City gets VFW Charter back


Wisconsin VFW Commander Renee L. Simpson, Prairie du Chien Mayor Dave Hemmer, former McKinney-Tyler-Portwine VFW Post 1945 Commander Gene LaPointe and former Quartermaster/Adjuntant Dean LaPointe display the post’s flag during a ceremony at City Hall Thursday afternoon.

 

VFW colors, charter, flag welcomed back to Prairie du Chien

By Ted Pennekamp

 

About a dozen people were on hand Thursday afternoon in the council chambers in City Hall when the city of Prairie du Chien received the McKinney-Tyler-Portwine VFW Post 1945 Charter and flag from the National VFW organization. 

The flag and charter will be on “permanent” loan to the city and will be displayed in City Hall for all to see and enjoy as symbols of patriotism and historical significance. 

“The city is doing us a big favor,” said VFW Quartermaster/Adjuntant Dean LaPointe in addressing those gathered. “It’ll be a nice display. We wanted to keep the history here. The history means something to all of the veterans and their families. It needs to be remembered.” 

LaPointe said 32 World War I veterans who were the original members when the McKinney-Tyler-Portwine VFW 1945 Post Charter became official on Feb. 20, 1931.

LaPointe noted that the charter had been shut down in 2011. 

“It was a sad day when the charter was turned in,” said Wisconsin VFW Commander Renee L. Simpson. “But, today is a wonderful day because it’s coming back.” Simpson said the McKinney-Tyler-Portwine Post 1945 is the first VFW Post in the state to work to get its flag and charter back for display urposes after having turned it in.

The post disbanded in 2011 due to a lack of membership. At that time, the colors, flag and charter were turned over to the State VFW. Former Post Quartermaster/Adjutant Dean LaPointe, and his father, Eugene, who was the Post Commander, have worked hard ever since to bring the items back home to a permanent location. LaPointe approached City Administrator Aaron Kramer in February about locating a permanent home. During the course of those discussions, Kramer suggested City Hall as the site, which LaPointe eagerly agreed to.

“I am very happy to see the charter coming back to Prairie du Chien,” said LaPointe. “This is truly its home.” LaPointe is working on drafting a history of the Post which will also be displayed as part of the exhibit.

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