THREE LAKES - In less than two weeks, more than 100 veterans from northern Wisconsin will fly to the nation's capitol. The Never Forgotten Honor Flight organization gives veterans the chance to visit their memorials in Washington, D.C. Getting dozens of aging vets onto a flight and around the capitol takes a lot of preparation.
For the vets themselves, the preparation is mostly emotional. Three Lakes veteran Arnold Craig is going along for the journey. It will be his first time in Washington, D.C. in 70 years.
"In some ways I'm looking forward to it and in some ways I'm not...because, I mean, I haven't traveled a lot in the last ten years," says Arnold Craig, World War II Veteran.
At 89 years old, traveling half way across the country takes a lot. But Arnold once traveled much further.
He was drafted at just 18 years old, and served two years during World War II.
"I stayed overseas. I was in with the First Army and then I was in with the Third Army with Patton, that's when I got shot," says Craig.
He lost his left eye in combat. But that didn't stop him from continuing with one of his favorite pastimes...painting.
"I still painted, it's like a computer to me. I got to pick it up and it relaxes me," said Craig.
Arnold still paints every day.
"You got to adjust to what's the best for yourself and just not think about all the bad things and think about all the good things in this world," says Craig.
And Arnold looks forward to another good thing...the Honor Flight.
"I haven't been with a lot of veterans in a long time. And it's going to be quite and experience to see people who were in the same position as I was," says Craig.
The veterans leave April 22nd. They receive thank-you letters on the plane and there's still time for you to write one. You can find out more by visiting the attached link.
Several Republican senators, including Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), have said they're not ready to vote.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) says he supports Johnson on this.
"We've given Senator Johnson some suggestions," Walker said. "I think he wants to vote for it, he made the promise when he ran in '10 and then last year in 2016 that he would vote to repeal it, he wants to do that, he just wants to make sure that the repeal ultimately ends up serving the people of Wisconsin well."
Both Democratic and Republican senators say they have issues with the bill.
Some Republicans say the bill doesn't get rid of enough of the Affordable Care Act.
Democrats worry about Medicaid cuts.
Walker says he wants Wisconsin to continue to do what it does well in healthcare.
"What I've asked Senator Johnson is help us do the things we've been successful at," Walker said. "We're a top ten state when it comes to access for healthcare for citizens, we're a top ten state with the quality of our healthcare systems. We want to maintain that going forward."
On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office said the new bill would cause 22 million Americans to be uninsured.
Johnson put out a statement Tuesday saying he was glad there won't be a vote this week.
RHINELANDER - Three decades-old signs greet people coming into Rhinelander from various sides. But if you drive past them every day, you likely don't even notice them. Rhinelander wants to make sure those old signs stand out.
WAUSAU - Many of us try to honor our veterans whenever we can.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) added one more way.
The Governor visited several veteran-owned businesses across the state Tuesday for Veteran-Owned Business Day.
Tuesday afternoon he stopped at Prosthetic Orthotic Center in Wausau.
He says veteran-owned businesses are good for other veterans and the economy.
"We found statistically that veterans are about 30 percent more likely to hire fellow veterans as employees," Walker said. "So it's good all the way around."
If you are a veteran-owned business, you can register with the state at WisVets.com
That way you can get a decal that says Wisconsin Veteran-Owned for your business window or door.
You also get listed in a state veteran-owned business directory.
"We're branding it, letting the public know that businesses that are owned by veterans, letting them know whether it's in a sign in their window or whether it's on the website, or other ways that we can draw attention," Walker said.
About 390,000 veterans live in Wisconsin, and about 11 percent of the state's businesses are veteran-owned.
WAUSAU - Drugs led to four arrests and one death in north-central Wisconsin on Monday.
The Marathon County Sheriff's Office reports a 37-year-old Shawano man died after apparently overdosing on methamphetamine.
Witnesses say 37-year-old Lucas Groshek and his wife, Carolyn, were shaking and convulsing in a car in the eastern Marathon County town of Norrie. Mr. Groshek died before getting to the hospital. Mrs. Groshek, 33, is in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon.
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