This article is by guest author, Kenosha County Communications Manager, Joe Potente.

Being 101 years old didn’t stop Lillian Jilk from joining the American Legion two years ago.

And being 103 didn’t stop her from being present and smiling, when Legion Post 21 honored her for her two years as a continuous member and presented her with a lifetime membership and a Certificate of Honor in recognition of her World War II service.

Jilk was one of two centenarian women that the post honored Monday morning at the Casa del Mare Assisted Living and Memory Care facility on Kenosha’s north side.

Florence Klappa, 102, received a certificate and pin in honor of her 50 years of continuous membership of the American Legion Auxiliary. 

“We just wanted to thank you for your service and everything you’ve done,” said Post 21 Commander Matt Christensen, during a brief ceremony complete with cake and well wishes from American Legion members and some of the ladies’ Casa del Mare neighbors.

At 103, Jilk is Post 21’s oldest current member. A native of Minnesota and now a longtime resident of Kenosha, she joined the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps in 1942.

Stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes and later at a boot camp in Idaho and the Naval Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., she recalls treating sailors’ shrapnel wounds and other maladies.

“It was a good experience,” she said.

During Monday’s event, Kenosha County Veterans Services Director,and Post 21 member, Ali Nelson saluted Jilk for her service.

“That was a pivotal time in our history,” Nelson said. “Because without World War II veterans, we likely wouldn’t even have a country today.”

Sitting beside Jilk, Klappa wore a pin on her sweater — a spent 50-caliber machine gun shell that her late husband, Roger, created during his World War II service as a B-29 mechanic. Earlier this year, Klappa had the opportunity to see the plane her husband serviced when it was part of a traveling tour of World War II aircraft that made a stop at the Kenosha Regional Airport.

Despite becoming a widow in 1980, Klappa remained a consistent member of the American Legion Auxiliary Berens-Scribner Unit 6 post in Stevens Point, where she and her husband lived before moving to Kenosha in 1958.

“I’m more of a backseat person,” Klappa said, of her honors Monday morning.

On being 102, she said, “I feel good — it’s just my bones that don’t cooperate.”

Please click on a photo for a slideshow of all photos.

Sticky

Randolph Granger joined Post 21 forty years ago to help a friend work Kenosha’s 4th of July fireworks display which was performed by Post 21 at the time.  He remembers those days fondly.  He had been at the post previously, “as a kid” when the Post hosted teen dances.

Randy Granger with his latest donation

At our August member meeting Randy presented the post with the pictured artwork which is a signed pen and ink drawing of the USS Arizona (BB-39) Underway.  The work was created on the 40th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. In the past, he also donated other items, such as another framed picture of the Arizona Memorial, a picture of a funeral caisson, and a Legion Police Badge.   The Grangers have a long legacy in the Legion as Randy’s

father used to write articles for The American Legion Magazine.Randy and his wife Lori, a US Army veteran herself, are currently downsizing and thought that Post 21 was the right place for it. Randy assured us he will come down from time to time to visit us and have a look at a favorite old picture. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Granger!

Because of the pandemic, member meetings have been cancelled until January. That does not mean that we are not active. We are working on improvements to the kitchen to enhance our ability to earn funds necessary to fulfill our primary mission of helping Veterans, our community, and our country. As soon as the Executive Board approves the minutes I’ll be sending out a summary.

We have some plumbing work that needs to be done, and Jerry Jones is back as the Historian Committee Chairman. He has done a outstanding job of saving and organizing our Post history, and we have started a project to digitize articles and pictures. Anyone interested in helping out should contact us.

Paul Herrick Post 21 has the honor of hosting the 1st District POW/MIA Silent March this year, and because of recent events we would like to make it a special one.

We, the stewards of Paul Herrick Post 21, paid for by the citizens of this great city, continue to serve the United States of America. We made an oath to this country that did not stop when we changed into civilian clothes. We have the responsibility to make the Post a bastion of patriotism in downtown Kenosha. We also have the responsibility to be a voice for those that gave up their voices for our country. No matter what political party, race, religion, or sex, we stand as one honoring those that did not come home yet.

Let us never forget.

Join us on September 19th, 2020 at 9:00 am in front of the Post.
Registration & Assembly: 9 AM
Silent March: 11 AM
Ceremony: 11:30 AM

For more information Contact, 
Tom Visintainer at 262-620-5646
commander@alpost21.com

I hope you’ll excuse the lateness of this article, but while putting together the slide show that I had running during the Chili Cook-off last week, I ran across a great many veteran related graphics about the Black History Month celebration. This was what I came up with for the slide…

If you have something like this that you would like to post, please contact us! We sure could use your help.

The Second Judicial District of Wisconsin Veterans Treatment Court gave special recognition to post member Joe Campolo for his one year of service as a Veteran Mentor. The award was presented this past December.

The mission of the Veterans Treatment Court of the Second Judicial District of Wisconsin is to honor veterans by restoring them to a productive life by providing judicial support, treatment and supervision thereby enhancing public safety.

Give Joe a pat on the back when you see him!

I’ve been delinquent lately concerning updates to this website as I’ve been trying to rebuild it using more modern software.  What I’m not to busy for though is to tip my hat to Tom Visintainer for organizing the various Veternans Day ceremonies that were held at the post this past week.  It looks like the Kenosha News thought he did pretty good too because we got the front page.   Big shout out to the Kenosha Area Vietnam Veterans Honor Guard and the active members who made it possible.  

Hey, that’s a good idea! Everyone at the post will be interested. I’ll send out a text message… and without thinking about it, off it goes, AT 10pm, oops. It sure is tempting to send a quick text message to your pals, but nobody want to hear about non emergencies after, say 8pm. I’m guilty as anyone, but maybe it’s time to make some rules. Any comments???

Did you know that our post historian, Carl Bogar, is a bonified historian.  He certainly proved it to a group of Boy/Cub Scouts this past Thursday at Jeffery Elementary School.  The presentation was very informative, and I can say with confidence that everyone there learned something.  I hope I can speak for everyone in thanking Carl for representing the Post so well.   

Carl Bogar educating local scout troop on the history of the American Flag