Loading

73°F

68°F

76°F

74°F

69°F

76°F

66°F

75°F

72°F

66°F

76°F

67°F
Search
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.



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





 IN OTHER NEWS

WOOD COUNTY - The Wood County 911 system is having intermittent outages and other issues, according to the Wood County Dispatch Center page on the Wood County website. If you can not get through on 911 dial (715)421-8701. According to the website, a fiber optic cable has been cut, and it may take several hours to get it up and running. See the link below to the dispatch center webpage. 

+ Read More

Play Video

PHILLIPS - A Phillips manufacturer will shut down at the end of October.

53 people work for Georgia Pacific.

The company told employees Friday that the plant will shut down.

The building was built in 1958.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - A Wausau teen could face a jury in a murder trial next month.

15-year-old Dylan Yang is accused of stabbing and killing 13-year-old Isaiah Powell during a gang-related fight in late February.

Yang was in court Friday for a motion hearing. It's part of the judicial process where both the prosecutor and the defense file arguments that certain evidence or witnesses can't be used during trial.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Getting a license to become a fishing guide in Wisconsin doesn't take much effort. Applicants fill out a one-page form and send a check to the DNR.

One local guide thinks the process should include steps to ensure safety on the water. Minocqua-area fishing guide Greg Bohn wants guides to be trained in safety procedures.

"You pay a $40 fee for the license, and you're a Wisconsin Licensed Fishing Guide. It doesn't mean that you're protecting yourself. It doesn't mean that you're protecting your passengers for hire," Bohn said.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - The first-ever ATV & UTV World Championship Derby is well underway. Races begin early in the morning and conclude Sunday afternoon. Derbytrack owner Chuck Decker said there are about 200 entries, or about 150 participants. 

"It's been going really good, it's a first time event," Decker said. "You know we're very used to running a lot of snowmobile events, so this is very different. There's always some hiccups when you first start out. But things are going good. People are starting to come in. There's a lot of vendors here. I think it's going to be a great weekend."
 
 Check back all weekend for more updates as the Newswatch12 news team covers it. 

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - The Neighbor's Place Food Pantry in Wausau worries its hours make it difficult for people to get the food they need.

Right now, the pantry is open until 5 o'clock Monday through Thursday and until 2o'clock on Fridays. Those hours may not work for people who need to work during the day.

+ Read More

ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 49, Greenwood/Granton 12

Alma/Pepin 53, Independence/Gilmanton 21

Almond-Bancroft 48, Rio 0

Antigo 35, Oconto 0

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here