Congratulations to Cadet First Lieutenant Matthew Niemi for receiving the 2019 Tom Hudner Scholarship of Honor

Please help us congratulate Matthew Niemi and wish him well as he prepares for his June 18th departure to the United States Air Force.  He will attend basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX.

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“As a young child, I lived in a foreign country and experienced first-hand what it is like not to have freedom. Being raised in a military household, taking advantage of what this great country has to offer, and realizing the amazing freedom this country has, it really makes me want to give back and uphold that freedom that is seen nowhere else in the world.

Protecting the people of the United States was my goal and now is a dream come true. I am excited to join the armed forces this year and see what opportunities it has in store. This scholarship will help with my future career in the Air Force. I am very thankful for the foundation recognizing those going into public service sectors.”

Left to right: Lt Col. Stephen Kohler, David Konrath, Matthew Niemi, Doug LaViolette and Lt Col Robert Koehler, Northeast Group Commander, WI Wing CAP

Left to right: Lt Col. Stephen Kohler, David Konrath, Matthew Niemi, Doug LaViolette and Lt Col Robert Koehler, Northeast Group Commander, WI Wing CAP


The Tom Hudner Scholarship of Honor is sponsored by David Konrath and awarded through the  Wisconsin Wing Civil Air Patrol. 

As a fighter pilot in the Korean War, Thomas Hudner routinely completed his missions by air. But in a dramatic rescue attempt of a fellow pilot, Hudner executed a wheels-up landing in enemy territory and found himself battling the elements on the ground. The snow and cold of December 1950 in North Korea found Hudner thinking not of himself or the enemy, but of one fellow Navy pilot, Ensign Jesse Brown, the Navy’s first African American aviator.


President Truman awarded Thomas Hudner the Congressional Medal of Honor on April 13, 1951 for his courageous actions.

“Matthew is such a deserving young man to receive the Thomas Hudner Scholarship of Honor and I know Tom is smiling down excited to see the next generation is in good hands.” – David Konrath, sponsor of the Tom Hudner Scholarship of Honor.

2019 Brian LaViolette Scholarship Recipient 

Madelin Corrao describes herself in 150 characters as:

Principled, empathetic and humble. Loves to travel, experience life and my crazy dog.  Enjoys learning and eager to change my piece of the world.

Madelin received the Brian LaViolette Scholarship for $10,000 this week in a surprise visit during her interior design class at DePere High School.

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Through the administrative help of Partners in Education, one student was selected from about 4,000 Seniors in the Green Bay district.  A student from each of the 17 schools applies.  The committee narrows it down to 5 and our family, along with April of Partners in Education interview the finalists.

During the interview, we instantly felt Madelin's compassion and empathy.  She is driven to help others and is focused to becoming a nurse practitioner.  She has taken a Certified Nursing Assistant course at Bellin College in mornings before school started.   Madelin would also like to become fluent in Spanish and complete her clincials in South America before coming back to the community as a nurse.

She is enrolled in honors college at UW-Oshkosh.

"The most important day of my life"

Brian on his confirmation day

Brian on his confirmation day

Brian said the most important day of his life was his confirmation, May 17th, 1992.  In his confirmation journal he wrote: "Death and resurrection is a sacred, but happy event. There is life after death."

Brian's confirmation mentor said this about him: "I found out early on that Brian was no ordinary 15-year old... he formed very clear and mature ideas about his life and the world around him. He took the risk of being open, honest, and candid... His spiritual faith had the confidence of a 50-year-old, not the average 15-year-old.

On this day, we reflect on Brian and the confidence you have in his Foundation.

Festival remembers sacrifices of American Soldiers decades later

By George Patton Waters, grandson of Gen. George S. Patton

Have you ever wondered if the American soldier will be remembered for their sacrifices decades from now? I believe we’ve found the answer in a small town in the Czech Republic. 

For almost 30 years, the city of Pilsen has been honoring the American soldiers of World War II for giving them their freedom over seven decades ago.

Photo by City of Pilsen

Photo by City of Pilsen

On May 6, 1945, General George S. Patton‘s Third Army liberated the city of Pilsen from the Nazi strong hold. Sadly, Pilsen’s freedom was short-lived when in 1948 the Russians not only took control of the city, but began erasing all of the history and heroics of the American Army. In 1968, the Soviet Union and its allies had a full scale invasion with a mission to eradicate the remaining freedom of all Czech citizens.

That sad chapter in Czech history all changed in 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell as did communism.

Since 1990, the city of Pilsen has celebrated their freedom with an annual Liberation Festival.

This year’s Liberation Festival takes place May 2-6, and you’re invited!

The citizens of Pilsen are so grateful to the American soldiers that they would like to invite all U.S. Army active-duty Soldiers and their families to attend this heartwarming tribute.

Those who have attended past Liberation Festivals have said it has profoundly changed their lives and how they look at the sacrifice of the American soldier past and present.

What’s even more moving is how this small city continues to remember the American Soldier 74 years after America’s fighting men liberated their city. 

Highlights of the Pilsen Liberation Festival include:  

  • The Convoy of Liberty with hundreds of actual World War II vehicles.

  • A discussion with World War II veterans sharing stories with students and their parents.

  • A number of public wreath laying ceremonies at monuments and memorials honoring and remembering the American Army. 

  • Meet World War II reenactors who have re-created World War II camp sites in breathtaking details.

  • Music for all ages. Live bands with music spanning decades.

  • A genuine outpouring of love and appreciation for America.

For all the details, visit

One of the special moments includes a scholarship presentation by the Brian LaViolette Foundation from Green Bay, Wisconsin. The General George S. Patton Scholarship of Honor is presented to honor General Patton and remember sacrifices of the American Soldier. It is awarded to a graduating Pilsen area high school senior who has chosen to enter the military or pursue a career in public safety or community service. In essence, a cause greater than self. 

Patton‘s grandson, George Patton Waters, a veteran himself, will be on hand on behalf of the Patton family along with other Americans who have traveled from the mainland to join in on this heartwarming celebration.

“We hope all our Soldiers serving in Bavaria and all of Europe can join us in Pilsen and in doing so, we too can honor their service as well,” said Waters.