As the first Veterans of Foreign Wars post chartered in Wisconsin, established in 1920, Stoughton VFW Post 328 is already famous as the state’s “Mother Post.”
Now, there’s even more reason for its members, volunteers and friends to stand tall and proud.
The post, located at 200 Veterans Road, was honored as an “All-State Post” during the annual VFW state convention in Appleton on June 14. It’s one of 20 in Wisconsin out of 263 to be designated as such this year. The post last won the award in 2007.
Post 328 was represented by VFW State Senior Vice Commander Jason Johns, National Commander-in-Chief B.J. Lawrence, Post 328 Commander Ilein Taipe, immediate past state commander Gundel Metz, Post 328 Quartermaster Rick Kumlein and World War II veteran Clarence Osland, who were escorted into the ceremony after a private reception. When Osland was announced as a World War II veteran and Battle of the Bulge participant, Johns said “the entire room jumped to their feet and gave him a standing applause.”
“He was smiling ear to ear the entire time, and it was a real treat to have him there for not only us, but everyone in attendance from around the state,” Johns said. “To have a man like Clarence there with us, with the history he has been a part of with fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, and his multiple decades of membership in Post 328, was simply awesome.”
Johns said posts must accomplish a “laundry list” of tasks to qualify, including: quarterly audits, post representation at district meetings, participation in the annual “Buddy Poppy” sale and “Patriot’s Pen” and “Voice of Democracy” student essay programs, and a variety of civic, law enforcement and veteran recognition programs across the state.
The “big requirement,” though, is 100 percent membership renewal from the previous year, with the post commander also either recruiting a new member or getting one to renew an expiring membership. He said they were proud of that achievement particular, as well as the all-state status, after the hard work of many people.
“This is not an individual honor,” he said. “It took everyone in Post 328 to come together and make the effort, (and) we applaud every member!”