WDVA May e-News

MAY 2021

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WDVA's Virtual Memorial Day Commemoration

Sec. Mary Kolar today invited Wisconsin veterans, family, and friends to join the WDVA and Governor Tony Evers in honoring the fallen by participating in Wisconsin’s virtual Memorial Day commemoration, available at www.WisVetsMemorialDay.com.

As we continue to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19, WDVA is once again bringing its Memorial Day commemoration to homes across Wisconsin virtually. The commemoration website includes a remembrance video recognizing Wisconsinites who were killed in service during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and the terrorist attacks on 9/11; video messages from Gov. Evers, Sec. Kolar, and other leaders; resources to help families and individuals engage at home; and tools to encourage public participation and social media interaction. The commemoration will culminate on Monday, May 31 with a virtual Memorial Day ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on Facebook.

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WI Department of Workforce Development: "Let's Hire Our Heroes"

By expanding eligibility requirements for the Hire Heroes program, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), with the support of WDVA and the Department of Children and Families, can help more veterans gain needed job skills by encouraging employers to provide veterans with in-demand, transferable skills. The program subsidizes the costs paid by local businesses who hire and train veterans at transitional worksites where they earn the skills necessary to move into unsubsidized employment.

"Military members and veterans live by a strong code of ethics and core values that we should all strive for: commitment, integrity, accountability, loyalty, and service before self. In a word, they're heroes, and we want heroes in our workforce. In fact, we need them. That is why the aptly named Hire Heroes Program is supported and strengthened in Gov. Tony Evers' Badger Bounceback plan," wrote DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek in a recent column. Read her full column here.

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Hmong-Lao Veterans Day

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed AB 154 into law this month to recognize the service of Hmong-Lao soldiers who fought alongside US troops during the Vietnam War, risking their lives and serving with courage.

The bill designated May 14 as Hmong-Lao Veterans Day and aims to ensure Hmong-Lao soldiers get the acknowledgment and honor they’re due. The bill also encourages schools to discuss Hmong-Lao veterans' military service so future generations of Wisconsinites understand the sacrifices these individuals made in service.

Staff Sergeant Eric Maddox


The Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation's Convoy Speaker Series fundraiser on June 27 in Richfield will feature former Staff Sergeant Eric Maddox as its keynote speaker.

SSG Maddox was the interrogator attached to a Delta Force Team in Tikrit who gathered intelligence that led to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Tickets are available for purchase with proceeds benefitting the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.

American Legion Family Cabin


Congratulations to the American Legion of Wisconsin on the opening of the American Legion Family Cabin. WDVA Deputy Sec. James Bond was honored to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony last weekend. The family cabin will be a wonderful place of healing and comfort for the families of Wisconsin veterans.

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Military Saves recently launched the 2021 Military Saves Saver Survey to gauge the financial readiness of military families and veterans and understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their savings habits. The survey is open to service members, military spouses, veterans, and DOD employees.

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Unemployed because of the pandemic? The application for the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) is now available. This program offers education and training for high-demand jobs to veterans who are unemployed because of COVID-19. Read more to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply.



Thank you to the nursing staff who serve our nation's heroes at Wisconsin's three veterans homes! In honor of National Nurses Week earlier this month, we highlighted just a few of the incredible nurses on the WDVA Facebook page.