Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

16th Never Forgotten Honor Flight: bringing a brother to his memorialSubmitted: 05/26/2014
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

16th Never Forgotten Honor Flight:  bringing a brother to his memorial
WASHINGTON, DC - Empty wheelchairs rolled by northcentral Wisconsin veterans this month in Washington, DC.

They represent those who didn't make it home from war.

Into one of the chairs was placed a picture, representing one specific solider.

"This guy is a younger brother. Youngest one of five boys," said Al Johnson, a Navy veteran who served during the Korean War.

He held the picture of his brother Jack in his hands.

Johnson went on this month's Never Forgotten Honor Flight for something more than just seeing the memorial in his honor.

He went to remember and represent Jack.

"He died at about the age of 20, and it was an accidental death," Al said.

Jack was in the Army, serving in Korea, when a truck he was driving went over a cliff.

Escorting Jack's body back to Wisconsin was important for Al - so important that he was temporarily transferred from the Navy to the Army to do it more than six decades ago.

"Mike has never seen Jack, of course. He died before he was born," Al said.

Mike is Al's son, and Jack's nephew.

Mike escorted his father, in a way, through the Korean War Memorial that means so much.

"This was really him. He needed to do this. That part of his experience, I think, compelled him to really make a trip here with his brother Jack," Mike said.

Like all veterans on the flight, Al was warmly welcomed by grateful Americans in Washington and Wisconsin.

But this trip wasn't so much about Al.

"What Jack did with my father was really bring him here," Mike said.

And how would Jack feel about what his brother did for him on the Honor Flight?

"Oh, boy, that's pretty tough," Al said, pausing for a long time to think, then motioning at the statues at the Korean War Memorial. "We would feel like brothers. Like these guys are. They're all brothers."

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





 IN OTHER NEWS

GREEN BAY - A police officer from the Green Bay area remains in critical condition after being hit by a car.

Ashwaubenon Officer Brian Murphy underwent surgery for injuries received when he was hit along Interstate 41.

On Saturday night, Murphy was struck by an apparent drunk driver while standing at the scene of a car fire.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - When you think of the Northwoods, you probably never thought you'd put the words, "lake" and "surfing" together.

Erik Quamme is a novice wake surfer, and this is just the third time he's skimmed the waves in Minocqua.

He gotten started thanks to SurfSCONSIN's Mike Scandin and Chad Baker.

"Just appreciate the power the wave has. They don't have to work that hard. It is just that balanced motion," said Scandin.

Nearly every day for the last two summers, Chad drives the boat while Mike coaches.

The boat goes at a low speed to create the perfect wave and that keeps your body from taking a beating.

"Everybody is getting older. Everyone feels those aches and pains. You just don't have those major wipeouts," said Baker.

The key to wake surfing is the boat does all the work.

Friends Erik Quamme and Chad Scott are two of SurfSCONSIN's newest surfers.

They're still pretty new at riding, but both say it's the coaching that's helped them learn fast.

"Mike is sitting there telling you to move your left foot forward or scrunch your toes forward," said Quamme.

"If Erik and I had a boat and a couple of boards-- it could take days to figure out foot placement and rope length," said Scott.

You can catch 12-year-surfer Mark Mapes with Mike and Chad almost every day, sometimes showing off a trick or two.

For him, it's the socialness of wave surfing that makes the sport special.

"You can talk to each other, the boat is moving slow you can hear. You can talk to the surfer back there," said Mapes.

+ Read More

MADISON - The first confirmed case of West Nile Virus in a horse this year comes from Clark County.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection says the unvaccinated horse was euthanized.

West Nile is carried by mosquitoes and kills 90 percent of the horses it infects.  Symptoms include depression, appetite loss, drooping eyelids, fever, weakness, or paralysis.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - During the summer Northland Pines High School is being used as the home base for a foreign exchange program. 

The Northwoods Adventure Quest Program brings students from China and America together.

 Last year travel rules stopped the program from happening, but this year the students and organizers are more driven than ever to keep their mission going. 

"You get to form relationships with people from around the world," said 10- year- old Chase Neubauer. 

This is Neubauer's first time joining the two week Adventure Quest Program. 

The goal of the program is to do more than just keep kids busy during the summer. 

"[It] promotes connections with Wisconsin especially the Northern part [of Wisconsin with] all of China," said WISP Executive Director Xiaodong Kuang.

Kuang is one the organizers of the quest program. He couldn't think of a better way of promoting his goal than starting with young students. 

"[So that] the young generation, who will be the future leaders of the world, [can] appreciate cultures and know more about each other," said Kuang. 

This is Power Liu's first time coming to America with the program. 

+ Read More

Play Video

WESTON - The Habitat for Humanity of Wausau celebrated a big milestone on Saturday. The organization held the grand opening for its new Recycled Building Materials facility.

The new building is a place where people can go to buy new and used building materials. For the grand opening, there was face painting for kids, free hot dogs, and even a visit from Woody Woodchuck.

+ Read More

THREE LAKES - One teenager decided to spend a day giving back to the Three Lakes community 18-year-old Maxwell Blanchard lives in L.A but always makes it back to Three Lakes during the summer. 

Blanchard learned how to water ski and wakeboard in Three Lakes at five years old. 

On Sunday he spent the day giving free water skiing and wakeboarding lessons.

"[To] get someone new out there to ski or at least get them attempting. It's always fun when you get the kids who are a little nervous out there and a little shaky, then they get out there and they love it," said Blanchard. 

Blanchard said every year the water sports community chooses a day to give back and participate in "International Pass the Handle Day."

 Kylee Swendson decided to help Blanchard this year with the lessons. 

"It's great for everybody to get a chance to learn especially people who don't get the opportunity every day," said Swendson. 

+ Read More

Play Video

EAU CLAIRE - EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) - Eau Claire police say an officer has fatally shot a 59-year-old man after he fired a shotgun at authorities.

Police chief Jerry Staniszewski said Sunday that the department received a request the night before to check the welfare of the man, who made "homicidal and suicidal" comments to an acquaintance. 

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here