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NEWS STORIES

Groups donate time and materials to repair veteran's homeSubmitted: 11/14/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com

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MINOCQUA - Most Vietnam veterans didn't get a celebratory welcome home.

But a pair of Northwoods groups wanted to show veterans from wars past that they care now.

Veterans like Rich Koch remembers his first time in Vietnam.

"When you first get there you are real scared," Koch said. "You know nobody pays much attention to you because you are the new guy."

Koch felt the same way when he returned a year later from Vietnam in 1970. He flew into O'hare Airport past midnight and was picked up by his wife. He didn't get a hero's welcome.

But Koch knows first hand that people deal with veterans differently these days. Still, he was surprised when a group wanted to repair and remodel his home for free.

"I had no idea what they were going do," Koch said. "They say could we help you out and are there anything that you are planning to do."

An area Home Depot joined forces with the Wausua based Ultimate Sacrifice USA to repair and remodel Koch's home. They started work Thursday.

More than ten volunteers took down old cabinets, pulled up old carpet and removed bathroom fixtures. Home Depot's Jason Kuharske says the home need some work.

"It definitely was needed," Kuharske said. "You could probably live there, but it will be nice to know that they can come to a home instead of just a house."

Home Depot donated around $20,000 in material and labor. They replaced floors, cabinets, vanities and other items in the house.

They worked with Ultimate Sacrifice USA founder Bob Cankar. He used to run a business, but enjoys this more.

"The business can't compare to being able to help a veteran that when they went in they didn't know if they we're going to be coming back," Cankar said.

But Koch did make it back, and now he's getting help from the people he fought for. He believes this is finally his welcome home.

"It's beyond words I can't explain it to you," Koch said. "It's like a miracle."





Related Weblinks:
Ultimate Sacrifice USA

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/27/2014

- You might head to your local chamber if you want to donate winter clothes. The program will help get warm clothes to families in need. Tourism workers across the state are running the Big Bundle Up Campaign. We'll have more details coming up on Newswatch 12 at 6 p.m.

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

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List of holiday events around northcentral Wisconsin this weekendSubmitted: 11/27/2014

NORTHCENTRAL WISCONSIN - Here is a list of some of the special holiday events going on around northcentral Wisconsin this weekend.

FRIDAY
Boulder Junction
26th Annual Christmas
5-8 p.m.
Downtown Boulder Junction

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Wisconsin Rapids Police looking for missing 21-year-old manSubmitted: 11/27/2014

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - Police in Wisconsin Rapids need help finding a missing 21-year-old man. Friends and family of Patrick E. Howard haven't seen him since Tuesday afternoon.

It was at 102 Thousand Oak Road.

Howard is a 6'2", 180 lbs. white man. He was carrying three grocery bags, a comforter and a pillow. Howard has brown hair and blue eyes.

He doesn't have a car or working phone. His friends and family say it isn't normal for him to not contact them.

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How you can "Go Green" this holiday season Submitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Many people "go green" by recycling or riding a bike instead of driving a car to work.

You can also "go green" by shopping this year.

Green Tuesday asks people to buy gifts in their communities.

It also encourages you to keep the environment in mind when shopping.

That could mean buying organic toys or clothes or even meals from organic restaurants.

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Bundle Up program aims to keep families warm; how you can helpSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - You can help families stay warm this winter by donating your extra winter clothing to the Big Bundle Up Campaign. Tourism groups across Wisconsin are looking for mittens, scarves, coats, and other winter gear.

"Those would be really helpful for a lot of people in the area," Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dana DeMet said. "And I think the biggest challenge in the Northwoods is that it's just not as visible, so it's a little harder sometimes to garner that support if you are not faced with it on the streets every day."

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Local churches deliver Thanksgiving mealsSubmitted: 11/27/2014

RHINELANDER - Members of two local churches came together this Thanksgiving to serve the community.

Grace Foursquare Church and North Country Vineyard Church in Rhinelander prepared and delivered meals to people in the area.

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People Across the Northwoods are thankful for many thingsSubmitted: 11/27/2014

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NORTHWOODS - Aspects of your life that you are thankful for always seem to standout on Thanksgiving.

It did not take long to find people in Eagle River who were thankful for something's.

"I'm thankful I've got a house, I have a roof over my head I can eat every day, I have a job," said Eagle River's Brad Pagels. "There really isn't much I want for or lack for anything."

"I'm thankful for many many things but the one thing I can think of in particular is having the kindest wife in the world someone who I can love and respect for all my days," said Peoria, Illinois Native Ben Prichard.

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