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January 6, 2012 Press Release


For Immediate Release
Contact: Department Adjutant David Kurtz (608) 697-6319
Legion Commander Speaks Out Regarding Criminal Charges
Efforts to Support Veterans and Their Families Too Vital to Be Harmed
PORTAGE (January 6, 2012)- "Allegations of criminal misconduct emerging from a John Doe probe by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm are disturbing to the community at large and to the veterans community in particular. The idea that funds earmarked for the families of service members killed in action is
particularly abhorrent. Of great concern to our organization is the potential for these developments to damage our on-going efforts to assist Wisconsin veterans. But the actions of an isolated few will not discourage us from supporting our comrades and their families," stated American Legion State Commander Denise H. Rohan of the
Elmer Peterson Post No. 333 of Sun Prairie.
Legion Management of Funds Cited as "Exemplary"
"While it is gratifying that the criminal complaint against Timothy Russell points to the performance of American Legion Post 23 as "exemplary", it is hardly surprising", continued Commander Rohan, "as the states' largest veterans' service organization, our record of exemplary service to Wisconsin veterans dates back to 1919. The
Wisconsin American Legion Troop and Family Support programs disbursed over $85,000 in direct emergency aid to Wisconsin veterans in CY2011 alone."
"We want the public to understand that the efforts of The American Legion to provide direct emergency aid, sponsorship of Veterans Job Fairs, operation of our rehabilitation camp and service programs for veterans will continue unabated. All our efforts are made possible through the monetary support donations we receive. We will not allow the criminal charges against isolated individuals to divert us from our mission. I want to reassure the public that The American Legion will continue to manage precious resources entrusted to us in a professional manner and to do everything we can to ensure that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to Wisconsin
have a smooth transition home. We have been supporting their families during their deployments and we will be here when the sensational stories of today fade to the background. We will not sit quietly and allow the damage done by a few bad apples to hamper our efforts," concluded Commander Rohan.
The Wisconsin American Legion is the state's largest veterans' service organization with over 65,000 members and 518 posts in communities across Wisconsin and has been serving troops, veterans, and youth since 1919. For more information on the Legion's programs and membership, please visit

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