“For God & Country”
September 15, 2016 Vol. 93, No. 8
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.
Oregon Legionnaire Elected National Commander for 2016-2017
A U.S. Air Force veteran from Oregon was elected National Commander of the nation’s largest veteran’s organization on September 1st. Delegates to The American Legion’s 98th National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio chose Charles Schmidt of Harney County Post No. 63 in Burns, OR, to lead the 2.2 million-member organization of wartime veterans for a one-year term. A past post and department commander who has held multiple national appointments – including National Executive Committeeman since 2005 – Schmidt served in the U.S. Air Force from 1965-1993, retiring at the rank of major after serving in both the enlisted and officer corps. Schmidt then implemented the Air Force’s Total Quality Management (TQM) program at
Lowry Technical Training Center in Denver before moving to Oregon and working at Harney County Federal Credit Union. He eventually retired as executive vice president and now is Oregon’s first-ever national commander. An American Legion Paid Up For Life member, Schmidt served as the Department of Oregon commander from 2004-2005, and he’s served at every level of the Legion, including National Executive Committeeman from 2005-2016. While serving in the Air Force, Schmidt earned a Bronze Star, a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, a Joint Service Commendation Medal, an Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf
cluster, an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor device and two oak leaf clusters, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal with three oak leaf clusters, a National Defense Service Medal with a bronze star, a Vietnam Service Medal, an Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, an Air Force Overseas Long Tour Ribbon with two oak leaf clusters, an Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with one silver oak leaf cluster, an NCO Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon with oak leaf cluster, a Small Arms Expert Marksmanship with bronze star, an Air Force Training Ribbon with oak leaf cluster, a Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and a Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with four bronze stars. Schmidt resides in Hines, Ore.,
The 2016 William F. Lenker National Service Trophy
The 2016 William F. Lenker National Service Trophy was presented to the Department of Wisconsin at the 98th Annual National Convention. The award recognizes the Department which best supports and implements programs to beneﬁt veterans, their families and their survivors. Shown here from left to right are; Department Adjutant David Kurtz, National Commander Dale Barnett, Immediate Past Department Commander Dale Oatman, Department Commander Daniel J. Seehafer and Department Service Ofﬁcer James Fialkowski.
with his wife, Linda. They have two daughters, Andria and Cori, and two sons-in-law, Peter and Anthony. They also have six grandchildren: Madeline, Alex, Adam, Raymond, Nicholas and Thomas. Commander Schmidt took the oath of office along with five other national officers. Serving as National Vice Commanders are Paul Martel of Florida; Fae Casper of Georgia; Douglas L. Boldt of Nebraska; Paul L. Espinoza of New Mexico; Vincent J. Troiola of New York. National Historian Paul D. Bennett of Missouri; National Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin J. Owens of Oregon; and National Chaplain Harvey H. Klee of Texas were appointed to their positions by Commander Schmidt following the close of the convention.
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 posts in north central Wisconsin to work with members of The American Legion family across the state.
Ceremonial First Pitch
Department Commander Daniel J. Seehafer of Horicon Post No. 157 throws out the ceremonial ﬁrst pitch prior to the Brewers vs. Reds game on August 14th at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The Legion Baseball All Star game was played following the Brewers game with Cincinnati.
2017 Membership Goal: 56,739 • Sept 8th Total: 34,915 – 61.54% District
63.24% 1st PLACE
62.43% 2nd PLACE
60.73% 3rd PLACE
59.03% 6th PLACE
57.37% 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
“Wisconsin” 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 email@example.com
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
DEPARTMENT COMMANDER Family, two months have already passed since Department Convention and our Wisconsin delegation has safely reDan Seehafer turned home from Department Commander the National Convention in Cincinnati. Both conventions were celebrations of what we accomplished throughout the year, recognizing achievements that have impacted and transformed the lives of our fellow veterans and their precious families. Nationally, our Wisconsin family was once again recognized for timely and complete Consolidated Post Reporting, but this year we also received the prestigious W.F. Lenker Service Trophy--an award for our championship work at Camp American Legion, notably the construction of Wetzel Way, as well as the efforts to ensure proper burial of abandoned veteran cremains and the long-standing excellence of the Department Service Office. And yet, from all the distinguished guests who graced our presence in Cincinnati, from celebrities and professional sports figures to the presidential candidates of the two major parties, we really came together to embrace a new platform in a new year--to adopt resolutions and reaffirm positions we need Congress to support and act upon. You see, family, our organization is not only the
largest but also the most inﬂuential! The American Legion is built on Four Pillars. The 1st Pillar, Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, ensures that we are recognized as the leading voice to help those who have served in uniform to receive proper health care and disability benefits earned through their service. Our Legion family works relentlessly on behalf of transitioning servicemembers, helping them find rewarding employment, launch their own businesses and advance their educations. That’s why the Legion participates in hundreds of career fairs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring our Heroes” program and other events across the country—each building off and delivering the promises of “our” GI Bill. It is significant that the number of women veterans receiving VA health care has surpassed 337,000 - more than doubling since the year 2000. That surge and the specific care they need prompted The American Legion to adopt Resolution 18 in October 2015. Resolution 18 is a comprehensive statement to amplify our position that every veteran has earned quality health care, including gender-specific care. That’s just a sample of Pillar No. 1. Quite personal, don’t you think? The American Legion also believes an unmatched, fully-funded American military is essential for peace and prosperity in the 21st century. America’s adversaries should have no doubt about our nation’s resolve
and capability to respond with overwhelming force to any threat. However, due to sequestration and scaledback budgets, U.S. Armed Forces are operating on lean terms. For example, the U.S. is fielding an Army of less than 500,000 active-duty troops, which is less than it was before 9/11, a time of relative peace. The Navy is on pace to reach its lowest number of ships since before WWI. Today’s Air Force is the smallest it has been since 1947 and two years ago plans were announced to cut 500 planes due to sequestration. Our National Security positions also address the need to secure the borders against illegal immigrants and terror threats, supporting foreign relations as a key aspect of maintaining peace, countering emerging threats from China, and remaining steadfast in our call for the full accounting of America’s POW/MIAs. These positions illustrate why Pillar No. 2, National Security, is also personal! Our third pillar, Americanism, addresses the nation’s cultural, moral and patriotic values which have been under attack for decades, a disheartening trend that continues today. Prayer has been removed from schools. The U.S ﬂag is no longer protected from desecration. The Boy Scouts of America have faced legal challenges in communities they serve. Immigration laws are defied. References to God on U.S. currency, in the Pledge of Allegiance and on public monuments have been
challenged by a minority of voices whose vision for America is in direct contrast to our founding fathers. This pillar, then, embodies our devotion to law and order, the raising of wholesome youth, an educated and law abiding citizenship, and respectful observance of patriotic holidays and remembrances--for we are an organization dedicated to God and Country! Personal? A-men! And finally our fourth pillar, Children & Youth, addresses the fact that today’s young people face an array of societal pressures vastly different than previous generations. Children and youth now face a world often lacking traditional American families, high incidence of illegal drug usage, and TV shows and movies filled with obscenities and indecencies. Children face an alarming increase in bullying, directly linked to the spread of smart phones and social media tools. That’s why The American Legion continues to support traditional family values, provides assistance for at-risk children and promotes activities that assist in their healthy and wholesome development. Personal? Indeed. With our platform established for the new year, let’s continue to boldly tell people who we are and what we really do for veterans and their families. Let’s embrace the mindset of victory - to overcome challenges, to achieve goals, and accomplish our mission of service with passion and resolve for God and Country.
DEPARTMENT SERVICE OFFICE Many veterans may be eligible for a Non-Service Connected (NSC) pension through the US James Fialkowski Veterans Benefits Service Ofﬁcer Administration (VBA). To be eligible for NSC pension through the VBA you must have been a service member or a surviving spouse of a service member who had; 1) active military service of 90 days or more with one day during a period of war. Those entering active duty after September 8, 1980 as enlisted personnel, or October 16, 1981 as officers, may require a longer period of active duty, generally 24 months. 2) Discharge must be under conditions that are found by VBA as other than dishonorable.
3) Veteran must be permanently and totally disabled (found medically unable to work) or be at least 65 years old. 4) Be within financial levels of net worth and net income as a NSC pension is a needs based benefit). The basic question to determine if net worth will be a bar is whether or not the claimant will outlive their net worth? A NSC pension is not intended to preserve assets. Once qualified you should seek assistance at your local County Veteran Service Office (CVSO) to apply. This is more important than ever, as VBA is currently only accepting claims that are submitted competently on their prescribed forms. Next you may ask, how does the VBA figure what you get? Congress sets the maximum annual pension rate. Current net income
is subtracted from the maximum annual pension rate to determine the total benefit due. This is divided by 12 to create a monthly payment. To find annual net income the VBA considers total gross household income to include, but not limited to, private pensions, interest, dividends and Social Security. Then they subtract non-reimbursable medical expenses, including what you are paying for nursing home, assisted living, medical insurance and Medicare, to offset your income (Note: 5% of the maximum annual pension rate amount must be reached before medical expenses can be deducted). Here is an example for a single veteran making $14,000 gross annual income seeking Base NSC Pension: Maximum Annual Pension Rate = $12,868, annual medical expenses
of $12,000 – $643 (5% of the Annual Pension Rate) = $11,357. With an annual gross income of $14,000 $11,357 (deductible medical expenses) the qualifying income is $2,643. The difference between $12,868 the maximum annual pension rate and the qualifying income of $2,623 is $10,225 (Annual due benefit). Dividing the annual due benefit by 12 indicates a NSC pension of $852 a month. There are different rates depending on the condition of the veteran or the veteran’s spouse. You can see it is an involved process. If you think you, family member or possibly a friend is eligible for this tax free VBA NSC pension see your County Veterans Service Officer or contact the Department Service Office at (414) 902-5722 and we will help you apply.
WDVA SECRETARY The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, concerned about the rising rate of veteran suicides, is developing an John A. Scocos initiative to assist WDVA Secretary veterans to find the hope and help they need in order to eliminate veteran suicide. “With the increasing occurrence of suicide among military veterans, it is important that we understand the challenges veterans face, how they react to them and assist them
in dealing with their issues,” said WDVA Secretary John A. Scocos. This September 2016 is known as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, which promotes resources and awareness around the issues of suicide prevention. Scocos said, “While we must always be focused on this critical issue, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month brings special attention to it, showing how people can help others and learn how to talk about suicide without increasing the risks of harm. In 2014, 621 Wisconsin residents took their own lives. Of that group,
17.9 % or 135 were veterans. The rate of veteran suicide is increasing especially in certain age groups. Male veterans’ rate of suicide is twice that of the non-veteran population. “We are working on combining resources from several areas to provide training to concerned nonmedical people who can respond to anyone having suicidal thoughts and making suicidal comments,” Scocos said. “We need to open the door to others who are concerned for their loved ones, relatives or friends who are veterans and provide the tools
for helpful response.” According to mental health experts, suicidal thoughts and suicide occur all too frequently but should not be considered common and can indicate more serious issues. Professionals also state that suicide is one cause of death that is preventable. Personalized peer support is available through Vets4Warriors at 1-855-838-8255. You may also text message to 838255. Veterans who are contemplating suicide or having serious issues can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
Communication and Publicity …The Key to Growth
Another Department Convention is in our wake and we look forward to a new Legion year with fresh leadership. The Department awarded two Press Awards at the convention; one to a large circulation daily newspaper with an additional online edition and one to a smaller, weekly periodical. Both award winners had articles that covered Legion activities and brought veterans’ issues to the attention of the general public. By awarding these publications, the Legion hopes that they will continue to keep our Four Pillars in the limelight, perhaps with even more articles. This positive reinforcement can only occur if you take the time to recognize your local gazette, big or small, using the award guidelines in the Administrative Manual. “But, I don’t know how to write up an award package.” The Wisconsin Historians’ Association has already scheduled an out-
standing workshop for the Midwinter that will help you document your Post’s activities. These skills are easily transferable for use in maintaining a Post, County or District scrapbook or newsletter (internal communications) or submitting articles to the newspapers or radio and television outlets that serve your particular area (external communications). The only thing that is certain is that if you don’t write a media release, you won’t get any coverage. Publicizing your events is a great way to get new members! “Hey, I saw your article and it sounds interesting. What do you do and how can I join?” Another great technique is posting events on The American Legion Family of Wisconsin Facebook page. You can share ideas and support the activities of nearby Posts. Kendel D. Feilen, Communications Committee Chair
COMMEMORIZATION OF THE VIETNAM WAR CONTINUES The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin has been working to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War in conjunction with the Department of Defense. Information on the program can be found at www.vietnamwar50th.com. Currently, only 53% or 38 out of the 72 Wisconsin counties have registered events held in honor of the Vietnam veterans as part of the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. The following 34 counties have yet to host an event (or have yet to record an event already held on the official Commemoration event map which can be seen
on the official website w w w. v i e t n a m war50th.com); Adams, Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Calumet, Columbia, Crawford, Door, Dunn, Forest, Grant, Green Lake, Iowa, Iron, Jefferson, Juneau, LaFayette, Langlade, Marinette, Marquette, Oconto, Pepin, Pierce, Richland, Rusk, Sauk, Sawyer, Shawano, Taylor, Vernon, Vilas, Walworth, Washburn and Waushara This Veterans Day, why not honor all those who served and sacrificed for our nation during the Vietnam War? Plan a commemoration ceremony. Register as a Commemorative Partner at www.vietnamwar50th. com and record your event!
HIRING OUR HEROES The rock band KISS partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Hiring Our Heroes” program this summer and used their “Freedom to Rock” tour as a way to pay tribute to our military. At each concert, a local American Legion post presented the National Colors. The Roy Vingers Post No. 52 presented the colors at a concert on Sat-
urday, August 6th in La Crosse and the Milwaukee Police Post No. 415 was honored to perform the same duties on Monday, August 8th at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee. The Scarlet Guard of Appleton Post No. 38 had the same privilege on Wednesday, August 10th in Green Bay. Each of the three concerts in Wisconsin culminated with the
local Legion Honor Guard marching onto the stage while the crowd cheered, “USA, USA, USA…” and the band presented a check for $150,000 to the “Hiring Our Heroes” program. The band then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Color Guard repositioned to stage left as KISS performed our National Anthem.
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE ME
70 YEARS O
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
Brooklyn Post No. 160 Leaves a Veterans Legacy
N R I CA LEGI0
On July 4, 2016, Weiske-Farrell Post No. 351 Commander Jon Whiting presented an award to Legionnaire Tom Murray, in recognition of Murray’s 70 years as a member of the Post Honor Guard. Murray is also a Past Commander of Post No. 351 and his wife, Betty, has been a member of the Auxiliary for 70 years.
POST NO. 169 IN AMERY HONORS 70 YEAR MEMBERS
Past Commanders Dave Johnson, Dick Pelk and Doug Gunderson presented a plaque to 70 year member Ross Smith. Also pictured is Commander Don Fansler.
On May 29th over 400 dignitaries, friends and families came to Brooklyn, Wisconsin for a memorial dedication. Three years ago a committee from American Legion Post No. 160 was formed to pay tribute to those men and women from the Revolutionary War era to the current War on Terrorism. The members of the committee from various backgrounds, had over 56 meetings to develop, design and build this gorgeous monument that emphasized the 830 local heroes who served but also includes beautiful etchings of the historical story during conﬂicts where plow shares were forged into arms to protect this country. Post No. 160 had many members who were instrumental in donating funds, holding auctions, conducting concerts and other fundraising events. “I am so proud of the Legion and community members who worked diligently on the many phases of this project,” said Post Commander Lyle Wanless. “The team rallied together and was commit-
ted to honor both the soldiers and their families with pride and determination to build this monument dedicated to those who left and those that remained behind to provide support.” “Our Salute to those heroes and this community was presented with dignity and the crowd has been thankful and emotional for the connection of our veterans and the beautiful etchings of the community during military crisis.” added Wanless. “We are still working on donations, contributions and bequests
since we are short of our goal and there are always costs for maintaining the harmonious design, and keeping the monument current,” indicated James Brown. If any person wants to purchase a paver, donate to the memorial or bequest money in memory of a loved one, contact Dannie Leonard at (608) 455-5049. Visitors will soon also be able to access the website www. brooklynveteransmemorial.net, look up a veteran and, if the family has contributed information, read a brief history of that soldier.
Department Convention Sweepstakes Winners Legion member Donald Tyler of Shiocton is shown here receiving 1st prize from the Department Convention Sweepstakes drawing.
Reverse Mortgages REVERSE MORTGAGES
Past Commander Dave Johnson presented plaques commemorating 70 years of membership to Dr. Donald O. Nelson and Robert Ginter. Also pictured are Adjutant Walt Boerum and Commander Dan Fansler.
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The happy winners of the 2nd prize, Robert and Ludeman of Somers, take delivery of their G6 Pontiac from Boucher Kia of Milwaukee on 9/2/16. Boucher is the preferred vehicle provider of the Wisconsin American Legion and donated $2,500 this year to Camp American Legion to help Veterans suffering from PTSD, as well as providing support for other programs. Pictured here from left to right; Sherry and Robert and Ludeman, Sales Consultant Brian Schwanke, Business Manager Hannah Ceskowski.
LUXEMBURG POST SUPPORTS CHARITABLE CAUSES
The Ralph Kline Post No. 262 of Luxemburg recently donated $500 to the New Franken Fire Department. Pictured from left to right are Mike Allen, Tony Johamek, Wayne Moureau, Fire Chief Kevin Tielens, Dick Deterville and Randy Heurkens. Post No. 262 also made additional donations to the Luxemburg Fire Department, Luxemburg Rescue, Ribbon of Hope Breast Cancer, Camp American Legion and the Veterans Home in King.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
Milwaukee Soldiers Home Historic District Scheduled for Renovations A Madison based developer was recently picked to redevelop six historic buildings on the Milwaukee Soldiers Home campus. The site has been a source of controversy for over a decade. The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin went on record in 2006 in opposition to commercial development that did not directly benefit healthcare services to veterans. The $40 million renovation project will restore six buildings on the Civil War-era property and allow for up to 100 housing units for homeless veterans and their families. The Alexander Co. of Madison developer was selected to work in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee on the project. The company has experience with major restorations of historic properties overseen by federal agencies, including restoration of the National Park Seminary in Silver Spring, Md. Alexander Co. was in competition with 9 other developers who responded to a request for proposals from the VA in 2014. The redevelopment of the Historic District is designed to cre-
ate a range of apartment sizes in six Soldiers Home buildings. Old Main, the former hospital, will be converted into 77 apart-
ments along with home health care capabilities and a fitness center. The City of Milwaukee Housing Authority will manage
the veterans housing complex upon completion in April 2019. Other services will be available to veterans on the site, include
educational training and employment assistance, sobriety counseling and temporary financial assistance.
Pictured here is “Old Main” in the Historic District on the Milwaukee VA Grounds. The iconic tower of the former Main hospital is part of a $40 million project to preserve the district and restore the buildings.
THE VETRANS ADMINISTRATION IS A SYSTEM WORTH SAVING
By Daniel J. Seehafer, Commander Wisconsin American Legion I am tired of hearing the tragic personal stories, frustrated by reading the news coverage and perplexed by the official responses to the litany of post-9/11 Wisconsin veterans who either die in VA care or are struggling to secure help. There is a pattern
and it must stop. Whether it takes place at Tomah VA Medical Center, the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, or at the Iowa City VA Medical Center where a young Wisconsin veteran was seeking treatment. Veterans who survived battle overseas are becoming casualties in our own country, even as they seek treatment inside the walls of
Department Commander Dan Seehafer and other prominent members of the veteran’s community met with Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin on Monday, August 15th in Milwaukee to discuss issues related to the quality of care at VA hospitals in the state.
VA hospitals. We need immediate and meaningful corrective measures. Our veterans are dying, our system of care appears broken and the official responses seem woefully inadequate. The most recent disturbing case was illustrated by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Bill Glauber (7/30/16 “Problems found at Zablocki VA…”) who reported on 26-year old Cole Schuler, a former U.S. Army Ranger from the Fox River Valley, who was found dead from a heroin overdose at the Zablocki VA last fall. What is particularly disturbing in this case is that a federal investigation 30 days PRIOR to Schuler’s death found numerous security and health care issues at Zablocki with facility administrators dragging their feet to correct the problems. This incident, of course, was preceded by yet another high-profile tragic story at the Tomah VA facility involving a young marine, Jason Simcakoski, who died of mixed drug toxicity while in treatment there. The mission of the Wisconsin American Legion is to provide service to veterans and their
families. We provide a number of direct services to assist veterans in their return to the civilian life. We have operated Camp American Legion to assist them since 1925 and our Service Office assists disabled veterans to receive the care and benefits they have earned. The Legion has been encouraged by the response from U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson with Baldwin in particular leading the call for deeper investigations, corrective measures and accountability for our young veterans. But too often the VA has failed to act with dispatch and a sense of urgency in taking corrective action. The chronic abuse of prescription drugs at Tomah and the delay in increasing security at Domiciliary 123 at Zablocki are two cases in point. When patient health and safety are at stake, VA actions need to match VA rhetoric. The American Legion opposes privatization of the VA and stands prepared to work with Health Care professionals and our federal representatives to fix a “System Worth Saving”. The VA remains the best and most effective Health Care system to
address the unique needs of the veterans community – particularly the challenges of Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post-traumatic Stress related issues. Plans are under way to conduct a town hall event in Milwaukee with representatives from the Wisconsin American Legion, The American Legion National Headquarters office in Washington, D.C., representatives from VA, and members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation in attendance to discuss VA health care. This will be just one of about a dozen town hall events that the Legion will conduct around the United States this year. These events are designed to hear feedback from veterans about the quality of health care they receive in order to better find solutions. We owe these brave men and women the best care available. Service members are called upon to sacrifice their lives if necessary to defend our country. In return, they are promised that a grateful National will remember them and help to bind up their wounds. We cannot allow those who have served us so well to be neglected just when they need us the most.
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
6 Stevens Point Rex Ameigh II Marvin Novak K 7 Rhinelander Edward Baxa II 8 Waukesha Fredrick Rich II 9 Wisconsin Rapids Kenneth Knesting K David Saeger K 10 Wausau William Feck K Cyril Salsieder II Patrick Brown II 13 Richland Center Harold Yates II 23 Milwaukee Robert Rech II Kenneth Ehlenbach II 26 Baraboo Ivan Accola II 33 Neenah George Francart K 36 West Bend Carl Kircher II Aloys Peterson K Kenneth Haack V Alexander Klos K 38 Appleton Ronald Weiss K Albert Ebben K Donald Strutz II 40 Bangor Wilferd Stratman II La Korb K Clyde Pierce II 42 Platteville Walter Hannan II Charles Drago K 44 Wabeno Elliott Jeranek K Lawrence Harris II 47 Portage Charles Condon II 53 Eau Claire Leroy Goss II Marion Larson II 54 MarshďŹ eld Robert Draxler II James Seidel K 59 Stoughton Virgil Martinson II 66 Athelstane-Silver Cliff William Kiepert K 73 Neillsville Thomas Bergemann V Raymond Dunlap V John Foster II Ronald Meihack K 75 Fond du Lac Gerald Strauss V Edward Barnes V 77 Chippewa Falls Russell Horn II Robert Hudson K 80 New Richmond Richard Scherber K 82 Port Washington Peter Sweetman II 84 Monroe Stanley Franson II Alvin Kubly II Frank Dillon V
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87 Rice Lake Gerald Randolph Herman Clemons 88 Manitowoc Robert Nelson 93 Tomahawk Monica Randall Ronald Pierdzioch Donald Piekarski 95 Delavan John Leitzke Daniel Lenoble 96 Webster George Johnson 97 Dodgeville Dennis Antonson 103 Galesville George Christiansen 105 Shullsburg Kenneth Coy 106 Seymour Walter Cornelius 114 Eagle River Bernard Opichka 115 Elroy David Brandfort 117 Shawano James Rades Lester Utke John Fischer William Erdman Norbert Ecke Ronald Hensel Orville Pevonka 118 Thorp Wanda Cukla 120 West Allis Charles Hartmann 121 River Falls Douglas Johnson Lee Shourds Richard Fox Raymond Anderson David Johnson 127 Hilbert Donald Schultz Anthony Petrie 128 Stockbridge Donald Vanasten 131 Colfax Louis Myers 134 Boscobel Gerd Dudenbostel 137 Turtle Lake Ronald Thomas 138 Viroqua Wayne Swanson 141 New Glarus Wayne Case 151 Madison John Driscoll 158 Maiden Rock Roger Severson 160 Brooklyn David Soldwedel 161 King Albert Dobbe Kenneth Stecker 170 Mineral Point Raymond Hanson 171 Union Grove Marvin Roslansky 173 Whitewater Kenneth Lilly 180 Milwaukee Lester Schram 183 Genoa City Earl Eddy Donald Smith 186 Independence Peter Mish 189 Watertown Dorothy Schneider Charles Cates Melvin Rose 190 Reeseville Gerald Gerke
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192 Franklin Robert Hansen V 200 Black River Falls George Johnson K Raymond Lowe II 202 Chaseburg Glen Warner K 204 Ellsworth Gordon Johnson V 205 Janesville Jay Townsend II 209 Orfordville Clayton Byrns V Gerald Jorgenson K 210 Waupun Ralland Klumpers K Robert Capen V Wyman Kastein II 223 Hillsboro Lloyd Schultz K Howard Matteson V 224 Alma Alton Steinke II 243 Plymouth Michael Mueller K 250 Adams Timothy Lick V Fritz Riese K Harlan Gollnick K Donald Drye V David Eggersdorf K 261 Greenbush William Marten II 273 Grand Marsh John Breene K 283 Suring Jim McInness K 284 Holmen Eugene Scholze II Larry Faatz V 288 Cedarburg George Cross V Herbert Huebner II Richard Hoffman K John Mohan II 293 Silver Lake Wesley Redlin II
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306 Green Lake James Pifher V 316 Sheldon Vergil Breezee V Dorwin McVicker K 317 Wautoma Orville Sather II 324 Osseo Larry Anderson V 330 Wilson Eugene Moga II 335 Avoca Harold Ziebarth II 343 Hancock Norman Schubert K 348 Deforest James Stanek K 355 Grafton Donald Proefrock K 358 Unity Lyle Krueger V James Schoelzel V 360 Waunakee Melvin Herbrand II John Mulhern II 375 Mukwonago Harold Lindholm II Herman Luebke II 382 Menomonee Falls James Witzlib K 384 Kewaskum Donald Herriges K 406 Milwaukee Burton Model II Ronald Ostranger K John Kruzycki II 412 Belgium Gerald Spielvogel K 413 Crivitz Joseph Ziolkowski II 416 Milwaukee Richard Cimpl K 416 Greendale Edward Broderick K Arthur Krueger II 431 Three Lakes James Martin K
To find out how to get your financial goals on track, contact your Edward Jones financial advisor today.
Gerry Arnholt III Financial Advisor .
Germantown, WI 53022 414-460-7548
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435 Superior Walter Leggate V William Duffy II Patrick Juno K 437 Mazomanie Wilfred Kind II 442 Wisconsin Rapids Dennis McCarthy V 456 Caroline Ray Pockat V 457 Mequon John Schaefgen K Harry Thomae K 461 Pembine Duane Beffa K 481 Madison Richard Sutherland K 483 Allenton Michael Patrick G/L 486 Jackson Hilmer Groth K 492 Rothschild Joseph Zylka II 497 Keshena John Lindfors II 501 Madison Stanley Pero II Ben Blum II Gregory Strain K 518 Green Bay Donald Villenauve K 519 Stetsonville Delbert Wells II 522 Hubertus Daniel Merkel II John Soba K David Radermacher K 524 White Lake John Listle K 531 Port Wing Robert White II 543 Plover Bobby Kuehl K George Nugent II Don Hamerski V 544 Twin Lakes George Knorovsky K 2930 Portage James Maloney K
07/27/16 08/05/16 08/14/16 07/24/16 08/10/16 07/25/16 07/14/16 02/18/16 08/07/16 06/08/16 08/10/16 07/18/16 08/01/16 08/09/16 08/07/16 07/27/16 08/13/16 05/08/16 07/21/16 07/23/16 08/12/16 08/15/16 07/28/16 07/20/16 07/08/16 08/12/16 08/09/16 07/15/16 07/13/16
When it comes to your to-do list, put your future first.
SEPTEMBER 15, 25, 2016 2014
Department Service Office Opportunity www.edwardjones.com
The Department Service Office at the VA Regional Office in Milwaukee has both full and part-time job opportunities for Claims Representatives. Successful applicants will be subject to a background check and screening as well as a probationary period. They will also be required to obtain all certifications required to be an accredited representative to the Veterans Administration for The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin. Contact Department Service Officer James Fialkowski at (414) 902-5722 or by email at email@example.com for further information.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
THE BADGER LEGIONNAIRE
Department of Wisconsin 2016 – 2017 Membership Incentives 100% Post Commanders and 100% County Commanders
Department Commander Dan Seehafer has developed powerful incentives for 100% Post Commanders and 100% County Commanders. All Post Commanders that reached 100% of their membership goal by Patriot’s Day – September 11th will receive a personalized American Legion uniform shirt embroidered with their name and post number. County Commanders that reach 100% of their membership goal by Veteran’s Day – November 11th will also receive a personalized American Legion uniform shirt embroidered with their name and county. Department Commander Dan Seehafer also knows that there is strength in numbers and is focused on growth for 2017. Every post’s first goal should be last year’s total membership PLUS 1. Each post that achieves growth and becomes eligible for the National Post Excellence Award in 2017 will be recognized for their accomplishment in the official newspaper of the Department of Wisconsin, the Badger Legionnaire. Commander Dan Seehafer wants you to “Get One” and win $1,000. To grow at the local level, each post needs to rely on their members being active recruiters. For the individual Legionnaire, membership recruiting can lead to a big reward! Legion members can simply sign up a new member, or renew any former member who has not paid for 2 years (since 2014) and their name will be entered in a drawing to win $1,000 at the 2017 Midwinter Conference at the Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. There
is no limit to the number of times an individual can qualify – recruiters get one chance for every new member they recruit. Department will also award them the traditional “I Got 1” pin. Recruiters can show their pride by earning the new “I Got 1” pin. The pins are larger and more visible than ever before. Anyone who recruits a new member qualifies!
Individual Membership Awards Legionnaires can earn other individual membership recruiting awards. 1 - The traditional “I Got 1” pins are available for everyone who recruits a new member this year. 3 – National Commander Award – Recruit 3 new members and receive the National Commander’s incentive award to be determined 3/5 – “Reverend’s Round-up” Department Commander Dan Seehafer’s Special Award Receive your personal die-cast money clip from Commander Dan! This special incentive award is available to all Legionnaires who Saddle up and take part in “the Reverend’s Round-up”! The first step in growing our membership is to Recruit and Retain, which is why everyone is called
to Round-up our non-renewed members and add new Legionnaires to the fold. Start by recruiting 3 new members and then renew 2 members from 2016. Win Cash! Fill the Clip! All members who take part in the Reverend’s Round-up become eligible to receive Cash Awards* at the Midwinter Conference scheduled for January19-22, 2017 at Ho-Chunk Hotel, Casino and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells! *Must attend the Conference Banquet on Saturday, January 21, 2017 to win. These special recognition awards are offered in addition to the Badger Big 10 award, which can be earned by signing up ten (10) new members to be a part of this exclusive group of Legionnaires. Badger Big 10 recruiters receive a pin to wear with pride. The National American Legion is also encouraging recruitment with the Silver Brigade (25 new members) and Gold Brigade (50 new members) awards for Legionnaires who recruit 25 and 50 new members respectively. If you have any questions please contact Chris Schmidt via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (608) 745-1090.
MAKE IT PERSONAL!
TEAM WISCONSIN Team Wisconsin has just returned from the 98th National Convention in Cincinnati and the excitement is building! With the conclusion of the Convention, Denise Rohan is now officially the “Leading Candidate” for National Commander of The American Legion! During the convention, Denise Rohan and Team Wisconsin visited all the Departments at their caucuses, and the reception given to us was fantastic. Everyone is enthusiastic with the anticipation of Denise becoming National Commander. Everyone from the top leadership to the new members we encountered stated that Denise Rohan is the right person at the right time for The American Legion. So it is time to mark your calendars for some important dates: • On Thursday August 24, 2017 at the 99th American Legion Convention in Reno, NV; • Diane Dusheck will be installed as National Auxiliary President at approximately 9:00 AM • Denise Rohan will be installed as the National Commander at approximately noon. • There will be a celebration for the delegation starting at 4:00 PM that afternoon. (The 2017 convention parade will be Sunday August 20 with the convention sessions starting on Tuesday August 22 at approximately 8:30 AM.)
• Recruit 3 New Members • Renew 2 Members
Receive a Die-Cast Money Clip!
• August 26, 2018 will be the 100th American Legion Convention Parade in Minneapolis MN at 4:00 PM • And on, August 28, 2018 at the 100th American Legion Convention in Minneapolis, MN; National Commander Denise Rohan will officially call to order the 100th Convention of The American Legion at approximately 8:30 AM. This would not have become a reality without all of The American Legion Family in Wisconsin pulling together. Denise and Team Wisconsin are very appreciative of all the support given her, and the generosity of everyone involved has made the campaign possible. The campaign costs have been high and the donations received have enabled Team Wisconsin to promote the campaign in a manner to reﬂect positively on the whole Wisconsin American Legion Family. As we head into the Fall season, would you please consider the campaign of Denise Rohan for National Commander in your fundraising discussions at your Post, County and District meetings. More information is available at www.deniserohan.org where you can make donations, purchase shirts and other campaign items, see pictures and follow her travel calendar. Thank you all, for you have made this possible. Past Department Commander Roger Mathison Campaign Fundraising Chairman
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Published on Sep 15, 2016