WDVA Newsletter June 2023 Issue

JUNE 2023

WDVA E-news Header image - March 2023
Sec Bond at Pride Flag raising at WI Capitol 6.1.23

WDVA Secretary Bond speaks at Wisconsin Capitol Pride Flag Raising

Kicking off June as Pride Month, Secretary-designee James Bond joined Governor Tony Evers on Thursday, June 1, as the rainbow pride flag was raised over the State Capitol. The Governor started this tradition five years ago to send a strong message of support for Wisconsin’s
LGBTQ+ community. 

"As an openly gay, African American, disabled Marine Corps veteran with over 3 decades of service – service to my country, the State of Wisconsin, and to follow veterans, I am deeply honored, and thankful to Governor Evers for the opportunity to serve veterans, tell their stories, and honor their contributions" said Bond. "Representation matters. Having a seat at the table matters."

WDVA remains committed to delivering available benefits and services to all of Wisconsin's veterans, including our LGBTQ+ veterans and their families. Learn more by visiting wisvets.com or call 1-800-WIS-VETS today. 

*Pictured: Secretary-designee Bond speaking alongside Governor Evers during the rainbow pride flag raising ceremony on June 1, 2023, outside the Wisconsin Capitol building. 

Color Guard at Memorial Day observance SWVMC 5.28.23

WDVA observes Memorial Day at state veterans memorial cemeteries

WDVA observed 175 years of service and sacrifice of Wisconsin's veterans and their families over the weekend of Memorial Day at the three veterans memorial cemeteries located in King, Spooner, and Union Grove. 

Secretary-designee James Bond spoke at the ceremonies in King and Union Grove. Governor Tony Evers was the featured guest speaker on Memorial Day Monday at our cemetery at King. Remarks included special tribute to the memories of those who died and especially for our Gold Star families. WDVA appreciates the many volunteers, partnering organizations, and cemetery caretakers who contributed to each Memorial Day ceremony this year. 

WDVA remains committed to remembering and honoring all who served, sacrificed. and died defending our country.

To view and download digital photos from Memorial Day, please visit our photo album links for King and for Union Grove cemeteries.

*Pictured above - Uniformed color guard representing the branches of the US Armed Forces at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery during the Memorial Day ceremony on Sunday, May 28, 2023.

Women veterans retreat 2023 photo collage

WDVA Brings Women Veterans Together in Eau Claire for Annual Retreat

WDVA held another successful Women Veterans Retreat on June 2 and 3, 2023 hosted at Trinity Equestrian Center in Eau Claire, WI. It was attended by 85 women veterans from across Wisconsin with the purpose of connecting with other women veterans and to explore new aspects themselves through instructor-led and self-paced indoor and outdoor activities.

The event included equestrian activities and a special “In Her Boots” activity where attendees painted combat boots to reflect their memories and feelings of their time in uniform (*pictured above). The boots will eventually be on display in a future Wisconsin Veterans Museum exhibit highlighting Wisconsin’s women veterans.

WDVA would like to express our gratitude to our Women Veterans Coordinator, Jodi Barnett, for coordinating this year’s event. Thank you also to Trinity Equestrian Center, our keynote speaker Tyra Eiland of Invisible Beauty, Penny Carlson of Shield of Sisters, The Yoga Room team of Steven and Wendy for the sunrise yoga and guided meditation sessions, and Sarah Rezin, Women Veterans Program Manager (WVPM) at Tomah VA Medical Center. Thank you for making this year’s retreat a resounding success.

Please follow WDVA’s Women Veterans of Wisconsin on Facebook and Instagram to stay informed of all women veteran events across our state.

If you have questions about WDVA’s women veterans program, please contact Jodi Barnett at: Jodi.Barnett@dva.wisconsin.gov or call 608.215.9290.

Photos from this year’s women veterans retreat can be found on our digital photo album.

June is PTSD awareness month 2023

June is National PTSD Awareness Month

WDVA is spreading the word that June is National PTSD Awareness Month.

PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening or traumatic event. If symptoms last more than a few months, it may be PTSD. The good news is that there are effective treatments. Please visit the VA's resource page about the National Center for PTSD today.

Do you need help now? If you, or someone you know, is facing an immediate crisis, please call the Veterans Crisis Line at 988, then press 1.

Compassionate and confidential help is available 24/7 for veterans and their family members. Call 988+1 today.

More information on the Veterans Crisis Line can be found on their website. 

Juneteenth 2023 WDVA

WDVA is proud to join Black Americans across our state to honor their culture, history, and their struggle for justice and equality. It is important to make note of the many significant contributions by Black Americans in our armed forces that have proudly served and sacrificed for our nation.

Juneteenth is observed annually on Monday, June 19th. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, making Juneteenth a federal holiday.  

Governor Tony Evers also signed an executive order on June 16, raising the Juneteenth flag over the Wisconsin Capitol in celebration of this year's observance. 

Katie Mallum, VORP region 8 outreach coordinator

Meet Katie Mallum, VORP Region 8 Coordinator

Say hello to Katie Mallum, Outreach Coordinator for Region 8 of WDVA's Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP). Region 8 includes the counties of Clark, Marathon, Taylor, and Wood.

Katie says she has always been interested in working with people, and not things. Her motivation for helping veterans comes from seeing others do well. "I believe everyone needs a hand up at a certain time in their lives," says Katie. "The veteran population is very deserving of our assistance, and I believe I can help them reach their goals!"

One of the most rewarding aspects of her role is seeing veterans succeed. "The joy I get is from seeing them happy," says Katie.  "They signed that contract and put their lives on the line for us and sometimes come out with problems bigger than they can handle. 

Katie says she is fulfilled when the 'lights come back on' for them and they continue to help themselves toward their goals.

Katie is a veteran of the US Army Reserves serving with the 388th Chemical Company out of Junction City, WI. Also, her grandfather retired from the Wisconsin National Guard as a Sergent First Class and is a veteran of Korean War. 

Katie can be reached at 608.590.6097 or katie.mallum1@dva.wi.gov. 

CNA job openings at King

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 nursing staff at our skilled care facilities. We are always looking for talented individuals to join our WDVA team near where you live! 

Featured job opening this month is for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) at our veterans home in Union Grove.

Great opportunities also exist at all levels around our state to start a new, rewarding career in service of our state's veteran community! 

Take a look at all available job openings for you to serve Wisconsin veterans. VIEW OPENINGS HERE!