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Bonnie Jakubczyk, Dept Chairman

The purpose of this program is to initiate, sponsor and participate in programs and services that assist and enhance the lives of veterans and their families, ensuring restoration and/or transition to normally functioning lives - physically, mentally, socially and vocationally. This program includes bringing awareness to the plight and ever-increasing number of homeless veterans, supporting rehabilitation of veterans through art therapy by raising money to fulfill our obligation as a corporate sponsor of the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF), and increasing volunteer services at VA Medical Centers, State Veterans Homes, in community settings, and from their homes.

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2023-2024 District Chairmen:

District 1 - Mary Kohler                 District 7 - Virginia Kodl

District 2 - Shirley Krier                 District 8 - Vacant

District 3 - Su Timmerman            District 9 - TBD

District 4 - Pat Ehleiter                   District 10 - Elsie Obermueller

District 5 - Vacant                            District 11 - TBD

District 6 - Sandy Hinkle                District 12 - TBD

2023-2024 National Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation VA&R Program Awards Deadlines and Submission Requirements

Thank you for taking the time to share a favorite story about the positive impact you or someone you know has had on our mission! Your story may inspire another member into service. It also helps us tell the world who we are, what we do, and why we matter.

Here are the national awards for this committee:

Unit Award: Most Outstanding VA&R Program for Central Division

  • All unit entries must be submitted to the department chairman by April 1st using the entry form in the VA&R Program Engagement Plan.

Authorization to Release Personal Information:

Award submissions become property of the American Legion Auxiliary. Through submission of reports and award entries, the submitter grants non-exclusive reproduction and publication rights to the materials submitted and agrees to have their names and submission published for ALA use or commercial use without additional compensation or permission.

Please fill out the information as completely and accurately as possible. Award certificates will be completed using the information provided on the entry form, so please be sure to complete it in its entirety.  Please refer to the webpage for the specific criteria such as photographs, narrative length, submission deadline, and point of contact. All awards will be mailed to the department office after ALA National Convention.

VA&R - Director of Hospital Volunteers

Sue Hembrook


Hospital Volunteer Program

Volunteer hospital workers are key people in the Hospital Volunteer Service program. The purpose of this group is to supplement the care given by hospital staff to hospitalized veterans. A regularly scheduled volunteer hospital worker is a member of the American Legion Family or a non-affiliated individual who volunteers at a VA medical center.

Hospital volunteers must take the Veterans Affairs Volunteer Service orientation, pass a background check, and be able and willing to work as a member of the hospital team under the direction and supervision of doctors, nurses, technicians and specialists to help patients regain their health. A hospital volunteer is relied upon to carry through on assignments and will serve on an approved regular schedule of assignment under VA supervision at least once a month.

Hospital volunteer pins are awarded upon the completion of 50 hours. Add-on bars are available for 100, 300, 500, 1000 hours, etc. For further information, please contact the department Director of Hospital Volunteers.

VA&R Code of Ethics:

Because of the vital role each of our volunteers plays in the successful care and rehabilitation of our veterans, the American Legion Auxiliary has adopted this code of ethics:

  1. Confidentiality: All information concerning a patient, staff person, other volunteer, or the record of treatment or service is to be kept confidential and shared with no one.

  2. Professional Behavior:

    • Following Rules & Assignments: Volunteers are required to accept and follow rules and instruction as given by the authority of the facility. If asked to do something you do not agree with, you have a right to decline the assignment. If the assignment is mission critical at the point in which it is given, fulfill the request and express concern after the fact, in private with the appropriate individual - the direct supervisor, the ALA Representative or Deputy, or the VAVS Director.

    • Working with Staff, Patients and other Volunteers: Volunteers should not publicly criticize the facility, the staff, patients, personnel, owners or physical plant of any facility. If there is a reason for criticism, bring it to the attention of the ALA Representative who will communicate any issues through proper channels. If the problem is not resolved, the Representative should send a report to the American Legion Auxiliary Department VA&R Chair.

    • Compensation Discussion: Volunteers should never discuss pension or compensation issues with a patient. The patient should be referred to the appropriate resource within that facility that is trained to respond to those questions. Outside a facility, contact a local Veterans Service Officer.

  3. Dress and Attitude: It is expected that ALA volunteers will dress professionally and follow the code of the facility where they work, regardless of their setting.

  4. Compassion, Dignity and Respect: As an ALA volunteer, those served will be treated with the compassion, dignity and the respect they have earned and deserve, regardless of the conditions or circumstances.

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Chippewa Falls - Wisconsin Veterans Home

2175 E Park Avenue, Chippewa Falls WI 54729 • 715-720-6775

  • Representative - Nancy Randen

  • Deputy - Teresa Steinke

Dayton Care Center - Kenosha

521 59th Street, Kenosha WI 53140 • 262-657-6122

  • Representative - Sue Hembrook

  • Assistant - Crystal Shaw


Iron Mountain, MI - Oscar G. Johnson USVAMC

325 East H Street, Iron Mtn. MI 49801 • 906-774-3300 ext. 32780

  • Associate Representative - Anna Wender

  • Associate Deputy - Barbara Van Boxtel

King - Wisconsin Veterans Home

N2665 County QQ, King WI 54946 • 715-258-5586 ext. 2369

  • Representative - Nancy Neuroth

  • Assistant Representative - Alice Bentley

  • Deputy -  Pat Daniels

  • Deputy - Dawn Lind

Madison - Middleton Memorial VAMC - ALA Volunteer Office

2500 Overlook Terrace, Madison WI 53705 • 608-280-7178

  • Representative - Sheila Frye

  • Deputy - Noreen Schmidt

Milwaukee - Zablocki Memorial VAMC - ALA Room #70C14

5000 W. National Ave., Milwaukee WI 53295 •

414-384-2000 ext. 41804

  • Representative - Bonnie Jakubczyk

  • Deputy - Sue Hembrook

  • Deputy - Sandra Kaebisch

  • Deputy - Sue Middlestead

Minneapolis, MN - Minneapolis VA Health Care System

One Veterans Drive, Minneapolis MN 55417 •

612-725-2000 • 866-414-5058

  • Associate Representative - Jeanne Williams

  • Associate Deputy - Karen Taylor

Tomah - VA Medical - ALA Bldg. 407, Room 1739

500 E. Veterans Street, Tomah WI 54660 •

608-372-1727 ext. 66235

  • Representative - Helene Stein

  • Deputy - Patricia Flanders

  • Deputy - Vacant

  • Deputy - Vacant


Union Grove - Wisconsin Veterans Home

21425 Spring Street, Union Grove WI 53182 • 262-878-6700

  • Representative - Mary Ellen Crandall

  • Deputy - Kathie Wilhelm

VA&R - Christmas Gift Shop

Diana Sirovina, Supervisor


Christmas Gift Shop (Nov-Dec) 

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The Christmas Gift Shop program provides gifts to family members of hospitalized veterans at no cost to the veterans. The Christmas Gift Shop Supervisor develops a 'catalog' of available items for the veterans to choose from and purchases the selected items. Volunteers wrap, box, label and ship the orders for each family to arrive in time for Christmas. This is a gift to those who gave of themselves so that we may enjoy our freedom today.

The Christmas Gift Shop is no longer located at Zablocki VAMC due to lack of space. Therefore, donated items cannot be accepted but units are encouraged to make financial donations. Use the Poppy Fund Donation form. Checks should be made payable to ALA-WI and mailed to: ALA Department Headquarters, PO Box 140, Portage, WI 53901-0140 indicating it is to be used for the Christmas Gift Shop. The Christmas Gift Shop is solely funded by donations from units and members throughout Wisconsin.

VA&R - Homeless Women Veterans

Pat Smith, Department Chairman


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The Homeless Women Veterans program is designed to reach out to women veterans and help them learn about VA benefits, local resources and where to find them, while continuing to educate our members and our communities of the sacrifices women veterans make when serving our country and the hardships they face after returning home.


A grant fund provides assistance to women veterans who are homeless or at-risk of being homeless. Funding is provided through donations from members of the Wisconsin American Legion Family.

The following guidelines for receiving a grant have been established:

  • Grant is for one-time only assistance.

  • Veteran must be an honorably discharged woman veteran.

  • Grant can only be used for direct assistance of a homeless or at-risk of being homeless woman veteran and her immediate family, who have been residents of Wisconsin for at least 30 days.

  • A veterans benefit representative or knowledgeable sponsor must complete the application and submit it to department headquarters with a copy of the veteran's DD2 l 4, a financial worksheet, and a narrative.

  • Veteran must be participating in a VA support program.

  • Grants are paid directly to a vendor, supplier or landlord, not to the veteran.

A committee comprised of the Department President, Department VA&R Chair, and Department Finance Chair reviews all applications.


American Legion Auxiliary members are encouraged to be a connection to women veterans in their communities, often providing local support with in-kind donations of food, clothing, household furnishings and supplies, transportation, knowledge of veteran benefits and veteran representatives, finding and recommending local resources, and that often needed smile of encouragement and friendship.

VA&R - Service to Veterans

Linda Kostka, Department Chairman


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Service to Veterans volunteers provide service to veterans, service members and their families outside a VA medical center. Volunteers conduct projects and work for veterans, military personnel and/or families from their homes and in their communities. Service to Veterans volunteers maintain their own record-keeping and dollars spent and report this information to the Service to Veterans Chair in their unit, who then reports the hours annually to the department Service to Veterans Chair. A pin reflects the work of those who volunteer in their communities and at home for veterans.  Pins and hour bars are awarded when specific hour milestones are achieved: 50, 100, 300, 500, 1000 hours, etc.

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