The Madison College Writing Center Helps Veterans Develop Essay and Editorial Voice

By Bradley J. Burt—Madison College Clarion General Manager of Broadcast—Consortium Student Through UW Whitewater

In August 2017, after taking a leap of faith, the decision was made to go back to school after completing therapy at the Madison VA. The VA introduced me to a new path in life with a new campus pilot program to guide me. There was only two weeks to register for school left and had to get off the pot.

Travis Seehaver at the Milwaukee Vocational Rehabilitation Office issued a dare to enroll in UW Madison.

Seehaver closed my case and laughed at me knowing the probability of getting into UW Madison at my age was impossible. Or was it? We 10th Mountain Divison climb to glory and accept every challenge with rigor and integrity with determination to succeed.

Madison College offers a 27-credit UW Madison transfer commitment requiring a minimum of a 2.7 GPA for admission. There is a method for veterans to get into to UW Madison and opened the door despite what Seehaver said. The allure of UW Madison wore off after a transfer pitch and a campus tour of UW Whitewater that landed me in a writing career as a journalist instead.

Madison College taught me early on to explore all avenues and that all paths lead to the University of Wisconsin through the UW Liberal Arts Transfer Program. Doors begin to open after meeting with advisors on campus. Transferring from Madison College to the university is easy. Writing is the first obstacle. Overcome Impossibility.

Outpost 422 was created to help the next veteran avoid making unnecessary mistakes due to walking into unforeseeable circumstances with academic writing. The professors at the Madison College Truax Writing Center kept me cool and collected in times of uncertainty and highly recommend new VITAL vets use this great service.

Outpost 422 and the “Overcome Impossibility” mission statement care only about one thing—veteran academic success. We carry each other in times of distress. Check-in with the Writing Center to track progress before crisis creates setbacks. The Writing Center also gauges students through feedback at the end of each session.

Are you new to Madison College and need help with academic forms of writing? Look no further.
  • The Student Achievement Center on the Second Floor will assist you.
  • Outpost 422 is a group of veterans of the University of Wisconsin looking out for you to reach out to anytime.
  • Using the Writing Center is free to help you develop a system.
  • Writing is our method of combating PTSD.
  • Welcome to our campus guided tour.

Professors also recommend using the UW Madison online writing center for students who intend on transferring. I found MLA and APA resources available after hours were extremely helpful. UW Madison Writing Center online offers every outlet imaginable for all forms of academic writing used by Madison College professors.

The UW Madison Writing Center Website is also a helpful writing source. Click here.

The Madison College Library accompanies academic writers looking for research resources outside of the Writing Center.

  • Plagiarism and grammatical errors irritate professors who grade academic writing.
  • Progress pays huge dividends.
  • Don’t risk putting your reputation in jeopardy.
  • Get to the Writing Center. That’s an order.

Going back to school at 42-years-old was not on the list of potential career changes. Academic writing felt like getting on a tricycle after spending twenty years working in manufacturing and construction. Overcoming old age along with overwhelming fear of writing essays for assignments made matters worse. That was until I found support from the Writing Center.

The Writing Center delivers sound advice and will walk veterans through their writing process every step of the way. The Writing Center is the key to opening the treasure chest lock full of writing development resources for overcoming impossibility available to veterans in times of academic crisis.


Grammarly was a short cut I discovered that cut my anxiety in half. Downloading Grammarly cuts anxiety in half when the Writing Center is closed. Grammarly offers plagiarism checks and document scanning. Taking advantage of outside sources develops tenacity to tackle assignments free from fear. Grammarly is worth every cent.

Utilizing Grammarly helped develop a strong writing voice. Every time a new assignment was issued by a professor my excitement replaced my anxiety knowing Grammarly would help map out the areas of improvement. Professors commented on papers on how impressed they were with my progress. Grammarly was a life-saving device through plagiarism checks as well. Knowing the work being turned in was 100 percent authentic made stress disappear instantly.


Professors seek one main key ingredient: Active writing voice. The Madison VA Speech Therapy services helped me overcome my writing fear due to terminal brain injury that was causing my anxiety.

I was taught to write Subject-Object-Verb through News Writing for Media at UW Whitewater Fall 2019 semester, which would have helped me grasp in the beginning. Active writing voice practice sheets are available through the Writing Center upon request and strongly recommend all aspiring writers to practice often.

Veterans who enroll at Madison College should visit the Writing Center once-a-week as a rule of thumb. Your success depends on your ability to impress your professor. Utilizing the Writing Center will open new opportunities.


Setting up an appointment is fast and easy. In order to utilize the Writing Center, a student must reserve a time slot. Professors prefer students to meet with a professor at the Writing Center rather than a peer. Rough drafts and brainstorms start the writing process. Feel free to meet with a peer during the rough draft process. Making an appointment is easy. Please follow the YouTube above to make an appointment. All are invited to leave comments for new students to help out our Wolfpack community stay academically fit and lead the nation in being awesome.




The Wisconsin Historical Society Hosts Public Relations Tours for Journalism Interns

Madison, Wis.—Public Relations Director invites journalism students and interns to schedule public relations tours prior to visiting the archive at the Wisconsin Historical Society starting Dec. 13.

Wisconsin State Historical Society Sign

The Wisconsin Historical Society is one of the largest journalism resources in the University of Wisconsin system located at the UW-Madison Library Mall. The Wisconsin Historical Society facility hosts journalism exhibits located on the fourth-floor available for view through the archive. Wisconsin’s Historical Society boasts having one of the largest newspaper collection outlets, which is a great place to go for campus investigative projects.

“The Wisconsin Historical Society’s Outreach team delivers statewide programs, support, resources and services to further the Society’s mission throughout the state,” said Janet Seymour Interim Director of Outreach.

Exploring collections link

Wisconsin State Historical Society Blog

Connecting with the society page

Setting up a tour with the society public relations office assists visitors with navigating the facility and locating hard to find items. Public relations assists students and interns by taking a deeper look into how society operates through public opinion. Setting up a tour allows those who are new to the journalism field the ability to find examples of personalities in print who specialize in their journalism craft.

“In addition to serving the public as a whole, the Wisconsin Historical Society library and archives is part of the UW-Madison Libraries system, making its collections seamlessly discoverable for all UW-System students,” said Cynthia Bachhuber North American History Librarian.

Discovering your community page

Public Relations Director Kara O’Keeffe offers her facility tour services upon request. O’Keeffe offered to assist with a last-minute request that offered more than the average tour. Her passion as a director is to help students and interns who visit for their first time avoid getting lost in their search. Her goal as a tour guide is to teach fast-track methods when locating journalism resources on site.

“We welcome all students of the University of Wisconsin to explore our Wisconsin Historical Society through tours upon request and wil assist journalism and multi-media interns with interviews as well,” said O’Keefe.

Visit the Wisconsin Historical Society website here:

Students of the University of Wisconsin who would like to set up public relations tours should notify O’Keeffe with a request, preferably by email first prior to visit and plan the whole day when they visit.

Tour Requests:

Name: Wisconsin History Public Relations Tour, Information
Division: Office of the Director – Public Relations
Phone: 608-261-9596
Address: 816 State St.
Madison, WI 53706-1482

The Tour:

The Wisconsin Historical Society building offers a nostalgic aura combined with a monolithic marble presence. Between the ambiance of the fourth-floor archive met by the aura of the hallway’s presence the facility’s character is welcoming to all who visit. The first-floor hallway welcomes guests to investigate and explore trophy cases filled with literature and artifacts of yesteryear.

The entire facility is filled with labyrinths from the days of old. Tours start at the Circulation Desk in the library that assigns quiet rooms for literature and newspaper reviews. The Wisconsin Historical Society hosts both scholarly figures and scholarly sources. Librarians will assist with interviews who are highly recommended when seeking to interview knowledgeable academic sources who know where to find material on site.

The overall operation runs on public donations. Once the tour was completed the facility noted the Wisconsin Society Foundation maintains the archive and building on public donations. The foundation has kept the state facility afloat throughout long periods of financial uncertainty. Although donations are not mandatory, they do keep the facility operational for future journalists to share their relics as well.

The Wisconsin Historical Society is a free-will offering and can be found here:


Wisconsin State Historical Society Building Directory

The Archive Investigation:

The first place to start when investigating resources is by visiting the library to conduct a Google search. Google searching led to unearthing the Wisconsin State Historical Society YouTube channel, which is also a valuable source. Google searching and YouTube are new methods of archive. Artifacts come to life through documentary, which are forms of journalism as well.

Accessing archives and Wisconsin State Historical Society files.


Starting out with a practice procedure helps. Investigating the ’67 Dow Riot on the Wisconsin Historical Society website combined with retrieving the Stuart Brandes File located on the fourth-floor archive will help those who are new fast track how the archive record request process works.

Google Search:

Wisconsin State Historical Society Search

Records Retrieval:

The 1967 Dow Riot example features many forms of journalism writing located in the Stuart D. Brandes file. The 1967 Dow Riot during the Vietnam War brought out campus protest that quickly escalated and the Brandes file tells the story from an eyewitness account. Brandes’ methods of writing articles from start to finish exhibit the process of published writing. Having an example helps writers discover their significance as journalists.

Students who utilize the Wisconsin Historical Society can only view newspaper articles on-site through the archives. Archive staff requires new students to follow their proper methods of archive retrieval. The first part of the archive retrieval process is to notify staff you would like to view files. Staff will ask viewers to stow away all material in a locker with facility issued keys prior to entering the viewing area. Viewers can use smart devices for picture taking but are not allowed to use pens or office items other than pencils that may cause damage to archive files.

Brandes File                 Fast writes for Brandes

The ’67 Dow Riot Brandes folder exhibit contains examples of ways to write award-winning editorials by journalists who were on the scene fast-tracking crowd protest that escalated into rioting as eyewitnesses. State, National and global media outlets were on-site that can be viewed through the society archive. The University of Wisconsin saw a moment in time when the Vietnam War brought out the worst in administration as well. Archiving is a form of journalism often overlooked as a resource. University of Wisconsin journalism students and interns will find the Wisconsin Historical Society a helpful tool during times of writer’s block that will quickly guide them through the archives when attending the newly available public relations tours.

1967 University of Wisconsin Library Mall Dow Riot

'67 Dow Riot


The Top 5 Funniest Gifts for Any White Elephant Celebration

White Elephant is my favorite holiday gift exchange. Parties and get-togethers all over the world gather for one common goal—trade and steal junk. White Elephant is also a great way to celebrate diversity at the office.

White Elephant will be sent downrange to Afghanistan this year through the 10th Mountain Division adopt-a-platoon at Madison College thanks to the Clarion. Let’s take a journey through:

“The Top 5 Funniest Gifts for Any White Elephant Celebration.”

Rules of Engagement. First things first, let’s get something straight—there are rules—you just can’t do whatever you want. Please click on the link below to follow along and enjoy your holiday cheer with a little American democratic structure. We can’t have holidays without it! You know that! This is America! We don’t settle for gift exchange without a little Robert’s Rules of White Elephant Order.

White Elephant Things To Know

The Top 5 Funniest Gifts for Any White Elephant Celebration.

Number Five— A used toilet plunger. Be sure to let the toilet paper dry onto the plunger before gifting.

Used Plunger

Number Four—Bowling Shoes. The sole purpose of the White Elephant is to steal your gift. Bowling shoes are rarely stolen so the joke is on you! HAHA!

Bowling Shoes.jpg

Number Three—Grandpa’s False Teeth. Thrift stores oftentimes sell false teeth. The look on your guest’s faces is priceless. Showing up to the party with the funniest gift gets you a special reward. False teeth are a guaranteed crowd favorite.

False Teeth.jpg

Number Two—Used Gift Cards with Zero Balance The best way to impress your boss is to be the employee who spent the entire balance of their gift card on yourself! Be sure to include receipts and selfies to turn their gears even more.

Used Gift Cards.jpg

The Number One White Elephant Gift—Gag Winning Lottery Tickets.
I have witnessed employees tell their bosses off at company parties and quit. Family members become truthful as well. Fake lottery tickets usually lead to siblings letting mom know what their other siblings really think of them. Mom often responds by telling siblings they are not getting any of their inheritance.

The funniest fake lottery ticket White Elephant prank of all-time I have ever witnessed was watching a cashier at a gas station reveal the bad news. The gift was watching the attendant’s reaction after telling the ecstatic soon-to-be-loser the lottery tickets were bunk. The attendant pointed their index finger declaring they would be calling the police if they try cashing the tickets again.

Disclaimer: Never get your hopes up going into a White Elephant Gift Exchange. You are the punchline the minute you open your gift. Stealing is the name of the game and being a good sport is the best part of holiday cheer. Got a brilliant idea for a White Elephant gift? Leave a comment.



Madison College Clarion Broadcast Group Needs Your Help With Requested Items at FOB Fenty

by Centaur Five Delta ’95-’97

FOB Fenty.jpg

What you can do:
Donate to our troops: 10th Mountain Adopt-a-platoon mission

Madison College Clarion Broadcast Group hosts the FOB Fenty 10th Mountain Adopt-a-platoon through the Outpost 422 mission. Your donations will be spent on the following items:

Most Requested Care Package Items

Batteries (AA, AAA, C, and D)
Boot socks: black, tan, or olive green
Letters of support (letters from you, from children, or from your
business, office, school, or other organization in support of our troops)
Liquid body wash (no pump dispensers please)
Pre-sweetened flavored beverage mixes (smaller sizes please)
Sandwich sized zipper lock baggies
Single-serving size snacks and non-perishable food items, particularly tuna kits, beef jerky, canned fruit (small containers, pop-top lid), dried fruit, nuts and other healthy snacks
Undershirts (olive green, short sleeve)

Food Items
Please do not send bags of chips. They will not make the transition.
Beef jerky, beef summer sausage (non-perishable, USDA Beef)
Canned cheese dips (NO glass please)
Canned sardines, smoked oysters
Chicken or tuna lunch kits (includes foil pouch of tuna, crackers, and condiments in each single-serving kit)
Fruit: single serving size cans
Gum, Lifesavers®, mints (blister pack gum is best because of the intense heat)
Hard candy (single-wrapped)
Jalapeno Velveeta® and crackers
Nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, trail mix, dried fruit
Pop Tarts®, cereal bars, granola bars, Popcorn
Power bars, protein bars, nutritional bars
Ramen noodles
Ravioli and other canned ready-to-eat meals (single serving) with pop-top
Seasoning salts, flavoring salts
Single-serving bags of snacks, crackers
Taco Bell® sauce packets

Beverage Items
Crystal Light® (or other brand) “On the Go” flavor packets
Ground coffee
Hot cocoa
Instant coffee
Lemonade mix, Kool-Aid® mix, Tang®, Iced Tea mix
Sports drink mix (powdered and tablet only)
Sugar and creamer packets for coffee (No artificial sweetener)
Recreation Items

Gently used magazines less than three months old
Hacky sacks, tennis balls
Movie DVDs (new or used; original only)
New decks of cards
Small hand-held games
Soft cover books

Clothing Items

Black or white cotton socks
Boot bands
Boot socks: black, tan, or olive green
Fingerless gloves
Long underwear (during winter months)
Men’s and women’s underwear (try military surplus stores)
Stocking caps (plain or black)
Tactical scarves
T-shirts (olive drab or white)

Communication Items

Pens and unsharpened pencils
Small, blank journals
Small pads of paper

Personal Supply Items

72″ bootlaces (brown or tan preferred)
Batteries (AA are most requested, then AAA)
Disposable, instant hand warmers (during the winter months only)
Electrical tape
Leatherman all-in-one tool
Snack, sandwich, quart-size Ziploc plastic bags
Super glue
Tactical duct tape: military green, tan, or black
Foot Care Items

DO NOT send baby powder
Anti-fungal treatments
Band-Aids® (sweat/water resistant)
Boot liners/insoles
Lotrimin AF® or Tinactin® for athletes’ foot (Ointment or cream, no aerosol)
Medicated foot powder, medicated foot swabs (Gold Bond® preferable)
Moleskin (provides padding on sore feet, you’ll find it with Dr. Scholl’s® type things at Wal-Mart or drug stores)
Odor Eaters® for boots

Personal Care Items

Baby wipes for personal hygiene (alcohol-free)
Disposable hand sanitizing wipes
Eye drops (to relieve dry eye, not redness), Eyeglass wipes
Insect repellent
Lip balm (Blistex®, Chapstick®, Carmex®) in stick-tubes rather than tubs, not tinted
Liquid hand sanitizers (no pump-style dispensers)
Pain relievers (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol®, Midol®) in small containers
Saline spray/drops for sensitive nasal passages
Sunblock (travel size or stick preferable, no aerosol, SPF 30+)
Throat lozenges
Travel size packages of Q-tips
Women’s feminine wipes

Toiletry Items

Dental floss
Disposable multi-blade razors (no single-blade razors please)
Kleenex (travel-size packets)
Liquid body wash soap, liquid anti-bacterial soap (no bar soap or pump-style dispensers)
Lotion, unscented, for dry skin (no pump-style dispensers)
Men’s and women’s deodorant
Nail clippers
Oral B Brush-Ups™
Razors and replacement blades
Toothpaste (in hard-side tubes rather than traditional tubes

Forward Operating Base Fenty Christmas Gift Drive Deadline is Dec.8 for The Clarion Broadcast Group 10th Mountain Adopt-a-Platoon

The Clarion Broadcast Group is raising funds to support FOB Fenty in Afghanistan and we need your help.

What you can do:

Donate to our troops: 10th Mountain Adopt-a-platoon mission

Our Dec. 8 deadline is fast approaching. We are looking to donate items to our Bravo Troop of 6-6 CAV who is newly deployed to Afghanistan. We have adopted 10th Aviation as our platoon at Madison College through the Clarion Broadcast Group. Outpost 422 is their place to connect to let us know how they are doing, to write features about their mission, to raise awareness about the current state of crisis in America to connect with veterans, to assist with crisis management solutions distributed through the Outpost 422 mission.

Our fundraising efforts interact with those who are in crisis.  You are their overwatch and support.

If you are a veteran who is in crisis at the moment, please reach out to any of the listed Facebook pages located on our menu for help worldwide. We are a global fundraising and combat radio transmitting overwatch to connect you with services in the time of crisis. We also hope to connect all who are currently serving the military with veterans who are available with the click of a mouse. Our mission is to entertain, educate, reach out to all who are in need by offering a portal to other veterans who have been in your position including me.

My name is Specialist Bradley Jason Burt of the 3rd Battalion 6th Field Artillery 1st Brigade 10th Mountain Division who served during the embassy overthrow in Port au Prince, Haiti as a QRF member for the airport and 10 MP LIC. I let my trauma go untreated for far too long, that was until I found help at Building 22 at the Madison VA. We are the VITAL veterans who have survived and lived to tell the story of success after finding services to help us survive. Keep checking in and help us raise funds for our adopted platoon.


What Makes the 10th Mountain Division the Toughest Division in the Military

What Makes the 10th Mountain Division the Toughest Division in the Military
By Bradley J. Burt


The cold weather and subzero elements make for a miserable nine months per year at Fort Drum, N.Y., the home of the 10th Mountain Division. The toughest division in the military is located at the basin of record snowfall dumps of lake effect snow. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division and their 12-mile runs around Riva Ridge Loop endure temperatures ranging from -20 to sometimes -60 below. Never-the-less, they suit up, they show up, they gear up, their frozen eyes tear up to embrace the suck for the duration of their service to America while stationed at Drum.

So, what makes the 10th Mountain Division so tough?

They are the most deployed division in the United States military who spends most of their time training for war through programs like the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La. They never forget those who are deployed who use programs to adopt platoons at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Afghanistan. Their gallantry above the call and their guts are met by their dedication to wear the mountain tab. They carry their American colors on their right shoulder, who carry warrior honor with them for the rest of their lives. Their dedication to democracy and freedom in Afghanistan extends the warrior threshold unmet by any other division. Those who have served at Fort Drum know full well the level of sacrifice and dedication it takes to serve the 10th Mountain Division. They earn the right to share their equity of honor and integrity in America who should be recognized as the toughest division.

The 10th Mountain Division motto: “Climb to Glory.”

Their determination and guts are like no other division. They train cadets at Gen. George Washington’s elite West Point United States Military Academy. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division who share the honor of being cadre build 100,000 sandbag fortified positions. Their instruction is of the highest quality and standard formulated under intense scrutiny carried out by the heritage of their West Point commanders. Their standards must meet the highest inspection through the Department of Defense to meet this criterion. While all the other divisions sleep at night, they eat, breathe, carry and present the torch of the truest of all virtues not found on any other base. They are the 10th Mountain Division. They do not waiver. They hold their virtues they swear at Reveille to leave no warrior behind. They are brave. They never surrender.

The forging of a 10th Mountain Division warrior requires high standards. The only way through the gauntlet of becoming a 10th Mountain warrior is by setting the physical fitness standard. The 10th Mountain Division hosts “Fit to Fight” that will not settle for the minimal U.S. Army wimp standard of a 180 P.T. score. All those who serve the frontlines must hold a 240 P.T. score, which sets the 10th Mountain Division’s combat-ready standard high above the regular Army garrison standard. Those who earn the mountain tab never miss a day at the gym.

The 10th Mountain Division always picks up its wounded. What separates a member of the 10th Mountain Division above all the other divisions is their distinguished character. They do not stop until every piece of equipment, members of their platoons and squads, all who have perished and their families are accounted for.  Their family may leave the military with the burden of grief, but the 10th Mountain Division always finds ways to support them long after they return home. They build their legacy from the ground up by adopting platoons in Afghanistan who write about their accomplishments long after they leave the military. They never stop training and protecting their communities. They become American Legion, DAV and VFW National Commanders to continuously search for all of those who are lost. They are the founders of Outpost 422. They never stop making their nation’s safety the highest standard as veterans. They are the 10th Mountain Division—the Toughest Division in the Military. They earned this title being thee most deployed division. They meet each day with the call above and beyond their duty. They Climb to Glory.

Eagle Six Kicks Off Veterans Day at the Baird Patriot Veterans Career Forum

US Bank

MILWAUKEE, Wis.—Gray Colton, Chairperson for the Robert W. Baird & Co. Patriot Veteran Hiring Program invited veterans of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater to attend the Baird Patriot Veteran Career Forum on Friday, November 1st, 2019. Gray Colton is the Senior Vice President of Private Wealth and Management for the Robert W. Baird & Co.

Colton arranged to have the 101st Airborne Commander share his mission with members of the Patriot program and veterans. Colton was pleased to see so many veterans turned out to support the Patriot mission, who gave a cordial introduction to Major General Brian Winski.

“We are honored to have Eagle Six with us today,” said Colton.

Colton introduced Major General Brian Winski, Milwaukee, WI native and graduate from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee as “Eagle Six,” which is the 101st Airborne Commander’s call sign in the field and in combat. Major General Winski began his speech addressing the need to hire veterans who shared the value of having veterans in the workplace.

“Every man and woman who wears America’s uniform is a part of a long unbroken line of achievement and honor. No single military power in history has done greater good, shown greater courage, liberated more people or upheld higher standards of decency and valor than the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” said Winski.


Major General Brian Winksi, Post Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division left the impression Wisconsin holds an ironclad lineage with his division who dates all the way back to the Civil War through the 8th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Eagle Six shared the story of how the 101st modeled the efforts of those who served with the 8th in the Civil War and their mascot “Old Abe,” which is the icon for the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle patch.

Wisconsin 101st Airborne Heritage Speaks

Maj. Gen. Winski closed his address to the Baird Patriot Hiring Program members by reiterating to employers the level of dedication a veteran commits to their country also follows them into their prospective careers. Maj. Gen. Winski extended his appreciation to veterans by taking an opportunity after his presentation to answer questions regarding Syria, Afghanistan and Africa. Winski closed with his expression of gratitude extended to all who serve. Robert W. Baird, the Baird Patriot Veteran Hiring Program and the message shared by Major General Brian Winski shared one thing in common—all appreciate the efforts by all who have served.




The American Legion Post Service Officer’s Role and How They Can Help Veterans Navigate Claims at

American Legion Post Service Officers are a veteran’s first line of communication when inquiring about filing a claim for disability services through the Veterans Administration. Veterans who seek assistance who are seeking information regarding the Veterans Administration can reach out first to a Post Service Officer. Help begins at the post level who will assist with sorting out information. One thing a Veteran can expect is to always have members at American Legion posts to greet them. Service Officers are there to open the door for new members who also meet prospecting members in the community. Service Officers are their advocates. You do not need to be a member to speak with a Post Service Officer.

American Legion website link:

American Legion Service Officerr

Service Officers are community ushers for veterans who may be confused about where to turn when filing or opening a claim. As a Service Officer to Post 501 of Madison, WI, I would like to invite all who are discouraged about their future with claiming VA benefits to take a moment and tour the website, but first, you will need to register. The First Step to exploring is to click on the link below.

Please take a minute to register for access to VA claim information:

Please take a minute to review website first. Take your time and survey the great rewards the Veterans Administration provides for your service. It is my pleasure to serve all of you who have served. Please leave comments or go to our American Legion Post 501 Madison, WI, link on our homepage to reach out to our Service Officer on our website or Facebook links.

According to American Legion Post Service Officer Guide, “an effective Post Service Officer understands benefits afforded to veterans and dependants; however, the PSO is not allowed to file claims on behalf of the claimant. PSOs serve as valuable resources to veterans in local posts to ensure that our veterans and their dependents receive their earned benefits.”

What Service Officers can do: 

  •  Assist veterans with rideshare information available for their appointments.
  •  Contact Department Service Officer at intake.
  •  Share literature available at the local post.
  •  Visit with members at VA hospitals or assist members with making appointments.
  •  Research community programs available like Dryhootch and reach out for assistance.
  •  A handshake for your service to the United States Military

What Service Officers cannot do:

  •  Offer legal advice.
  •  Speculate the outcome of any claim.
  •  Assist with filling out paperwork.
  •  Order prescriptions.
  •  Share sensitive information covered under the Privacy Act of 1974.

Information regarding the Privacy Act of 1974 website can be viewed at

How to begin filing a claim by registering at

Please go here to register for access to VA claim information:

Registering at starts by clicking on the “sign-in” feature at the home page in the upper right corner.
Go to the next page and click on “DS Logon.” This will take you to the sign-in page.
Click on “need an account?”
Follow instructions for creating a DS Logon account.
Once you click on the DS Logon sign-in feature you must read the disclaimer.
Scroll down and enter the DS Logon username and DS Logon password.

Note: Ebenefits has moved to the website. You can still access Ebenefits, but will need to use the website to review and track claims. The VA is currently in the process of transferring from Ebenefits to The registry.  There will be times the website will instruct the user to revert back to Ebenefits, which is confusing. Do not be alarmed. Follow procedures until the VA develops its online interface.

Navigating the website starts by clicking on programs and links. Feel free to explore services and locate claims information. Claims information will help the patient navigate past VA appointments and offer premium access to explore federal programs available once registered with an approved service-connected claim. Service Officers assist with confusing navigation of VA programs on the web.

If you or a loved one need assistance, please leave a comment and our administrators will reach out as soon as we can. Thank you for your service to the United States military and welcome to the VA claims system. Good luck with your future and reach out on our American Legion Post 501 Madison, WI, page Facebook link to connect with a Madison area Service Officer when visiting the Madison VA Hospital.



The Veterans Administration Pain Management 11th Hour Reality

Photo by Todd Trapani on

The 11th Hour was the hour I lost hope in America. The Veterans Administration’s solution to treating those of us who have served in America’s outposts is to over medicate with opiates. I started my “pain management” program early on in life prior to 9/11 and made several attempts to treat my service-connected condition through physical therapy that failed.

I was offered Hydrocodone two tablets of 2000 mg twice per day for over two years along with muscle relaxers and Gabapentin. I was up to a total of 15,000 mgs of mixed pharmaceuticals to include VA prescribed Ibuprofen per day.

In 2008, the VA introduced its “Pharmaceutical Pain Management Program,” which led me into a near-death experience. The VA refers to opiates as a “pain management program,” which really translates to being a Veteran test subject who will be subjected to a long and slow death through a journey of taking and becoming addicted to pharmaceutical Heroin.

My 11th hour was in August of 2010 when the VA took me off opioids’ cold turkey without treatment. My blood pressure was 220/190 and had come in ten days early for my prescription refill in hopes of avoiding certain death. I paid a visit to the VA for a refill after dropping my prescription in the toilet from the shakes. I would come to know the feeling of overwhelming dread being cut off by the VA forever. Being cut off forever changed my life as my prescription suddenly ran out after the Pharmacist said, “Get lost! You are not getting a refill!” What I was about to experience would take me through a journey that would leave me all alone.

My 11th hour was the minute I went into cardiac arrest and passed out in my living room without help. My phone was shut off after running out of minutes and had no way to call for help. I lost consciousness due to tremors I was experiencing as a result of painkiller over-prescription. I knew I was done. America finally gave up on me.

My defining moment began the morning of August 13, 2010, when I woke up in a stream of cold sweat that left me confined to my bed. My body began to go into detox.

Photo by Snapwire on

I began to develop thoughts of despair that ravaged my mind like a driving force of a hundred horses in a stampede. All I could think about was finding a safe place to die. I knew I would not be able to make it to the closet where I knew my kids would not find me.

The struggle to maintain my pain manifested into throwing up from the pit of my soul. Detoxing from VA pain prescriptions is nothing short of demonic possession. As I attempted to take each step towards the door, I felt my body give out and went into convulsions.

My Veterans Administration pain medication had me for keeps. Thoughts raced through my head about my mother who would find me lying face-down on the floor. I began to weep over missing my children’s birthdays and especially their graduation. I began to see the room grow dim and the light of the doorway shine under the threshold. Shards of glass from broken bottles covered the kitchen floor due to scrambling to find my pills.

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I crawled over to the linoleum to cool myself down. I began to vomit once again and had accidentally inhaled shards of glass in my mouth that cut my tongue. The taste of opiate withdrawal mixed with shards of glass took a once standing tall soldier and threw them in the gutter.

Vomit soaked teeth from the dry heaves started me down the path into the Valley of the Shadow of VA Opiate death. I laid on the floor crying for help and nobody heard a word as I went into cardiac arrest. I had called my sister the week before in a fit to say mean things to her. She was my only hope. She was all I had left. My brothers gave up on me and told me I was hopeless.

I could not possibly trouble my mother after living in her basement and overstaying my welcome.

My heart raced and I passed out. Not a single person at the Tayco Street Apartments in Menasha, WI, heard a word I said. I did not know what to do and began to slip into a coma. I did not know how I could possibly live one more minute.

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The benevolent light led me through the maze back into life as I vowed to do anything for just one more chance. The hand of life shoved me back into my body and awoke to a massive head contusion. I was alive and that was all that mattered. Whatever the higher power was that saved my life, I have dedicated my life to it. Today I am nine years opiate free and have returned to school as a result.

Surviving the 11th Hour—Download the PTSD Coach app. That’s an Order.

by Bradley J. Burt

The 11th Hour—Navigating Your Way Out.

The 11th Hour is the Last Hour Prior to the Veteran Ending their Life. I Stood in the Doorway of Desperation With Only One Choice. I Chose to Make the Call. The Veterans Crisis Line Saved My Life and Will Save Yours Too.
1-800-273-8255 Press 1

August of 2017, was my first experience surviving from the 11th hour of hopelessness and despair that opened my mind to try to live my life. Freedom and release quickly built my confidence after downloading the PTSD Coach app. I had begun my Cognitive Processing Therapy at the Madison VA and was journaling my intrusive thoughts. Thoughts manifested into moments of hopelessness that would not go away. “What will I do for work? I will I feed my kid? What will become of me five years from now?”

After receiving a referral for outpatient treatment through the Veterans Crisis Line, I was able to step on the path to seek help.

I had come to realize how quick and easy taking the time to call the Veterans Crisis Line was, but I needed something more. I needed to navigate my way out. I was in Las Vegas, NV, where I had started to develop signs of my first panic attack. After reaching into my pocket to grab my phone to call the Veterans Crisis Line, I noticed a sign in the casino that guided me to download the PTSD Coach app and did.

Survival is the Key to Ending Veteran Suicide. Download the PTSD Coach app.

“Ok, I am having a panic attack, now what?”

Take two minutes to collect yourself and practice a simple breathing technique I learned from John Tesh. Inhale and hold for fourteen seconds—exhale for fourteen seconds slowly—Take a deep breath and let it out. Do this as many times as it takes to survive being overwhelmed. Think of a happy moment. Mine is the night I won a triple-double seven-jackpot at the Monte Carlo Casino after seeing Cher. Las Vegas, NV has many magical moments. Find your Las Vegas.

You are never hopeless. Your Battle Buddy is only one app away. Download and explore.

Research Your Condition.

Do not ever hesitate to explore the internet for the means to end social and environmental panic attacks. My condition and diagnosis did not allow much information other than my situation was treatable but permanent. Navigating the maze of mental health must be fought minute by minute. Taking a break is critical before becoming too overwhelmed.

The sole mission here at Outpost 422 is to help talk you down from following through with thoughts of suicide. We are all Battle Buddies in the war at home. You are valuable. You are valor. You are worthy to hold on one more day. Reach out on Facebook at Outpost 422 and we will be there to offer blogs and tips to help you see this through. We want you to know you can make it with the help of all of us who are the survivors of the 22.