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CC November 19, 2009

Commander's Communique for November 19, 2009

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.
Save The Date!
The Commander's Testimonial Dinner will take place March 20th at Rex's Inn Keeper in Waunakee.  More information will be available after the 1st of the year.
Lincoln Pilgrimage
The 76th Annual National American Legion Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Abraham Lincoln will be held February 11 and 12th in Springfield, IL.
This year, the top two recruiters of new members from the beginning of the 2010 membership year through December 31st will be awarded a trip to Springfield for the Pilgrimage.
Posts, Counties, and Districts should submit the name of their top recruiter along with a list of the new members he or she has recruited for the 2010 membership year to Chris at Department Headquarters by January 15th.  Winners will be notified after that date.
Chris can be reached at or (608) 745-1090.
National Emergency Fund
National Commander Clarence Hill has challenged each Department to raise money for the National Emergency Fund.  Wisconsin’s goal is $14,378.  Based on our membership total, this calculates to less than 25 cents per member.  Let’s plan to meet or better yet exceed this goal, as Wisconsin normally receives more than we give to this fund.  Pass the hat and collect that quarter per member.  Send donations to Department Headquarters, earmarked NEF.  You may be the next person who may need access to emergency funds. 
A big thank you to those who have already sent in contributions to the fund, especially Post 247 in Glidden which donated 50 cents per member, going above and beyond the call!
WDVA Issues
There have been several hot button legislative issues in the last month that the Legion has been tackling on your behalf.  Click here to access a list of all current State legislation affecting veterans. 4MB file.
More Equitable Geographic Representation on the WDVA Board
Current Make up of the Board:
Marv Freedman, Board Chair –Middleton
Marcia Anderson, Board Vice Chair –Verona
Jackie Guthrie, Board Secretary –Sun Prairie
David Boetcher –Waunakee
Rod Moen –Whitehall
Peter Moran –Superior
Daniel Naylor –Waupaca
Pending Legislation:
State Representative Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) plans to introduce legislation that would require balanced geographic representation on the Board of Veterans Affairs.
Currently, seven members serve on the Board of Veterans Affairs. This bill divides the state into seven geographical areas, called districts, and requires that at least one member of the Board of Veterans Affairs reside in each district.
The Wisconsin American Legion is a non-partisan organization and does not hold any specific objections to the members of the board, but we are concerned that all veterans in the state are not being adequately represented on the Board.
Four of the seven members of the Board are residents of Dane County.   Not one member of the Board is from Western Wisconsin.  There is also no representation on the board for other major metropolitan areas in the state, such as Milwaukee and the Fox Valley.
The Wisconsin American Legion was chartered in 1919 and at its founding divided the state into 12 districts to ensure that there was equal geographic representation for all veterans in the state. 
We would like to see Representative Sinicki’s bill introduced and signed into law to give more equitable representation to veterans residing outside of Dane County.
DOJ Letter Concerning King
The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter on November 12th to WDVA Secretary John Scocos concerning certain financial transactions involving the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.  In short, the DOJ found that that there was no basis for charging anyone with misconduct in regards to purchases and payments made at King.  The letter was in response to a letter sent to the DOJ by WDVA Acting Secretary Ken Black requesting that the Attorney General and DOJ investigate certain expenditures made at King during the 2007-2009 biennium.
Scocos has now made moves to reinstate Bill Crowley as Commandant of the Veterans Home at King.
To read the full text of the letter click here. -PDF doesn't work
Please continue to focus on 2010 membership.  Wisconsin is ranked near #1 currently, but we have a ways to go to meet our goal. 
Remind your members that they can renew online at  This link can also be found on the homepage of our website.
We value your privacy and will not sell or otherwise share your e-mail address or personal information with any other organization.

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