flag to avoid any impression of endorsements. Posts may wish to host Candidate Forums as a service to the public but all parties must be presented equal opportunity at the same time to use the facilities on the same terms and conditions as other

competing candidates. The National American Legion has been inviting presidential candidates and government officials to address our conventions throughout our existence. Candidates are told that we are not conducting a political rally, so they should focus on what they plan to do for national defense, our veterans, our youth and their families. In order to be invited as a candidate, one must qualify for matching funds and US Secret Service protection. The Department will also invite candidates on the ballot for state-wide office to address our annual convention or submit comments to the Badger Legionnaire for publication. Offering candidates a chance to address our membership provides an opportunity for the Legion Family to see and hear from them first hand. It speaks to the relevance of the Legion that major candidates for high State or Federal offices choose to respond. Remember also that we

have to work with whoever does get elected. If financial contributions are offered by candidates for political office, campaigns, political action committees or political parties, The American Legion should politely decline. Accepting these contributions may be perfectly legal, but The American Legion must avoid any perception of supporting any candidate or political party. The American Legion values its independence and effectiveness on veterans’ issues. This stance is best maintained by neutrality on individual candidates or political parties. The American Legion by legal definition is non-partisan and speaks only to issues which impact our Four Pillars. * This means “non-partisan” in today’s society. The American Legion is allowed by Congress to lobby for veterans benefits and a strong United States of America. (NJA, October 25, 2012)

WDVA SECRETARY We believe that caring for our veterans and their families is an honor. It is our duty to ensure that we provide John A. Scocos the safest and best WDVA Secretary quality care to our nation’s heroes. We want veterans and their family members to experience a high quality of life at our Wisconsin Veterans Homes while also receiving the highest quality care that they deserve. Due to recent allegations made in the media, the Legislative Audit Bureau is conducting an audit of our Veterans Home at King. We have already met with the auditors and are working with them in order to provide a full and clear picture of everything we do at King. This audit is our opportunity to underscore our accomplishments and demonstrate our first-rate care.

We are highly regulated by both state and federal entities, undergo regular inspection, and we have demonstrated that we provide five star care to our veterans. At the direction of the Governor and legislature, we have a permanently placed Ombudsman at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King to provide immediate access for quality or care issues. Since January 2015, the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King has undergone eight regular inspections and surveys by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Quality Assurance and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These unannounced inspections take several days to complete by teams of specialists whose job it is to understand and ensure compliance with the many regulations that affect the care that each of our members receive at our Homes. These entities have said that our

Homes are among the best in the country. At the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, there are three buildings that are rated five stars (out of five) and one that is rated four stars based on quality of care delivered, direct care staffing levels, and the results of annual healthcare inspections conducted by our state department of health. Only 15 percent of homes in the country receive a five star rating! This is an improvement over our ratings from 2011 when our facilities at King were rated at 3, 3, 4 & 5 stars. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found our facilities at King to be in full compliance with all VA standards during its 2016 survey which was just completed in June. We have not only increased our quality ratings, but we have also undergone a financial turnaround. This is a good thing. In 2011, financial statements reflected a $12.8

million deficit at Wisconsin Veterans Homes. In 2016, due to this impressive financial turnaround, the homes are solvent now and through the foreseeable future. We have also reinvested $150 million in building and maintenance projects in all veterans homes since 2011. In 2014, Governor Walker authorized the construction of a new $80 million state of the art facility at King to replace some of the aging buildings. In closing, it is our top priority to ensure that we provide the safest and best quality care to our nation’s heroes. We have a lot to be proud of in this regard. While I am confident that we provide safe, top-quality care to veterans and others who live at King, if this audit does identify any issues, then as always, we will put together a plan so that we may make improvements, because it is our mission to provide the best care possible to our nation’s heroes.

OCTOBER 20, 2016



Air National Guard Unit Returns to Camp American Legion The 128th Civil Engineering Squadron Builds Fish Cleaning Station

SPECIAL TO THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE — By Brian Jopek of The Lakeland Times In the fall of 2014, personnel with the civil engineering squadron of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing did their annual training at Camp American Legion, completely rebuilding, from the ground up, one of the camp’s cabins that had belonged to the King Post No. 406 of Milwaukee. This year, the 128th CES returned and have constructed a new fish cleaning station. The camp’s director, Kevin Moshea, said the initial talking about replacing the camp’s old fish cleaning shack actually took place as the cabin project was nearing completion. “From the beginning, we knew their next project was going to be the fish cleaning station,” he said. “Well before the Oshkosh competition.” In April of this year, the camp received a check for $27,500 from Oshkosh Defense, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation. An additional $15,000 was raised by the 8th District American Legion Riders. Kyle Fugar, a senior master sergeant with the 128th CES, was involved in the 2014 cabin rehabilitation and on the civilian side, is energy manager for Oshkosh Defense, led a team competing in the “Oshkosh Excellence Awards” that won the money, some of which was eventually used to purchase materials for the station. “When we met here in April to talk about the location of the fish cleaning station — the size,

the concept, talking with Kevin about his ‘wish list’ for features in the station — we went back to the base and drew up some rough drawings,” he said. The squadron’s computer aided design specialist, Senior Master Sgt. Cheryl Morris, finalized the design. “The most important thing was to make the station handicapped accessible, including maneuverability inside,” Fugar said. Masons with the 128th poured the concrete pad in July, while unit plumbers put together the drains for the table and sink. A week in September was setup for several of the squadron’s members to come to Camp American Legion and construct the station. The new fish cleaning station includes a table custom built by employees at Oshkosh Corporation, topped off with an end piece embossed with the Oshkosh Corporation logo as well as that of the 128th. As was the case with the cabin project two years ago, getting good training for those individuals, along with building a new, quality fish cleaning station for anyone who uses Camp American Legion, was a goal. Chief Master Sgt. Harry Wilkinson, also no stranger to Camp American Legion and involved in the 2014 cabin project, said doing this project for fellow veterans was something that helps drive people in his unit who participate in projects there. “When we get some new members, younger guys just coming out of basic training and tech school and being able to see what they signed up for and seeing a

project like this and seeing how the different disciplines come together ... being here, meeting veterans, listening to their stories and everything, being in the Northwoods, it’s just a great experience for them,” he said. In addition to the fish cleaning station, the 128th CES gave the camp two new washer and dryer sets. Wilkinson said one of the sets was paid for by the Veterans of Foreign Wars post he belongs to in Caledonia. He said a collection was taken among 128th members and the other washer and dryer purchased that way. As for future projects the squadron might do at Camp American Legion, Wilkinson said those have been talked about. “Every time we come up here, we tend to walk around and start brainstorming,” he said. “One of the things we look for is a project where we can use all our different skill sets. What we’d like to do someday is take one of these cabins, one of the oldest cabins, rip it down and build a completely new one. Something like that would definitely take different phases to do.” In the meantime, individual, small teams from the 128th CES have been coming up at times on weekend drill status, helping turn the camp’s water on in the spring or replacing a water heater or performing other maintenance items. “It just shows their commitment,” Moshea said. “I love this place,” Wilkinson said. Brian Jopek may be reached via email at bjopek@lakelandtimes. com.

UW–Madison Student Union to Honor Fallen Service Members The UW-Madison class of 1963 and the Memorial Union on the Madison campus are asking for the public’s help in collecting the names of fallen servicemen and women who attended UW-Madison. These names will become part of an interactive, electronic display called the Gold Star Honor Roll, which will honor these heroes at Memorial Union. The Wisconsin Union unveiled the original Gold Star Honor Roll at Memorial Union in 1928. The original memorial consists of four wooden planks that listed UWMadison students and alumni who died in the Civil War, the SpanishAmerican War and World War I. The planks are located in each corner of the lobby outside of the Main Lounge. Almost a century later, the class of 1963, in honor of its 50th reunion, committed a generous gift

to complement the original memorial with the Gold Star Honor Roll interactive display, which will include UW-Madison students and alumni who died in all wars. The Wisconsin Union is partnering with the class of 1963 on this project. Project partners are asking for UW-Madison alumni’s and community members’ assistance in collecting the names of fallen UWMadison heroes for the Honor Roll. To be included in the project, they must have attended UW-Madison and have died during active duty. The servicemen and servicewomen

do not have to be graduates of UW-Madison. “We will use technology to create a meaningful, compelling experience that tells the stories of our fallen service members,” said Lois Bergerson, Wisconsin Union Gold Star Honor Roll project manager. Bergerson expects the display will debut in late 2017 in the Main Lounge lobby at the Memorial Union – 99 years after the signing of the Armistice that ended WWI. “This is the continuation of an important legacy for the Wisconsin Union,” said Wisconsin Union Director Mark Guthier. “We appreciate our community’s assistance in helping us remember those who have given their lives serving our nation.” For more information about the project or to add fallen heroes’ names to the display, visit union.

128th Air Refueling Wing; Air National Guard Civil Engineer Squadron built a new fish cleaning station at Camp American Legion. The project was made possible by a major donation of $15,000 from the 8th District Legion Riders and an additional grant from the Oshkosh Defense Corporation. One of the 128th CES members works for Oshkosh Defense Corp. The firm conducts a team efficiency competition with the winning team choosing an organization to receive a grant. The winning team picked Camp American Legion and $27,500 designated to the construction of the new cleaning station was received.

The construction of the Fish Shack was the 2016 annual training exercise for the airmen. Construction provided great training and a needed addition to Camp. The Squadron did everything. They designed, planned, organized, managed and constructed it all. The project used all of their engineering, construction and technical skills. Oshkosh Defense also fabricated the fish cleaning table and some of the winning employee team members from Oshkosh Defense came to Camp and assisted in the construction as well.

NEW WASHERS AND DRYERS DONATED TO CAMP AMERICAN LEGION. The Caledonia-Raymond Post 10388 of the VFW purchased and donated a new washer and dryer set from monies raised from their poppy donations in 2016. The second set was purchased from various monetary donations received from 128th Civil Engineer Squadron members that were on site during construction of the new fish cleaning station. The Squadron members surprised Camp Director Kevin Moshea in presenting the donation. Thanks to all.



OCTOBER 20, 2016

Stoughton Memorial Dedication Scheduled Special Donation Received Although the recent excessive men killed in action dating back conclude with a rifle salute perrainy weather has delayed some parts of the construction, the dedication of the Stoughton Area Veterans Memorial is scheduled for Saturday, November 12th at 11:00AM. At the dedication, Pastor Scott Geister-Jones of Christ Lutheran Church in Stoughton will offer the invocation. The keynote speaker will be Duane Broughton, General Chairman of the project. Other scheduled speakers include Stoughton Mayor Donna Olson and John Scocos, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs. Master of Ceremonies will be Bud Erickson. The Stoughton High School band will perform both before and after the program. All service flags, Post flags, POW/MIA flag and the State of Wisconsin flag will be raised. The Memorial features the names of 170 Stoughton area

to the Civil War, as well as 12 educational pillars, 24 granite benches, and 20 black granite monuments inscribed with the names of 5,200 Stoughton area veterans. The program will

formed by the Stoughton Post No. 59 Honor Guard. The dedication is open to the public. Following the program, everyone is invited for snacks and fellowship at Post No. 59.

Milwaukee Police Post No. 415 Commander Kendel Feilen accepts a wheelchair donated for use at Badger Boys State from John Teevan, President of Home Care Medical in New Berlin.

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The 1st District and 4th/5th District Legion Riders are pictured here riding through Wood National Cemetery on the grounds of Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee. The Riders were honored to lead the inaugural “Project 22 Ride” in support of Veteran Suicide Prevention on September 16, 2016. The ride was sponsored by the Military and Veterans Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). The ride covered 22 miles, winding through parts of the Milwaukee metro area, from the UWM campus to the Harley Davidson Museum in downtown Milwaukee. An estimated 22 American veterans commit suicide each day across the country.

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Oratorical Finals Set For February 11th

Wisconsin can be very proud of our efforts and accomplishments in this special program for our youth. At the recent Americanism Conference in Indianapolis it was said that the Oratorical Program “is an investment in our youth.” Our Department Contest held in February 2016 sent Safia Masoom to represent us in the National competition in Indianapolis, Indiana. Safia did very well at the national contest and advanced to the semi-finals where the eventual National winner prevailed. Way to go Safia! It is time to focus our attention on the program for 2016-17. I want to brag about the con-

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testants, the Department staff, Ripon College, and very importantly, the volunteers who worked with the contestants and helped conduct the Department Contest – thank you very much. The 2017 contest will be held at Ripon College in Ripon on February 11, 2017. The assigned topics for the contest have been posted since May. They are available from the National American Legion website or go to the Wisconsin website at While you are at the website, please sign up and volunteer to help at the Department contest in February. We will be drawing to establish the pairings for the Districts

at the Fall Meetings on October 14th at Department headquarters in Portage. The packets with all the information about the contest have been sent to the posts and the schools. I trust that you have been in contact with your school and established a date for your post contest. It is suggested that you hold your post contest before Christmas as the time is very short between Christmas and the Department contest in February. If you have any questions or need any help with your contest, call me, Department Oratorical Chairman Robert Stone at (715) 452-5329.

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OCTOBER 20, 2016


Wisconsin American Legion Golf Scramble Champions

The Annual Department American Legion Golf Scramble was hosted by Brackett Post No. 550 on Saturday, September 10th at the Valley Golf Course in Mondovi. Eight teams competed on a beautiful day with Dewey Jacobs’ team from Cable winning the event. The winners are pictured here. They donated the money back to Post No. 550, who has re-directed the funds as a donation to Camp American Legion.

Midwinter Sweepstakes!


















Excitement over the MidRemember that our winter Sweepstakes continues Rehabilitation Fund, which to be big news. The 2017 Ford makes the programs at Camp Focus being offered as one of American Legion and our the Grand Prize options will Department Service Office be on display at the Ho-Chunk possible, receives all funds Hotel, Casino and Con- CONVENTION raised through the SWEEPSTAKES vention Center. The Sweepstakes. Grand Prize winner will have their Please be generous choice of $20,000 in your donation in cash or a 2017 and support the Ford Focus from important work of Boucher AutoThe American motive Group. Legion!


Senate Candidates Address Veterans Issues One of the most gratifying surprises to being a rookie senator is how many veterans I hear from. It’s an incredible opportunity to be inspired by the service of so many women and men. But it means I also hear in sad detail just how badly our country fails our veterans. I hear from veterans who endure long travel to reach VA medical centers capable of delivering the care they need. Simple appointments turn into all-day slogs. Others fare far worse. We now know that veterans died waiting for care across the country. Incompetent professionals at the Tomah VA Medical Center overprescribed painkillers so freely the hospital was nicknamed “Candyland.” Patients suffered. Whistleblowers were fired. Watchdogs failed. As soon as I personally heard about Tomah, I took immediate and effective action. I investigated. Wrongdoers were removed. A new inspector general is in place. Whistleblower protections I sought are now in law.

Wisconsin veterans deserve leaders who will listen to their concerns. I’ve spent the past two years traveling Wisconsin, listening to Wisconsin veterans in all 72 counties. And I’ve heard from your families many ideas on how to improve veterans’ health care, create good job opportunities, and protect our national security. One thing I have not heard while speaking with veterans across this state is an eagerness to let Washington politicians jeopardize their health care by privatizing the VA. Although it’s in need of improvements, the VA remains one of the most successful healthcare programs in America. When you listen to veterans across the state, you know that improving VA healthcare begins with accountability and transparency from our elected leaders. If elected, I’ll push to streamline services and minimize the bureaucracy of the VA so that veterans can get timely, top of the line care.

Senator Ron Johnson

The nationwide nature of problems, however, shows that the VA needs broader reforms. The problem does not lie with the majority of VA employees. I’ve met many dedicated, caring professionals at VA facilities. But they work within a flawed environment — a single-payer, government-run system where patients have few options. What veterans tell me is that any reform should include greater access and choice. I agree. We should allow veterans to access private health care as much as possible, even as we refine and strengthen the role of the VA. This does not mean “privatiz-

Russ Feingold US Senate Candidate

Many elected officials put partisan politics ahead of the well being of our veterans. They profess support, but don’t venture out of Washington to listen, then vote against access to care for rural veterans in our state, against benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan vets, and for moving the VA toward privatization just in the name of partisan ideology. I believe care for our veterans should be beyond politics. Veterans must not be denied respect and care because of petty disagreements amongst Washington politicians.

ing” veterans’ care. I do not advocate that. Medicare doesn’t require retirees use government hospitals, yet we don’t say it’s “privatized.” Instead, we must improve the VA Choice Act, a flawed pilot program. It’s slow to pay, has difficult rules and because of these problems, private providers are reluctant to participate. But because it’s a pilot, we can improve it to provide real choice. This would not end the VA health care system. It would renew it. We can refocus the federally owned VA into a center of excellence for issues particularly prevalent among veterans — treatment for post-traumatic stress, care for traumatic brain injury, or prosthetic fittings, for example. In 31 years as a Wisconsin manufacturer, I learned that competition guarantees customers the lowest possible prices at the highest possible level of quality. Options give customers power. Our veterans deserve real options. Our reform must provide them.

In talking to veterans around the state, I know the priority they put on our national security. They expect elected officials to have a real plan to combat ISIS and other terror groups. That’s why I’ve proposed a smart, tough plan to defeat ISIS and secure the Middle East, including more human intelligence, smart deployment of special forces and targeted strikes to take out ISIS leaders and strong measures to cut off their access to oil, arms and cash. We owe it to our nation and those who serve and protect it to have a smart and realistic plan for our security and not repeat the mistakes of the past. If I’m lucky enough to be elected, I will stand with veterans every day. I’ll commit myself to ensuring veterans receive the highest level of respect and care, to dedicated improvements to the VA, and to implementing smart, tough plans for securing the Middle East.

Commander Dan Seehafer addressed the Wisconsin County Veterans Service Officer Association’s annual meeting on Monday, September 26th at the Heidel House Resort in Green Lake.



The Last


6 Stevens Point Stephen Misiewicz II Allan Summers K 7 Rhinelander Merle Lorenzen II 8 Waukesha Ervin Scheets K 9 Wisconsin Rapids Floyd Pagel II Ray Wilhelm II 10 Wausau Roy Traynor K 11 Green Bay Donald Miller II Gary Nys V 12 Spooner Guy Paulson II 13 Richland Center Harold Cupp K James Ursin II 26 Baraboo Donald Behnke II 36 West Bend Kenneth Erickson II Duane Bruder K James Heller II 38 Appleton Robert Miller V Lee Vils V William Brandt K James Sytsma II John Erdman K 44 Wabeno Robert Riley V 47 Portage William Hamele K Richard Voight K 48 Beloit Robert Herd V 51 West Salem Arvel Raffelson K Larry Hemker V 53 Eau Claire Melvin Wold II Richard May II Al Mueller K Allen Gilbertson II Henry Krimpelbein II Roy Nimsger II Ervin Schaefer II Gilbert Sorebo II Laurence Opheim II 54 Marshfield Charles Stock K 59 Stoughton James Hoffman V Robert Deutscher II 63 Clintonville Harold Laatsch II 73 Neillsville Craig Kurasz PG 74 Oconto Robert Walters II 80 New Richmond Walter Bice V Richard Cox II 83 Sheboygan Roger Wilke II Darrel Veldboom V Rueben Erdman K 85 Muscoda Norman Nestler II 88 Manitowoc Richard Czekala K

02/04/13 08/30/16 09/25/16 09/11/16 09/01/16 09/01/16 09/12/16 09/03/16 08/31/16 09/09/16 09/10/16 09/10/16 09/06/16 08/15/16 08/19/16 08/22/16 09/11/16 09/15/16 09/22/16 09/13/16 09/29/16 09/17/16 09/24/16 10/08/16 02/23/15 07/04/16 08/13/16 09/04/16 10/02/16 06/20/16 09/18/16 09/04/15 08/07/16 01/16/15 05/21/15 08/20/16 08/09/16 06/29/16 09/06/16 09/03/16 09/07/16 10/03/16 08/19/16 08/31/16 05/05/16 09/05/16 01/04/16 09/24/16 09/06/16

89 Minocqua Daniel Staskiewicz K 90 Ashland Wayne Reed II 93 Tomahawk Walter Kriesant K David Haring K Jesse Stewart II 109 Lancaster Donald Funk II 113 Mount Horeb Gordon Martinson II Eugene Martinson K 115 Elroy Gerald Sanderson II 117 Shawano Robert Cone PG 121 River Falls Byron Dopkins K Carver Olsen V 124 New Holstein Roger Beck V William Bittner V George Buechel V 125 Chilton Richard Baird V 149 Sheboygan Falls John Pethan V Arden Luker II 151 Madison LaVerne Hungerford K 155 Westby Hilmer Anderson II 161 King Erling Landsverk II 169 Amery Larry Bauer K Arild Matson II 171 Union Grove Reginald Buchanan II 176 Weyauwega Gerald Solberg K 180 Milwaukee Harold Buenger II 182 Park Falls John Lahti II 183 Genoa City James Tatge 184 Fennimore Virgil Bendorf K Leroy Peterson II 185 Grantsburg Marshall Gardin K Emmons Olson II 200 Black River Falls Michael Nachreiner V 201 Tomah Karen Bernett V Howard Stevens K Donald Smith II Stanley Zdrojowy K 205 Janesville Gary LeFoll V 210 Waupun Jerry Heeringa II 216 Lodi Alvin Brager II 220 Soldiers Grove Vilas Dull K 223 Hillsboro Howard Matteson V Frank Nemec V Lloyd Schultz K 224 Alma Gene Rice K 226 Manawa Duwayne Carl K 227 Spring Valley Dale Kannel II 230 De Pere Carl Guillaume V 242 LaValle Donald Prothero II Herbert Rabuck II 246 Genoa Florente Jambois II William Deflorian II 260 Deerfield Kirk Gillespie II

07/31/16 05/09/16 09/15/16 09/22/16 09/22/16 09/06/16 08/19/16 08/07/16 09/14/16 09/19/16 09/02/16 10/03/16 08/18/16 09/06/16 08/18/16 09/11/16 09/11/16 09/11/16 09/01/16 08/29/16 09/22/16 09/09/16 09/30/16 09/26/16 10/03/16 09/26/16 02/16/14 09/25/16 05/25/16 05/29/16 08/26/16 08/28/16 09/21/16 09/02/16 08/24/16 08/22/16 06/12/16 09/14/16 09/21/16 10/08/16 09/25/16 07/25/16 08/28/16 08/04/16 09/01/16 08/16/16 08/15/16 08/04/16 04/16/16 08/11/16 08/12/16 09/21/16 07/29/16

262 Luxemburg Clifford Vandenhouten II Ortwin Dahlke K 263 New London Robert Paulson K 268 Bruce Robert Plummer K Eugene Lendl II 272 Butternut Danial Timm K 280 Coleman Robert Murrock II 284 Holmen Wayne Bratberg II 286 Oostburg Paul Telindert K 288 Cedarburg Roger Race John Forsyth II James O’Neil V 294 Hartland Lawrence Goetsch K 295 Bloomer James Vail K Norbert Martin II 299 Hales Corners Carl Foellings K Gerald Dietsche V 306 Green Lake Frank Fagerburg II 310 Racine Harald Kahlert II Frederick Mandernack V 317 Wautoma Guadalupe Melendrez V 318 Lake Tomahawk Howard Dunham II 324 Osseo Michael Thompson V Florian Slowiak K 326 Boyd Harold Jackson K 332 Black Creek Robert Weyenberg K 333 Sun Prairie Rodney Abraham V 336 Onalaska Leland Jacobson Lyle Carlson K Lawrence Karl II Robert Brown K Claude Deck K James Grabar II Larry Mahlum V Robert Engelien K Loyd Mieden II Richard Sjolander V Doral Olson K Dennis Roby V 346 Centuria Glenn Melin K 357 Bay City Donald Earney II 360 Waunakee Gerald Halverson K 366 Princeton Urban Lashock K 375 Mukwonago Allyn Curler K Dick Newbury V Allen Forrest II Richard Hill K 377 Elcho Delos Rustick V Kenneth Burns V 387 Franklin Ralph Karstaedt K 406 Milwaukee Darrell Geidel V 427 Milwaukee Darryl Johnson K 431 Three Lakes Wayne Zimmerman II Robert Glomski K James Pomes II 439 Melrose Jacob Kyser II Leo Brown II

09/02/16 09/11/16 09/28/16 08/13/16 09/01/16 03/21/16 10/05/16 08/11/16 09/20/16 08/01/16 08/01/16 09/08/16 04/28/16 09/06/16 09/29/16 09/11/16 08/13/16 08/25/16

SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 20, 25, 2016 2014

451 Boulder Junction Fred Fabian K 453 Belmont Lloyd Tiedemann II 457 Mequon-Thiensville Anthony Rood II Isadore Sanderson II 461 Pembine Ernest McCormick V 469 Marathon Harold Bean K 473 Potosi Marvin David K 477 St Nazianz Fred Stiefvater V 479 Milwaukee Billy Scott V Gus Kelly V 480 Presque Isle Alan Prott V 481 Madison Richard Nelson V 485 Rudolph Richard Witt V

486 Jackson Timothy Kraft V 492 Rothschild Dorothy Gardner II 494 Caledonia Lowell Wyma K Gordon Miller V 499 Gordon Gerald Chamberland V 501 Madison James Tadder V 509 Rosholt Lawrence Karch V 519 Stetsonville Otto Olson K Ed Langteau II 521 Fox Lake Ronald Babros K 527 Sister Bay K Harold Knutson II 531 Fox Lake Phillip Lerum K 2930 Portage Karl Bock II

08/23/16 08/27/16 09/08/16 05/01/16 09/08/16 09/26/16 08/17/16 09/08/16 08/25/16 09/28/16 09/05/16 09/12/16 09/30/16

06/20/16 08/21/16 09/23/16 09/17/16 09/01/16 09/24/16 09/10/16 01/01/16 09/11/16 06/02/16 09/08/16 05/09/16

Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (All Periodicals Publications Except Requester Publications) 1. Publication Title

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Badger Legionnaire & Wisconsin Every 5 Weeks









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PO Box 388 2930 American Legion Drive Portage, WI 53901-0388

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David A. Kurtz

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09/23/16 08/16/16


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10/04/16 09/16/16 08/30/16 09/01/16

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PS Form 3526, July 2014 [Page 1 of 4 (see instructions page 4)] PSN: 7530-01-000-9931

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Badger Legionnaire & Wisconsin 15. Extent and Nature of Circulation

Veterans Newspaper

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06/24/16 09/29/16 09/28/16

PS 3526,ofJuly 2014 (Page 2 of 4) 17.Form Publication Statement of Ownership If the publication is a general publication, publication of this statement is required. Will be printed


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in the ________________________ issue of this publication. Date

10-10-16 I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties).

OCTOBER 20, 2016


New Camp Bus Rolling in Style Thanks to Post No. 70 and Friends

The new passenger bus servicing Camp is pictured here. The bus purchase was funded by a generous donation from Cook-Fuller Post No. 70 of Oshkosh. The graphics were courtesy of the Friends of Camp American Legion of Belgium, Wisconsin.


TEAM WISCONSIN As this article is being written Team Wisconsin is in Indianapolis at our National headquarters starting in a new phase of the campaign to elect Denise Rohan as national commander. Our team started the week at a reception for National Commander Charles Schmidt (something we plan to be hosting this time next year). Then we spent three evenings hosting the leadership of The American Legion Family at receptions in one of the downtown hotels. We are pleased to start this leg of the journey working with the “Following” candidate Brett Reistad and his team from Virginia. If you want to learn more about the hospitality process in Indianapolis, you can speak with the following team members who have been doing so much work to make this all possible: Campaign manager Mike Rohan, Hospitality Room chairman Jim Schmidt; greeting folks as they entered the floor was Roger Mathison, Chuck Roessler and Laurel Clewell, bar managers Al

Richards & Mary Kay Schmidt, Ted DeMicchi; floor workers Nancy Helms, Donna Gough, & Stan Erlandson; prep room manager Barb Erlandson and her crew of Sue DeMicchi, Janice Lawler, Nancy Roessler; Exit room staff Diane Richards, Roy Helms, and Steve Rohan. Standing on the street helping members get to and from National HQ was Wayne Jensen. Our two photographers were Nick Rohan and Rick McCanna. In our line of distinguished greeters were SAL NVC Mike Lawler, Adjutant David Kurtz, Commander Dan Seehafer, Alternate NEC Bob Shappell, NEC Ken Rynes, Past National Vice Commander David Gough, Past Department Adjutant Mike Rohan and Candidate for National Commander Denise Rohan. We are continuing to host events around the state in support of the campaign. Please save the date for some future fundraisers; Darlington Auction on March 5th; Golf Outing on June 24th. Check out pictures and make donations at the Team Wisconsin website -








Cletus Conrad Post No. 236 • Algoma




Victor E. Krahn from Post No. 386 in Cascade of Sheboygan County recently celebrated 71 years of continuous membership in The American Legion.

PDC Denise Rohan with National Commander Charles Schmidt.

PDC Denise Rohan with Brett Reistadt of Virginia.

October 2016 pages 1 7  
October 2016 pages 1 7  

Veterans their families, and their communities