Never again will one generation of Veterans abandon another.
Never again will one generation of Veterans abandon another.
Thomas “Tom” J. Galica, 76 of Oshkosh, passed away on November 9, 2022. He was born on September 21, 1946 to the late John and Betty (O’Connor) Galica in Oshkosh. Tom proudly served in the United States Air Force from 1965 to 1971. A year after being set up on a blind date with the love of his life, Marcia Lyness, the couple wed on July 3, 1971, their marriage was blessed with two daughters. Tom worked at various places before retiring as a tool and die maker from Rockwell International after 44 years. Tom was a faithful member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church. To our community, Tom was not only a friendly face and a friend to talk to; he was a humble man who served others before serving himself. Tom was active in the American Legion Post 70, Vietnam Veterans of America chapter 437 and the United Honor Veterans Guard. He volunteered at various places throughout the community but had a passion for the Day By Day Warming Shelter, and EAA. He was a devoted husband and loving father who cherished his wife and daughters. He enjoyed traveling, and spending time with family and friends. As a natural social butterfly, he had a way about him that would light up any room he entered; people were drawn to him. He was a faithful friend who was loved by many. He is lovingly survived by his bride of 51 years, Marcia Galica; daughters: Heidi (Shawn) Christian and Buffi (Jason) Kremers; siblings: Sandee (friend, Richard Mohr) Boe, James Galica, Dan (Roxanne) Galica; sisters-in-law: Sandy Galica, Judy (Don) Schultz, Darlene Lyness. He is further survived by numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his brother, Bob Galica, mother-and father-in law, Ruby and Raymond Lyness, and brother-in-law, Kenneth Lyness.
Jack L. Brooks, Jack L. Brooks, age 73, of Rosholt, WI, died at home on August 22, 2022, while surrounded by his family. Jack was born September 7, 1948, to the late Robert and Maurita (Coulthurst) Brooks in Stevens Point, WI. He grew up in Plover, WI and graduated from P.J. Jacobs High School in 1966. Jack married Cheryl A. Warner on September 21, 1968, at the Plover United Methodist Church. He attended UWSP for a year before joining the US Air Force. He was inducted into the US Air Force in March 1968. Jack served during the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged in March 1972. Jack returned to the Stevens Point area, attended UWSP, and earned a bachelor’s degree. He became credentialed as an insurance agent working for Kostka Insurance Agency and then the Spectrum Insurance Group. After years of dedication, Jack retired at the age of 71. In his earlier years, he enjoyed competitive high school and college wrestling, and horseback riding as a member of the Stevens Point Area Horsemen’s Club, “Ruff Riders”. Jack enjoyed playing softball for area leagues. Jack coached baseball at Rosholt High School for 37 years. Jack was a 2013 inductee into the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Jack had a career record of 567-169, placing him sixth all-time in career victories among spring baseball coaches in Wisconsin. He led the Hornets to state tournaments in 2008, 2010, 2011, and 2021. He coached in the All-Star Classic last summer, which he stated was one of the highlights of his coaching career, as he was able to coach alongside his son Brett (Wild Rose). In his spare time, he enjoyed antiquing and gambling with his wife Cheryl. Other hobbies included hunting with family, gardening, and genealogy. He was considered the family historian. Jack was a proud Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 115(Lifetime Member) and was active with numerous organizations, including the Rosholt American Legion.
Thomas J Lee, age 72, of Eau Claire, passed away June 15, 2022. Tom served in the US. Army from 1969 - 1972 spending a year in Vietnam.
To spent many hours volunteering in the community following retirement. He spent many hours as a driver for Disabled American Veterans (DAV) taking fellow vets to the VA hospital in the Twin Cities for appointments and acted as a guardian for a WWII vet on an Honor Flight.
Tom was a lifetime member of Vietnam Veterans of America and VVA Chapter 5, Westgate Sportsmenan Club, and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 7232.
James D. Carey, passed on May 26, 2022, following a three-year battle with cancer surrounded by his wife Tracy and daughters Catherine and Christin. He was a devoted family man, sharing parenting as he worked days and Tracy worked nights. Family vacations were especially important, frequently tent camping “Up North.” He was an avid Packers fan and reader of many books.
Jim served his country in the US army between 1968 and 1971, serving overseas in Dong Ba Thin, Vietnam then finishing his service in Fort Polk, Louisiana. He was a lifetime member of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), originally with the 414 Chapter in Waukesha, later in VVA Chapter 220 in Oregon, Wisconsin. James proudly held different positions and formed many friendships with veterans groups over the years.
Thomas E. Pesanka passed peacefully on April 23, 2022, with his loving wife and daughter by his side. He was inducted into the US Navy on October 15, 1968. Tom became a Medical Corpsman with a rank of HM2, and was honorably discharged on August 18, 1972. During his time of service, Tom earned a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, and a Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star.
Tom attended the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (UWSP) with an emphasis in Biology and medical technology. After graduating, Tom became a Veteran Service Officer (VSO) with UWSP. He later found an opportunity in Tomah, WI as the VSO. He then moved to Hawaii to pursue a radio marketing position. He eventually moved back to Marathon and worked various jobs until becoming the Portage County Veterans Service Officer for over 15 years.
Tom was a Vietnam Veterans of America member in Wisconsin's VVA Chapter 115 in Plover.
William "Bill" Oura Benedict, Sr., passed away on Friday, April 8, 2022, surrounded by family at his Winneconne home after a courageous battle with kidney disease. Bill was a decorated veteran who served during the Korean War era and in the Vietnam War, spending a combined 22 years in the military. Bill was born on July 20, 1933, in Butte des Morts, Wisconsin, to his parents, Cyrus and Pearl (Huntington) Benedict. He graduated from Winneconne High School in 1951. At 17, Bill joined the Air Force, serving over two years. The following year, he joined the Army and served for 20 years. While stationed in Germany, he met and married Gisela Damm, with whom he had three sons. They later divorced. After leaving the military in 1973, Bill chose to settle in Winneconne. He began a second career at Oshkosh Truck Corporation, where he worked for 18 years before retiring in 1995. While pursuing a degree at Fox Valley Technical College, he met Diane Schneider. They were married on December 5, 1987, welcomed a daughter and shared over 34 years together In 2001, Bill was elected to the Winneconne Town Board (Supervisor, Road Commissioner, and Noxious Weed Commissioner), on which he served until 2019. When he wasn't working, Bill had a passion for riding motorcycles (and later trikes), watching westerns, volunteering, feeding and watching birds, putting together puzzles, and rooting for the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and Milwaukee Brewers. Bill was an active member of the Oshkosh Vietnam Veterans of America (Chapter 437), American Legion Post 234 in Omro, VFW, Knights of Columbus, and St. Mary Church.
Bruce Alan Witt, O3E USAF Retired, 71, passed away March 9, 2022, after a long battle with multiple health complications. His loving wife and family were a comfort to him in his final days at Kathy’s Hospice. Bruce was born in Milwaukee, WI on August 19, 1950, to George Witt Jr and Joyce M. (nee Lawrence) Witt. After graduating from Washington High School in Milwaukee, WI in 1968, he joined the US Navy and attended boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Base in IL. He proudly served his country during the Vietnam War, being stationed in Vietnam. Upon returning stateside Bruce left the Navy as a PO3 and a short time later enlisted in the United States Air Force. Bruce was stationed at Langley Air Force Base in VA, where he met his first wife, Donna Lee Drake, and they were married in 1974. Bruce was transferred to U.S. Upper Hayford in England. They welcomed a daughter, Martina, in February 1975. Two years later in August 1977, they welcomed a son, Christopher. That same year, he was assigned to Scott Air Force Base in MO. Bruce and Donna decided to part ways and Bruce became a loving and devoted single father. In 1979, Bruce was assigned to Randolph Air Force base in San Antonio, TX. In 1980, Bruce met Lynda (nee Wehmeyer) Linn at a Super Bowl party. They were married on April 25, 1981. In addition to accepting Lynda’s two sons, Trevor and Devin Linn, like his own, a year later, they welcomed a daughter, Ginger. Bruce was transferred to Columbus Air Force base in MS in 1983, where he served 2 years. In 1985, he was then assigned to Lakenheath Air Force Base in England. His tour lasted until February 1987. The family returned to San Antonio, TX where Bruce was stationed at Kelly Air Force Base until his retirement in 1991 as an OE3. Since military retirement, he earned his master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. Bruce was employed as a psychotherapist, specializing in drug/alcohol abuse and marriage/family counseling in Victoria, TX, Kettle Moraine Correctional Facility, Kettle Moraine Counseling Services, Rogers Behavioral Health, Community Memorial Hospital Outpatient Mental Health, and the VA in Milwaukee, WI until he was medically retired in 2008.
Bruce was a life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 448 in Newburg and served in multiple positions on the Wisconsin State Council.
Joe Campbell, Joe passed on March 3, 2022, at the age of 74. Joe was a graduate of Marmion Military Academy. He enlisted in the Army in 1967, serving in an artillery unit in Phouc Vinh. Upon returning from the service, Joe started a career as a salesman for the late Chuck Mueller at Welders Supply in Burlington and later opened the Waukesha branch. In 1984, Joe acquired the Machinery and Welder Corp, where he served in the capacity of President until retiring in 2017. Joe was very fond of all of the employees that worked for him and treated them like family. Joe served as the past President of the American Welding Society Milwaukee Chapter, as well as the board for Vietnam Veterans of America. Joe was awarded the Soldier of the Month in June of 1968, the Veteran of the Year in Wisconsin in 2006, and the prestigious Patriot Award from the War Memorial in 2018. Joe along with their friend, retired Deputy Fire Chief Mark Fox, was responsible for bringing a piece of the 9/11Twin Towers steel back to the War Memorial where it sits as a reminder of the sacrifices made by our first responders. Joe had a large family of veterans that he belonged to. Special thanks to the Milwaukee VA Blue Clinic and Nurse Carrie for hospice care as well as Amanda Yinko, Bob Pfeifer, Cecelia Campbell, and Ruby Schueing for their kind attention to Joe. Joe was very thankful for the eternal friendship he had with Chaplain Ray Stubbe. Many thanks to Paul Dirksmeyer for years of friendship and care.
Kenneth Anderson, a 20-year Lifetime Member of VVA and member of VVA Chapter 437 (Oshkosh) passed away on April 6, 2022. After graduation from St. Olaf College, Ken served his country for 20 years in the U.S. Air Force - from 1958 to 1978. Highlights include training in an Air Commando unit, earning a graduate degree in business, and earning medals. Ken's service took him to Viet Nam, Thailand, Panama, Guam, England, and stateside duty that included the Pentagon.
Deborah (Sam) Lee Freberg, a Lifetime AVVA member, associated with VVA Chapter 1130, passed away on January 8, 2022, in rural Hayward, Wisconsin. While Sam was against the governmental policies Vietnam War she was an advocate and friend to the warriors.
"Sam", as she known loved to cook and provide after VVA Chapter meeting lunches and snacks.
Sam long served as a sounding board and shoulder for the men and women who returned. As a caterer, Sam enjoyed cooking meals for the veterans. The smile and nod of pleasure and contentment were all that she needed as she prepared and served her gourmet meals.
Robert D. Saxon, President of VVA Chapter 1141 (Marinette) passed away Monday April 13, 2020. A full obituary of Robert’s life will be published when available.
Clif Sorenson born in Chippewa Falls in 1946, after attending UW Eau Claire for two years, where he met and later married Nancy, Clif joined the Air Force in 1970 and was deployed to vietnam and honorably discharged in 1975. As a life member of VVA Chapter 005, Clif served and led on many committees and was the past-Secretary of Wisconsin State Council. Clif devoted his professional ife to veterans as a VVA member, WSC Legislative Chairperson, CVSO, American Legion Chaplain, and so much more. Clif’s infectious laugh and congratulatory look of praise and understanding will be missed by all who had the honor to know him personally and professionally.
Gary Simonson was born in Portage in 1946 and he graduated from PJ Jacobs High School in 1964. He joined the Marine Corps in 1966, served in the Vietnam War, and received honorable discharge in 1972. He took pride in serving his country and instilled the value of patriotism in his family. In 2016, he was honored at the Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville. He is a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Paul Kiefer was born in Colby, Wisconsin and graduated Fort Atkinson H.S. in 1967. Paul served in the U.S. Army from 1967-1970 and served in Southeast Asia from June 1968 to August 1979. Paul was a Life Member of VVA and maintained his membership with VVA Chapter 437. Paul was a member of the Polk County VFW, Veterans of Honor, American Legion, Knights of Columbus and Vets of Valor Motorcycle Club. Paul is survived by his wife, Jan, his children and grandchildren.
Alfred “Al” O. Kienast, graduated high school and within weeks was already in the United States Army where he served his country from 1963 to 1967 and was active during the Vietnam War. Al continued his involvement in Veterans organizations continued clear up to his passing as a member of the American Legion Post 375, Mukwonago and the Vietnam Veterans Association Chapter 425 (VVA).
Dennis Werlein was one of those veterans who went to Washington, D.C. in 1978 to organize a veteran’s organization that would become Vietnam Veterans of America. Dennis was a dedicated activist and supporter of veteran’s rights, the cornerstone of our VVA Chapter and a friend who will be greatly missed. He never met a veteran he didn’t consider a brother. Thank you to those who offered Dennis’ family their condolences at his passing. A Legacy Stone will be laid September 21st at The HighGround, Neillsville, Wisconsin honoring Dennis.
Carl W. Lindbeck (U.S. Army, ’67-69, VVA Chapter 224) 1946-2018 Serving our country in the Vietnam War, Carl was a member of the 101st Airborne's "Screaming Eagles" from 1967 to 1969. During his tour in Vietnam he fought in the battle of Hamburger Hill. He was a decorated veteran earning the Purple Heart, two bronze stars, the air medal, and the Order of the Silver Rose, which recognizes veterans exposed to Agent Orange. He was a lifetime member of the Vietnam Veterans of America. Carl's greatest passions were his family and friends. His infectious smile and witty and clever sense of humor echoed his generous spirit and big heart. The little things in life gave him the greatest pleasure. He loved his children Nathan & Kristin more than anything in the world. In the words of Rascal Flatts, "Life is a highway. I want to ride it all night long." Carl did, and he enjoyed that ride.
How to submit obituary.
Either contact any WSC officer, VVA WSC Membership Chair, or Chapter officer can provide the information. Please note VVA should be notified of the Veterans death using the VVA/AVVA Deceased Member form.
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