One hundred years ago this November 11, will mark the end of the first great global conflict.  The war to end all wars they called it, but sadly in twenty years the world would be at war once more.  In those final days in France, the men of the Allied Expeditionary force developed an idea that this November will see its century anniversary.  That idea became the American Legion and Kenosha post 21 is one of its original posts.  

     In 1938, the citizens of Kenosha came together and built a hall located at 504 58th Street as a gift to honor their fathers who service in that Great War.  Little did they know at the dedication of the building, the post would become home for their sons who would be called upon to fight the next great war in just three years.  

     Post 21 is named after Paul Herrick, one of those young Kenosha son who enlisted in the Marine Corps only to surrender his life in service on December 7, 1941, on board the USS Arizona.  Another one of those young Americans would serve in the United States Navy as a P.T. boat commander, and then as a United States Senator, his name was Kennedy.  When Senator John F. Kennedy, began his run for the White House he stopped in Kenosha to address the public from our hall.  In that year he was running for the Democratic Party nomination for the President of the United States.  Post 21 was the location for the American legion National Convention. Form our small mid-west city, Kennedy was able to address veterans from all the states of our nation who went home to report to their local post.  We still have the microphone that Kennedy used to address the delegates that day.  

     World War Two was the first American conflict where large numbers of Woman were able to serve.  One of those Kenosha daughters was Betty Gold who enlisted to serve in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, (WAAC.)  She called our post home and in the next military conflict, The Vietnam War, in 1969.Legionnear Gold was the Commander of the post.  She was one of the first women to be a post commander in our state.

      At the apex over 1,000 veterans were members of the post. Today, we are still one of the largest in Wisconsin with just over 300 members who served from World War Two to Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom.  Eighty percent of our post served in the Vietnam War.  Our longest service member was Loyd Zeltinger, who was an American Legion Post 21 member for over 70 years before he passed.

   The post is active in Veteran and civic events and programs that promote the four pillars of the American Legion’s charter which was approved by the United States Congress one hundred years ago.  These pillars are the heart of the American Legion.  The pillars are Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children and Youth.

Pillar I, Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, The American Legion fight to improve the Veterans Affairs Administration and service for veterans returning from active duty.  Service like the Employment Assistance Act originally passed to help World War Two veterans returning home. Today this law employs Local Veterans Employment representatives (LVER) and Disabled Veterans Outreach Program specialist (DVOP) in all state to helps veterans who served honorably find employment after service.  Other programs like Camp America Legion here in Wisconsin is a retreat in Lake Tomahawk where veterans who are coping with PTSD or any other condition can find a retreat from their daily condition.

Pillar II, National Security, the American Legion has many programs to support not only the service member but their family.  Programs like Operation Comfort Warriors and Blue Star Banners are just some of the programs that provide support to the family of active duty service member while they are deployed away from home.

Pillar III, Americanism, post 21 each years covers the cost to send 8 to 10 boys and our auxiliary sends a comparable number of girls to Badger State where that learn about how all level of state government and how government works.  Past Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, in high school was a badger boy and former President Bill Clinton attend his boys’ state in Arkansas and they was selected to attend Boys Nation while a high school junior.  Attending Badger State will opens up several college scholarships for those who are selected to attend by their high school guidance counselors.

Pillar IV, Children and youth, The American Legion with programs like. Family Support Network and the Child Welfare Foundation help families with young children shoulder the added burden and cost that come when a family schedule is altered do to a military deployment or active duty call up.  These programs help cover the cost of items like child care when a single parent must now juggle the family without the deployed service member help.  When you see your American Legion Post 21 members out in the community providing a honor guard at events or conducting other activities, remember our service to the nation and community has not concluded upon conclusions of our military service.  American Legion Post 21 and its members has served our nation for 100 years and we are still serving our community, state and nation today.  Membership in our post is not limited to honorably discharged veterans.  The Auxiliary and Sons are open to non-veterans who want to serve in honor of their Veteran family member(s).  If want to learn more about your American Legion Post 21 or want to join the Post, Auxiliary, Sons or American Legion Riders stop in the hall or sent us a message on Facebook.  Kenosha, we are proud to serve you!

Carl A. Bogar, Jr.  
Past Post Commander,  
Post 21 Historian

Editors Note: This article was reprinted from LC Action Magazine, August 2019. Used with Permission.

Did you know that membership in the Kenosha Public Library comes with free access to!!! has hundreds of online classes for just about everything!  Here’s some examples:

Some topics from Kenosha Public Library’s free access to

That’s just some examples from the design area! They have 63 classes on different facets of WordPress alone! I don’t know about anyone else, but for me it’s a retiree’s dream come true. The only question now is who is going to take the website over from me!

The best place to start would be at the help counter at the library. You have to go there to establish a electronic library card. Look into the other e-media. Libby, for example, is an phone / pad app that lets you check out books, magazines, even music!

P.S. My grandmother used to tell me to “Go to the Library, that’s where the smart people go!”

This Leadership Primer by General Colin Powell was originally a powerpoint presentation that was floating around the internet maybe 10 years ago.  I remains one of the most interesting things I ever found out there.  While doing research for this article I learned that he didn’t actually make the presentation.   He did, however, craft what is on them.   They were notes to himself that he kept on his desk.  He said in an interview that someone called him and asked if he would help on a presentation he was doing on leadership and asked him for quotes.  General Powell said that he pulled out his list and gave the person the ones that were “Ready for prime time”.    You can find the Powerpoint, as well as many videos and other media, by Googling “Colin Powell”.   P.S. If I ever find the quotes that weren’t OK, I’ll post them here.

General Colin Powell Chairman (Ret), Joint Chiefs of Staff

A Leadership Primer   


“Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.”

Good leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which means that some people will get angry at your actions and decisions. It’s inevitable, if you’re honorable. Trying to get everyone to like you is a signof mediocrity: you’ll avoid the tough decisions, you’ll avoid confronting the people who need to be confronted, and you’ll avoid offering differential rewards based on differential performance because some people mightget upset. Ironically, by procrastinating on the difficult choices, by tryingnot to get anyone mad, and by treating everyone equally “nicely” regardless of their contributions, you’ll simply ensure that the only people you’ll windup angering are the most creative and productive people in the organization.


“The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.”

If this were a litmus test, the majority of CEOs would fail. One, they build so many barriers to upward communication that the very idea of someone lower in the hierarchy looking up to the leader for help is ludicrous. Two, the corporate culture they foster often defines asking for help as weakness or failure, so people cover up their gaps, and the organization suffers accordingly. Real leaders make themselves accessible and available. They show concern for the efforts and challenges faced by underlings, even as they demand high standards. Accordingly, they are more likely to create an environment where problem analysis replaces blame. 


“Don’t be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Elites can become so inbred that they produce hemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world.”

Small companies and start-ups don’t have the time for analytically detached experts. They don’t have the money to subsidize lofty elites, either. The president answers the phone and drives the truck when necessary; everyone on the payroll visibly produces and contributes to bottom-line results or they’re history. But as companies get bigger, they often forget who “brought them to the dance”: things like all-hands involvement, egalitarianism, informality, market intimacy, daring, risk, speed, agility. Policies that emanate fromivory towers often have an adverse impact on the people out in the field who are fighting the wars or bringing in the revenues. Real leaders are vigilant, and combative, in the face of these trends.   


“Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.”

Learn from the pros, observe them, seek them out as mentors and partners. But remember that even the pros may have leveled out in terms of their learning and skills. Sometimes even the pros can become complacent and lazy. Leadership does not emerge from blind obedience to anyone. Xerox’s Barry Rand was right on target when he warned his people that if you have a yes-man working for you, one of you is redundant. Good leadership encourages everyone’s evolution.  


“Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.”

Strategy equals execution. All the great ideas and visions in the world are worthless if they can’t be implemented rapidly and efficiently. Good leaders delegate and empower others liberally, but they pay attention to details, every day. (Think about supreme athletic coaches like Jimmy Johnson, Pat Riley and Tony La Russa). Bad ones, even those who fancy themselves as progressive “visionaries,” think they’re somehow “above” operational details. Paradoxically, good leaders understand something else: an obsessive routine in carrying out the details begets conformity and complacency, which in turn dulls everyone’s mind. That is why even as they pay attention to details, they continually encourage people to challenge the process. They implicitly understand the sentiment of CEO leaders like Quad Graphic’s Harry Quadracchi, Oticon’s Lars Kolind and the late Bill McGowan of MCI, who all independently asserted that the Job of a leader is not to be the chief organizer, but the chief dis-organizer.


“You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.”

You know the expression, “it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.” Well, it’s true. Good leaders don’t wait for official blessing to try things out. They’re prudent, not reckless. But they also realize a fact of life in most organizations: if you ask enough people for permission, you’ll inevitably come up against someone who believes his job is to say “no.” So the moral is, don’t ask. Less effective middle managers endorsed the sentiment, “If I haven’t explicitly been told ‘yes,’ I can’t do it,” whereas the good ones believed, “If I haven’t explicitly been told ‘no,’ I can.” There’s a world of difference between these two pointsof view.


“Keep looking below surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so (just) because you might not like what you find.”

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogant or the scared. It’s an excuse for inaction, a call to non-arms. It’s a mind-set that assumes (or hopes) that today’s realities will continue tomorrow in a tidy, linear and predictable fashion. Pure fantasy. In this sort of culture, you won’t find people who pro-actively take steps to solve problems as they emerge. Here’s a little tip: don’t invest in these companies.  


“Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.”

In a brain-based economy, your best assets are people. We’ve heard this expression so often that it’s become trite. But how many leaders really “walk the talk” with this stuff? Too often, people are assumed to be empty chess pieces to be moved around by grand viziers, which may explain why so many top managers immerse their calendar time in deal making, restructuring and the latest management fad. How many immerse themselves in the goal of creating an environment where the best, the brightest, the most creative are attracted, retained and, most importantly, unleashed?    


“Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.”

Organization charts are frozen, anachronistic photos in a work place that ought to be as dynamic as the external environment around you. If people really followed organization charts, companies would collapse. In well-run organizations, titles are also pretty meaningless. At best, they advertisesome authority, an official status conferring the ability to give orders and induce obedience. But titles mean little in terms of real power, which is the capacity to influence and inspire. Have you ever noticed that people will personally commit to certain individuals who on paper (or on the organization chart) possess little authority, but instead possess pizzazz, drive, expertise, and genuine caring for teammates and products? On the flip side, non-leaders in management may be formally anointed with all the perks and frills associated with high positions, but they have little influence on others, apart from their ability to extract minimal compliance to minimal standards.


“Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.”

Too often, change is stifled by people who cling to familiar turfs and job descriptions. One reason that even large organizations wither is that managers won’t challenge old, comfortable ways of doing things. Butreal leaders understand that, nowadays, every one of our jobs is becoming obsolete. The proper response is to obsolete our activities before someone else does. Effective leaders create a climate where people’s worth is determined by their willingness to learn new skills and grab new responsibilities, thus perpetually reinventing their jobs. The mostimportant question in performance evaluation becomes not, “How well did you perform your job since the last time we met?” but, “How much did you change it?”


“Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.”

Flitting from fad to fad creates team confusion, reduces the leader’s credibility, and drains organizational coffers. Blindly following a particular fad generates rigidity in thought and action. Sometimes speed to market is more important than total quality. Sometimes an unapologetic directive is more appropriate than participatory discussion. Some situations require the leader to hover closely; others require long, loose leashes. Leaders honor their core values, but they are flexible in how they execute them. They understand that management techniques are not magic mantras but simply tools to be reached for at the right times.  


“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”

The ripple effect of a leader’s enthusiasm and optimism is awesome. So is the impact of cynicism and pessimism. Leaders who whine and blame engender those same behaviors among their colleagues. I am not talking about stoically accepting organizational stupidity and performance incompetence with a “what, me worry?” smile. I am talking about a gung-ho attitude that says “we can change things here, we can achieve awesome goals, we can be the best.” Spare me the grim litany of the “realist,” give me the unrealistic aspirationsof the optimist any day.


“Powell’s Rules for Picking People:”

Look for intelligence and judgment, and most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego, and the drive to get things done.

How often do our recruitment and hiring processes tap into these attributes? More often than not, we ignore them in favor of length of resume, degrees and prior titles. A string of job descriptions a recruit held yesterday seem to be more important than who one is today, what they can contribute tomorrow, or how well their values mesh with those of the organization. You can train a bright, willing novice in the fundamentals of your business fairly readily, butit’s a lot harder to train someone to have integrity, judgment, energy, balance, and the drive to get things done. Good leaders stack the deck in their favor right in the recruitment phase.    


“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

Effective leaders understand the KISS principle, Keep It Simple, Stupid. They articulate vivid, over-arching goals and values, which they use to drive daily behaviors and choices among competing alternatives. Their visions and priorities are lean and compelling, not cluttered and buzzword-laden. Their decisions are crisp and clear, not tentative and ambiguous. They convey an unwavering firmness and consistency in their actions, aligned with the picture of the future they paint. The result: clarity of purpose, credibility of leadership, and integrity in organization.  


Part I: “Use the formula P=40 to 70, in which P stands for the probability of success and the numbers indicate the percentage of information acquired.”

Part II: “Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut.”

Don’t take action if you have only enough information to give you less than a 40 percent chance of being right, but don’t wait until you have enough facts to be 100 percent sure, because by then it is almost always too late. Today, excessive delays in the name of information-gathering breeds “analysis paralysis.” Procrastination in the name of reducing risk actually increases risk.    


The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.”

Too often, the reverse defines corporate culture. This is one of the main reasons why leaders like Ken Iverson of Nucor Steel, Percy Barnevik of Asea Brown Boveri, and Richard Branson of Virgin have kept their corporate staffsto a bare-bones minimum – how about fewer than 100 central corporate staffers for global $30 billion-plus ABB? Or around 25 and 3 for multi-billion Nucor and Virgin, respectively? Shift the power and the financial accountability to the folks who are bringing in the beans, not the ones who are countingor analyzing them.


“Have fun in your command. Don’t always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you’ve earned it: Spend time with your families.Corollary: surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.”

Herb Kelleher of Southwest Air and Anita Roddick of The Body Shop would agree: seek people who have some balance in their lives, who are fun to hang out with, who like to laugh (at themselves, too) and who have some non-job priorities which they approach with the same passion that they do their work. Spare me the grim workaholic or the pompous pretentious “professional;”I’ll help them find jobs with my competitor.     


“Command is lonely.”

Harry Truman was right. Whether you’re a CEO or the temporary head of a project team, the buck stops here. You can encourage participative management and bottom-up employee involvement, but ultimately the essence of leadership is the willingness to make the tough, unambiguous choices that will have an impact on the fate of the organization. I’ve seen too many non-leaders flinch from this responsibility. Even as you createan informal, open, collaborative corporate culture, prepare to be lonely.

“Leadership is the art of accomplishing more than the science of management says is possible.”

NOTE:  I have not been able to find out if this is copyrighted material.  If it is, I’ll certainly ask permission to post this here.

I was just perusing facebook and was inspired by one of Wendy Smith’s posts.  Actually, I’m inspired by a lot of her posts, but this one in particular caught my attention because it involved Coach John Wooden.  Coach Wooden was famous as UCLA’s basketball coach when his teams won ten NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period.  That included 7 in a row, which is still (I believe) a record.  For those of you from Wisconsin, Coach Wooden ranks right up there with Coach Lombardi, you just may not know it yet.  

     I first heard about Coach Wooden when I was a kid playing basketball with my friends.  His players such as Lew Alcindor (aka Kareem Abdul-Jabar)  and Bill Walton were always on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  But far later in life when I was looking for inspiration, I found Coach Wooden on the web.  (When you are ready to learn, your teacher will appear!)  His quotes or “Woodisms” are in every list of quotes worth looking at.  

     At the time, I thought so much of his words, I created a mini-poster for my children as they went off to college with the instructions to cover their eyes and poke at something to read every day.    I’ve included an updated version here.  At this point, I’ll let Coach Wooden have the floor…