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Menomonie Post 32 November 2015 News Letter.

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Date: November 5, 2015

To: Post 32 American Legion Members, Post 32 Auxiliary

Dunn County Posts: Boyceville Post 314, Colfax Post 131, Elk Mound Post 37, Wheeler Post 235, Connersville Post

323, Ridgeland Post 511, Downing Post 232 and Eau Galle Post 542

From: Commander Markham, Post 32

Greetings Post 32 and Dunn County Legion Members! Well, we did it and the 2015 District 10 Fall Conference

is now behind us and were are finally looking ahead to the many seasonal activities scheduled over the next

couple of months. First off, thanks to the efforts of a small but committed group of Legion members who made

the planning, preparation and implementation of the Fall Conference a success. Our own Post 32 hosted the Fall

Conference at the Veterans Center of Menomonie on September 18th, 19th and 20th of 2015. In addition,

we ended up making $4000.00 in revenue after all the expenses were paid in full. A special thanks goes to the

following Post 32 members: Commander

Dudley Markham, Ted Stearns, Marlin and Judy Severson, Chris Hamm,

Veterans Service Officer Greg Quinn, Post 32 volunteers and District 10 Commander John Miller.

A special thanks also goes out to the Menomonie Honor Guard, Westwind Graphics, Hurtgen Catering,

Knaacks Advertising, Mayor Randy Knaack, Chief Atkinson, Veterans Center of Menomonie and Tom Krueger from

Menomonie Transportation.

Most of our income or profit came in conjunction with a Post 32 program of sponsorship, support and advertising

from our local profit and non-profit organizations in the Menomonie area. We recently paid for newspaper adds

in the Dunn County News and Dunn County Reminder Big Buck Saver to thank our sponsors, supporters and advertisers.

In addition, they will be receiving official American Legion certificates and copies of the Fall Conference

Booklet that were printed by Westwind Graphics here in Menomonie. Post 32 also appreciated the local sponsor

support of the Dunn County Council and individual Dunn County Posts in their support of the 2015 District 10

Fall Conference.

NEWSFLASH: National American Dues Increase of $5.00 on January 20th, 2016:

If you pay your current year's $30.00 dues to the department by December 31st, you will save

$5.00 because the current $30.00 fee will increase to $35.00 on January 20th, 2016. Please remember the current

$30.00 fee entails $25.00 going back to State and National American Legion operations. In other words,

Post 32 only retains $5.00 of each current $30.00 membership fee [2016 membership year] that is collected.

Post 32 will have no revenue from each membership collected after January 2016.

Posts wishing to increase their membership fee [2016 membership year] prior to the January dues renewal

mailing must notify the Department [Wisconsin] headquarters by December 9th, 2015. I will put this item

on our November agenda for discussion and possible action whereby the post may increase our dues $5.00.

If approved, the total dues including the National, State and Post would be $40.00. Posts wishing to

adjust their dues for the 2017 membership year [cards will be distributed at King on Father's Day 2016

must respond to the Post Data Form which will be mailed to posts in February 2016. Deadline for notifying

the Department Head Quarters of 2017 dues adjustments will be April 16th, 2016. More on the dues increase

later in this newsletter.

Please send the current membership fee [$30.00] to Mr. Ted Stearns, American Legion Post 32, P.0. Box 14,

Menomonie, Wisconsin 54751. According to the State Department, the Post 32 membership count is 129 members

and our current percentage of dues collected is 62.41%. If we could get everyone to pay the current $30.00

fee by December 31st, we would be a 100% membership post. The American Legion leadership has stressed the

importance of framing the dues increase as a "membership incentive" for all members to get their dues in

as soon as possible. I'm on board with a positive approach concerning the dues increase and membership.

Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11th, 2015:

Legion members and the Menomonie Honor Guard will be busy with multiple programs for Veterans Day

2015. The traditional community Veterans Day Program will be held on Wednesday, November 11th at 9:45 a.m.

at the Menomonie Middle School Gym. The Honor Guard also provides program support on Veterans Day for Downsville

Elementary. In addition, the Honor Guard assists in helping the Dunn County Neighbors and American Lutheran

Home Veterans' Program' in the afternoon. We work cooperatively with Greg Quinn, our Dunn County Veterans

Service Officer concerning the afternoon programs.

Next Post 32 Meeting: Monday, November 9th at 7:00 p.m. [Veterans Center of Menomonie]

Legion Holiday Party: Tuesday, January 12th at Noon: Leisure/Senior Center

The Legion Holiday and Legion Birthday Luncheon menus are: Roast Beef/Chicken, Mashed

Potatoes/Gravy, Glazed Carrots, Tossed Salad, Dinner Rolls and Desert. Interested members should call Donna at the

Leisure Services/Senior Center at 715 235-0954 for reservations concerning Post 32 members-guests.

Legion Birthday Party: Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 at Noon: Leisure/Senior Center

Note: the same menu program is in effect for the Legion Birthday Luncheon unless there is great

interest in changing the menu or format. I did receive one phone call last year with the suggestion of soup and

sandwiches for lunch but the feedback I receive is most people like the current format. I'm open to phone calls

or an item being put on a meeting agenda for changes, if needed. I usually give a brief Post 32 overview in a

meeting format at the lunches and musical entertainment when requested.

National American Legion Dues Increase of $5.00:

A $5.00 dues increase was passed at the 97th National Convention in Baltimore. The new rate is

projected to last another ten years without an increase. The 2016 increase comes come nine years after the

previous change in dues that was passed in 2006 and took effect in 2007. Although no one likes dues increases,

there were a number of factors that led to the dues increase of $5.00. However, part of the increase is

proportionate to decreasing membership numbers and increasing needs of our Post 9/11 veterans due to the wars in

Iraq, Afghanistan and war of terrorism across the globe. The 2016 increase comes nine years after the previous

change in dues and the smallest percentage increase since 1972.

New District 10 Commander, State Commander and National Commander:

The new District 10 Commander is Mr. John Miller, from the area Wilson Post and is quite

familiar with the Menomonie area and active in helping us plan for the District 10 Fall Conference.

Commander Miller had been the 1st Vice-Commander in District 10 before assuming the Commander role at

the Spring Conference in Cumberland. Commander Miller truly wants listen and hear from our members. I've been

fortunate to know and work with Commander Miller and he is doing a great job as the new District 10 Commander.

You might also recall some information in the June Post 32 Newsletter concerning our new District 10 Commander

John Miller.

Commander Markham was elected as the District 10, 3rd Vice-Commander at the same Spring Conference in Cumberland.

In addition to being the 3rd Vice-Commander of District 10, I still remain Post 32 Commander and Dunn County

Commander pro-tem. I was unable to get anyone interested in being Post or County Commander. According to the

District 10 By-Laws, I'm not supposed to be a County Commander but unfortunately, no one would step-up to be the

Dunn County Commander. It's a sad commentary when no one at the Post or County level would "step-up" in this

regard as well. It's "mission impossible" for me to function in all three roles but I'll do the best I can

for now. The Dunn County Council may have to function in the manner of each post serving two-years as County

Council Officers if someone doesn't volunteer in a timely manner.

The Post 32 officers from the previous year were reinstated at our June meeting as per motion, second,

discussion and voice-vote approval of the members. The current officers are: Commander: Dudley Markham, Vice-

Commander-Finance/Membership: Ted Stearns, Vice-Commander-Adjutant: Marlin Severson, Vice-Commander:

Terry Keuster, Judge Advocate: Nicholas Lange, Service Officer: Greg Quinn, Historian: Everett Freeland

and Chaplain: Dudley Markham.

Post 32 members generally meet the second Monday, every-other month except for

the January Holiday Luncheon, March Legion Birthday Luncheon and

"Special Post Elections" Meeting in June.

Wisconsin American Legion Commander Dale Oatman of Post 524 in White Lake, Wisconsin was voted State

Commander at the Wisconsin American Legion Convention in July.

National Commander Dale Barnett, American Legion Post 105 in Fayettevile, Georgia was elected National

Commander at Baltimore, Maryland in September.

Denise Rohan, Past Wisconsin State Commander: Team Wisconsin has been established in support of Denise Rohan's

candidacy for National Commander in 2017. Denise Rohan would be the first female National Commander of a

Veterans Service Organization elected on a National level. I've met Denise Rohan and her husband, Mike Rohan

who is a Legion member and instructor at the National American Legion College in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I had the honor of attending the 2014 American Legion College and graduating with Mike Rohan as one of my lead

instructors. Denise Rohan was also at the National Headquarters for official Legion business but attended the

graduation of the three candidates from Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Legion Riders raise $27,000 for Camp American Legion in Wisconsin. Information About Camp American

Legion: More than 100 Wisconsin American Legion Riders participated in a ride on September19th that raised

$27,000, more money raised than the past two years combined. I thought I would highlight Camp American Legion

in this newsletter so everyone might better understand it's mission in serving all Wisconsin veterans who might

be in need of it's services, including rest and relaxation. The Camp Director is Kevin Moshea, a Legion member

who lives year-round at Camp American Legion; open Memorial Day thru Labor Day each year. The Camp typically

accommodates over 400 injured and disabled vets each year. Camp American Legion is located on 300 acres of land

on "Big Car Lake" near Lake Tomahawk, in Northwest, Wisconsin. The Camp includes [21] furnished and

well-maintained cabins with heat, A.C. full service bath, sunrooms with local T.V. channels, deck and

handicapped accessible for 2-6 people. There is a main lodge with dining hall serving three meals a day, therapy

building, chapel and pontoon boats. Upstairs in the main lodge there are accommodations for women, five separate

bedrooms, two bathrooms, lounge area and screened-in porch. There's also an activity lounge, Health and

Wellness Center, Library, Workshop and complete laundry facilities. A full slate of activities including boats,

pontoons, canoes, paddle boats, complete fishing tackle supplies, nature paths, swimming, campfires, picnics and

campouts. There are daily activities and events, including local sites of interest. Physical therapy volunteers

donate time in meeting the physical needs of disabled veterans requiring services.

Eligibility for Camp American Legion includes any Wisconsin veteran or active duty service-member with a

physician documented physical or psychological illness, injury or disability. Active duty military recently

[within the last nine months] returned from any deployment and any survivor family members of Wisconsin

veterans who have recently [over the last year] lost a family-service member are also eligible. Applications

for "disabled veterans" are taken from January 1st to August 1st each year, along with a recommendation from

practicing medical providers such as medical doctors and nurses [R.N. or N.P.] There are different weeks already

assigned for different groups at Camp American Legion for instance, Viet Nam Veterans Week, Family

Reintegration Week, T.B.I. and P.T.S.D. Weeks. However, the camp still accepts eligible individual veterans

or families throughout the summer as well. The camp always needs donations of gift cards, [Wal-Mart,

Menards] cleaning supplies, dish washing soap, disinfectants, bathroom and kitchen supplies, household

products, tissue and paper products, food, dining and kitchen supplies, recreation and craft supplies

and coffee. Equipment and building supplies, vehicles and patient transport, office equipment and supplies,

health and wellness items and of course, financial donations. Contact Information:

Camp American Legion, Director Kevin Moshea

8529 Highway D. West

Lake Tomahawk, WI 54539 715 277-2510

Website information at: campal@newnorth.net

Past Legion Post 32: Old Business-Past Post Activities: 2015

Poppy Sales for Post 32 Auxiliary: On Thursday, May 21st our Post 32 members helped raise

$1895.87 for our Post 32 Auxiliary. I did a report on the "Poppy Program" in an earlier newsletter and there

are strict guidelines and accounting for the designation of Poppy sales proceeds.

Memorial Day and Potters' Field: Post 32 American Legion members who are members of the Honor Guard helped

to support activities on Memorial Day at Evergreen Cemetery in the morning and Potters Field in the afternoon.

The annual Memorial Day Program is always a beautiful and moving ceremony and hosted by our Post and Dunn

County Veterans Service Officer, Greg Quinn. The unique and pastoral landscape of Evergreen Cemetery and Lake

Menomin make for a wonderful program in honoring our nations veterans on Memorial Day.

Some of you may remember that "Potters Field" holds the buried remains of area residents, including a number

of veterans nearby the Dunn County Shop behind the current Dunn County Services Building in Menomonie.

A local non-profit organization was formed to improve the access, site improvement and historical significance

of Potters Field. A number of veterans organizations, including the Honor Guard, Am Vets and Post 32 members

have worked collaboratively with the non-profit to host ceremonial rites, including Memorial Day and other

support in honoring the veterans and other residents buried at Potters Field.

Flag Day 2015: This year featured reading of all names on the bricks at the downtown Veterans Memorial on

Sunday, June 14th which was "Flag Day." The Honor Guard and American Legion members also participated in a

"Flag Retirement Ceremony" at the Veterans Center whereby the old flags were retired by veterans in an

honorable flag burning ceremony in conjunction with American Legion protocol.

Spirit Run on Saturday, June 20th at the Veterans Center in Menomonie. Past State Commander Ken Rennish

asked me if Post 32 could "host" one of the "stops" in conjunction with the Spirit Run this past summer.

The "Spirit Run" is the primary fundraiser by the Wisconsin Department of the American Legion and Legion

Riders in support of the American Legion Legacy Scholarship. The Legacy Scholarship pays all of the secondary

costs for college or technical for the children of veterans who paid the ultimate [killed in combat] price and

sacrifice in defense of our county in the world-wide war of terrorism, including the wars in Iraq and

Afghanistan. Last year, almost $60,000 was raised and this year, $59,050 was raised in support of the Legacy

Scholarship fund. Anyway, Post 32 ended up having Lammers' Grocery Store cater the lunch at the Veterans Center

of Menomonie. Ted Stearns and I along with some of the Veterans Center staff successfully hosted the Wisconsin

Legion Riders for lunch and brief rest stop. The highlight of their visit happened when the Legion Riders came

into the banquet hall area and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jim Stai's mother who had tuned 90 years old and the

whole Stai family was celebrating inside while the Legion Riders were outside having lunch.

10th District Fall Conference on September 18,19 and 20th, 2015: The summer and early months were consumed

with planning, preparation and implementing the District 10 Fall Conference at the Veterans Center of America.

There was a lot of work in conjunction with post-conference cleanup, accounting and continued work on

commendations for our sponsors and supporters. I should also take this opportunity to thank our initial

Steering Committee of Commander Markham, Marlin Severson, Ted Stearns, Terry Keuster, Larry Sinz and

District 10 Commander John Miller. The "steering committee" was important in our initial planning for the Fall

Conference. The whole process and planning for the Fall Conference entailed a lot of time and effort but as

previously noted, Post 32 ended making $4000.00 in the process. I stated earlier that it was "our turn to

step-up" our participation in the 10th District, especially hosting the Fall Conference. Menomonie Post 32

and Dunn County Legion posts hadn't hosted a Fall Conference in the last thirty years. Well, Post 32

has "stepped up" and we don't plan on hosting another event like the "Fall Conference" for a long time to come.

 

Important Membership Report Information: October 29th, 2015

2015: Wisconsin State % is currently 73.73% Ranks 1st in the Nation

2015: National Average is: 63.37%

2015: District 10 Average is: 71.28%: currently 9th out of 12 Districts.

Dunn County Total % of 100% Membership Target: 72.35%

Menomonie: 66.92%

Elk Mound: 95.45%

Colfax: 76.93

Downing: 80%

Wheeler: 5.56%

Boyceville: 84.45%

Connersville: 87.50%

Ridgeland: 93.75%

Eau Galle: 16.67%

There are nine counties in District 10 and they rank as follows:

Pierce County: 74.72%

Eau Claire County: 72.36%

Dunn County: 72.35%

Trempealeau: 71.28%

Buffalo-Pepin: 71.23

Barron: 70.58%

Chippewa County: 70.07%

St. Croix County: 64.19%

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