Honoring Our Armed Forces
Active duty military, veterans, and those who lost their lives in service are an important part of Milwaukee. Whether in our community or in our hearts, we value the people of our united armed forces, and there are many ways for Milwaukeeans and visitors to honor and support our troops.
Military Institutions & Landmarks
This non-profit organization was created by and for veterans. Dryhootch coffeehouse locations in Milwaukee as well as other Wisconsin and Illinois sites provide a gathering place for vets as well a community connection.
Milwaukee Soldiers Home
On the grounds of Milwaukee’s Veteran Affairs Medical Center sits the country’s most intact Soldiers Home. Originally a recuperation space for Civil War soldiers, Milwaukee Soldiers Home recently re-opened to welcome a new generation of veterans with more restorations in the works.
The social enterprise from the Center for Veterans Issues, Troop Café offers delicious fare for the community with profits supporting food service and hospitality training for veterans re-entering civilian life.
Veterans Park along Lake Michigan includes a kite store, large open grassy areas, a paved section of the Oak Leaf Trail, and a long lagoon with paddle boat, kayak, and stand up paddle board (SUP) rentals.
War Memorial Center
Appropriately located just south from Veterans Park along Lake Michigan’s shores is the War Memorial Center. Memorials inside and around the War Memorial Center building include the Honor Roll & Eternal Flame, Operation Iraqi Freedom, 9/11, and Purple Heart memorials in addition to an Abraham Lincoln Statue and Mosaic Mural.
Wood National Cemetery
In addition to being the resting place for many local soldiers, Wood National Cemetery is a standing salute to veterans. On the grounds are a Civil War Soldiers and Sailors monument and a memorial pathway with various structures paying homage to United States veterans.
Support our Military Members
As we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice fighting for America, we must also remember to support the military service members who are still with us. Here are a few ideas:
- Dryhootch coffeehouses sell great coffee with roasts for each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Consider purchasing a bag for the military members in your life.
- The Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative provides assistance to veterans who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. Donations of furniture, appliances, and household items allow the initiative to get veterans set up in homes.
- The Purple Heart Service Foundation also accepts donations including furniture, clothing, electronics, and more to help enhance the quality of life for veterans and their families.
- The Milwaukee VA Medical Center is not only a place for veterans to receive health care, but also a place for the community to serve those who served the United States. Donations as well as volunteers are always welcome.
- Feast Of Crispian is a non-profit organization that brings professional actors and veterans together to strengthen the emotional resources veterans need to overcome trauma and reintegration issues.
- Download the Milwaukee Soldiers Home free walking tour app to explore the historic landmark district and consider making a donation to help keep this hidden gem and veteran respite alive.
- The National Cemetery Administration offers several volunteer opportunities at locations around the country – such as Milwaukee’s own Wood National Cemetery – to honor our military. Volunteer for a wide range of activities from playing “Taps” at a veteran’s funeral service to sponsoring a burial site for beautification.
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