Showing posts with label Wisconsin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wisconsin. Show all posts

Monday, May 11, 2020

Wisconsin OEF-OIF veteran shot and killed trying to protect sister

Male shooting victim was decorated Army vet, family says, only trying to help sister out of 'very bad situation'

Rome Sentinel
Sean I. Mills
May 11, 2020
Family said the male victim was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army, who served two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. They said he came home with a Purple Heart. Family said he is survived by six children.

The man who was shot and killed on Whittier Avenue Saturday night was a decorated Army veteran and father of six who had come to Rome to help his sister out of a "very bad situation," according to the victim's family and others close to the family.

The woman was also shot during the incident and remains hospitalized, according to police. The gunman is believed to have then turned his 12-gauge shotgun on himself.

Rome Police have not yet released the names of those involved in the incident at 107 Whittier Ave. The investigation is ongoing and police officials said they will release more information when it is available.

A sister of the two victims recently spoke to the Daily Sentinel and said her brother and her nephew traveled to Rome from Wisconsin to help the woman.

"My brother traveled here to help my sister in a very bad situation," the sister said.

"The fact of the matter is, she didn't come to file the police report and try to get the order of protection for no reason."
read it here

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Off Duty Police Officer Died Protecting Others

Wisconsin off-duty police officer shot dead while trying to stop armed robbery: Chief

ABC News
Jun 18, 2019

An off-duty Wisconsin police officer was shot dead while trying to stop an armed robbery at a bar Monday night, according to the police chief.

Officer John Hetland, a 24-year veteran of the Racine Police Department, had worked the day-shift on Monday, Chief Arthel Howell said.

PHOTO: Racine police officer John Hetland was shot dead June 17, 2019. Racine Police Dept.
Racine police officer John Hetland was shot dead June 17, 2019. At 9:40 p.m., the veteran officer was off-duty when he saw an armed robbery unfolding at Teezers Tavern in Racine, about 25 miles south of Milwaukee.

"Hetland took immediate action," Howell said, and "during his effort to intervene," he was shot.
read more here

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Firefighter shot and killed while trying to save a life

Fallen Appleton firefighter identified as Mitchell Lundgaard

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - The firefighter who was killed in a shooting at Valley Transit Center in Appleton has been identified as Mitchell F. Lundgaard.

Lundgaard was shot an killed Wednesday while responding to a call about a medical emergency on a bus.

"Mitch was married and a father of three young kids. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time," said Appleton Fire Chief Jeremy Hansen. Hansen choked up as he remembered Lundgaard during a news conference Thursday.

Donations can be made in Mitchell Lundgaard's honor at The Friends of the Appleton Fire Department or mailed to:
700 N. Drew St.
Appleton, WI 54911

On Thursday, police and fire vehicles escorted Lundgaard's body down College Ave and to Brettschneider-Trettin-Nickel Funeral Chapel Citizens lined the street to pay their respects.
read more here

WBAY 2 News

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE: The Appleton Fire Department says the firefighter who was shot Wednesday night has died. The firefighter's name has not been released, but the statement says the firefighter had been with the department for 14 years.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Fire Chief Jeremy Hansen and Mayor Hanna will make a statement to the media on Thursday at the Appleton Police Department.

A procession was held overnight in Milwaukee as the firefighter's body was brought to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office. Firefighters lined the street as emergency vehicles escorted the body.

Valley Transit tells Action 2 News that buses will be running today, but the transfer point will be at West Franklin St. and North Superior St.

Appleton police say an officer and a firefighter are among four people wounded in a shooting near the city transit center Wednesday evening.

Police say all those injured were transported to hospitals. We don't know their conditions. Each of the patients was accompanied by officers.
read more here

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Wisconsin Army National Guard assaulted and betrayed getting justice the hard way

Final punishment: As Wisconsin National Guard officer Megan Plunkett took steps to leave the Guard after she said she was sexually assaulted three times, officials tried to revoke her benefits
Katelyn Ferral
May 11, 2019

“I was like, ‘I’m out, I just want to be left alone.’ I don’t want to cause more problems and then he came at me with fraternization. Are you ... kidding me?” she said. “He… assaulted me and how dare they accuse me of fraternization without asking me what happened?”
Eight months after the Wisconsin Army National Guard finished its investigations into 1st Lt. Megan Plunkett’s sexual assault claims, they tried to kick her out.
They did so even though Plunkett was already making her own way out. She was going through a medical discharge for post-traumatic stress disorder connected to alleged sexual assaults by two different men in two different units she served in.

She was not actively training at that time but was having a consensual relationship with an enlisted soldier in her unit. After the relationship ended, Plunkett said that man also sexually assaulted her. As it did in the first two cases, the Guard said her allegations were unsubstantiated, but they went one step further than that, finding Plunkett guilty of “fraternization.” In the military, officers are forbidden to have sexual relationships with enlisted soldiers.
As of today, Plunkett has won some measure of vindication from other agencies. A panel of out-of-state Army officers ultimately rejected the Guard's attempt to strip her benefits and status, though that ruling is not yet final. Separately, the Veterans Administration awarded her full service-connected disability compensation and medical benefits for PTSD, which they determined was caused by military sexual trauma she experienced in the Wisconsin Army National Guard.

'Failure to Protect'
This week, the Cap Times is publishing “Failure to Protect,” a four-part investigation by reporter Katelyn Ferral into the Wisconsin Army National Guard and its treatment of soldiers who are sexually abused in its service. The series is centered on 1st Lt. Megan Plunkett, a soldier who says she was sexually assaulted by three different Guard colleagues over the course of three years.

After she brought those allegations forward, the Guard not only decided that they were unsubstantiated, but took multiple steps to punish her. Plunkett eventually brought her story to the Cap Times, and after a four-month investigation including access to extensive records of a type rarely available to the public, we are sharing her story with you. It is alarming, nuanced and sometimes graphic, but it is important to hear, coming amidst growing concern among government officials in Wisconsin and nationally about the number of military sexual abuse victims and their treatment.

Part one focused on Plunkett’s allegations, the Guard’s responses and also explains its procedures for responding to sexual assault allegations.

Part two took a close look at a yearlong, internal Guard investigation into Plunkett’s first unit, which concluded that it had a longstanding culture of sexual misconduct.

Part three examined the phenomenon of “military sexual trauma” as well as Plunkett’s often frustrating efforts to maintain consistent medical care and legal representation.

Part four (below) describes the Guard’s final — and at this point, unsuccessful — effort to strip Plunkett of military benefits even after she was in the process of getting a discharge for medical reasons.
read more here

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Little John's feeding great food with a mission in mind

New Madison Restaurant Tackles Food Waste, Feeds The Hungry And Employs Veterans

Wisconsin Public Radio
By Elizabeth Dohms
Published: Friday, May 3, 2019

Little John’s will use food beyond its sell-by date from grocery stores around Madison, particularly Metcalfe’s Market. Heide pointed out that food oftentimes is edible for a month or more after its sell-by date but is tossed anyway because of confusion with the expiration date.
Sprinkle in some ugly produce, employment opportunities for veterans and a touch of compassion, and that’s the recipe for chef and restaurateur Dave Heide’s new nonprofit restaurant, Little John’s, set to open in Madison this summer.

More than just nourishing the body, Heide hopes his restaurant on Madison’s west side will also feed his appetite for charity by meeting the needs of the hungry, curbing food waste and employing veterans.

Named for Heide’s third child, Little John’s is Heide’s third restaurant. Liliana’s in Fitchburg and Charlie’s on Main in Oregon are named for the couple’s other two children.

As a nonprofit, his newest venture features a pay-what-you-can model.

"If you have money, great. If you don’t have anything, don’t worry about it," he said, pointing out that the restaurant will have counter service, similar to a Chipotle or Subway. The menu will change daily depending on the food that’s available. Every day there will be seven or eight options such as salads, sandwiches and pastas to choose from.

Heide hopes that with any additional revenue he can take food carts to area food deserts to try and meet the needs of community members in those locations.

The restaurant’s payment model, with the goal of fighting hunger, is just one of the lofty issues Heide hopes to tackle. Another is food waste.
read more here

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Air Force #MissingVeteran mixed emotions about Green Alert

Balancing Safety And Privacy When A Veteran Goes Missing

Quil Lawrence
April 9, 2019

Heard on All Things Considered
A Wisconsin combat veteran was driving down the highway in February when he suddenly found his name, license plate number and mental health information broadcast on the radio, on television and posted on electronic billboards across the state.

"It felt very violating. Because I didn't want everyone who doesn't know me to know I have problems. It made me want to crawl into a bigger hole," he told NPR.

But the "Green Alert" might have saved his life.

"It's still affecting me dramatically and negatively, but at the same time it's quite possible that it's why I'm here right now," says the former Air Force staff sergeant. "It's kind of a double-edged sword."

NPR is not divulging the man's name because he never consented to have his information made public. A new Wisconsin law allows authorities to put that information out the same way an AMBER Alert publicizes missing children or a Silver Alert does for people with cognitive impairment. It's the first Green Alert to take effect — green for the color of military fatigues — though many states are considering the program.
The Wisconsin law is called the Corey Adams Searchlight Act. Adams was an Afghanistan vet from Milwaukee who went missing in 2017. His family feared he was suicidal. But police didn't immediately treat him as a missing person, because unlike children, adults have a right to disappear if they want to.

Adams was found dead weeks later. His family mobilized around the idea of an alert system for veterans and it became law in Wisconsin last year. That attracted a powerful advocate – the retired commander of U.S. special forces in Africa, Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc.
read more here

Monday, March 11, 2019

Wisconsin Police Sent K-9s to sick child....and she love them!

Terminally ill Wisconsin girl who loves dogs visited by K-9 officers, nearly 40 police departments

Fox News
By Nicole Darrah
March 10, 2019

"Today, just a few of us (roughly 40) stopped by to see Emma," the Hartford Police Department wrote in a Facebook post. "She had no idea we were coming so she was VERY excited. What an amazing and strong little girl. It was such a great morning."
Close to 40 different police departments — including K-9 officers — visited Emma Mertens at her home in Wisconsin on Saturday. (Hartford Police Department)

A young Wisconsin girl with an inoperable brain tumor and a love of dogs experienced quite the day when nearly 40 different police departments from around the state — including K-9 officers — visited her at home.

In January, 7-year-old Emma Mertens was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a rare brain tumor, as Fox 6 reported. Soon after her diagnosis, Mertens asked people for photos of their dogs.

During the time since, Mertens, of Hartland, roughly 25 miles west of Milwaukee, has received countless letters and photos from friends and supporters trying to cheer her up.

And on Saturday, she received an even bigger act of kindness when K-9 officers from close to 40 different police departments stopped by her house.
read more here

Friday, March 8, 2019

Erik Sutton — a retired Superior fire battalion chief's Mom speaks out after suicide

Mother Speaks About Superior Firefighter Son’s Suicide; Dept. Holds New Support Training

FOX 21
Dan Hanger
March 7, 2019
But when his demons still ate away inside, he retired from the department after 20 years of service hoping for relief — relief that never came and only got worse after Erik’s father took his own life while battling a debilitating disease.

“He had Parkinson’s. He just couldn’t deal with being disabled anymore,” Cheryl said. “I think Erik blamed himself. He should have been able to stop it.”

Erik, their only child, would end his life just three months later.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Cheryl Sutton, the mother of Erik Sutton — a retired Superior fire battalion chief – broke her silence Thursday about her son’s suicide to FOX 21’s Dan Hanger.

This, as the Superior Fire Department – for the first time – takes on special mental health training to help prevent another tragedy involving one of their own.

“Each step of his career, it was like, wow, this kid has made it. This is great. This is fantastic. But underlying it, we had no clue what was going on,” said Cheryl Sutton, Erik’s mother.

“Whenever that bell goes off, you put the personal stuff aside and you go on the call — and sometimes you have to deal with some pretty traumatic things,” said Suzi Olson, captain of the Superior Fire Department and president of the Superior Firefighters Local 74.

Olson says the old days of firefighting are long gone with traumatic medical calls becoming far too common.
read more here

Thursday, February 28, 2019

52 U.S. veterans from Wisconsin came back to Vietnam

"It helps me a lot of times just to talk about Vietnam": Vets return to country for first time since war ended

CBS News
February 27, 2019

Hanoi, Vietnam — Most who served in the Vietnam War have never been back since the war ended. Some have no interest but for others, returning is a crucial part of the healing process.

CBS News was there as 52 U.S. veterans from Wisconsin came back to Vietnam for the first time. Their tour around Saigon is far different from the last. It began where the war finished, at the presidential palace in Ho Chi Minh City, or as many still call it, Saigon.

Marine Sgt. Wayne Pierret served three tours.

"I was born and raised on a farm. I never had anybody shoot at me until I got here, when I got to Vietnam," Pierret said. "A 19-year-old kid shouldn't have been here, back then fighting a war. What do I know about war back then at 19."

The tour organizer warned the veterans that their journey would be stressful, especially as they got close to where they served. But there are demons that endure.

"We got into a fight, it was up in the DMZ and and there was a young man, he was dead and I went through his pockets and he had a picture of his wife and his children," Pierret said. "That hit home. Boy did it ever. He was no different than I was. He had a family."

Pierret said he suffered from nightmares.

"It helps me a lot of times just to talk about Vietnam. Like I said it'll tear me up but it gets here, on my chest gets it out," he said.

For Pierret and thousands of others, time goes by. It doesn't go away.

"My nightmares aren't as pronounced as they were when I first got out, but I still get them," he said.

He's hopeful this trip will take some away.

The trip was possible thanks to the Old Glory Honor Flight. As part of their two week tour, they will also make their way to Hanoi.
read more here

Friday, February 15, 2019

#MissingVeteranAlert Wisconsin Veteran Found

UPDATE: Sun Prairie police say missing veteran has been ‘safely located’

WKOW 27 News
February 15, 2019

UPDATE (WKOW) — The Sun Prairie Police Department has canceled a Green Alert for a missing veteran who they thought may be endangered.
According to an alert sent at 5:30 a.m. Friday, Shawn Jacob has been safely located.

SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) — The Sun Prairie Police Department has issued a Green Alert looking for information to locate a missing veteran who may be endangered.

Shawn Jacob was last seen Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 13, 2019 in Sun Prairie.

Jacob may be in the Madison, Milwaukee or Lake Wisconsin area, according to a Wisconsin Department of Justice news release.
read more here

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

#MissingVeteran Alert Wisconsin

update He has been found!

Green Alert: ‘At risk’ veteran missing in Western Wisconsin

TMJ4 News
By: Marty Hobe
Updated: 23 minutes ago

A Wisconsin veteran suffering from PTSD has been reported missing, triggering the state’s green alert system for at risk veterans.

Shaun Michael Wischmann, 36, of Altoona, Wisconsin has been missing since Monday.

In addition to PTSD, he also suffers from depression. The family thinks he might be traveling to North Dakota and may have a handgun in his possession.

Wischmann was last seen wearing a black button down shirt, jeans and a black jacket. He has a tattoo on his left arm as a memorial to veterans he served with.

He is driving a 2014 Chevy Cruze with a Minnesota license plane with the number 851DV.

Anyone with information about Wischmann’s whereabouts should call Altoona Police at 715-839-6090.
go here for updates

Friday, November 30, 2018

81 year old veteran living out of his car met guardian cop!


Beloit Daily News
Austin Montgomery
November 29, 2018
"I felt so compelled that he should not be living out of his car as a veteran any longer," Rohrer said.
Austin Montgomery/Beloit Daily News Veteran patrol officer Eric Rohrer helped a homeless Korean War veteran get out of the cold last week. Rohrer said he's always looked to help Beloit area residents over his 11 years with the department.

BELOIT - Over the course of his 11 years with the Beloit Police Department, patrol officer Eric Rohrer has always looked to help others.

Last week his commitment to service was on full display after Rohrer, who works the department's second shift, was dispatched to the Beloit Clinic on Huebbe Parkway to help a homeless veteran find shelter as temperatures dropped on Monday night.

After speaking with the 81-year-old named Peter and trying to find temporary housing to no avail, Rohrer took it upon himself to buy the man two night's accommodation at the Rodeway Inn in Beloit.

"It's not something I want recognition for, but it's something that I honestly believe any of my brothers and sisters that I serve with would have done the same thing in that circumstance," Rohrer said.

In talking with staff at the Beloit Clinic and learning the man's background, he found out that Peter had served in the Korean War and had been living out of his car for the last two years.

"He was well-spoken, and at the age of 81 he should not have been living out of his car," Rohrer said. "I don't make all the money in the world, but I am blessed enough to pass my fortunes along to others."
read more here

Monday, October 22, 2018

Wisconsin has a Hope Line to prevent suicides

'There's nobody to lie to': Vet shares success story of texting suicide prevention hotline

Channel 3000 WISC TV
By: Jamie Perez
Posted: Oct 18, 2018

KAUKANA, Wis. - The Center for Suicide Awareness in Kaukana is celebrating four years of saving lives. On Oct. 10,the center celebrated its anniversary. While the center itself is helping decrease the number of suicides across the state of Wisconsin, one method is providing a unique way for that to happen.
"You text the word Hopeline to 741741 and then send," said Barb Bigalke, founder of the center. "It doesn't cost anything, it doesn't take away from your minute plan, so it really is a free service."
Crum is a Marine Corps veteran who struggled with negative thoughts after his service. Crum said he had a tough time with relationships, jobs and other mental and emotional factors in his life. He said he needed a complete stranger to talk to in order to finally be honest with himself. He texted the Hopeline.

"You don't have to lie to anybody," Crum said. "I think sometimes we tend to lie to ourselves. There's nobody to lie to. There's nobody to give a false sense of everything is OK. So in that moment I was like, 'OK I need to be truthful with myself.' Through texting, all of that stigma and and those barriers are kind of taken away."

Crum said you don't have to be actively suicidal to use the Hopeline. He said you could just be having a bad day, in a state of depression or a myriad of other reasons. He said the Hopeline is for anyone to use to actively prevent anything bad from happening in the future.

"Whether you're 10 years old or 60 years old or a veteran or LGBTQ, we've got a myriad of different ages, races, populations to text it and say, 'I need help.'"

Crum said it helped him get through one of the most difficult times of his life. It worked so well for him, he found his own purpose out of it. Crum now works at the Center for Suicide Awareness helping save others' lives.
read more here

Sunday, September 2, 2018

More than 10,000 visit "Wall That Heals" in Wisconsin

More than 10,000 visit 'The Wall That Heals' in Crivitz
WBAY 2 News
By Cearron Bagenda
Sep 01, 2018

CRIVITZ, Wis. (WBAY) - More than 10,000 visitors have come to 'The Wall That Heals' in Crivitz since Thursday. Visitors are getting closure and paying their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War.

'The Wall That Heals' display at the Crivitz Community Veterans Park

'The Wall That Heals' is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. The wall displays more than 58,000 names of those who gave their lives during the Vietnam War, and 1,500 names of unaccounted service members.

"I mean we've had people from all over the United States, it's a moment of healing, just to be able to touch that name of a friend or a relative. My classmate is on that wall and I’m able to walk up and say goodbye," said John Deschane, Crivitz Village President.
read more here

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Ex-POW Vietnam veteran gets teams of angels

He has 2 Purple Hearts but couldn't afford home repairs. Then help arrived - for free.
Idaho Statesman
Michael Katz
June 9, 2018

Sitting in a chair in his family room, cane in one hand and his other arm crossed over his midsection, Charlie Moore is an unassuming hero. He can share a war story or two, but he can just as easily talk about growing up on a farm in Wisconsin.

On a humid June evening, Moore, 75, is wearing an Army hat and American flag-clad T-shirt. For more than 40 years, he has been a disabled veteran, after an accident in Vietnam left him unable to work. He wears his Army garb proudly.
read more here

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Group gave Army veteran Jon Vandeyacht new motorcycle

Local group donates motorcycle to Wisconsin veteran
WKOW 27 ABC News
By Scott Behrens
May 6, 2018

MADISON (WKOW) -- A local organization is coming together to support a Wisconsin veteran.

The Madison-area group Hogs for Heroes is donating a motorcycle to Army veteran Jon Vandeyacht, from Omro, as a thank you for serving our country.
"I escaped death five times," said Vandeyacht.

Vandeyacht served three tours in combat in Iraq.

"With the IED's at any given moment you could blow up and be dead," Vandeyacht told 27 News.

He's lost friends along the way.

Vandeyacht said, "I had a truck in front of me that got blown up and the blast rocked ours so bad that it knocked me into tomorrow, that's scary that's the hardest part."

Five years ago Vandeyacht had to retire after being seriously hurt.
read more here

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Running for office, running from history?

Veteran running for office runs from history
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 5, 2018

Kevin Nicholson is running for the Senate in Wisconsin. He's a veteran. The problem is, he seems to have forgotten what this country actually means to the "Democrats" he served with, as well as the other citizens of this country. 

I stay out of politics because I do not think any of them have actually lived up to their promises to our veterans, especially after getting their votes for the simple reason they are also a veteran. 

Considering veterans have had to protest the way this country repaid them after war since the Revolution itself, things need to be said. The following should be a glowing example of someone thinking history is something that only began when he decided to pay attention to it. This is what the man thinks.
The letter from the veterans, all of whom support Vukmir, came a day after Nicholson, in a radio interview, questioned the “cognitive thought process” of Democratic military veterans. Nicholson also said the Democratic Party had “wholesale rejected the Constitution and the values that it was founded upon.”

Nicholson, whose campaign slogan is “Send in the Marine,” refused to back down or apologize, telling supporters in an email Thursday that “liberals can try to twist this all they want, but I stand by what I said: The Democrat Party has LONG lied to vets.”
Between my husband and I, we have had 7 WWII veterans and 1 KIA (and he was a 19 year old Marine), 1 Korean War veteran, 2 Vietnam veterans. Sorry so few, but considering we are only second generation American. All of them were Democrats! I am standing up for them against what a flat out lie this is. Guess he does not know that the majority of voters are registered Independents.

It was not a Democrat who betrayed senior veterans and wanted to cut their benefits because they were too old to work and no longer needed to receive the permanent and total disability compensation they were promised. That was a Republican.

It was not a Democrat who thought that cutting the VA budget after staring 2 wars was not just OK, but allowed his Secretary of the VA, (also with the same last name) to return money, unspent, because he believed they'd only need dental appointments. And was not a Democrat who thought a budget shortfall was OK.

It was not a Democrat who sent men and women into 2 foreign countries to risk their lives without making sure the VA was ready to "care for him/her" afterwards.

As for the veterans being neglected, then you would have to factor in both parties, since neither party has managed to live up to the debt owed to our veterans. Both sides have lied to veterans!

We had a backlog of claims before OEF and OIF veterans had to get in line. We had long waits to have claims approved for disabled veterans unable to pay their bills because they were unable to work in the civilian world. We had veterans committing suicide, ending up homeless and suffering long before Twitter and Facebook.

History does not begin when someone acknowledges it "is" but some pretend it does. When a person seeks office, it is usually very telling about how they will lead because of how little they learned as to how the mess they say they can fix, got that way in the first place.

Kevin Nicholson did not just slam Democrats he seems to hate. He slammed all those who came before him because, apparently they just do not merit the same respect as his side of the divide. He served next to others without putting politics above their lives. Why can't he remember that?

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Sheriff saved letters while deployed--one from his deputy!

Wisconsin Sheriff Discovers Letter He Got As Soldier Was Written By Deputy Now Working for Him
WSLS 10 News
April 06, 2018

Jim Johnson saved every letter he got while serving overseas in Baghdad with the Wisconsin Army National Guard.
"We received these letters from these young kids. I held on to all of them," said Johnson, who is now the sheriff of Ozaukee County in his home state.

Recently, he was going through some of those old letters and stumbled upon one signed by a fourth-grader at Cedar Grove Belgium Elementary School in Wisconsin.

"Dear soldiers. Thank you for what you all do and are doing for our country. Best wishes and have a Merry Christmas. From Chris Uselding."

The letter was dated 2003.

Fast-forward to 2018 and Chris Uselding is a grown man. And he's been working for as deputy for Johnson for the past few years.
read more here

Friday, January 26, 2018

Homeless Vietnam Veteran Found Dead

The body of 69-year-old Dennis Reidy was found Tuesday in the corner of a park in Lexington. Coroner Margaret Fisher tells WYFF-TV that Reidy was found in "a type of garage storage box" wearing a South Carolina Gamecocks jacket.

Homeless vet found dead in woods was USC grad, former deputy, and Vietnam vet
FOX 8 News
By Chad Mills
January 25th 2018

It’s a picture that tells a story of loneliness, hopelessness, despair. In the quiet corner of a Lexington park is the place where a homeless veteran lived and died.
A 15-year-old discovered the body of 69-year-old Dennis E. Reidy there on Tuesday.

“Lying in, basically, a type of garage storage box,” said Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher.

It’s a case that brings tears to Fisher’s eyes. Since Tuesday, she’s discovered Reidy was a Vietnam War veteran, a Richland County deputy from 1978 to 1990, and a University of South Carolina grad.

“He was found on the day that he passed wearing a South Carolina Gamecock jacket, and it just broke my heart,” Fisher said, her voice trembling. “When you give up your life and your family and everything that you have to go out and serve your country, they deserve everything that they need when they get back. They deserve health care. They deserve shelter. They deserve everything that we can do for them as a country because they went out and protected us.”

But what’s more unforgettable to Fisher is where he was found. His body was found on Chariot Street, which is just a short walk from a shelter for homeless veterans where James Wardlaw, who goes by J.W., is outreach manager.
read more here

Monday, December 25, 2017

Afghanistan Veteran Takes Care of Homeless Veterans For Chirstmas

Afghanistan veteran gives back by providing Christmas Eve meals
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Meg Jones
Published Dec. 24, 2017

"The last four, five years Christmas has been a little lackluster for me. This year I decided to do something about it because Christmas is more than gifts and pretty Christmas trees." Matt McDonell 

The holidays are a difficult time of year for Matt McDonell ever since he lost a comrade in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve five years ago.

A photo of veteran Matt McDonell, who was stationed in Afghanistan's Logar Province when his friend was killed by small arms fire on Christmas Eve 2012. Since then, Christmas has been difficult for him. Photo courtesy of Matt McDonell

Each December memories flood back for the Fox Point man: hearing the horrible news, attending a memorial service and participating in the last roll call on Christmas Day.

But this year, McDonell decided to spend the holiday helping fellow veterans, collecting clothing donations and organizing a Christmas Eve luncheon for homeless veterans. And in a way, he's helping himself heal from his loss.
read more here