Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

16th Never Forgotten Honor Flight: bringing a brother to his memorialSubmitted: 05/26/2014

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


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

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander firefighters responded to a house fire off Boyce Drive early Sunday. The department got the call around noon.

Pine Lake and Pelican fire also responded. Firefighters say when they arrived they could see smoke coming out of the roof.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - A group in Merrill wants to revamp the city's dog park. Saturday the Merrill Dog Park Friends hosted a fundraiser for the upgrades.

The fundraiser was held at Our Savior's Lutheran Church. 10 local vendors participated. Members of the dog park group say it's important to make improvements.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin officials are working to determine how to improve the statewide emergency communications network and who will pay for it.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports the Wisconsin Interoperable System for Communications allows public safety agencies to communicate with one another across the state, and sometimes coverage can be spotty. The state hired a consultant last year to examine networks in surrounding states and provide recommendations for maintaining Wisconsin's system.

+ Read More

EAU CLAIRE - Some Wisconsin students are still learning cursive, even though it's not required in the Common Core education standards.

The Leader-Telegram reports that elementary students in the Eau Claire school district, the Chippewa Falls school district, Altoona schools and Regis Catholic Schools all learn cursive.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Most seven year olds want to use their birthday money to buy toys. But one Phelps girl wanted to do something different with her money this year.

Instead, Adrienne Trollan wanted to donate all the money she raised to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office K9 Program.

+ Read More

Play Video

ROTHSCHILD - The Latest on a shooting in northern Wisconsin that left a police officer and three others dead (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

The police detective killed in a string of shootings that left three others dead and the suspect injured is being remembered as a friend who would help another in a heartbeat.

Forty-year-old Jason Weiland was a detective for the Everest Metro Police Department. He died Wednesday when he was shot in the line of duty.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOQUA - Students often create projects for class, but it isn't every day that students create projects for regional competitions. Many Northwoods students gathered in Minocqua to compete in a history day competition.

"This year's theme is called taking a stand in history," said Lakeland Union High School's Department Chair of Social Studies Mike Mestelle.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here