The Board of Veterans Affairs recognizes the lifetime achievement of a living Wisconsin veteran at each Board meeting with the presentation of a Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award recognizes living Wisconsin veterans who are state residents and who have compiled a record of exemplary service as a military service member, a veteran, and a citizen during the veteran’s lifetime.
The award is part of the Board’s ongoing efforts to underscore the Board’s commitment to taking veterans affairs issues out to where veterans live, work, and enjoy the freedoms of our great country and to encourage greater veteran participation in Board of Veterans Affairs meetings.
WHEREAS, Clarence Edward Garrett was born in Baltimore, Maryland on September 13, 1920 amidst the Great Depression Era. As a youngster Clarence joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program to get young boys off the street and teach them a trade. It was here where he found his niche in the mechanical field and he started to learn about gasoline engines, diesel engines and heavy equipment; and,
WHEREAS, after leaving the CCC camp, Clarence went to the Norfolk Navy Yard in Portsmouth, Virginia where he learned to run an engine lathe and made parts for ships; and,
WHEREAS, in 1943 Clarence was drafted into the Army and took basic training at Camp Ellis, Illinois. He was assigned to the segregated 3144th Quartermaster Service Company and sent to France. After World War II, Clarence enlisted in the Regular Army, where he continued with his duties in Europe, serving in the 229th Engineering Combat Battalion and the 84th Truck Company-Heavy; and
WHEREAS, after nine years of active duty abroad, with exemplary service in the Berlin Airlift, Clarence moved to Milwaukee and joined the Army Reserves where he worked for 27 years and gained a promotion to Chief Warrant Officer, W4, inside the 961 Engineer Construction Battalion-Heavy. Clarence retired from the US Army after 36 years; and,
WHEREAS, in 1953, in conjunction with his employment in the Reserves, Clarence enrolled in The Milwaukee Vocational and Adult Schools, which is known as MATC today. At the age of 33 he began his quest to earn his high school diploma. Upon graduating from high school in 1956, Clarence strove forward, majoring in Industrial Technology, while concurrently enrolling in The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Extension Division; and,
WHEREAS, in 1958, Clarence left his dream of becoming a college graduate in order to financially provide for the educational well-being of his four children, and with that being successfully fulfilled, it was again his turn to return to college some 50 years later with VetEd Program assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs; and,
WHEREAS, Clarence attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and while there, enrolled in an internship program and became the head mentor for the "What is a Man?" Project. Clarence was nominated by the School of Letters and Sciences to be the recipient of the Nontraditional Student Award. He completed course work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and was awarded his bachelor's degree at commencement ceremonies at the age of 87; and,
WHEREAS, a documentary called "Clarence" was filmed about him returning to college and he was interviewed on NPR about the military, segregation throughout his lifetime and his quest for education. Throughout the interview his positive upbeat attitude toward life shines through. Clarence Garrett and his wife Mary have been together for nearly a half-century. He is a proud Army veteran and a person who inspired generations to realize the importance of education, discipline and a healthy lifestyle.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, John A. Scocos, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and I, Alan Richards, Chair of the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs, proclaim CLARENCE EDWARD GARRETT as the recipient of the Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award on this 15th day of June 2012.
ALAN RICHARDS, Board Chair
WHEREAS, Norbert Studelska was born August 4, 1925 in Chamberlain, Saskatchewan, Canada. After the passing of his father in 1930, his mother moved he and his four siblings to Minnesota where he attended St. Casimir’s Catholic grade school and was active in football, track, basketball, chorus, theater and government; and,
WHEREAS, Norbert was drafted into the Army in November 1943. Although his older brothers were already serving in the Navy and Marines, he declined a deferment. Recruiting Paratroopers visited his training site in April 1944 whereupon Norbert volunteered for Jump School. He received his Wings on May 20, 1944; and,
WHEREAS, in July of 1944 he was shipped to England where he was assigned to the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), then trained in Nottingham for the Allied Airborne Invasion of Holland. On September 17, 1944 Norbert jumped into Holland near Nijimegen (Operation Market Garden). On December 17, 1944 Norbert jumped off a truck in Belgium, part of a long convoy carrying the 508th PIR and their 82nd Airborne All American Brothers into close combat with Germany’s SS Panzer Divisions at the Battle of the Bulge. Norbert recalls that the misery of the foot soldier was inexpressible, but they did their job and did it well. The 82nd Airborne fought tanks with grenades and small arms and reduced The Bulge, even saving the 101st Airborne at Bastogne; and,
WHEREAS, on June 10, 1945 the 508th was detached from the 82nd and assigned as SHAEF Honor Guard. After the war Norbert was back in the 82nd, assigned to the 504 PIR and shipped out on the Queen Mary, landing in New York in January 1946 to march down 5th Avenue with the 82nd in the Victory Parade; and,
WHEREAS, Norbert Studelska’s military decorations include Parachutist Badge with Combat Jump Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star Medal and Ribbon, Victory Medal and Ribbon, Occupation Medal and Ribbon, 508th Parachute Infantry Regimental Awards: Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation Ribbon, Netherlands Citation (Miltaire Willems Orde) Orange Lanyard, Belgium Fourragère and Liberation Medal, and the French Croix de Guerre; and,
WHEREAS, after returning from the war, Norbert graduated from River Falls State College and became a teacher and coach at Whitefish Bay and then Grafton High School. Norbert was elected to the Grafton School Board in 1956 and served until 1992. He held the office of President for the last ten years of his time on the Board. A strong proponent of developing young leaders, Norbert encouraged his children to become involved in their community through scouting programs. He set a fine example by leading Boy Scout Troop 840 for over 20 years, and he also assisted his late wife, Elaine, with her leadership in Girl Scouts from 1960 until 1970; and,
WHEREAS, Norbert Studelska is a life member, Badger Chapter, 82nd Airborne Division Association. He served as Badger Chapter Chairman from 1997-1998; Badger Chapter Trustee 2000-2005; Badger Chaplain 2001-2002; Life Member 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment WWII; President of the 508th PIR WWII 1997-1999; Vice President 508th PIR 1996, 2002-2004 and 508th Board of Directors 1996-2004. He is the D Co. Historian, presenting Camp Blanding Library with extensive primary source materials on Paratrooper combat experiences in volume form, a three-year project. He is an Associate Member of British Royal Legion 1994 to present, a Life Member of Grafton Legion Post 355, and Grafton-Cedarburg VFW Post 10171; and,
WHEREAS, he has taught religious instructions to High School students for Grafton’s St. Joseph Catholic Church and was on the St. Joseph Church Building Committee. He served on the Village of Grafton Board of Review, the Grafton Historic Preservation Commission, volunteered for the Grafton Senior Meal Program, and in 2010, Norbert was named Grafton’s “Outstanding Citizen.”
NOW, THEREFORE, I, John A. Scocos, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and I, Alan Richards, Chair of the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs, proclaim NORBERT STUDELSKA as the recipient of the Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award on this 15th day of June 2012.
ALAN RICHARDS, Board Chair
Nomination for the Award
There are up to six (6) Veteran Lifetime Achievement Awards annually.
- Four (4) honor a veteran in each of the four regions in which the Board meets.
- Two (2) are statewide awards honoring a veteran from anywhere in Wisconsin.
A Board of Veterans Affairs subcommittee consisting of three Board members, appointed by the Board Chair, selects the recipients. The selection criteria focus on the nominee’s lifetime achievements in the military, in veterans’ affairs, and as a citizen in service to his/her hometown, the State of Wisconsin and the United States of America.
The award is an engraved plaque, supported by a proclamation signed by the Board Chair.
Nominations are accepted from any Wisconsin resident and the Board especially encourages submissions from Wisconsin veterans, Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), County Veterans Service Officers (CVSOs) and other veterans groups.
The nominations may be submitted at any time during the year for any of the six annual awards.
Completed nomination forms must be received by the 15th of the month preceding the month of the Board meeting at which the presentation is to be made (for example, a receipt deadline of May 15th would apply for a June Board meeting presentation). The forms must be submitted in writing and the narrative explaining why the veteran is being nominated for the award may not exceed 500 words in length. Nominations that are not selected for a Board of Veterans Affairs Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award may be retained for future award consideration at the discretion of the award selection working group.
Nomination forms are available online, by calling toll-free 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387), or by mail at Board of Veterans Affairs Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, P.O. Box 7843, Madison, WI 53707-7843.
One of the six annual Board of Veterans Affairs Veteran Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to a Wisconsin resident from each of the following four Wisconsin regions, consisting of the designated counties:
Northeast: Brown, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Shawano, Vilas, Waupaca, Wood
Northwest: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Iron, Jackson, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Price, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer, Taylor, Trempealeau, Washburn
Southeast: Calumet, Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Jefferson, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sheboygan, Washington, Walworth, Waukesha, Winnebago
Southwest: Adams, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Juneau, Lafayette, LaCrosse, Marquette, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Vernon, Waushara
|Clarence J. Garrett||Milwaukee||June 2012||AWARD/CITATION|
|Norbert Studelska||Grafton||June 2012||AWARD/CITATION|
|Herbert F. Helgerson||Soldiers Grove||April 2011||AWARD/CITATION|
|Raymond E. Zastrow||Rhinelander||February 2011||AWARD/CITATION|
|Chester A. Caine||Lowell||December 2010||AWARD/CITATION|
|John F. Weindorfer, Sr.||Milwaukee||October 2010||AWARD/CITATION|
|Gordon R. Starck||Milwaukee||August 2010||AWARD/CITATION|
|Warren K. Wilber||Keshena||June 2010||AWARD/CITATION|
|Ralph W. Beck||Oshkosh||April 2010||AWARD/CITATION|
|James O. Peterson||Middleton||February 2010||AWARD/CITATION|
|Clayton N. Chipman||Brookfield||December 2009||AWARD/CITATION|
|Herbert "Herb" T. Zimmer||Rice Lake||October 2009||AWARD/CITATION|
|Harry W. Eichman||Trempealeau||August 2009||AWARD/CITATION|
|Joseph F. Klein||Green Bay||June 2009||AWARD/CITATION|
|Akira Toki||Madison||April 2009||AWARD/CITATION|
|John F. Rogan||Middleton||February 2009||AWARD/CITATION|
|Naomi Horwitz||Milwaukee||December 2008||AWARD/CITATION|
|Gary L. Mader||Appleton||October 2008||AWARD/CITATION|
|Mark A. Schaitel||Sparta||August 2008||AWARD/CITATION|
|John J. Mauer||Racine||June 2008||AWARD/CITATION|
|Dr. James C. Allen||Madison||February 2008||AWARD/CITATION|
|Eugene P. Moran||Soldiers Grove||October 2007||AWARD/CITATION|