‘It Has Blossomed From There’

A VFW member from Michigan was sworn in as the new president of the Second Indianhead Division Association during the group’s 100th reunion last September

Ben Tiseo joined more than 90 members of the Second Indianhead Division Association who convened on Sept. 23 at the Embassy Suites Hilton in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to celebrate the association’s 100th anniversary.

Tiseo, a 77-year-old a native of Italy, had attended several of the organization’s birthdays since joining in 1999, but the centennial birthday was a personally special one. It marked his first as president of the Second Indianhead Division Association, an organization of veterans who served in the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division since World War I.

“It was quite an honor because there is a camaraderie amongst all of us that served and wear the patch,” said Tiseo, a VFW Post 345 member in Redford, Michigan, who served with the “Second to None” division in Korea from November 1966 to December 1967. “I was humbled, too, because we did not serve to be recognized, but because we were called or had a calling to serve.”

Members of the Second Indianhead Division Association’s executive committee
Members of the Second Indianhead Division Association’s executive committee, from left, Bill Schultz, Scott Coe, Ben Tiseo, Mike Alexander and Joe Marcil celebrate Tiseo’s new term as president during the conclusion of the 100th reunion on Sept. 23 at the Embassy Suites Hilton in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The journey to becoming president spans decades for Tiseo, who first heard about the organization three decades after returning from Korea, where he was assigned to Headquarters Battery, 6th Bn., 37th Field Arty at Camp Pelham.

Tiseo first heard about the Second Indianhead Division Association while working on an assignment on behalf of his architectural firm, Tiseo Architects, which he has owned and operated for more than 43 years.

“I was doing a job in Michigan, where I’m from, and I ran into a fellow member who was a contractor, and he convinced me to join as a Life member in 1999,” said Tiseo, who also taught at his alma mater Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan, for 38 years. “I would get phone calls to attend funerals in Michigan and I did, but I never really went to the national conventions because I don’t think I was ready to share my experience at the time.”

Then in 2017, Tiseo attended his first national convention in Washington, D.C., after his family urged him to go and see for himself.

“My family kept asking me more about my service at the time, and so I decided to attend,” Tiseo said. “I ended up really enjoying the camaraderie, the laughs and the sorrows. It felt like a healthy experience. There was just a great connection there.”

Tiseo also began sitting in on the business sessions the organization had open to its members. Tiseo said it helped him form his vision for the future of the Second Indianhead Division Association.

“It is a tendency I have, to make comments and add suggestions,” Tiseo said. “This was noticed, and they asked me to join as a board member first, and then-President Scott Coe asked me to join him as his vice president. It has blossomed from there.”

Since becoming president at the annual reunion in 2023, Tiseo has dedicated himself to several goals for the Second Indianhead Division Association, which include growing its membership by recruiting younger generations of veterans and continuing to grow the organization’s resources.

“I have helped raise membership numbers and money to continue to lead the organization to flourish,” said Tiseo, whose presidency ends in 2025. “But I am also hoping to add to the services we currently provide to our membership. We help with VA benefits now, but we want to grow our scholarship program and further expand our social media presence to connect with younger warriors, among other things.”

This article is featured in the 2024 February issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Ismael Rodriguez Jr., senior writer for VFW magazine.