BY MELANIE WADE –
Local American Legion Post 18 is looking forward to an honored visit from their National Commander Denise Rohan this month as she makes a sweeping tour of Western Arkansas to meet with legion posts.
Rohan is the first woman elected as the American Legion National Commander. She was elected commander in August of this year during the 99th national convention of the nation’s largest veterans’ organization.
Rohan has served the American Legion since 1984. While commander of Post 333 in Sun Prairie, Wis., she established Sons of the American Legion Squadron 333 and chartered Boy Scout Troop 333. She has also served as the department (state) commander of the Wisconsin American Legion.
She has been married to her husband Mike since 1976 and they 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 department (state) and national American Legion College facilitators. 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 Sons of the American Legion Squadron 385, and Isla is a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 385.
Rohan 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.
Rohan served the Family Readiness Group as a civilian volunteer with the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and 1-105th Cavalry Squadron. She also served with the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard Airman and Family Readiness Program. Her theme as national commander is “Family First” and her fundraising project will provide temporary financial assistance to needy children of veterans and training for American Legion service officers.
Rohan will be at Post 18 at Veteran’s Park in Acorn for lunch and to meet with Legionnaires and their families, on Monday, November 13, 2017, at approximately 12:00 p.m.
The National Commander will be visiting western Arkansas November 12–15, 2017. During her four-day sweep through western Arkansas, Rohan will be making stops in Sheridan, Crossett, El Dorado, Texarkana, DeQueen, Mena, Charleston, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Siloam Springs, Rogers, and Bella Vista before heading to West Plains, Missouri.
Most of her visits will be to local American Legion Posts. Also included in the tour will be stops at the B-17 Memorial in Sheridan and a briefing and tour of the VA Hospital and Veterans Home in Fayetteville.
During her visit, Legionnaires and their families are encouraged to meet and visit with her at their local American Legion Post. A 33-year Legionnaire, the U.S. Army veteran and Wisconsin resident’s theme this year is “Family First,” which is based on The American Legion’s motto of “For God and Country.”
For more information, contact Post 18 Commander Bob Lancaster at 707-567-3006 or Post 18 Adjutant Denie Westphal at 479-394-8001.