January Badger Legionnaire Digital Edition
DESERT STORM MEMORIAL
Mission: The mission of the NDSWM is to erect a Desert Storm Memorial in Washington, D.C. to remember the close to 400 (Both American & Coalition Forces) who didn’t come home as well as honor the service of the over 600,000 who served. The mission is to both “Memorialize” as well as educate “Educate” current and future global citizens as to what Operation Desert Storm was about, what it accomplished, as well as how important it is in world history.
Beginning: The beginning of the memorial process started close to five years ago (December 2010) just prior to the 20th Anniversary of Operation Desert Storm when Scott Stump realized that many younger Americans including his own children, had NO idea what Desert Storm was. Even those who were old enough to remember, had forgotten what a big deal it was and what was accomplished. Also, many folks began to lump together Operation Desert Storm together with OIF & OEF as an Act I for those conflicts. Stump felt strongly that this was a historical mistake as well as an injustice to veterans of both eras.
Progress thus far: After a long legislative battle, a bill, authorizing the construction of the Desert Storm Memorial on federal land in Washington, D.C. through 100% private funding, was signed into law by the president on December 19th of 2014. Since then the fundraising effort has kicked into high gear. NDSWM has also been working with the National Park Service to identify the most suitable and appropriate location for the memorial. There are several goals. 1) To raise the $25 Million needed to construct the memorial by August of 2016, which is the 25th Anniversary year. 2) To have the memorial fully constructed and dedicated within the next 36 months… (Before Year-End 2018)
Needs/Call to Action: The most pressing needs we have at this point are twofold. We need everyone to help us spread the word about the memorial. Since the law authorizing the construction of the memorial was part of the NDAA, it was grouped with a bevy of other bills. This prevented attention to be given to the bill by itself. We are hoping that the 25th Anniversary will help draw attention to the memorial, but we need everyone to help us spread the word. Also if anyone who works with or is connected with the media (Print, TV, Radio) we need help in telling our story in the upcoming 25th Anniversary year. Lastly, there is an urgent and immediate need for raising funds. The goal is $25 million. It took a coalition to liberate Kuwait, and it will take a coalition to build this memorial. Help, by way of donations is needed at the corporate as well as individual level. Whether you donate $25 or $25,000 it will be a huge help in reaching the $25 million goal.
Design: The design rendering was done by CSO Architects in Indianapolis, Indiana. CSO took open comments and feedback from veterans and veteran families over an extended period of several months. They asked folks what they felt were the most important things which need to be remembered about Desert Storm. CSO then took the most repeated items and incorporate them into the rendering. The most common were: 1) The “Left Hook” military maneuver employed during the ground war of Desert Storm. 2) Remembering the “Coalition” 3) the threat of chemical and biological weapons. All of these aspects will be incorporated and highlighted into the memorial while working within the constraints and guidelines of The National Park Service and the various Washington, D.C. commissions.
53rd Annual Sixth Distric Americanism Banquet
All Legionnaires, Legion Auxiliary Members, Sons of The American Legion, Legion Riders and their guests are invited to attend the 53rd Annual Sixth District Americanism Banquet.
This year’s event will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at La Sure’s Hall in Oshkosh. Social begins at 5:00PM with the opening ceremonies starting at 6:00PM with dinner to follow.
Banquet seating is by advance reservation only. The cost is $21.00 per person and reservation requests must be received by February 5, 2016. Please use the reservation form. Include a contact name, telephone number and Post, Unit or Squadron number. Your tickets will be available for pick-up at the door.
La Sure’s is located south of Hwy 44 at 3125 South Washburn St., Oshkosh (next to the Outlet Mall).
For further information contact 6th District Americanism Chairman David Steinert at (920) 685-6691.
CLICK HERE for the reservation form.
79th Annual Oratorical Competition Set for February 13th in Ripon
The Department is proud to announce the 2016 High School Oratorical Scholarship Competition. The American Legion Oratorical Scholarship program is a wonderful opportunity for young people to learn about the Constitution of the United States of America. 2016 marks the 79th year of the Department’s program. Twelve students representing each District will compete for the Department title at Ripon College on February 13th. If you are interested in being a volunteer and helping to ensure a successful event we are in need of moderators, time keepers, judges, escorts, tabulators and sergeant at arms. Please contact Americanism Programs Coordinator Dawn Brauner at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Department Headquarters at (608) 745-1090. Fillable volunteer forms are also available on the Wisconsin Legion website (http://www.wilegion.org/page.content/programs/oratorical-scholarship-program ).
Medal of Honor recipient Einar Ingman Jr. laid to rest
By Jed Buelow, Tomahawk Leader City Editor, reprinted with permission, initially printed in the Tomahawk Leader on September 22, 2015
Military officials from across the nation and state gathered in Tomahawk Wednesday (Sept. 16, 2015) to help family and friends lay to rest a true American hero and the pride of his hometown, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Einar Ingman Jr.Sgt. Ingman Jr. was Wisconsin’s last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the Korean War. He passed away surrounded by family at Ministry Sacred Heart Hospital Sept. 9, just one month prior to his 86th birthday.At his funeral service held at Grace Lutheran Church last week, a number of high-ranking military officials spoke of the great sacrifice, leadership and true heroism Ingman Jr. displayed on the battlefield to take a heavily fortified ridge while serving as a corporal with Company E, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division that earned him the prestigious Medal of Honor. Also in attendance was Medal of Honor recipient Kenneth Stumpf, one of just four surviving Medal of Honor recipients from Wisconsin to have earned the nation’s highest military honor during the Vietnam War.“It is an absolute honor for us to be here and recognize one of our heroes who fought so bravely in Korea,” said Major General Thomas James, current Commander of 7th Infantry Division based out of Washington State. “I mean, if you read his (Medal of Honor) citation, it sends chills up your spine. He was an incredible American, selfless serving man. Our motto is ‘Trust in Me’ and he lived that. We are the bayonet division and that is the way he was fighting with the bayonet. We are honored to be here to recognize a true warrior and American Hero.”Sgt. Ingman Jr. earned the prestigious Medal of Honor for his valiant actions on the battlefield Feb. 26, 1951, near Maltari Korea. Taking command after the leaders of two squads were injured while trying to take a strongly fortified ridge, Sgt. Ingman Jr. assumed command, reorganized and combined the two squads, then moved from one position to another, designating fields of fire and giving advice and encouragement to the men.His Medal of Honor citation describes what happened next as “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty.”“Locating an enemy machinegun position that was raking his men with devastating fire he charged it alone, threw a grenade into the position and killed the remaining crew with rifle fire. Another enemy machinegun opened fire approximately 15 yards away and inflicted additional casualties into the group and stopped the attack. When Corporal Ingman charged the second position he was hit by grenade fragments and a hail of fire that seriously wounded him about the face and neck and knocked him to the ground. With incredible courage and stamina, he arose instantly and, using only his rifle, killed the entire gun crew before falling unconscious from his wounds. As a result of the singular action by Corporal Ingman Jr. the defense of the enemy was broken, his squad secured its objective, and more than 100 hostile troops abandoned their weapons and fled in disorganized retreat.”Major Paul Rickert with the Wisconsin National Guard said it was a true honor taking part in a service recognizing one of our state’s true heroes.“Today means a lot for those of us who served because we recognize the sacrifice Einar made and this gives us a chance to honor that sacrifice and his accomplishments,” Major Rickert said. “He would have been the first to tell you he did not wear the Medal of Honor for himself, he wore it for all the others who gave their lives for their country.”Pastor Mark Ziemer read a touching eulogy that spoke to the life of Einar Ingman Jr. beyond being a Medal of Honor recipient. “Einar was just one of us in Tomahawk. He never saw himself as a hero. He saw it as just doing his job for the love of his men and country,” Ziemer said. “Einar was wounded before in the kneecap and could have walked away from the war.”Zeimer drew a laugh from those gathered when he said Einar would only have had to learn to walk with a limp after receiving the first of two Purple Hearts, but instead, he insisted he needed to get back to his buddies.“He was the next one up. He took charge and did his job,” Ziemer said.The Tomahawk community came out to pay final respects to Sgt. Ingman Jr. in gathering along the procession route that passed by the schools and down Einer H. Ingman Parkway. Fittingly, his casket was carried aboard a refurbished military jeep from the era that led the long line of vehicles that followed on the way to the cemetery.Drill sergeants from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri served as pallbearers for the funeral, while the Patriot Guard Riders stood silent at the church doors and placed flags outside the church, along Einar H. Ingman Parkway and at the cemetery. Also in attendance among the many high ranking officials were representatives from the Milwaukee Military Processing Station, which was Sgt. Ingman’s MEPS location.At Oak Hill Cemetery, Sgt. Einar Ingman Jr. was laid to rest with the highest military honors. Four Blackhawk helicopters flew over in formation at the exact moment the American flag was between its third and fifth fold. With meticulous detail the flag was folded 13 times and presented to the Ingman family as part of the very moving tribute.
It’s no secret that while it gives basic protection against health care costs, Medicare won't cover all your medical expenses. To help cover some of the items that Medicare does not cover, many members, just like you, have chosen the group Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan endorsed by The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin.
Other great reasons for choosing the Legionnaire Insurance Trust plans:
Where can you get more information on selecting a Medicare Supplement plan? You will receive prompt, personal and responsive service from courteous customer service representatives ready to answer your questions.
(Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST)
Or visit our website http://www.thelit.com/medicare-supplement
Underwritten by: Transamerica Premier Life Insurance Company, Cedar Rapids, IA and Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Company, Harrison, NY (for New York Residents only)
Limitations and exclusions apply. Please see your certificate for details.
Not connected with or endorsed by the US Government or Federal Medicare Program
In the World of Work- Gray Matters
Having spent 20 years as director of a U.S. Department of Labor employment and training program known as SCSEP I have witnessed a shift in the attitude of employers toward older workers. You see “Help Wanted” signs everywhere these days and employers are in need of us. SCSEP serves lower income men and women age 55 and older and hiring veterans is a priority. When I started I was in my late thirties and the seniors we served had gray hair, played bridge, watched soap operas and knitted for the grandkids. Times have certainly changed. Now I am one of those seniors and my cohorts are more likely to be taking yoga and driving SUV’s. For us to meet today’s employment challenges we need to keep up with technology. The Senior Community Service Employment Program is perfect for the senior seeking to continue working or get back out in the world of work. SCSEP offers a hands-on approach to learning new skills or updating old ones. SCSEP opportunities can be found in most Wisconsin counties.
Enrollees of our program work 20 hours per week, are paid minimum wage and may stay up to 48 months. Worksites vary by community and could include government offices, senior centers, pantries, thrift stores, museums or social service programs. This community service training is a bridge to unsubsidized employment opportunities (real jobs). The seniors are providing much needed assistance to government and non-profit agencies while they earn an income and continue to seek a permanent job. A factory worker whose employer moves out of state may need to retrain as a personal caregiver to find employment again. A former truck driver who developed back problems may now need an office job. Retraining becomes critical. This program can give seniors the experience and current references that will spark the interest of area employers. There’s no better time than today to start a new adventure.
Eligibility: participants must be at least 55, unemployed, and have a family income of no more than 125% of the federal poverty level. It is important to note that some income is not included in eligibility determination: Veteran Disability payments, SSDI, SSI, unemployment comp are some of the sources not counted.
For a SCSEP contact in your area, go to www.servicelocator.org/olderworkers and enter your zip code.
Article submitted by Deborah Buckley, SCSEP Director/ Curative Connections, Inc.
Free Ski Jumping for Legionnaires!
Are you looking for a really unique, fun winter event in one of Wisconsin’s most scenic locations? How about something filled with thrills for participants - but that is safe for spectators? Something that you could see at the Winter Olympics - if you could get a ticket? And it’s something that’s FREE FOR VETERANS and their families!
That event will happen on February 5th and 6th at the Snowflake Ski Club near Westby, WI - 25 miles southeast of LaCrosse. That is when over 25 male ski jumpers from Norway, Finland, Poland and across the US will gather to compete in the 93rd Annual Snowflake Ski Jumping Tournament. All jumps will be on a “118 meter hill” - meaning the hill meets the same engineering specifications that are used in Olympic competition.
Competition will begin at 7 PM Friday evening - jumping at night with lighting will add an exciting and unique venue! Saturday’s competition will begin at Noon. Results of both competitions will be used to determine winners.
Once again, the Ski Club with the assistance of Logistics Health Incorporated (a LaCrosse based company that processes medical claims for many active duty military personnel and veterans) is admitting all veterans and their spouses at no charge upon display of a DD Form 214 or your American Legion membership card. If you are serving on active duty, are an active member of the National Guard or Reserves, or are a retiree of any of these components, you and your spouse and children will be admitted free. Just present an ID card at the gate. Normal admission is $20 per person for the weekend.
In addition to ski jumping, there will be opportunities for children to sled on smaller hills and dig in a large snow pile for over $100 in quarters. An excellent food stand will provide refreshments both days.
This is a great winter festival for the entire family - check out the following web site for pictures, a map, admission fees and an exciting YouTube video: www.snowflakeskiclub.com.