Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

Local veterans take the Honor Flight: Meet Andy
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.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

WAUSAU - You'd never guess it seeing the rows of stocked shelves and fresh paint, but Kevin Korpela's Downtown Grocery store in Wausau once stood as four fire-damaged walls with no roof.

"We had a home to go to, it just wasn't ready yet," Korpela said.

Tuesday morning, Korpela and his wife, Megan Curtes Korpela, showed Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch around their new digs in its old location nearly two years after fire destroyed the grocery on North Third Street.  A teenager tossed a lit cigarette in a dumpster behind the building in September 2015, severely damaging the building, which also housed Evolve Fitness and Sweets on Third.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Wisconsin grows nearly two thirds of the nation's cranberries. This year alone, the USDA predicts that the state will produce 5.6 million barrels. James Lake Farms in Three Lakes will produce 25 thousand of those barrels. They're getting ready for the harvest season now. 

President of James Lake Farms Inc. John Stauner loves going to work because his office is 124 acres of cranberry marsh.

He can walk through the windy fields. Or take in the stellar view of the water. 

The marsh sits next to Thunder Lake in Oneida County. When harvest season comes around, that water is used to flood the fields. 

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - Every school in Wisconsin teaches its students the basic academic subjects--math, science, and reading. Few schools set aside forgiveness as a special area of study.

High schoolers in Crandon will get a weekly class on forgiveness this year.

This summer, Superintendent Dr. Doug Kryder spoke at an international conference on forgiveness in Jerusalem.

+ Read More

Play Video

CONOVER - Three years ago, Vilas County decided to turn land near Torch Lake into a campground.

Tuesday those plans became reality.

"It's great in Conover. What more could you ask for?" said Vilas County Supervisor Art Kunde. 

After nearly three years of planning and building, Kunde was finally able to officially open Torch Lake Campground Tuesday. 

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Nowadays, Marge and Wally Engel spend their nights playing Scrabble inside their home in Wausau's Primrose Retirement Community. But that wasn't always the case.

"I've been with him for 77 years," said Marge. "It's been quite a long time and I must say enjoyable, and I'm very thankful that we are still together."

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker says he and Republicans who control the Legislature have reached a deal "in principle" over transportation funding and other issues to end an impasse that's held up passage of the state budget.

Walker said Tuesday that the deal does not include any gas tax or vehicle registration fee increases.

He also says there will be a reduction in the personal property tax favored by the state's business community, but not a full repeal.

+ Read More

KEWAUNEE COUNTY - A man has been shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy in Kewaunee County.

Sheriff Matt Joski says the incident happened about 8 p.m. Monday in the Town of Franklin.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here