WDVA E-Newsletter November 2023 Issue

WDVA E-news Header image - March 2023


Veterans Day 2023 at WI capitol rotunda 11.10.23


2023 Veterans Day Ceremony Honors 175 Years of Wisconsin Service 

On Friday, November 10, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and the Madison Veterans Council hosted the annual Veterans Day Ceremony in the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda. The theme for this year's Veterans Day was "175 Years of Wisconsin Service," honoring the service and commitment of our veterans over the generations. Remarks were given by Governor Tony Evers, WDVA Secretary-designee James Bond, and Wisconsin Veterans Museum Director Chris Kolakowski. Patriotic music was performed by the VFW Volunteer Band - Post 1318.

A special thank you to the Madison Veterans Council for their assistance with organizing this year's ceremony. *Please view all pictures from this year's Veterans Day ceremony here.

In case you missed it, you can watch a recording of the 2023 Veterans Day Ceremony courtesy of WisconsinEye.

Kerry McAllen WVOTY 2023 Award with Gov Evers and Sec Bond - 11.09.23

Kerry McAllen is the Wisconsin Woman Veteran of the Year 

Congratulations to Kerry McAllen US Army (Retired) for being the 2023 Woman Veteran of the Year. 

Kerry was presented her award by Governor Tony Evers and WDVA Secretary-designee James Bond during a special reception held at the Governor's Residence on the evening of Thursday, November 9, 2023.

Kerry joined the Army National Guard in 1999 and served a total of 31 years in the National Guard and Army Reserves. She served two tours of duty, one in Kuwait and one in Iraq. Between deployments, she joined her local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post and became an active volunteer and member. Notably, Kerry served her second deployment in 2009 as a brigade logistics liaison and provided daily briefings to the one-star general who oversaw logistics in all of Iraq. In 2015, after Kerry returned from her second deployment, she took over her family’s business as President and CEO of McAllen Properties. Kerry retired from the Army Reserves in 2020 with the rank of Command Sergeant Major (CSM). You can read CSM McAllen's full bio here.

Kerry used the knowledge that she gained in her 31 years of military service to not only serve her country, but also to strengthen her friendships, give back to others, and assist veterans in her community. WDVA is pleased to recognize her accomplishments as Woman Veteran of the Year. 

*Pictured left to right: Governor Tony Evers, Kerry McAllen, and WDVA Secretary-desigee James Bond.

*Please view pictures from the WVOTY reception here.

Military Families Month

November is National Military Families Month

All November, WDVA is proud to honor our military families, recognize their sacrifices, and celebrate their service to our nation. We thank you for your service! 

National Native American Heritage Month 2023 image

November is National Native American Heritage Month 

This November, WDVA takes time to honor the significant contributions Native Americans have made while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces during National Native American Heritage Month. 

WDVA remains committed to deliver eligible benefits and services to Wisconsin's tribal veterans and work with our state's 11 federally recognized tribal nations. Please join us in celebrating their rich cultural heritage and contributions to our country! 

Badger Tailgate 2023 picture from event

Salute to Veterans Badger Football Tailgate Re-cap

WDVA hosted another successful and well-attended Badger tailgate for veterans and families at the Wisconsin vs. Northwestern Football game on Saturday, November 11 (Veterans Day) at Camp Randall Stadium. Tailgate food and beverages were sold by volunteers from the VFW Post 1318. A special thank you to our WDVA employees and volunteers who were on hand to staff the event for veterans and families. *Please view the picture album from the tailgate here.

Sec Bond visits Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin 11.1.23

Secretary Bond visits all 11 Wisconsin Tribal Nations

Over the past several months, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary-designee James Bond has traveled to each of Wisconsin’s 11 federally recognized Tribes to meet with leaders and Tribal Veteran Service Officers to discuss the issues unique to veterans in their communities. Secretary-designee Bond was pleased to be accompanied by the Department’s new Tribal Liaison, Melissa Doud.

“I was honored to be a guest with each of Wisconsin’s Tribes as we discussed how our sovereign nations could best work together for veterans,” said Secretary-designee Bond. “Native Americans have one of the highest representations in the armed forces, and we are indebted to them for their service. That means meeting them where they are and ensuring they receive all the benefits and services they’ve earned while respecting their culture and celebrating their contributions.”

Secretary-designee Bond heard many of the same concerns from each of the meetings with leaders, including access to health care, mental health care, housing, employment, and a need for more services to aid in the transition from military to civilian life. *View the full press release here.

*Pictured left to right, during a recent visit to the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin: Dave Turney (Menominee Tribal member), Melissa Doud (WDVA Tribal Veteran Liaison), WDVA Secretary James Bond, Bruce Wilbur (Menominee Tribal/County Veteran Service Officer and CVSOA President), and Jeremy Weso (Menominee County Administrator).

Shop Small 2023 Reminder image

Consider Shopping Small this Holiday Gift Buying Season

We encourage everyone in Wisconsin to please consider your local, and veteran-owned, small businesses when shopping for gifts this holiday season. Our state has some wonderful veteran-owned small businesses including retail, chocolatiers, breweries, coffee roasters, restaurants, and many more. These local businesses have a direct impact on Wisconsin's economy and provide employment for many in our communities. Learn more about how WDVA supports and promotes veteran-owned businesses in Wisconsin here.

Statistics Deep Dive event 11.30.23

A Free Virtual Presentation - Join Us for a Deep Dive Analysis of Wisconsin Veteran Data!

Save the Date! The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Community Action Network (VetsCAN) would like to invite you to a free virtual presentation by Purdue University's Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) on November 30, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. for federal, state, regional, and local partners interested in data, analysis, and recommendations with respect to Wisconsin veterans and families. The presentation will be 60 minutes with an additional 30 minutes for questions. Please use the below link and passcode to join the free virtual presentation on November 30th. 

Join Zoom Meeting here. Meeting ID: 868 5129 6005. Passcode: Purdue

Assistant Director of Nursing job opening at Union Grove

Explore Career Opportunities at WDVA

Are you looking for a new career opportunity? WDVA is looking for great people to help us serve our veterans in Wisconsin. Our featured job this month is for an Assistant Director of Nursing at our Wisconsin Veterans Home at Union Grove. 

WDVA has many more available job openings across our state which includes various administrative positions at our veteran memorial cemeteries, veteran homes, and our offices in Milwaukee and Madison. To view all available openings, and how to apply, please visit www.wisc.jobs today!