The American Legion Post 501 of Madison, WI—the History of the Wisconsin G.I. Bill According to Airman Mautz

Madison, WI Post 501 of the American Legion February Meeting

By Bradley J. Burt 

4 February 2019– At 1900 hours, the Post 501 Meeting was called to order by Commander Tom Stolarczyk.

Call to Order:

Prior to the start of the meeting, I met with previous State Commander ’75-’76 Bud A. Mautz. I am a student at Madison College, along with being a Post 501 member who is pursuing a Journalism Certificate and am a UW Liberal Arts Transfer Student.  My passion is to write blogs for therapy and am using the Wisconsin G.I. Bill to supplement my income while I return to school. I am grateful for the efforts of our past state commander and am paying blog journalism forward to spread the great news you are never too old to return to school.

My mission as an intern is to investigate through interviews to discover veterans who are the difference makers in Wisconsin. Bud Mautz and his work with the Wisconsin G.I. Bill, its history, along with reporting to the post as a member cultivates my ability to write and motivates my sense of duty to stay the course as a college student. I transferred to Post 501 in November of 2018.  I met a fine gentleman by the name of Bud my first time visiting Post 501. Once I finished filling out my transfer, Bud revealed to me his past accomplishment during the Senator Doyle era, who shared the story of the Wisconsin G.I. Bill. As a benefactor of his efforts I was immediately enlightened by a divine calling. The Wisconsin G.I. Bill allows our State to fund veterans with 100% college tuition who return to school once they exhaust their federal G.I. Bill.  Bud is a true American Legion hero.  His work is saving my life in a time of uncertainty.  This is his version of the story.

The History of the Wisconsin G.I. Bill assembled a committee, who extended an invitation to Post 501 of the American Legion, to meet to discuss tuition grants for veterans. Air Force Korea Era Veteran Bud A. Mautz was nominated who graciously accepted the invitation. A committee through the State of Wisconsin was assembled where Airman Mautz advocated as past State Commander in favor of stimulating veteran education, who has a background as a member of the MATC Alumni of the auto mechanic industry, who completed his Edsel automotive apprenticeship.  Bud was one of the first auto apprenticeship students at Madison College. 

The negotiating of the Wisconsin G.I. Bill was through UW Madison Alumni Council, which happened during the Governor Doyle era. Mautz made clear during our interview “two female UW Board Scholars protested helping veterans on the grounds that the military was all men.” Bud announced to the panel that the military at the time was 18% women, who would also benefit. Mautz indicated he acted on what he thought was right at the time. He wanted to see all who enter service in Wisconsin reap the benefit of free tuition.

Food for Thought:

When our elders advocate for education our future generations become the benefactors of strong veteran minds who share their experience and attention to detail in the workplace. Strong leaders build strong Legionnaires. Sometimes our efforts as veterans to advocate for benefits are unclear to those who invest in the future of veterans. Airman Mautz dedicated his knowledge and expertise to the preservation of academia through staying the course during the argument by standing up to the UW Board women who sought to turn down Mautz’s efforts to lead the charge. I can’t imagine where I would be right now had he given up the fight.

Madison College UW Madison Liberal Arts Transfer Program is available to veterans to explore options through the VA VITAL program after seeking treatment at Building 22 at the Madison VA Hospital. Outpost 422 is here to help you with your transition.

The Rewards of American Legion Membership:

We as Legionnaires win the argument when we perpetuate Americanism demonstrated by Past Department Commander Bud A. Mautz.  I certainly hope to follow in his footsteps as I march forward to advocate for disabled veterans in Washington D.C. when I finish my Political Science-Journalism degree.

I had a great meeting at Post 501 that night. Education keeps veterans like me in the fight and can pick you up too. American Legion Post 501 of Madison, WI is a hard working post who hosts great leaders who are willing to help you find your way through transition. We never leave our wounded behind. We invite you to join our mission and hope you will come to our club to meet the great advocates like Mautz who are the gears that turn the engine of our post. We have many great stories and a beautiful facility with an open door and a handshake to welcome you home. We are your American Legion. If you are newly transitioning or visiting the Madison, WI area, do not hesitate to reach out anytime. We are here to serve you.

Website Point of Contact:

The Wisconsin State Capitol POW MIA Flag is in Need of Replacing

The care for our POW MIA flag at the Wisconsin State Capitol Should Be Our First Priority

The condition of the POW MIA flag at the Wisconsin State Capitol is an omen of how far behind our Capitol has fallen with proper flag procedures. Veterans spend countless hours caring for flags and preparing for ceremonies as rifle teams. The Capitol is our representation to the nation of our token of appreciation for those who entered into service from Wisconsin. With the recent undermining by our Governor with flying three flags on one staff that breaks proper flag protocol, it makes me wonder where Tony Evers stands as an American. When our leaders neglect to properly care for our flags, the first question should be, “What kind of leader lets our flags fly to the point of becoming tattered?”

The Dilemma:

Displaying the American Flag

According to author Ben Webb of “ (2017)” wrote:

“To properly display the American flag, the POW/MIA flag, and a state flag together, certain precautions must be taken. First and foremost, the American flag must always have precedence. The flag should always be to its own right (or the viewer’s left) of other flags or in front of them, and never behind, below, or to its own left (the viewer’s right) of any other flags (except at church services given by naval chaplains at sea). The flag should also be illuminated if it is to be hung for 24 hours a day, otherwise, it should be run up the staff at sunrise, and lowered ceremoniously at sunset. The American flag should also be displayed in, on, or near every public institution, every polling place during elections, and every schoolhouse in America. When hanging the American flag indoors, or displaying it from a window, the Union (blue star field) should always be to the viewer’s left. If placed over a street, the Union should be on the north side of the flag (if the street runs east and west) or the east side (if the street runs north and south). Similarly, if the flag is draped in a building (hung straight down from its edge), the union should be to the north or east (depending upon the building location).”

Wisconsin is failing to meet the need to care for its Capitol flags.

The Impact: Ignoring proper flag protocol lends to the appearance we as a state are under duress. Our Governor can blast procedures he makes up on the fly with the recent pride flag stunt he pulled without consulting veteran organizations first. Why are we allowing progressives to undermine what we veterans have worked so hard to establish with drill and ceremony, respect to our elders who have been captured who have not returned home, and how are we evolving as veterans in our state?

The Solution: Take a moment to reflect on Governor Evers and his ignorance as a leader. We cannot possibly afford to continue down the path of allowing our POW MIA flag at the Capitol to look like a Revolutionary War relic. We start by contacting individuals like Al Labelle at Department of Veterans Affairs who have direct contacts with our Governor. Call our State Adjutant as well. The military leaders have jurisdiction over flag flying at the Capitol. They need to be put in check when veterans are not allowed on the roof to replace old flags our Governor neglects.

Al Labelle’s contact info:

Al Labelle

Wisconsin Benefits Protection Team Leader

Our State Adjutant Contact Info: