WDVA e-News November 2022


Veterans Day 2022 in WI Capitol Rotunda Color Guard

Veterans Day 2022 Honors All Who Served Our Nation

WDVA joined the Madison Veterans Council in hosting the annual Veterans Day observance in the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda on Friday, November 11, as we gave tribute to the service and commitment of all our nation's veterans.

The National theme for this year's Veterans Day observance was honor. Governor Tony Evers, WDVA Secretary Mary Kolar, and Wisconsin Veterans Museum's Director Christopher Kolakowski gave keynote remarks focusing on the concept of honor and what it means to all who have served our nation.

WDVA is grateful to Madison Veterans Council for helping organize Veterans Day and VFW Post #1318 Band for providing wonderful patriotic music during the ceremony. 


Natalie Isensee is WDVA Woman Veteran of the Year 

On Thursday, November 10, Natalie Isensee, a Marine Corps Veteran, was formally presented as the 2022 WDVA Woman Veteran of the Year (WVOTY) by Governor Evers and WDVA Secretary Mary Kolar. 

The award presentation took place during a special Veterans Reception at the Governor's Residence in Maple Bluff hosted by Governor Tony Evers and First Lady Kathy Evers.

Isensee, a New Berlin native, served as an officer in the Marine Corps from 2000 to 2005, including service in Kuwait and Iraq, achieving the rank of Captain. Isensee followed her Marine Corps service by establishing herself as a stalwart advocate for military veterans and their families.

Putting her passion and veteran expertise to task, Isensee is currently the Manager of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at WPS Health Solutions, leading a team of DEI professionals as they work to instill behaviors, systems, and inclusivity-awareness into the company's culture. She has also been active in giving back to her veteran community, as well as recently serving on the Governor's Blue-Ribbon Commission on Veteran Opportunity. 

Created in 2009, the WDVA’s Woman Veteran of the Year Award recognizes women veterans in Wisconsin who have compiled records of exemplary service as military service members, veterans, and outstanding members of their communities.

View Natatlie's full biography here

View all pictures from the Veterans Reception and presentation of WVOTY Award here

IANI exhibit at UW Parkside

UW-Parkside Hosts

"I Am Not Invisible" Exhibit

WDVA Secretary Mary Kolar gave keynote opening remarks at University of Wisconsin-Parkside as they hosted the 'I Am Not Invisible' (IANI) exhibit. 

The IANI exhibit and campaign strives to increase awareness and generate dialogue about the significant role of women veterans. It ran from November 7-11, at UW-Parkside's Brookwood Foundation Main Place in Wyllie Hall.

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs through the Wisconsin Veterans Museum created this IANI exhibit to create awareness of the diverse, experienced, and important segment of our veteran community. WDVA is committed to supporting, creating opportunities, and elevating the visibility of women veterans. A special thank you to UW-Parkside for their support and efforts to shine a light on women veterans.

For more information how an organization can apply to host this travelling exhibit, please visit the Wisconsin Veterans Museum information page.

Click here to view all pictures from the exhibit*Photo credit to UW-Parkside.

Happy Thanksgiving 2022 corrected text
Philip Olson Region 10 VORP coordinator

VORP Spotlight:

Philip Olson

Meet Philip Olson, outreach coordinator for Region 10 of WDVA’s Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP). 

Region 10 of VORP consists of the densely populated Wisconsin counties of Waukesha and Milwaukee.

Philip is personally motivated to continue to serve his fellow veterans out of uniform. 

Philip says, “Through my personal understanding of the complex issues and situations veterans deal with on a daily basis, this role has become a personal vendetta for me regarding issues surrounding our veteran population.”

The most rewarding part of his job is seeing the veterans he works with gain stability and thrive. “My goal is to get veterans in our community in a better, more stable position that allows them the opportunity to heal and begin to find their own unique pathway to success.”

Philip is a veteran of the US Army with deployments to Afghanistan in 2009 and 2011. 

Philip can be reached at: 414.209.2064, or at Philip.Olson@dva.wi.gov 

Moses Hall Opens at King

John R. Moses Hall Opens at King

The Wisconsin Veterans Home in King opened its new skilled nursing facility earlier this month. 

With a capacity of 192 beds, John R. Moses Hall is designed in the neighborhood style, which provides a home-like environment.

Rooms are grouped into individual households, each with its own kitchen, dining room, screened porch and dedicated living room.

The facility also features a physical therapy suite, private rooms, a barber/beauty shop, views of Rainbow Lake, and outdoor spaces.

“For generations, King has served as a place of community and pride for those who live and work here,” said Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar.

“It will stand as a testament to John Moses, a man who cared deeply about King being a welcoming place for those who served.,” Kolar said.

The new facility is named for former WDVA Secretary John R. Moses, who passed away in 2007. Moses served as WDVA secretary for 23 years from 1962-1982 and was also a WWII veteran.  

WDVA Job image Cooks and Food Service openings

Join Our Team

WDVA is Hiring!

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 cooks/food service workers, nurses, CNA, and LPN openings. Many 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!