We hear from Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar.  A recent report found no active COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin's Veterans Homes.

Ken Krall asked Kolar to tell us how they've been able to keep the disease away from residents while other non-veteran nursing facilities have had difficulties...

Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Secretary Mary Kolar.

Dean S. Acheson photo

CASSIAN – The opening of the new national cemetery in Cassian is now slated for late summer, according to an official with the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

The six-acre national cemetery is part of the NCA’s Rural Initiative to provide access to VA burial benefits for veterans who reside in rural areas and who have not previously had reasonable access to a national or state veterans cemetery, says a VA fact sheet about the cemetery.

Making Different Plans To Honor Fallen Veterans On Memorial Day

May 21, 2020
WAOW Television

The Wausau American Legion Post 10 place flags around the graves of fallen soldiers at Restlawn Memorial park on Wednesday.

Some veterans wore masks, gloves, some social distanced, and everyone paid respect to the fallen.

Restlawn has canceled its annual Memorial Day program, explaining the CDC guidelines recommending against gatherings of 10 or more people.

Still, the memorial park is hoping families will contribute to a virtual tribute.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a spokesperson says veterans have new tools to help.

To help reduce the risk of infection at the facility, the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain asks that veterans use VA’s online resources for routine or non-urgent mental health care and questions.

Amy Fowler is the local recovery coordinator at the Center and for the community-based outreach clinics. She says each person has unique needs and they have a wide array of professionals that provide treatment.

OGJ VA Medical Center


During the COVID-19 outbreak, veterans have options to take care of their health care needs without going to a VA facility.

To address veterans’ most-urgent needs first, the Iron Mountain- based Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center asks that veterans use online tools for routine or non-urgent questions, if they have access to them.

Associate Medical Center Director Rebecca Strini says they're following the recommendations from the State of Michigan regarding social distancing so they've looked at other options for providing care....

Dean S. Acheson photo

The new National Veteran's Cemetery in the Oneida County Town of Harshaw has been named. U.S.

VA Secretary Robert Wilke said the name is the Northwoods National Cemetery. The closest burial option for veterans currently living in this are is the State-administered cemetery in King, Wi. located 114 miles from Harshaw. This cemetery will be the second Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemetery in Wisconsin.

Recently, WXPR interviewed U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilke. Secretary Wilke paused to bring listeners some thoughts about the meaning of Memorial Day... 

Dept. of Defense

The Tomah Veteran's Administration Medical Center was steeped in controversy beginning in 2014.

The facility was accused of patient abuse and one person died resulting from a drug overdose. That case was formally settled for more than $1.5 million. Other cases of ill-advised prescription drug use also were reported.

Members of Congress came to Tomah to hear testimony about the Center with a subsequent report back to the main VA office and Congress. Since then, management and personnel have changed at the facility.

Oneida county has joined in the effort to provide Christmas gifts to the children of Armed Forces members and veters.

Named Operation Christmas Angel, the needs-based program is a new offering of the Oneida County Veterans Service Office.

Veterans Service Officer Tammy Javenkoski says the Oneida county would be a good sponsor of the program.. kalhh

A Presque Isle resort is the host site for outdoor recreational therapy for veterans and first responders and will be part of a TV show.

The group "Healing Patriots" is bringing veterans to the Sunrise Resort. Supporting partners include the Winegar American Legion Post 480 and Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce.

A shortage of volunteers has led Oneida County Veterans Service Officer Tammy Walters to ask area veterans to step forward.

The Oneida County Veterans Council in Rhinelander consists of representatives from the American Legion, American Veterans, Disabled American Veterans, Marine Corps League, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the county Veterans Service Office.

Walters says the number of volunteers from the organizations has dwindled to an unworkable number...

"Disturbing" Number Of Wisconsin Vets Homeless, Hungry

Aug 11, 2017
David Silverman/Getty Images

Wisconsin News Connection is here.

MADISON, Wis. - The most recent Census Bureau estimates for Wisconsin say of more than 6,000 homeless people, at least 500 are veterans. Often, returning veterans face big challenges in acclimating to civilian life, and finding jobs and places to live. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and may have physical challenges as well.

Cannon Air Force Base

Veterans from  seven  Northwoods counties are coming to Rhinelander Friday(4/21/17) for a Veterans Benefits Expo, designed to help veterans find out more information about the services they are entitled to.

Oneida County Veterans Service Officer Tammy Walters says veterans only need to stop by Friday....

"....this is a seven-county event, including Forest, Iron, Price, Lincoln, Langlade, Oneida and Vilas counties. Of course all veterans, family members, survivors are welcome to join us..."

United States Department of Veterans Affairs; Veterans Day National Committee

Veterans of all generations are invited to a free multi-county veterans benefits expo in late April in Rhinelander.

Oneida County Veterans Service Officer Tammy Walters says veterans offices from Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, Price and Vilas counties will be there, along with the VA regional office, Nicolet College, Workforce Development, VA Medical Center and private vendors will be there to assist veterans...

....we encourage any veteran, any family member, any survivor, any caregiver of a veteran to see what we have to offer them. .."


The idea of eliminating county Veterans Service Officers and adopting a regional office has gotten a sharp rebuke from the Oneida County Board of Supervisors. The state bill would put several counties under one umbrella office that could be run by someone other than a veteran. No one spoke in favor of the bill Tuesday.

Supervisor Ted Cushing of Hazelhurst says this issue is similiar to other mandates coming from Madison that strips away local control....