veterans

Wisconsin.gov

It's Memorial Day...this morning we hear from Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos. Scocos tells Ken Krall it's very important for everyone to remember the fallen, especially those from the Viet Nam era. This is the 40th anniversary year of the end of that controversial war....

Veterans living in rural areas should have a slightly easier time getting health care, thanks to a new initiative called the Veterans Choice Card. 

Veterans can use the card to access non-VA health care providers if they live more than 40 miles from a VA health facility, or if they can’t get a desired appointment within 30 days. 

Spokesperson Brad Nelson says the cards are being mailed to everyone enrolled with the Veterans Administration, but not everyone can qualifies to use it. 

Joyce Bong Erickson

Saturday is opening day of Wisconsin’s annual gun deer season.  For many families the hunt is about much more than taking a deer - it’s a time of family bonding, camaraderie and tradition.  In today’s History Afield, Writer Bob Willging has the story of a famous World War II combat pilot, who made deer hunting with his family a priority while home on leave in 1943.

State officials have a new plan to help connect homeless veterans in northern Wisconsin with social services and other resources. 

Federal grants totaling 1.2 million dollars over the next three years…will go to fund a new Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program. 

Veterans Affairs Grant Specialist Kelly Laabs says it’s trying to help homeless veterans access programs that provide things like housing or healthcare.    

Pixabay

The state capitol will celebrate the holidays this year with help from a 40-foot balsam fir from Pelican Lake in Oneida County. 

Dennis Shoeneck is owner of logging company Enterprise Forest Products.  He’s donating the large tree for the statehouse rotunda, along with more than a dozen smaller trees for outside the Capitol Square and Governor’s residence.

Shoeneck describes how Madison officials came to check out the trees earlier this spring, and notified him of their selections. 

Almost a hundred veterans are departing from Central Wisconsin Airport Monday on an Honor Flight.

As North Central Wisconsin Honor Flight Co-founder Jim Campbell says, the one-day trip to DC starts before dawn.

“Monday morning at 0-dark thirty, they head out to the airport.  Most of the veterans are there by 0500.  And we launch out around 7 o’clock in the morning.” 

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

This month marks 70 years since D-Day, the landing operations at Normandy during World War 2.  

This Memorial Day…we hear from veteran Glenn Johnson.

Johnson served as a paratrooper in World War II in the 101st Airborne Division.  He was injured after parachuting into German territory just prior to the Normandy invasion in 1944.  There he was captured and imprisoned for five months.    

Johnson describes how he and two others escaped one day while on a work detail near the border of Germany and Czechoslovakia. 

This Memorial Day weekend… a charity group wants you to donate old cell phones to benefit soldiers. 

Military Support Group and AT&T have put out collection boxes in several locations in Rhinelander. 

AT&T Wisconsin Spokesperson Jessica Erickson says the old cell phones are recycled …and the proceeds go to pay for phone cards for soldiers overseas.

Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

This weekend marks 72 years since the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Earlier this fall we heard from Walter Wendt, 95-year-old naval veteran of Pearl Harbor.

He remembers the day of the attacks as one of confusion.

“Rumors filled –spread like wildfire.  They said that there were Japanese landing at Pearl Harbor and there wasn’t any. They said they were landing at Waikiki Beach and there wasn’t any.  There was a guy they put on watch – there was a guy came in, he shot em and it was one of our own men.  The jitters were so high.”

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