EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County Sheriff's Office loses its leader overnight. Frank Tomlanovich gave 34 years of service to Vilas County, and dedicated his life to law enforcement.
The 61-year-old sheriff passed away early this morning. Tomlanovich died in his home after a short illness.
Captain Russ Kennedy says it was a shock for everyone.
"Frank was well liked in the community and extremely well liked by his men; they enjoyed serving under him. Excellent sheriff, a very good man, we'll miss him dearly," says Captain Kennedy.
Captain Kennedy says they are mourning the Sheriff's passing. But the department will have to keep working.
"I've been telling the officers to keep working hard, as always. Keep moving forward, we'll get through this. Ultimately the Governor will have to appoint an interim sheriff to take over the duties that Frank had. He would tell us all the same thing: keep working hard, keep your chin up and move forward," says Captain Kennedy.
The Sheriff started his career at the Eagle River Police Department. Then he was a patrol deputy and detective sergeant with the Sheriff's Office. He became sheriff in 2010.
Governor Scott Walker made a statement today about the sheriff: "Tonette and I send our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Vilas County Sheriff Frank Tomlanovich. Sheriff Tomlanovich dedicated his life to protecting and serving the people of northern Wisconsin. We honor his life of public service and send our thoughts and prayers to all who knew him."
On this Memoria Day, we take you on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with a Vietnam veteran from Arbor Vitae.
A Tripoli resident found a plaque in his home that turned out to be for a veteran of World War I and World War II. We'll show you what the American Legion in Tomahawk did with the plaque to honor the veteran.
And a three thousand acre wildlife area about 10 miles west of Rhinelander is managed by the DNR, but now it's getting help to care for the land from a local sportsmen group. We'll show you how the Wisconsin River Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society is helping to preserve the area.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nearly 60,000 names line the walls of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than eight million men and women served in the Vietnam-Era conflicts in the 1960s and early 1970s. More than seven million veterans who served in the Vietnam War are alive today.
Last week more than 80 Vietnam-era veterans from north-central Wisconsin boarded the 28th Never Forgotten Honor Flight.
To them, those 60,000 names are personal.
"I've lost some good friends," said Gerald Streeter, a Vietnam veteran from Arbor Vitae. "Great people."
Streeter served in the Marine Corps in the early 1960s, before the Vietnam conflict began to ramp up. Streeter was also sent to Panama after the Bay of Pigs Invasion and then was sent to a Pacific island for nuclear tests. He recalls hearing of two people who died in helicopter crashes.
"We thought that was terrible that two people were already killed because of Vietnam," Streeter said. "And a short time later another one went missing. One was my drill instructor in boot camp."
Sometimes it can be hard for veterans to find the name of their fallen friends on the wall.
"You called them by last name or the rank and last name, but you never used first names," Streeter said. "So trying to locate on this wall the ones that I was aquainted with I can't find. I've tried several times with the books and manuals they have, the directories. Just unable to find them."
Streeter says his experiences don't measure up to what his younger brother endured. John Streeter, who was also on the Flight, joined the Marine Corps and went to Vietnam in 1965, according to his brother.
"He saw the worst, did the worst," Streeter said. "He was a door gunner on medivac helicopters. He's my hero."
If you want more information about the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, the link to its website is at the bottom of this page.
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