A salute to our Veterans — Winnie Mejia

Our November weekly salute to veterans continues today as we recognize with profound gratitude and respect the sacrifices they made in service to this country. Winnie Mejia U.S. Navy Nurse Corps 1988-1991 What my years of military service taught me: Provided an opportunity to live and work in Washington, D.C., and then deployment during Desert Shield/Storm provided an opportunity to experience the Middle East. It made me appreciate and value how blessed we are to be Americans. (Plus, I met my husband there.) My message: We, as citizens, should always remember how many have given their lives to preserve freedom for us, and we should never take our liberty for granted!

A salute to our veterans — Rhonda Schmidt

Every Wednesday through November, we will be posting salutes to our military veterans. We’re grateful for their service and admire their willingness to protect the freedoms we all hold dear. Rhonda Schmidt US Army Reserves (served on Active Duty for 2 years).  Total time served 26 years 9 months What my years of military service taught me: Helped to develop a strong work ethic, honor and put commitments ahead of desires, develop and shape Character traits/values such as Esprit De Corps, honesty, integrity. Enhanced and further developed “Leadership” skills. Instill a passion for spending time to guide young adults. My message: Regardless of your feelings, those that have for the most part volunteered to defend our Republic, our way of life and our Freedoms to choose is solely provided by those that not only took an Oath to uphold and defend our Constitution, they actually made the sacrifices to defend it. That’s why the statement “some gave all but all gave some” came from. Far too often these brave people go unnoticed, underappreciated and/or forgotten by the very people that live with the freedoms these folks provided. I’ve seen what it means to them when they are thanked for their service. Please take a moment to tell them that you appreciate that they were there to ensure that we can enjoy freedom,  that the sacrifice of our veterans have and will provide have meaning and value.

A Veterans Day call for and salute to volunteers

Though honorably discharged from military service some time ago, Chad and Rhonda, a Winneconne couple, still feel called to serve. So, they each have been doing whatever they can to help fellow veterans, especially the residents of the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home at King. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chad spent every Tuesday at King, having lunch with the residents, playing cribbage and cards, helping shuttle residents from building to building for activities, and taking them to the park. While he cautions that volunteers must past a screening and background check, he encourages people, once virus-related restrictions are lifted, to treat themselves to regular visits with some really interesting people. “If you go by there just to visit, you’ll find someone to talk to. That’s just the way it is,” he said. “The lady I visit doesn’t get too many visitors. She talks in a gruff whisper due to a traumatic brain injury, but her mind is all there. I would take her with me to be my partner in a cribbage tournament, no problem.” Visiting and talking with veterans offers a reciprocal heart-warming opportunity as the veterans appreciate the companionship, and the visitors get to hear some fascinating stories. “There is a resident at King who is missing both his arms and his legs. He spent some time in the Mekong River in Thailand, and he wasn’t supposed to be there,” Chad said. Sometimes, those stories need a little loving nudge. The couple’s neighbor, also a veteran, did not talk about his time in the service for most of the 20 years they knew him. “We knew he was a veteran because of his tattoos,” Rhonda said. “So, we would thank him for his service and he would cry and say there is nothing good to say about his time there. It took 20 years of being a good neighbor and Chad eventually asked him if he’d like to take… | Read More »

A salute to our veterans — Sam McBeth

Every Wednesday through November, we will be posting salutes to our military veterans. We’re grateful for their service and admire their willingness to protect the freedoms we all hold dear. Sam McBeth U.S. Marine Corps 1968-1978 What my years of military service taught me: “Service taught me discipline, leadership, dedication.  Always finish what you start.” My message: Always be faithful to your cause.