WDVA e-News October 2022


Veterans Day 2022 WDVA promo image

Veterans Day is November 11

Save The Date!

On Friday, November 11, Veterans Day will be observed with a ceremony in the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda. Please save the date as we honor all who have served our country. 

This year’s National Veterans Day theme for 2022 is honor. As a society we view the concept of honor as a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage in everything we do. We also view honor in our veterans for their personal sacrifices, accolades, and their commitment to have proudly served our country.

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs is once again joining the Madison Veterans Council to host this year's Veterans Day ceremony​ in the Wisconsin State Capitol. The ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude with a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m.  We would be honored if you would join us. 

Women Veteran Leadership event in Milwaukee 10.5.22

Secretary Kolar Speaks at Women's Leadership Reception in Milwaukee 

WDVA Secretary Mary Kolar was honored to give the keynote remarks at the Women's Leadership Reception hosted by the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce (WVCOC) on October 5. The "I Am Not Invisible" theme of the evening featured Wisconsin women veterans who are front and center, leading in business, and improving communities across Wisconsin.

It focused on highlighting the significant impact of women veteran business owners, business professionals, and community leaders across Wisconsin. There were several presentations and inspirational stories by women veteran leaders and included refreshments and networking opportunities with fellow veterans and business professionals. 

This special event hosted by the WVCOC also raised funds to benefit the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative's Women Veterans Initiative (WOVIN). To learn more about WOVIN, visit mhvivets.org/wovin.

CVSOA Fall Conference Wis Rapids Kolar and Blumenfeld 10.17.22

WDVA Secretary Kolar attends CVSOA Fall Conference 

The County Veterans Service Officers Association of Wisconsin held its weeklong conference last week in Wisconsin Rapids. WDVA Secretary Mary Kolar and Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary-designee Kathy Blumenfeld spoke to the assembled conference about the recent $10 million dollar investment by Governor Tony Evers that will help veterans navigate issues such as mental health treatment, suicide prevention, housing and employment. 

The association represents CVSOs working in Wisconsin's 72 counties, as well as Tribal Veterans Service Officers from Wisconsin's 11 federally recognized tribes. The announced investments included $1.5 million to be distributed between every CVSO and TVSO across Wisconsin. The $10 million also included: 

  • $4.5 million to support veteran mental health initiatives.
  • $2 million to create a rental assistance program for homeless veterans.
  • An additional $1.5 million for the Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP).
  • An additional $500,000 for DWD’s Hire Heroes Program.

These investment allocations come directly from recommendations made by Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Veteran Opportunity. Two of the conference attendees, outgoing CVSOA President and Wood County CVSO Rock Larson and Stockbridge-Munsee TVSO Gregg Duffek, served on the Blue Ribbon Commission. 

Mark Provencher new photo 10.20.22

VORP Spotlight:

Mark Provencher, Jr.

Meet Mark Provencher, Jr., outreach coordinator for Region 8 of WDVA’s Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP). 

Region 8 of VORP consists of the Wisconsin counties of Columbia, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Washington.

Mark gets his personal motivation to help his fellow veterans from experiencing a similar difficult path during his transition from service to civilian life. “My career path with helping veterans in VORP has turned into a lifelong passion of veteran advocacy,” says Provencher.

His most rewarding part is seeing the veterans he works with being successful in their plan of action and goals. “It is wonderful seeing them reaching a better quality of life for themselves and their family.”

Mark's family has many Marine Corps Veterans, including himself. This includes his father who served in the Vietnam-era, and his older brother Robert and adopted brother Chad who served during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. His wife Amber was in the Marine Corps during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mark retired as a Staff Sergeant (E-6) in the United States Marine Corps after 22 years of active service. During his service he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Mark is originally from Plymouth, WI.  

Mark can be reached at: 920.226.9898, or at Mark.provencher@dva.wi.gov 

Do Tell Oct LGBTQ Awarness Month Wis Vet Museum

October is LGBTQ+ Awareness Month

On the National Day of Coming Out, October 11, WDVA salutes the courage and service of our LGBTQ+ veterans.

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum (WVM) is proud to preserve the oral stories of LGBTQ+ veterans from across Wisconsin, such as Army veteran Maria Hanson-Bailey.

For Hanson-Bailey, discovering her lesbian identity was revelatory. Coming out to her commander in 1989 had life-shattering consequences for Hanson-Bailey as she was honorably discharged immediately. In her oral history given to WVM, Hanson-Bailey reflects in her interview discussing the Army today, and meaningful improvements she’s witnessed in the careers of others since then. 

Though the military environment can still be tenuous for some LGBTQ+ servicemembers, she states there’s been considerable progress. Today, Hanson-Bailey is involved with advocacy work for the queer community, domestic violence victims, and mental illness awareness. To hear other stories directly from LGBTQ+ veterans this National Coming Out Day, please click here to learn more at the Museum's website. 


LPN opening at Union Grove

WDVA is Hiring for Multiple Openings

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs is hiring for multiple career opportunities at all levels of our department - from administrative positions to our skilled care facilities. We are always looking for talented individuals to join our WDVA team near where you live! 

Our Wisconsin Veterans Homes at King and Union Grove also have many open positions. This includes nurses, CNA, and LPN openings that also have a $2,000 hiring bonus for qualified applicants.

Take a look at these and other opportunities for you to serve Wisconsin veterans. VIEW OPENINGS HERE!