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CC January 14, 2010

Commander's Communique for January 14, 2010

The Commander's Communique is your bi-weekly source for talking points relevant to the issues of the day affecting the Wisconsin American Legion.  It is intended to be used as a tool to communicate the Legion's message to your members and the public.  Print it out and take it your Post meeting and make sure that everyone is informed.
Troop and Family Support
Troop and Family support continues to remain an important focus of the Department.  We have been reaching out in many different ways to help those deployed and those returning.
The Wisconsin American Legion has had a large presence at Fort McCoy this month assisting with the demobilization efforts of the 32nd Infantry.
Many members of the Legion Family have volunteered to assist with this effort and members of the community, including corporate sponsors, have stepped up to the plate to lend support.
Please take a look at the Letter to the Editor I had published in the Wisconsin State Journal and the fundraiser coming up at Sobelman's to see some of the other activities we are engaged in to support our troops and their families.
You can help by making a secure online credit card donation to the Troop and Family Support Fund at
We are also in need of volunteers to help out at Fort McCoy over the next couple of weeks and at their local armories over the next few months.  If you would like to volunteer, please contact Kathie at or (608) 745-1090.
This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals running for Department office to demonstrate leadership and I encourage you to get involved either at Fort McCoy or in your local armory.
Letter to the Editor
A letter to the Editor from Commander Endres appeared in Wednesday's Wisconsin State Journal.
To the Editor:
In Sunday’s article “For soldiers returning home, more challenges await,” Spc. Codey Johnson explained to your readers that civilians don’t seem to understand his experience in war or the challenges he now faces after returning home.
I would like to reach out to Spc. Johnson and other veterans like him.  The Wisconsin American Legion understands.  We are an organization of war-time veterans who have been there.  We have experienced combat, recovered from wounds (visible and unseen), and have faced the difficulties of reintegrating into society, relationships, and work.  We understand that homecoming is not an event, but a process where you deal with issues beyond what most civilians can ever comprehend.
The 70,000 members of The Wisconsin American Legion are here to listen and to help.  With 523 Posts, we have a presence in virtually every community across the state.    We welcome all returning veterans to learn about the services we offer.  We would love to have you in our ranks, but we are here to assist you regardless of whether you are a member or not.
Our Service Office is available to help you attain benefits, Camp American Legion is a place for you to rest and recover from injury, and our legislative efforts are focused on making sure you get a fair deal after you have sacrificed much for your nation.
Attend a Post meeting in your community, contact our Service Office, or just check out our website at and let us know what we can do to assist you with your homecoming process.  We understand.
Still serving America,
Leo A. Endres
State Commander
The Wisconsin American Legion
Troop & Family Support Event at Sobelman's in Milwaukee
Dave Sobelman, owner of Sobelman's, is holding a fundraiser in support of the Troop and Family Support Fund at his bar and grill on Sunday, January 24th.
From 11am-9pm on that day, $1 from every burger and bottle of Sprecher Root Beer sold will be donated to The Wisconsin American.
If you are in the Milwaukee area, please support this exciting event by passing the word and dining at Sobelman's on January 24th!
1900 W Saint Paul Ave
(414) 931-1919
Register for the Mid-Winter Conference
Registration is required for the Mid-Winter Conference.  Anyone who has failed to register will not be admitted to Saturday night's preview party for the Discover Wisconsin program on The Wisconsin American Legion.
Please be sure to register as soon as possible.  The registration rate will increase after January 17th.
Click here for a registration form - PDF doesn't work 
Hotel Rooms Available
Due to an overwhelming response, no hotel rooms remain available at the Wilderness Hotel for the Mid-Winter Conference.
The Department has made arrangements for a block of rooms to be held at the Ho-Chunk Casino and Grand Marquis Hotel to accommodate those who have not yet made reservations.  
The Casino will run a FREE shuttle back and forth to the Wilderness for guests convenience.
The room rate is $79/night.
Call (800) 746-2486.  The rooms are reserved under the "American Legion - Portage" block. 
Grand Marquis
The Grand Marquis, which is located less than one mile from the Wilderness, is also holding rooms for the Department.
Rooms can be booked there for $59/night for Thursday and Friday and for $78/night for Saturday.
To book a room at the Grand Marquis call them at (800) 447-2636 and ask for The American Legion block.
Hot Breakfast Buffet at Mid-Winter
A hot breakfast buffet will be available on Saturday and Sunday morning at the Mid-Winter Conference.  The breakfast will be available from 6:30-8:30am and will cost $8/person.  Those wishing to take advantage of this, can pay at the door.
Commander Endres' Schedule of Events
January 23                       Past Commander's Banquet, La Crosse Post 52
January 29-31                   Mid-Winter Conference, Wisconsin Dells
February 1                        Membership Night, Appleton
February 11-13                  Lincoln Pilgrimage, Springfield, IL
February 14                      Salute to Hospitalized Veterans, Madison VA Hospital
February 15                      George Washington Luncheon, Greenfield
February 20                      6th District Americanism Banquet, Ripon
February 20                      Department Oratorical Contest, Ripon
February 27 - March 3        Washington Conference, Washington, DC
Free Tickets to Ski Jump Competition for Veterans
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 5 and 6 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 88th Annual Snowflake Ski Jumping Tournament.  The US Women’s Ski Jumping Team has been invited to attend as well.  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 12:30.  Results of both competitions will be used to determine winners.    
For the third year in a row, 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 membership card in the American Legion or VFW.  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:
6th District Americanism Banquet
This year’s 6th District Americanism Banquet will be held on Saturday, February 20th, 2010, at CJ’s just outside of Ripon. Social time begins at 5:00 PM. with the opening ceremonies starting at 5:45 and dinner at 6:30 PM.
Our distinguished State Commander, Leo Endres, has graciously agreed to join us as our special guest for the evening.
Banquet seating is by advance reservation only. The cost is $15.00 per person and reservation requests must be received by Saturday, February 13th.
Please use the enclosed Reservations Form, or send a printed list of the names of those attending, along with remittance, (checks payable to “American Legion 6th District”), to the following address:
Barbara Belmont
726 London St.
Menasha, WI. 54952
Your tickets will be available for pickup at the door. Also, please include a contact name, phone number, and your Post # with your request.
CJ’s (920-748-7726) is located at W13201 Cork Street Road which is at the intersection of Cork Street Road and Douglas Road. It is exactly two (2) miles North of the E. Oshkosh St./ Hwy 44 / Douglas St. intersection on the East end of Ripon. Just drive North on Douglas and when the road “T”s you are there! (Refer to map on reverse side).
Feel free to call Dan Bailey, 608-981-2226, or Barbara Belmont, (920)-720-2229 with any questions.
Hope to see you there for a wonderful evening of fellowship and camaraderie.
Click here for a Registration Form - PDF doesn't work
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