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Thousands of veterans visit Milwaukee for American Legion's 103rd National Convention

"It's a rewarding job. If I had to raise this right hand again, I would raise it and serve my country again."
Clarence Sincaler
Posted at 5:11 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 19:27:15-04

MILWAUKEE — Thousands of veterans from across the country flooded the halls of the Wisconsin Center for the American Legion's 103rd National Convention on Wednesday.

One of the 8,000 veterans attending the convention was Illinois native Denise Rohan, who served in the military right out of high school in 1974.

"I went to basic training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. While there, it was still considered a women's army core. It was back in 1974," said Rohan. "I didn't do basic training with my male counterparts. They were just opening up that supply field to women."

Serving as a female in the military was just the beginning of shattering stereotypes for Rohan. After moving to Wisconsin and joining the American Legion, she became the first and only woman to serve as the organization's national commander in 2017.

"When I ran for commander here in Wisconsin, there were a lot of legionnaires who said the state of Wisconsin is not ready for a female veteran right now," said Rohan. "It doesn't matter what your gender is, your race, your religion, it doesn't matter. A veteran is a veteran, and that's what it's all about."

Clarence Sincaler came all the way from Georgia to attend this year's convention. He was only 21 when he enlisted in the army, where he served as a chaplain assistant and an intelligence analyst and then joined the national guard over the span of 23 years.

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Clarence Sincaler enlisted in the army when he was 21 years old. He said, “It’s a rewarding job. If I had to raise my right hand again, I would raise it, and serve my country again.”

"When the troop is out on the battlefield, or when the troop has doubts, or when the troop gets sick, we go and minister to those troops and we pray for those troops," said Sincaler. "Serving your country is the best thing that we as African-Americans or any other race can do."

While he may be retired from the military, he says the American Legion gives him a chance to do what he does best. Serving others.

"It's a rewarding job. If I had to raise this right hand again, I would raise it and serve my country again," said Sincaler.

The final day of the convention is Thursday, Sept. 1.

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