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!

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.”

This past Monday, April 25th, the Post was fortunate to host two of our active duty members. Coincidentally, they are sisters! ALA member Wendy Smith daughters Army Specialist Samantha Nicole Smith and Marine DI Sargent Gabrielle Renea Ortega were both home at the same time. That has to be rare (but hopefully not in Wendy’s case)! Thanks for stopping by.

Wendy provided some other photos as well…

It’s always great to hear about our active duty members, but this one is extra awesome. ALA Member Wendy Smiths daughter Gabrelle had her 1st day as a DI 3-18-22 @ MCRD San Diego. They called her “The Scary Hat”. Mom’s pretty proud, and so are we!

Congratulations to The American Legion, Kenosha Post 21 Finance Officer and Judge Advocate, Steve Tindall for his selection as Kenosha’s 1st Quarter 2022 Hometown Hero. The event last night during the City Council Meeting was attended by his family, friends and fellow Legionaries. Well deserved, Steve!

Contest Winners with American Legion Dept of WI Commander Greg Eirich and Post 21 Commander Thomas Visintainer

Congratulations to Elijah Bogar, Katelynn Ripper, and Joshua Cao, our 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners respectively. We were proud to have these three outstanding youths read their winning entries at our Pearl Harbor / Paul Herrick Memorial Service. The prizes were $500.00, $300.00, and $200 for the three high school students.

The American Legion, Wisconsin State Commander, Greg Eirich who traveled from Sheboygan for the days events, presented the awards. The commander gave a well received talk on leadership and the Legions Four Pillars of Service.

On hand to congratulate the winners was State Representative Samantha Kerkman who talked with the winners and their families at length.

It could be argued that writing (communications) is the most important tool of a leader. The simple act of deciding to do so by entering this contest is a good indication that we are dealing with future leaders of business / and or our communities. Seeing future leaders conversing with these two current leaders was a very welcome site, and a highlight of the evening.

We want to note that there was only one entry from a middle school student. We did not distinguish between age or school groups in this, our first year of having this contest. In that light, an Honorable Mention goes to 6th Grader Ryleigh Konitzer for her well done entry.

NOTE: to view a slideshow, click on the title of the article, then click on one of the pictures.

Photo Credits: County Adjutant, Michael Hellquist

I am proud to announce that our Commander, Thomas J Visintainer Sr. has been selected as Kenosha’s Hometown Hero for the 4th Quarter, 2021. The Commander will be presented with the award on Monday, Dec 20th, 2021 at the beginning of the Common Council Meeting in Room 300 of City Hall at 7:00pm. Stop by and show your support for “Woody” and wear your Legion Cover to show support for The American Legion.

Commander Karl Stuvengen forward an invitation from TAL State Administrative Manager/Event Planner Angela Chappell. This a great opportunity for members to meet people from all over the state and share ideas.

Please contact us if you are interested.

Attachments:

OPPORTUNITY #1 MIDWINTER CONFERENCE:

If you haven’t heard, Midwinter is right around the corner. Since we know you have a yearning for learning, you do not want to miss this conference. We have attached the training brochure for this year’s event, along with the registration and housing forms. You can find all of this information, schedules and more at https://bit.ly/2022MW. We would love to see you January 13-16, 2022 at Ho-Chunk for the 2022 Midwinter Conference. Oh and did we mention Elvis is coming Saturday night 😉

OPPORTUNITY #2 STANDING COMMITTEES:

We love that you took the time to attend Legion College courses to learn more about the organization, now you have the opportunity to put that knowledge to use. Each year the Department Commander has seats to fill on the Department Standing Committees. We challenge you to think about your strengths, education, vocation and passion to see where you could best serve. There are 14 Department Committees; to learn more about these opportunities go to wilegion.org, click ‘Get Connected’ and then ‘Committees & Commissions’ and click on the ones that interest you to learn more about that committee/commission. If you are interested in serving, fill out the attached Fillable Standing Committee Application and give it to your District Commander for submission to the Department.