MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers honored Wisconsin veterans this week in celebration of Veterans Day, making stops at several events where he met with local veterans and community members and recognized the many critical roles veterans play throughout the state. Events of the week culminated with the annual Veterans Day celebration at the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda and the signing of Senate Bill 345, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 91, designating a Purple Heart Memorial Highway.
“It was an honor to join so many outstanding organizations this week—state agencies, local businesses, and community partners—in celebrating veterans and the significant contributions they make in communities across the entire state of Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers. “From mental and behavioral health services to housing, to supporting veteran-owned businesses and workers, ensuring our veterans and their families have the tools and resources to thrive in their civilian lives is critical to building strong communities and a strong economy.”
Wisconsin is home to approximately 343,000 veterans, and according to the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, there are more than 55,000 veteran-owned businesses in the state—employing more than 110,000 people statewide with more than $20 billion in annual sales. Veterans play an essential role in Wisconsin’s workforce, and to kick-off the week’s events, the governor attended the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s (DWD) Vets Ready Employer Initiative Awards in Green Bay on Tuesday. The governor was joined by DWD Secretary-designee Amy Pechacek and Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary Mary Kolar. This event honored four Wisconsin employers who both hire veterans and also incorporate programs in their organizations to support veteran welfare in the workforce. In total, nine Wisconsin employers across the state were recognized with awards for their commitment to supporting veterans in the workforce. Photos of the event are available here and here.
Also on Tuesday, the governor presented the WDVA’s Woman Veteran of the Year Award to this year’s honoree, Lieutenant Colonel Darcie Greuel. Once again joined by WDVA Secretary Kolar, the governor recognized Lt. Col. Greuel for her spirit of public service and her incredible contributions to her community, state, and country. Lt. Col. Gruel, a United States Army veteran, currently serves in the Army Reserves and works at the Milwaukee VA as a registered nurse and program director of the Military to VA (M2VA) program that serves post-9/11 veterans. Photos of the event are available here and here.
On Wednesday, the governor attended the Wisconsin Veterans Business Conference, hosted by the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce in Brookfield. Photos of the event are available here and here.
On Veterans Day, Thurs., Nov. 11, 2021, the governor participated in the state’s annual Veterans Day celebration at the Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda. Hosted by the Madison Veterans Council and the WDVA, he thanked veterans across the state and nation for their selfless service and sacrifices. Photos of the event are available here and here. Those who were unable to attend can watch the full program on WisconsinEye here.
The governor’s Veterans Day events concluded with a bill signing at the Necedah Veterans Memorial Hall, where he was joined by WDVA Secretary Kolar, State Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), as well as many local elected officials, community members, and members of the veteran community, including several Purple Heart recipients. The governor signed Senate Bill 345, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 91, designating State Highway 21 between Sparta and Oshkosh as a Purple Heart Memorial Highway. The Purple Heart Memorial Highway is meant to honor all recipients of the Purple Heart, which is the nation’s oldest military award and recognizes those who are injured or killed by enemy action. Photos of the event are available here and here.
In addition to the events, Gov. Evers also proclaimed Nov. 11, 2021, as “Veterans Day” in Wisconsin. A copy of the governor’s Veterans Day proclamation is available here.
Also on Veterans Day, the governor, together with Evers Administration cabinet members, recognized and celebrated Veterans Day with a video message honoring veterans and their families and reaffirming the state’s commitment to supporting Wisconsin’s veterans and their loved ones who have sacrificed in service to the state and country. The Evers Administration’s video message can be found on the governor’s YouTube channel.
The Evers Administration is committed to ensuring that Wisconsin veterans have the tools and resources to thrive in their civilian lives. To learn more about resources and services available to veterans and their families in Wisconsin, visit the WDVA’s website.