Tomahawk man - a Medal of Honor Recipient - featured on new stampSubmitted: 08/25/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Tomahawk man - a Medal of Honor Recipient - featured on new stamp
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk's Sgt. Einar Ingman received the Medal of Honor 63 years ago. Just a few weeks ago, the U.S. Postal Service honored him and 12 other Korean War Medal of Honor recipients.

"He was just a normal dad," said Mary Ingman, Sgt. Ingman's daughter. "He was just a dad that taught us how to ride a bike, tie our shoes. He took us fishing."

But to the rest of the world, Sgt. Einar Ingman was, and still is, a national hero. Ingman enlisted in the U.S. Army between wars, in 1948, as a mechanic. But he ended up going to war in Korea. He received two Purple Hearts for combat wounds. But those injuries didn't end his military career.

"He went back into combat. And that is then where he actually was severely wounded on February 26th of 1951 near Malta-Ri in Korea. And that was actually the incident which resulted in him being awarded the Medal of Honor," Mary Ingman explained.

Corporal Einar Ingman assumed command after the leaders of two squads of his assault platoon were injured. He combined both squads and found the enemy machine gun firing at his men. He charged it alone and killed the remaining crew. He charged a second position and was hit by grenade fragments and shot in the face.

"He suffered severe brain, facial and neck injuries," Mary Ingman said.

But those injuries didn't stop him. He got right up and killed the entire enemy gun crew. Ingman's actions forced more than 100 enemy troops to abandon their weapons and positions. He then fell unconscious.

"My dad was critically injured. In fact, he would not have lived had there not been a helicopter in the area," Mary Ingman explained.

President Truman awarded now Sgt. Einar Ingman the Medal of Honor at the White House in July of 1951. Ingman then came back home to Wisconsin. Tomahawk hosted an Einar Ingman Day Celebration where the city presented him a car and a boat.

"He was just a real person. You know, and he still is," another Ingman daughter, Karen Watzlawick, recalled.

He had more than 20 surgeries and spent a lot of time in the hospital. The Army classified Ingman as 200% disabled but he worked as a mail clerk for what was National Container in Tomahawk for 32 years despite his injuries. He rarely spoke about his service or the recognition he received. But he did make one exception.

"He did go into all the grandkids' grade school classrooms on Veterans Day. He talked about the medal and brought his medal in and talked a little bit about his experience," Watzlawick said.

The Medal of Honor and Purple Hearts aren't the only recognition Ingman has received. In Tomahawk, he has Einar Ingman Parkway. And the recognition truly stretches across the country and around the world.

"Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity - along with my younger brother, Jimmy - the two of us traveled to Seoul, [South] Korea to accept an award on my father's behalf," said Mary Ingman. "The award, actually, my father and four others received was the Order of Military Merit. It's the highest military award that the Republic of Korea awards someone."

Sgt. Ingman received the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Service Medal with 3 bronze stars.

The U.S. Postal Service is offering a new stamp honoring the last living Korean War Medal of Honor recipients. Ingman is the only living Korean War Medal of Honor recipient from Wisconsin. His children Karen and Einar III travelled to Washington, DC for the unveiling.

"Two years ago, when they started this program to get the stamp made, there were 13 living. And right now, like I said, there's only 9 left. And dad's one yet. After all his injuries, he's still going," said Ingman's son, Einar III.

"They're coming out with new stamps all the time. But to have something as special as this one is really something for us here in Tomahawk," said Tomahawk Postmaster Alan Bishop.

Ingman suffered a stroke in 2003, which makes it difficult for him to communicate, and he can't travel far. But he will be at his 85th birthday celebration, which his family, the post office and Tomahawk Leader Newspaper are planning for him.

"Just for what he did. For the sacrifices he made. For what he's meant to this town," explained Bishop. "So he's just a special man."

Ingman's wife, Mardelle, passed away three years ago. It was her mission to make sure her husband's service is never forgotten.

"This is kind of our goal, is to keep our mom's wishes going and that is to go to events representing him and, you know, making sure that he's not forgotten," Watzlawick explained.

The celebration will be held on October 6th at 10:30 a.m. at the Bill Buedingen Training Center in Tomahawk. The Tomahawk Post Office will be renamed Einar H. Ingman Jr. Station for that day. People can get a free cancellation stamp with his name on it for 30 days after that. You just have to bring an envelope with a stamp on it.

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CRANDON - The Forest County Humane Society works around the clock to help animals find forever homes. But taking care of those animals during their stay doesn't just take a lot of time; it takes a lot of money, too.

The shelter got a helping hand, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the ASPCA. It's part of an initiative to help brick-and-mortar shelters improve their animals' quality of life.

Shelter director Angie Schaefer says that money paid for 20 new cat-condos, fencing for two new dog yards, and several other much-needed supplies.

"We're small, we're in a small community, so to raise that kind of money to get these items would have been quite a task. For them to step in and do that for us is amazing," said Schaefer.

Schaefer said the extra yards will allow dogs to spend more time outside and socialize with each other.

If you're interested in volunteering or donating to the humane society, visit its website for more information.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, an event expected to draw thousands where masks and social distancing aren't required as coronavirus cases spike across the country.

Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he says will be a "display like few people have seen."

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- The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans' self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.

With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors and local officials have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.

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ST. GERMAIN - The St. Germain Chamber of Commerce is hosting the first ever 'Sunday Funday.' 

On Sunday, July 5th, there will be two bands: Flying Blind from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tony Ocean 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

St. Germain's Chamber of Commerce Exec. Director Penny Strom said she wants this to be an opportunity for people to get outside while being safe.

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MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.

In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.

State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.

"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."

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NORTHWOODS - Wisconsin's lakes have a lot to offer their visitors. But some, like aquatic invasive species, are unwelcome due to the damage they can cause to native ecosystems.

There's a growing effort to prevent, contain, and control the spread of these aquatic invasive species, especially this holiday weekend. As part of the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program, volunteers will be stationed across popular boat landings, doing inspections and educating boaters on how to properly clean their boats.

"Any type of holiday weekend, especially the fourth of July when there's a lot more boat traffic, there's an emphasis on getting more awareness out there," said DNR recreation warden Justin Bender.

Aside from volunteers, most boat landings also have information posted on aquatic invasive species and the laws regarding boat cleaning. Citations for not properly cleaning your boats typically run $200-300.

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RHINELANDER - The Pioneer Park Historical Complex is popular not only among tourists but also school field trips and Rhinelander natives.

The buildings give people an endless amount of historical background on the city and surrounding areas.

Like many city-owned places, the complex operates mainly on donations.

In the past the museum has had trouble accepting the donations of larger amounts and tax-deductible ones.

Until a recent partnership, the museum was unable to accept donations of large amounts and tax-deductible ones.

The new alliance with the Rhinelander Community Foundation led to the creation of a general fund.

Creators of the fund George and Sondra Juetten will match any donation up to $25,000 to the fund.

Museum director Kerry Bloedorn says the new partnership opens up more opportunities towards projects at the park.

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