NEWSLETTER
JUNE 2019
COMMANDER'S CORNER
Michael Hert, DAV Wisconsin Commander

Badger State DAV members

The Department of Wisconsin came off its 91st State Convention in full stride, ready to continue its march forward while ensuring America keeps its promise to the men and women who served. We had the honor of Dennis Nixon, DAV National Commander, being in attendance along with his spouse Maxine. DAV Wisconsin made the trip memorable for Commander Nixon. Prior to Convention, he took a tour of the Packer Hall of Fame and afterwards met with Mark Murphy, CEO, of the Green Bay Packers. 

At the State Convention Banquet, Green Bay Packers linebacker Kyler Fackrell, who was last year’s Quarterback Sack leader, presented Commander Nixon with a signed Green Bay Packers football. While Commander Nixon is a Texan home of the Dallas Cowboys, I know that he was in awe of the Badger State reception to his presence.

Commander Nixon was actively engaged with Northeast Wisconsin media. He appeared on the WBAY TV-2 Noon show with Kevin Rompa, the channel news anchor. While earlier in the day, Commander Nixon and I appeared on the WHBY 1150 AM Morning radio show with on-air personality Dave Edwards. His insight and presence ensured our Television and Radio appearances were a resounding success.

We officially moved from seven to five Districts at this Convention. When transitions occur at this level there is always the potential for “Murphy’s Law” occurring. Due to the commitment and vision of Department Executive Committee members and Chapter members at large, no issues or challenges occurred. Everything was smooth sailing!

During the election for Department Senior Vice Commander, the new five Districts met effortlessly as a Caucus. Again, a big shout out to the new District Executive Committeepersons and the Chapter members for making the transition a major triumph.

The Convention opening began on a unique note as a Poet conducted a reading. This was one of those “outside of the box” moments. John Miller, a Poet from Northern Wisconsin, has devoted his craft toward the Veteran community. His poetry reading was outstanding and touched the heart of all those present. I anticipate this will be a new tradition in the coming years.

We received messages of unity from our fellow Veterans Service Organizations Department Commanders plus obtained critical updates from Department of Veterans Affairs’ officials at the federal and state level.

Both VISN 12 Deputy Director Lynette Taylor and Dr. Daniel Zomchek, Milwaukee VA Medical Director, spoke about provisions contained in the VA MISSION Act which will directly affect veterans. These included the new Community Care Program, new Urgent Care Benefits and expansion of VA Caregiver Services.

Duane Honeycutt, VA Regional Office Director, spoke about the implementation of Blue Water Navy benefits and the new Appeals process.
This was WDVA Secretary-designee Mary Kolar first appearance to the membership at large. She provided an insightful and dynamic presentation regarding Veterans issues at the State level. Special mention should be made that Secretary Kolar is a member of Wisconsin DAV Chapter 2.

In the Saturday afternoon session, all resolutions that were reviewed by the various committees were approved by the body. The Nomination Committee presented their slates of Officers. As shared before, we did have an election for the Senior Vice Commander position. We have an incredible group of Leaders elected for the 2019-2020 term. 
I will mention that I was reelected to be the Department Commander for a second term. This is historic in nature as this is a first in the modern times of the Department of Wisconsin. This occurred due to a change in the Constitution & Bylaws last year.

I can’t deny being exhausted at the end of Convention yet exhilarated for its success. Many told me this was the best convention ever. Special recognition goes out to our Office Managers Shelby Sigl and Deirdre Flynn. They committed their heart and soul to ensure the 91st Convention would be a phenomenal event for those in attendance. 

Lastly, I have to mention that DAV as a National organization is walking into our 100-year centennial. That is incredible! So “Together Forward”, let us move into the 2019-2020 year, ensuring that Veterans lead lives of dignity and respect.
DAV/DAVA STATE CONVENTION - HIGHLIGHT
DAV National Commander Dennis Nixon emotional Banquet speech. Learn More.
 
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - BENEFITS
Annual report of the DAV Milwaukee National Service Office.  Learn More.
 
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - TRANSPORTATION
Annual Reports of the Transportation Program Managers and HSCs.  Learn More.
 
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - ADVOCACY
Annual Report of the Benefits Protection Team Leader. Take More.
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - EMPLOYMENT
Annual Employment Report. Learn More.
 
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - WOMEN VETERANS
Annual Report of the Women Veterans Committee.  Learn More .
 
MEMBERSHIP
Membership Update for June. Learn More.
 
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - VOLUNTEERISM
Reports of the DAV Voluntary Services Representatives. Learn More.
 
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - JUDGE ADVOCATE
Annual Report of the Judge Advocate. Learn More.
 
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - LVAP AWARDS
2018 DAV WI LVAP Awards Presented at Convention Banquet. Read More.
 
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - YOUTH AWARDS
2019 DAV WI Youth Award presented to Destiny Klinkhammer. Learn More.
DAV/A STATE CONVENTION - DISABLED VETERAN OF THE YEAR
Woman veteran named Disabled Veteran of the Year. Learn More.
DAV AUXILIARY
Thank you for this opportunity. Read More.
 
ADVOCACY
See May/June DAV Legislative Alerts: Support These Important Bills. Take Action.
 
FROM THE DAV DEPARTMENT ADJUTANT
LARRY HILL
Our Annual Convention the 91st ended 8 June. The convention was an overwhelming success based on feedback we received. My thanks to all who had a hand in making this so successful. For those that weren’t there you missed a good one.

Our National Commander, Dennis Nixon was present for the entire convention. What a great opportunity to meet him, discuss DAV matters, and to show him what a great Department and members we have here in Wisconsin.

Commander Nixon spoke at our Banquet and pointed out that we have a tremendous asset in Past National Commander Dick Marbes. He talked about the turbulent times of the early 90’s and the impact Dick had as the National Commander in 1993. It left me with the impression that he and few others saved this great organization and help make it what it is today. Many thanks to you Commander Nixon for sharing that with the DAV Department of Wisconsin.

Well, we’re off and running for the upcoming year. A first, Commander Hert was nominated and elected for a second year. Matt Kempainen is our Senior Vice and we now have three Junior Vice Commanders. First JVC is Rob Hilliard, second is Greg Palo, and third is Darrel Hainline. Al Labelle and Stan Panek where elected to Benefits Protection Team Leader and Judge Advocate. Congratulations to our newly elected leadership. Looking forward to another great year.

We now have only five Districts rather than the seven of previous years. Four of the five are new to the position of District Executive Committee (DEC) person. Reminder to the DECs, schedule your chapter visits. You are no longer required to visit every chapter every year. Focus on those that need the most assistance. Please provide us with a list of your schedule.

We’re still busy even though the convention is over. We have DAV Days coming at the Hospitals and Veterans homes, summer fund raising activities, National Convention and our Fall Conference.

We appreciate all you do in fulfilling our promise to Veterans!!!
Wisconsin DAV Headquarters
1253 Scheuring Road Suite A
De Pere, WI 54115
Phone: 920.338.8620
Fax: 920.338.8621
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