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

Groups donate time and materials to repair veteran's home
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

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

What We're Working OnSubmitted: 03/20/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

The Rhinelander/Oneida County airport manager is retiring after 28 years, and a new manager will take over. We talk with Joe Brauer about his retirement and introduce you to the new person in charge.

Today the State Senate will vote on a bill inspired by a victim of the March 22nd shootings in Wausau last year. We'll bring you the details and update you on the progress of "Sara's Law."

And we'll tell you why some local Dairy Queen stores are giving away free ice cream cones today.

We'll bring you all this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

ARBOR VITAE - You won't want to wear your best clothes to one race in May.

Minocqua's Color Run Fundraiser is a 3K and 5K race for Arbor Vitae-Woodruff and MJ1 schools.

The race is one of the schools' biggest fundraisers for field trips, additional school supplies and equipment.

The Color Run raised almost $20,000 last year.

"It comes from all of the kids and their fundraising in the community, with the help of grandparents and parents and friends," says AVW Principal Rich Fortier.

The race will be at the Minocqua Park Complex on May 5.

To find out how to register, click below.

+ Read More

MENOMINEE, MI - Federal officials are raising objections to a proposed open-pit mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants answers to questions about a wetlands permit application filed by Aquila Resources Inc. The Canadian company plans to mine gold, zinc and copper near the Menominee River on the Michigan-Wisconsin line.

+ Read More

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Paul Ryan says he's hoping bargainers can resolve the final disputes in a government-wide spending bill on Tuesday.

If they can, that would give Congress time to pass the legislation before a midnight Friday deadline and avert yet another federal shutdown.

The Wisconsin Republican has told reporters that he's hoping the legislation can be formally introduced Tuesday. It would provide robust increases for defense and domestic programs for the rest of the federal fiscal year, which runs through September.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - A crowd gathered in Antigo to talk about drug abuse Monday night, about how it affects all aspects of the community and ways it could possibly be fixed.

One thing that everyone could agree on, is that it's an issue that needs to be resolved.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAKE TOMAHAWK - Dave Nance's job as a Camp American Legion volunteer means doing a little bit of everything. He's spent the last several years giving back to the place that gave him his life back.

"This is a special place. There's no place like it and it's life changing," said Nance who's from the Tomah-area. 

+ Read More

Play Video

RIB MOUNTAIN - A Wisconsin State Patrol Captain wants to know, who's ready to report for duty? The department is looking for  new cadets. But recruitment and training is no easy task.
"[It's] very hard to find qualified candidates. It's a struggle," said Wisconsin State Patrol Captain Adrian Logan.
Captain Logan wants five people to answer the call. 

The department's looking for new cadets who'll train to become state troopers.
However, the process of finding the right candidate is no easy task and takes dedication from both sides.
"It's a very extensive process," said Logan.
After passing a background check and interview, candidates will go through 12 weeks of field training, 26 weeks of training with an officer, then a yearlong probation period.
"You've got to be committed to it," said Logan.
The dedication for the role doesn't stop there. 

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here