Steve Tindall doesn’t do all he does for recognition.
But it’s certainly nice to be recognized. And, boy, does Tindall ever deserve it for everything he does for veterans in the Kenosha community and just for the community in general.
During the Kenosha Common Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 6, Tindall was honored as the Kenosha Hometown Heroes Commission’s 2022 Hometown Hero of the Year.
The Kenosha Hometown Heroes Commission created the program to identify and recognize as Hometown Heroes worthy men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the United States Armed Forces for their outstanding personal achievements and the positive contributions they make to the Kenosha community. Candidates must be born in, currently reside in or have previously resided for 10 years or more, at any time, in the City of Kenosha.
It’s been a year of honors for Tindall, who was named the commission’s Hometown Hero for the first quarter of 2022 and the Modern Woodmen Hometown Hero and also received a Community Service Award from Walker Manufacturing.
On Nov. 10, U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil presented Tindall with the 2022 First Congressional District Veteran of the Year Award for the congressional district that encompasses Kenosha, Racine, Walworth and parts of Rock, Waukesha and Milwaukee counties.
And now Tindall can add another honor to this lengthy list, as he’s been named this week’s Kenosha.com Kenoshan of the Week.
“I don’t do what I do for the accolades, although the past year has certainly been full of them,” Tindall, 71, said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.
“… It’s always nice to have people appreciate what you’re doing. It’s not the reason we do it, but it kind of validates what you’re doing, and it shows that people do appreciate it. You always need that little pat on the back.”
Originally from a little New York town near Syracuse called Amboy, Tindall joined the U.S. Navy when he was 18 years old.
During his more than nine years of service with the U.S. Navy, Tindall achieved the rank of Petty Officer First Class. His knowledge in electronics and weapons control systems assisted him during his deployment to the Mediterranean Sea during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and in joint NATO operations in North Atlantic and European nations.
Tindall served aboard the USS Dewey and the USS Hugh Purvis, being deployed several times to the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico for training missions. When taking classes in Gun Fire Control System “C,” Tindall ranked second in the MK-37 class and first in the MK-68 class. He then taught the MK-68 class for two years and also served as a drug counselor for two years.
Tindall’s awards include the National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Award (twice), Navy Pistol Sharpshooter Qualified and the DESRON20 Battle Efficiency Award.
When Tindall’s enlistment in the U.S. Navy ended, he was teaching at Great Lakes Naval Station, just north of Chicago. His wife was originally from the Kenosha area, so where to reside was a natural fit.
“In (19)78, we settled down here and made it our home,” Tindall said.
Tindall has served various positions at the Navy Club Ship 40, the American Legion Post 21, the Kenosha County Veterans Council and the Wisconsin Squadron of the Navy Club.
He was also responsible for coordinating the purchase of a new truck for the Veterans Outreach, the installation of solar-powered lights and a lock on the flagpole at Petrifying Springs Park and performing pinning ceremonies with Hospice Alliance in Pleasant Prairie.
The latter endeavor, which involves pinning veterans who are receiving end-of-life care with Hospice Alliance, is especially important to Tindall.
“There’s just so many things I get to do with them, but the veteran pinnings are probably the highlight of my experience with them,” he said. “To recognize somebody when they’re close to the end of their life for the sacrifices they made for the country is really important to me.”
Tindall has also volunteered at the Veterans Food Pantry, participated in Veterans Stand Down and raised funds and packaged boxes for the Katie Pollock’s Care Package for the Troops events.
The list goes on, as Tindall’s many accomplishments include hosting the Heroes Cafe, along with the Navy Club and Council, and conducting the Memorial Day and Vietnam Veterans Celebration at the Job Center, as well as the Navy Club Ship 40 Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day and Pearl Harbor Day events.
One of Tindall’s favorite efforts, he says, is coordinating the installation and dedication of POW/MIA Honors Chairs at various locations. These are chairs flanked by an American flag and POW flag, with a plaque explaining what the chair symbolizes. A POW/MIA Honors Chair is located down the third-base line at Simmons Field, outside the chambers of the Kenosha Common Council, at the Kenosha County Center in Bristol, at the Union Grove Veterans Home and at the Harley-Davidson on Milwaukee’s north side.
“It’s to remind people not to forget the prisoners of war, the missing-in-action, a lot of those will never come home,” Tindall said of the POW/MIA Honors Charis. “We’re trying to keep that in their mind.”
Additionally, Tindall donated televisions and mounts and assisted in the building of a tiny home at the James A. Peterson Veteran Village, collected money for the Music and Memory Program and collected and transferred food donations, mini-refrigerators and microwaves for Veterans Outreach.
Among his activities outside of what he does for veterans, Tindall has been very active within St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kenosha, helped set up and volunteered at the first soup kitchen in Kenosha and has delivered food to food pantries. He was also a Troop Leader and Scoutmaster with Boy Scouts of America.