Press Release: American Legion District 3 of Wisconsin ignores ongoing problem at Post 279 in Marshall, Wisconsin


On Sunday March 26, 2023, I met with a past post commander of American Legion Post 279, Marshall, Wisconsin.

Valar Rogers served in the Coast Guard and am writing a profile story about his life growing up in Marshall. His current situation looks grim.

Rogers and I stopped into the post’s bingo event, which was open to the public. We were conducting an interview about his service to the post.

The current posing commander would not let Rogers attend and notified him he was trespassing. Little did I know, my Instagram was livestreaming and caught the audio from the event. Please review the video.

Rogers noted he is receiving harassment in the form of mail witnessing an escalation of funeral planning mailers in his mailbox. Previously, he received a package from an unnamed source with a noose.

As a past county service officer, I witnessed our county commander act violently and screamed at Rogers and his brother Caleb. The screaming stems from their insistence they are within their rights as members to continue serving as post commander and adjutant.

The brothers are trying to address their POW MIA Stolen Valor Revitalization effort to bring the Marshall post into a fourth pillar, which represents the namesake of four Legionnaires.

The fourth Legionnaire being honored by their revitalization effort is a Korean War POW from their post.

The brothers claim they are the ones being harassed. Prior to Sunday’s bingo escapade, Post 279’s commander filed a restraining order against Caleb and appeared angered when Valar showed up.

During our interview, Valar indicated Caleb witnessed past State Vice Commander Keith Lovell assist the current commander with advisement with restraining orders, who was not to involve himself with post matters.

Previously, I brought forward concerns as an adjutant who stepped down due to false reporting by the commander of the post Lovell belongs to. We were amending the Post’s Constitution and By Law without our judge advocate.

My minutes reflected the changes. The commander edited the minutes that quoted the exact changes happening. I brought my concerns to the department adjutant.

According to State Adjutant Nathan Gear, who stated, “the department cannot get involved in post affairs.”

If that were the case, Lovell’s appearance at Caleb’s restraining order hearings would fall under the category of involving himself in post affairs, according to Rogers.

The public must know where their money is being invested. The organization uses adversarial rhetoric when a member attempts to outshine other post executives according to the brothers of Post 279.

The issue is concerning after being a witness to the hostility that occurred on Sunday.

I emailed my concerns to District 3 representative Gerard Hook, who prefers being called “Jerry.” My concerns were addressed as follows:

Post 279 incident on Sunday 3.26

Bradley Burt

Mar 27, 2023, 11:32 AM (1 day ago)

to Gerard
Hi Jerry-
Post 279 had a bingo event open to the public. I stopped in with Valar Rogers. We are writing a story about his Coast Guard service. During our visit, interim Post Commander Scott Relitz (sp.) asked Valar to leave and told him his membership is with Post 2930 and that he was trespassing.
Valar attempted to pay his dues. His American Legion statement clearly marked “0279” as his post identifier. I was able to diffuse Relitz who indicated because there were people there he would remain calm. I perceived his behavior as aggressive towards Valar and am noting this in my feature story.
For the record, Valar’s picture was not posted on the wall as a past commander. I am still with Post 2930 for now. I am bringing this to your attention as an American Legion member. I would like your feedback before I publish this matter.
I do not believe Relitz behaved in accordance with our preamble and witnessed, from what Valar noted as Post 279’s auxiliary executive, a hostile conversation take place when Valar attempted to sit down and play bingo from the woman sitting at the table when walking in.
Bradley Burt
As of 3:54 p.m., Hook responded claiming the issue has not been ignored, however, the press release email request did allow for fairness and accuracy. The email time stamps provide accuracy allowing for a period of 24 hours for inquiry response.

Post 279

Gerard Hook

Attachments3:39 PM (16 minutes ago)

to me

Hi Bradley,

3rd District American Legion has not ignored problems at Post 279.
I have attached documents from the Department Judge Advocate.

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