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NEWS STORIES

Local veterans take the Honor Flight: Meet AndySubmitted: 09/10/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ninety one local veterans took the trip of a lifetime to the nation's capitol yesterday. The Never Forgotten Honor Flight made its thirteenth trip to Washington D.C.

Newswatch 12's Lyndsey Stemm got to go with them. The veterans shared their stories and wisdom with her-- and perhaps most memorably-- they shared their experiences yesterday.

We'd like to share those with you this week. Tonight, meet Andy.

"Doing a lot of tears, I'll tell you. Because I'm proud of those guys. I don't care how much we served, or how much we suffered; they paid the absolute price," says Andy DeFelice, from Nekoosa.

Andy served with the U.S. Army in the 60's. Normally, that would put him lower on the list-- The Never Forgotten Honor Flight takes the oldest veterans to Washington D.C. first. But Andy is one of three special veterans on the trip.

"You know, I've been a sick man. It's part of the reason I'm here, because I'm a very sick man with Leukemia and Prostate Cancer, and no stomach," says Andy.

Andy's one of three terminally ill Vietnam era vets along for this trip. It's the war he identifies with most, though he served mostly in Germany through the start of Vietnam. Even so, there was no shortage of action in his service.

"We had a great opportunity with "Operation Big Lift", when they airlifted all those troops over on maneuvers," says Andy.

He regrets not keeping in touch with those Army buddies. But that makes this trip with 90 other veterans all the more special.

"Once you're in the service you're in a brotherhood you'll never, ever loose. That's just the way it is. I don't care if you're Army, Navy, Marines or what. You're a brotherhood. That's what I loved about it and I still do," says Andy.

Andy saw the trip as an opportunity to pay tribute to people who died in battle. He couldn't believe anyone would want to honor his service. But his arrival in Washington proved him wrong.

Forty eight years after he left the Army, Andy got to see the memorial built to honor his generation of service men and women. What struck him most was seeing all the names of those who were lost.

"Sadness and shock of all these lives. It's just a waste... a waste," says Andy.

Like many veterans, some memories from war time still follow him. But what haunts him is how other soldiers were affected.

"The way those guys were treated when they came back from Nam; I'll never forget that. Because when you serve, you serve your country. And that's what those guys did. That's the sad part. I don't know, words can't express the way I feel about these guys. All of these guys. And this trip and what everybody's done for us," says Andy.

Seeing the memorial makes him feel like they're finally being treated properly.

"It's time. It's time for all of those troops. God bless them," says Andy.

But the Honor Flight folks didn't let Andy get away without his own fair share of being honored. When they got back from the trip he and his 90 brothers-in-arms got the hero's welcome many veterans didn't get all those years ago.

Tomorrow night we'll go along with the veterans to the World War Two memorial. It was the last of the major wars to get a memorial in D.C. You'll get to meet Joe, from Tomahawk. He'll tell us why he joined his four brothers in the war, even though he didn't have to.



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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 07/01/2015

- A pair of controversial proposals won't make it in the Wisconsin state budget. Lawmakers announced Wednesday that the $500 million Milwaukee Bucks arena and the prevailing wage proposals will instead be voted on in a special session. It's progress after a month of inaction, but we'll tell you why it won't pass as it is written coming up tonight on Newswatch 12.

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We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Area 4th of July Events Submitted: 07/01/2015

- 4th of July Celebrations (Listing alphabetically)

Antigo
-Parade on 10th Ave. at 7 p.m.
-Fireworks at Antigo High School at 9:20 p.m.

Boulder Junction
-Parade on Main Street at 12 p.m.
-Following parade Chicken BBQ, sponsored by the Boulder Junction Fire Department, until 6 p.m.
-Fireworks at Airport Landing Field at dusk

Crandon
-Parade through downtown Crandon at 12 p.m.
-Fireworks in downtown area at dusk

Eagle River
-Parade through downtown on Wall St. at 11 a.m.
-Fireworks near intersection of Hwy 45 and County G at dusk
-High Pines Campground open to public for viewing of fireworks

Manitowish Waters
-Festivities at Community Center on Hwy 51 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
-Parade through downtown area on Hwy W at 1 p.m.
-Fireworks over Rest Lake at dusk

Merrill
-Fireworks at the Marc at dusk

Minocqua
-Kiddie parade at 3:45 p.m. and main parade at 4 p.m. on Hwy 51 south through downtown
-Water ski show at 7 p.m. at the Aqua Bowl
-Fireworks from behind the blue water tower at dark

Phelps
-Parade through downtown at 3 p.m.
-Live music, games, activities, raffles and more in downtown area following parade
-Fireworks over North Twin Lake at dusk

Phillips
-Arts and crafts, food, music and more at Elk Lake from 9 a.m. 4 p.m.
-Parade on Lake Ave. at 2 p.m.
-Fireworks over Lake Duroy at dusk

Rhinelander
-Kiddie parade at 10 a.m. on Brown St. followed by main parade at 11 a.m. on Brown St.
-Hodag water ski show at Hodag Park at 7:30 p.m.
-Fireworks at Hodag Park at dusk

Three Lakes
-Parade on Superior St. through downtown at 9 a.m.
-Crafts, flea market, food, activities and more at Don Burnside Park after parade until 3 p.m.
-Fireworks at Don Burnside park at dusk

Tomahawk
-Lions Club chicken BBQ in downtown area beginning at 10:30 a.m.
-Parade on Wisconsin Ave through downtown area at 1 p.m.
-Fireworks at SARA Park at dusk

Wausau
-Activities and events at Marathon Park on July 1st July 5th
-Fireworks at Grandstand area, Marathon Park, at dusk on July 3rd and 4th

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MILWAUKEE - Tens of thousands of people who use the Milwaukee County Transit System to reach their destinations will have to make alternative plans.

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MADISON - More than half of Wisconsin schools will see a decline in general aid in the next school year, according to estimates from the state Department of Public Instruction.

The state budget not yet finalized would keep general school aid flat at almost $4.5 billion. But DPI says diversions of money to the Milwaukee voucher program and charter schools drop that closer to $4.3 billion.

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MADISON - A new report says the state's unemployment benefits fund finished the 2013-14 fiscal year in the black for the first time in years.

The Legislative Audit Bureau released a report Wednesday that showed the fund grew from a negative $208.4 million as of June 30, 2013, to $329.4 million as of June 30, 2014, the first positive balance since the end of fiscal year 2007-08.

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