The Wisconsin Woman, Veteran Quarterly Impact Award, is awarded to honor a woman veteran who has greatly influenced and impacted their community. Through challenges big and small, they have effected change and have helped move Wisconsin women veterans forward.
Renee began her military journey when she enlisted in the Army in 1993 and served as an Army Medic until 1997. Besides being trained as a Medic, she also completed the following courses: Combat Lifesaver Course, Ambulance Crew Instructor Advance First Aid Instructor, Wound Care & Suturing, Phlebotomy Course, IV Therapy, Immunization, Composite Health Care System, Field Sanitation, and Threat and Risk Assessment Course.
She was an Acute Care Medical Specialist/ Medical Team Supervisor while deployed to Bosnia with the 108th Military Police Company. Renee’s most notable military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal.
Renee Simpson has been active in the veteran community since her return to Wisconsin and is passionate about helping veterans and their families. Renee has continuously served in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) since 2003. She served as Post Commander, District Commander, and State Commander. Renee was the first female to serve as Wisconsin VFW State Commander from 2013-2014. Not only was she the first female, but she was also the second youngest veteran to be the VFW State Commander ever. During her time as State Commander, she was responsible for ensuring that over 300 VFW Posts and 10 Districts met all requirements of the VFW National By-Laws. She worked hard communicating with the District Commanders to ensure they and their Posts participated in the various programs and worked within their communities. She directed many state-level events and presided over two State VFW conventions. Plus, she was responsible for running three other State Council of Administration meetings. As State Commander, she traveled with other Wisconsin VFW delegates to Washington, DC, to speak to the State Senators and Representatives about issues of veterans, active duty, National Guard members, Reserve members, and family members. She distinguished herself at all levels. She also served as the State Hospital Chair from 2008-2010. She is currently the State VFW Foundation Treasurer position she has held since 2018. She is also a member of the VFW State Honor Guard. Renee also serves as her VFW Post-Auxiliary President.
At the National VFW level, she has been an Aide de Camp (2005-2006) and Special Aide de Camp (2009-2010). Only two people per state annually earn the Special Aide de Camp honors. This honor is for what the individual has accomplished for the VFW and what they will do in the future. At the VFW National Convention in 2020, Renee was elected as the National Surgeon General. During that year, Renee set up a teleconference meeting reaching out to all the VFW State Surgeons and discussing best practices and how they can help their state membership. She was the first Surgeon General to do outreach in this way. Plus, she traveled as the National Representative to other States for one of their conventions. The Commander-in-Chief for the Veterans of Foreign Wars for 2021-2022, Fritz Mihelcic, chose Renee to be the National Program Chairman, including the Voice of Democracy (VOD) and Patriot Pens programs. These are scholarship programs for High School Students (VOD) and Middle School Students (5-8 for Patriots Pen). As the Program Chair, Renee ensured that the Voice of Democracy awards ceremony was well organized. With her counterpart in the VFW Auxiliary, they introduced each of the 52 winners and what level of scholarship they won. The Voice of Democracy program's first-place winner receives a $35,000 scholarship. Setting up the VOD awards ceremony was no easy task because of COVID. It had to be all done electronically.
Renee currently works with the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs as a Soldier and Family Readiness Specialist (SFRS) servicing the Army National Guard. Being an SFRS is more than a nine-to-five job. Renee has to assist service members or their families whenever needed, including weekends, evenings, and even holidays, as the service members are deployed worldwide. Renee continues her passion for helping service members, veterans, and families through her civilian job and the VFW.
Not only is Renee working full time, she constantly strives to help upcoming members within the VFW to reach their highest potential. She gives of her time freely and mentors many younger members. While Renee was volunteering for the VFW at all levels, she also raised five children. Her energy for getting the job done is endless. She still has two children in high school.
Not only has Renee worked hard at being a great mother, but she has also worked hard at being a good mentor in the veteran's community. Please consider Past VFW State Commander Renee Simpson for this year's Wisconsin Woman Veteran of the Year Award. She has worked endlessly to help veterans, service members, and their families in Wisconsin.
Bravo, Zulu Renee! Thank you for your continued service to our #WisVets & #WisVetWomen