Photos by JOHN CROSBY
Story by ALLEN LAMAN
JASPER | Dubois County Herald — The American Legion Department of Indiana’s Hoosier Boys State program isn’t your typical summer camp. No canoes. No campfires.
Instead, the program, hosted by American Legions nationwide, immerses young men in a week of theory, organizational experience and practical application of the democratic process and form of government. This year’s Hoosier Boys State will take place from June 11-17 at Trine University in Angola.
“Basically, in a nutshell, it teaches young men how to form a government at the city, county and the state level,” said Daniel B. Lawson, children and youth program chairman at American Legion Post 147 in Jasper. “It’s a hands-on experience. It’s not necessarily classroom or instructional, it’s strictly hands-on.”
Lawson said the boys will learn how to form election committees, create delegates and engage in other important aspects of forming governments. The event’s website adds that the participants will actively work together to win elections, propose laws, negotiate bills and enforce the legislation and procedures established from the local up to the state level.
Other activities during the weeklong event include legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, assemblies, bands, choruses and recreational programs.
The program is open and offered at no-cost to current high school juniors who will return to school next fall for their senior year. Lawson said Post 147 raised enough funds from local businesses and organizations to sponsor 14, possibly 15, local high school juniors to attend the program this year. So far, 10 total delegates have been selected from Jasper High School and Northeast Dubois High School.
Lawson said he’d like to fill the remaining spots with young men from any high school in Dubois County.
“The people that donate money to me, they don’t want to see that money in a bank account,” Lawson said. “They want to see kids going to Boys State.”
In a press release penned April 11, Lawson noted that the campus of the university is well-equipped to care for the more than 600 boys who attend Hoosier Boys State every year, with state-of-the-art housing facilities, a local hospital, athletic facilities and more.
The release goes on to say that the 75 qualified and motivated staff members present at the event are individuals drawn from the Indiana educational community, professional career areas, Trine University and the American Legion.
Those interested in filling the remaining spots are encouraged to contact Lawson at 812-661-2440 or by email at email@example.com. To learn more about Hoosier Boys State, visit www.hoosierboysstate.org/us.
American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a separate but similar program for young women called Girls State. The Indiana Girls State convention will be held June 18-24 on the Trine University campus.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 7 p.m.
American Legion Post 42
430 Paoli Pike,
Floyd Knobs, IN 47119
INDIANAPOLIS – Learn about federal, state, and local veterans’ benefits. Specific topics will include, among others, medical benefits, disability compensation, non-service connected pension, education, home loans, survivors’ compensation and pension, burial benefits, government life insurance, discharge upgrades, Department of Defense concurrent receipt and combat related compensation benefits, and benefits available for the spouse and children of veterans.
An American Legion, Department of Indiana Veterans Service Officer will conduct the presentation and stay after to answer individual questions. The American Legion will also offer Veterans Affairs accredited representation to claimants seeking appeals assistance with VA claims.
This free service is open to all Veterans of the United States Armed Services, their dependents, and survivors. American Legion membership is not required. Your attendance will likely benefit you or someone you know.
"American Legion Service Officers are experts in their field and secure millions in new veterans’ benefits in the State of Indiana every year, free of charge to our service members," said Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Director John Hickey.
If you have any questions, please contact the Indiana Legion Communications Director John Crosby at 317-630-1264 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governor Eric Holcomb, a Navy veteran, has asked the Indiana Legion and other veterans organizations to stand with him as he fights to exempt all retired military pay from state income tax.
Additionally, the current tax deduction of $5,000 on current military pay may be at risk of being eliminated by the Indiana General Assembly.
A resolution passed by the Department Executive Committee Meeting in regular session assembled in Indianapolis on Sunday, April 9, 2017, positions The American Legion, Department of Indiana to work with Governor Holcomb on this endeavor and make Indiana a better place for our military service members and retirees.
Therefore, The American Legion is calling on all our members, family and friends to contact their state legislators, now before it's too late.
New, user-friendly, advocacy software has recently been introduced to the department website at www.indianalegion.org/legislative. This new tool allows our members to become advocates on veterans issues, simply by entering their information. A list of your elected officials in your area are generated, and pre-drafted letters supporting issues concerning veterans can be sent at the click of a button.
Visit www.indianalegion.org/legislative to take action and spread the word throughout our Hoosier Legion community.
2017 Spring Conference is was broadcast live on the department website. General Session began at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 8, and ran approximately 2.5 hours.
Special and announcements and guest speakers regarding future partnerships with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indiana Red Cross were presented.
Additionally, the leading candidate for national commander, Denise Rohan was able to make it on Saturday after battling for more than 24 hours of flight cancellations! Thank you Mrs. Rohan for your support!
Commission Minutes and Resolutions passed at the Department Executive Committee will be posted ASAP here and in the next edition of the Hoosier Legionnaire.
National Lead Candidate for Cmdr. Denise Rohan visits Indiana 2017 Joint Spring Conference
Born in McGregor, Iowa, Denise lived in Elkader, Iowa, until joining the Unites States Army in 1974. Denise's father was a volunteer Fireman, both parents were volunteer EMTs and very active in their church and community. Learning from their parents Denise and her two sisters have always given back to their church and communities in some way.
Denise has served the American Legion for over 32 years. While Post Commander she established Sons of the American Legion Squadron 333 and chartered Boy Scout Troop 333.
She and her husband are both 2006 graduates of the National American Legion College and 2015 Graduates of the Wisconsin American Legion College - Basic Course. Both have gone on to serve as State and National American Legion College Facilitators.
Denise was employed with the University of Wisconsin Madison as the Assistant Bursar of Student Loans until her retirement in 2012. She managed the University of Wisconsin Madison, University of Wisconsin Green Bay and University of Wisconsin Colleges 120 million dollar loan portfolio made up of approximately 200 different Federal, Institutional and State programs in compliance with all laws, regulations, and policy. She was responsible for the efficiency and design of the computerized student loan accounts receivable system.
She is a graduate of the Mount Senario College (AA), and The Collegiate Management Institute.
Denise currently serves as a volunteer in the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard Airman and Family Readiness Program.
She has been married to her husband Mike for 40 years. They have a son, Nicholas, daughter-in-law Angie, grandchildren Sawyer and Isla. Mike is very active with the American Legion on both the State and National levels and is a Past Department Adjutant. Nick and Sawyer are members of Squadron 385, and Isla is a member of Unit 385.
INDIANAPOLIS – The United States officially entered World War I on April 6, 1917, a war that changed our state, nation and the world forever. To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I, the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee will host a ceremony on April 6, 2017 from noon to 1 p.m. inside Pershing Auditorium at the Indiana War Memorial to commemorate the start of the war.
This event will bring Hoosiers together in honor of the United States’ official entry into World War I. The ceremony will feature speakers including Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Brig. Gen. Ronald A. Westfall, director of Joint Staff, Indiana National Guard and Judge Jim Osborne, vice chair of the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee, president of the Indiana Military Museum. The members of the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee will also be introduced to the public.
“The World War I anniversary is a time to honor and remember the many Hoosiers who have served in our military and given their lives for our freedom,” said Jim Corridan, chair of the Indiana World War Centennial Committee and director of the Indiana Archives and Records Administration. “It is important for us to recognize the 135,000 Hoosiers who served in The Great War and the 3,000 who sacrificed their lives.”
Attendance is free and open to the public. Parking is available at metered locations surrounding the Indiana War Memorials Plaza Historic District.
For more information about the event visit www.ww1cc.org/indiana.
This is the first in a series of events that the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee will sponsor throughout the commemoration over the next two years.
About the Indiana World War I Centennial Committee
The Indiana World War I Centennial Committee is responsible for planning, developing and executing programs, projects, and activities to commemorate the centennial of World War I in the state of Indiana. The Committee aims to encourage private organizations and local governments to organize and participate in activities commemorating the centennial of World War I. The Committee’s goal with its endorsements is to increase the number of people in Indiana who will be exposed these educational programs, tools, projects, and activities, and broaden their impact.
INDIANAPOLIS - Legion Family members of Post 64 in Indianapolis know how to raise money for causes they believe in. Their fundraising efforts were showcased last Sunday when they raised more than $24,000 during their fifth annual Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW) fundraiser, bringing their total OCW donation for the year to more than $55,000.
The event, which has raised more than $150,000 over the past five years for the Legion’s wounded warrior support program, was initiated by Post 64 Adjutant Danny Rice in 2012 upon the election of Indiana native James Koutz as national commander. Koutz made OCW his primary fundraiser and raised more than $1 million for the program.
“(Koutz) is a very happy man when he comes to Post 64,” Rice said. “We fell in love with the OCW program when he was commander and we have been supporting it ever since. We have just taken OCW under our wing.”
Koutz attended the fundraisers, where all proceeds benefited OCW. The event, which was open to the public, included a $5 all-you-can-eat ham and bean dinner, raffle prizes of OCW T-shirts and hats, homemade quilts, military wreaths and a 50/50 raffle.
“Post 64 knows how to raise a lot of money in very little time,” Koutz said. “We have to continue helping our wounded, injured and sick veterans, and veterans receiving care at VA hospitals.”
Besides Sunday’s event, Post 64’s Legion Family members have been donating proceeds from their 50/50 raffles and other community fundraising events, such as the Legion Riders motorcycle OCW benefit ride, to surpass their last year’s OCW contribution total by nearly $30,000.
“It was a really great event and I appreciate everyone that came out to volunteer. We had a packed post,” Rice said. “And we are already starting today to raise donations for OCW.”
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