Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

World War II veteran reflects on time on Iwo Jima after traveling on Honor FlightSubmitted: 09/21/2016
Story By Mary O'Connell

World War II veteran reflects on time on Iwo Jima after traveling on Honor Flight
WASHINGTON, D.C. - You could call World War II veteran Al Pellatt Jr. a ladies man, or even the life of the party, but mostly--his family will tell you--he's a hero. 

"He fought in Iwo Jima in World War II, and this is very important to him," said Dave Ratliff, Pellatt's son-in-law.

Pellatt asked Ratliff to travel with him on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight to Washington, DC, last Monday. The unlikely duo has become pretty close in the nearly 14 years they've known each other. 


"We have become very best buddies," said Ratliff. "There's a 30-year difference, but he is one of my best buddies." 

Pellatt and Ratliff live in Stevens Point, a long way from the island of Iwo Jima, where, in 1945, Pellatt served in the Navy right before the island was secured. Pellatt worked as a Seabee there, in the construction battalion, setting up warehouses. 

"I felt like I did what I was supposed to do to serve my country," said Pellatt.

The battle of Iwo Jima was one of the bloodiest of the war, leaving thousands dead. Pellatt vividly remembers the experience during and after the battle.

So getting to see the memorial honoring those who fell there, and knowing he was lucky to be able to see it, meant a lot.

"We did a good job, for one thing," Pellatt said. "It was a dirty job--they were dug in, you had to dig them out. We lost more causalities there then the Japanese did. When you saw the flag go up, it was quite a thrill."

Pellatt's family said he saw some horrific sights overseas and still deals with post-traumatic stress disorder after all these years. But being able to visit DC with Pellatt, to help with the healing process, meant a lot to his best buddy.

"He could have chosen a lot of different people, because he's got a lot of family," said Ratliff. "So he asked me to come along, and I'm very proud of that."

Pellatt may be getting older, but the thanks he still receives after all these years will never really get old.

"Means that they appreciated what we've done," Pellat said. "It's a good feeling." 


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





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

ANTIGO - When police showed up to a car crash near Antigo this week, the driver seemed discombobulated and out of sorts.  Sunday night, Pao Vang, 33, told officers he had just flown in from vacation with someone else, even though he was the only one in the car.  But it's what officers did find in that car soon after that has Vang in trouble.

Police towed the car from an intersection near the Langlade County Airport (where Vang said he just came from) to a nearby gas station.  There, officers noticed bags full of what appeared to be marijuana sticking out of duffel bags in plain sight.  They got a search warrant and found 133 pounds of high-grade marijuana.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Five years ago Army veteran Beth Bowman was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and lost her ability to walk on her own. 

It was crushing news to the once active 43- year- old veteran.

But this week she tried out a new device at the Rhinelander Veterans Affairs Clinic that gives her a new outlook on life. 
 
"She has very limited or no use of some leg muscles," said Rhinelander V.A. Physical Therapist Dr. Wesley Spurgeon. 

The disease broke down the ability for her brain to talk to the nerves in her legs.

 She went from a cane to crutches to a wheelchair. 

"It was kind of crushing, I was using a cane within a year of my diagnosis," said Bowman. 

Last month Spurgeon offered some hope to Bowman. 

He learned about a nerve stimulator at a class.

"We place electrodes over the top of the muscle we want to stimulate," said Spurgeon.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - You can find a lot of stressed out resort owners headed into Memorial Day weekend.  A Rhinelander-area resort manager feels a little better about that stress now that his business won big.

Brekke's Fireside Resort won the Wisconsin Lodging Directory's 2018 cover photo contest.  The resort beat out 10 other finalists after finishing second in the contest last year.  Resort manager Dan Brekke took the winning photo last fall and found out about the win Friday morning.

+ Read More

WOODRUFF - On Friday a pilot's world turned upside down, literally. 

A float plane flipped and landed upside down on Lake Tomahawk Friday morning. The rollover happened near the Indian Shores Campground in Wooduff.

+ Read More

BOWLER - North Star Mohican Casino will celebrate 25 years in gaming during the month of May and throughout 2017. On  Thursday, May 25, the "Midwest's Friendliest Casino" offered a free barbecue and ceremonial cake-cutting to mark the occasion. Guests enjoyed entertainment, games, and prizes all afternoon, including musical performances by Clint Miller and Kenny James Duo.

+ Read More
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/26/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Well tell you about a woman who was rescued after her plane landed in Lake Tomahawk and turned over.

We'll update you on the charges faced by the owner of It Matters to One Animal Rescue in Oneida County. 39 animals from the center were seized in early February following complaints of mistreatment.

And we'll show you a new device at the Rhinelander VA Clinic designed to help people who lost their ability to walk, and we talk to an Army veteran who is the first person at the clinic to try the equipment.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

WHEATON, IL - A suburban Chicago judge has ordered a mental fitness evaluation for a Wisconsin man charged with shooting and seriously injuring an Amtrak conductor.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports 79-year-old Edward Klein's public defender told the DuPage County judge Thursday that she has "bona fide doubt" of the West Allis man's mental fitness.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here