November 22, 2014

Celebrating Year of the Veteran

The Wisconsin Veterans Department will host a celebration in March honoring Wisconsin’s veterans.

Wisconsin’s first lady Tonette (toh-nette) Walker is wrapping up the “Year of the Veteran” by hosting a celebratory ball: Faces of Freedom — A Year of the Veteran Celebration. “We are gonna have a night of food and fun and dancing and a comedian.”

Nationally-known comedian and Milwaukee resident Fred Klett will be the gala’s headline entertainer. He also happens to be the brother of Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. He jokes, “I have connections with some of the cabinet members.”

The Year of the Veteran, as designated by Governor Scott Walker last year, comes to a close on March 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee. The first lady says the family-friendly event is open to everyone. “It’s not just the veterans themselves or those that are in service right now, but their families, their friends, people across Wisconsin who actually support the military.”

Wisconsin Veterans Museum Director Michael Telzrow says the $50 admittance fee benefits the Veterans Museum Foundation. “That money goes to the foundation, which supports our public programs and exhibits. It augments the state’s funding and it’s critical to our operations because we don’t cover those public programs and events through state funding.”

Proceeds will help the museum continue its mission to collect stories from veterans. Museum staff will be available to help with that task during the event.

Klett, who has performed alongside such stand-up comedy legends as Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno, is known for his family-friendly humor based on experiences that everyone can relate to. “It’ll be fun,” he promises almost convincingly.

Faces of Freedom is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency in Milwaukee. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. and will include a reception hosted by the first lady and a program saluting Wisconsin veterans, followed by live music and dancing. Veterans are encouraged to share their story at the event or any time by visiting www.WisVetStories.com.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:58