PHS student Lydia Heinen shared her experience with the Veterans Oral History Project in an oral essay for the VFW Voice of Democracy competition. Hear her compelling story.

WWII Coast Guard Veteran Dallas Kobriger, WWII Veteran and Army Nurse Marge Behlen and WWII Navy Veteran Al Exner visited USM in April to tell their stories to the students. It is so important these legacies and pieces of history don't get lost as time goes on. We should all remember where we've been to see clearly where we want to be in the future. It was such an honor to have these veterans speak to the kids.

Veteran Participants: Mike Weigl, Army, WWII; Phil Baird, Navy, WWII; Al Exner, Navy, WWII; Ed Tyre, Army, WWII; Al Hansen, Army, WWII; Harry Baker, Army, WWII; John Eskau, Navy, WWII; Charlie Myers, Air Force, Vietnam War; Edmund Mies, Army, WWII

Student Participants:: Kaleena Montez, Luke Dykowski, Nik Portz, Lauren Baylor, Tyler Kiser, Jinda Guidinger, Douglas Kirkofer, Alan Cameron, Jordan Varghese

  • Voice of Democracy4:16

We sponsored a hole at the Pewaukee Fire Department's annual golf outing, held at Ironwood Golf Course on October 6th.

To see full videos of all our 2018 interviews, visit our YouTube page!

October, 2016 Veterans Oral History Project and Luncheon

BTM members Roger Kastanek, Darcy and Steve Peterman, and Cheri Enters were given a tour of the Milwaukee VA Fisher House. Executive Director Curtiss Peck explained the history of the Fisher House and how it came to be what it is today. It is located on the Milwaukee VA grounds and is a home away from home for families of veterans being treated at the VA Medical Center. For more information, visit their website at

The Bell Tower Memorial, Inc. (BTM) and St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (SJNMA) hosted a veterans ceremony and luncheon at SJNMA on Sunday, May 20, 2018, honoring the completion of their third Veterans Oral History Project (VOHP) and its participants.

Sponsored in part by Habush Habush & Rottier, students, veterans, their families, and members of the community enjoyed lunch and the inspirational words of our guest speaker, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, and our keynote speaker, Petty Officer First Class Colin Dewey, USN. Veterans and students received award acknowledgments for their work on the project.

The VOHP paired high school students with local Veterans who were interviewed to create a lasting record of the Veterans’ many stories from their time in the military. These interviews will be submitted to the Library of Congress as part of a National Oral History Project and will be made available to local schools and libraries upon request.

Veteran Participants: Jack Eleyet, Air Force, Korea; Jo Helgeson, Army, Korea; John Jadel, Army, Korea; John Miller, Navy, Korea; Charlie Payne, Army, WWII; Alvin Rohde, Army, Korea; Ralph Simoneau, Marines, WWII; Robert Smith, Marines, Korea; Jerry Stern, Navy, WWII

Student Participants: Chloe Brossman, Andrew DeMaster, Nikolas Denzien, Jake Gonzalez, Katherine Hearden, Carolyn Miller, Amaya Seidl, Stevie Ward, Emily Willis

Check out our video and photo gallery!

Bell Tower Memorial Events

Honor Flight Book Signing

Student Participants:  Liana Jackson, Kyle Turba, Lydia Heinen, Kendall Schoenike, Aidan Nordquist

Veteran Participants:
 Marge Behlen, Army Nurse, WWII; John Kent, Army, Korean War Era; Harry Boehler, Navy, WWII; John Bosch, Army, WWII; Wayne Iverson, Navy, WWII; Fritz Krause, Army Air Corps, WWII; Dallas Kobriger, Coast Guard, WWIIType your paragraph here.

Bell Tower Memorial

Mike Cady, Chief Academic Officer at Pewaukee Schools and VP of BTM Board, with Elizabeth Idleman, local attorney and BTM Leadership Team, were guests on Karen Ellenbecker's Money Sense radio program aired on WISN 1130 AM radio on Saturday, 5/28 and 6/3.

To hear the show, CLICK HERE - courtesy of WISN AM 1130 and Ellenbecker Investment Group.

Veterans Oral History Project, Ceremony & Luncheon

Lydia Heinen

Veterans Oral History Project, Ceremony & Luncheon

On October 26, 2017, BTM held an Honor Flight Book signing at Culver's in Waukesha. WWII Navy Veteran Al Exner and his wife Norma Mae attended, in addition to WWII Coast Guard Veteran Dallas Kobriger, BTM member Jean Miller, Korean War Navy Veteran John Miller, and BTM member Cheri Enters. Al and Dallas had been interviewed by students for the BTM Veterans Oral History Project, but all three vets enjoyed sharing their stories of military service.

Veterans Reunion

Local Veterans Tell Their Stories to Students at University School of Milwaukee (USM)

Pewaukee Fire Department Golf Outing

BTM On The Radio!

The Bell Tower Memorial, Inc. (BTM) held a reunion for the Veterans interviewed for the 2016 & 2017 Veterans Oral History Project in conjunction with the Library of Congress's National Oral History Project. Kirkland Crossings in Pewaukee hosted the event on August 10, 2017. Veterans attending with family members shared their stories and soon learned that others in the room either served on the same ship or were in the same conflict area as they were. 

Veteran Participants: John Eskau, Navy, WWII; Al Hansen, Army, WWII; Phil Baird, Navy, WWII; Al Exner, Navy, WWII; guest Alice Byrne, Army; Marge Behlen, Army Nurse, WWII; Wayne Iverson, Navy, WWII; Harry Boehler, Navy, WWII; Harry Baker, Army, WWII; Fritz Krause, Army, WWII; John Bosch, Army, WWII; Mike Weigl, Army, WWII; Harold Bachman, Army, WWII; John Kent, Army, WWII

Milwaukee VA Fisher House Tour

Check out our project video and photo gallery!

Contact Us

Bell Tower Memorial, Inc

(262) 523-0100