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May 29, 2017


In honor of Memorial Day, we've gathered a newsletter celebrating those who've served from Wisconsin. The holiday was originally known as Decoration Day, originating after the Civil War as a national day of remembrance of those who died in the Civil War. The holiday evolved to include men and women who died in any conflict after World War I. Memorial Day became a national holiday celebrated on the last Monday in May in 1971.

We've had the honor of meeting and sharing stories from many veterans and veterans organizations over the years. You'll see some of those stories highlighted below.

We also encourage you to listen to and provide feedback about the new WPR Next pilot "Wisconsin Life Weekend." You can find all of the WPR Next shows and the survey here.

- Your Wisconsin Life team
Have You Heard?
Wisconsin In WWI: A Nurse on the Front Lines
One hundred years ago, Wisconsin went to war. Madison resident Helen Bulovsky was a young nurse who went to France in 1918. Working at evacuation hospitals, she served as close to the front lines as a nurse could get, tending to the injured before sending them back to fight. She described her days and the dangers of her job in letters home to her sister and mother.
Have You Seen?
Fallen Soldier Is Honored When Friends And Family Reunite In Sheboygan

Fond du Lac native Tom Shaw flew Huey helicopters in Vietnam when his helicopter crashed during a mission. To honor Shaw's life, the men he served with reunited with the family members Shaw left behind. Watch this story here.

Stories Honoring Wisconsin Veterans
We've gathered some of our favorite Wisconsin Life stories about veterans as well as the unique programs and people who support them.

Former Marine Kayaks The Entire Mississippi River To Benefit Injured Veterans - Former Marine Nic Doucette (pictured above) kayaked the length of the Mississippi River to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund, an organization that helps injured Marines.

Shakespeare Workshop Helps Veterans Heal - We followed veterans at a three-day intensive workshop in which they act out short Shakespeare scenes.

Veterans Tell Their Stories - An innovative program at the VA hospital in Madison lets veterans share their life stories with their doctors as a therapeutic practice. 

Guitars For Vets: The Healing Power Of Music In The Hands Of Heroes - The Wisconsin-born Guitars for Vets has given away more than 2,000 new guitars and provided over 20,000 lessons for veterans.
We Love To Hear From You
Ferry Memories
We recently posted a video on Facebook of Kevin Diedrich, the first engineer on the S.S. Badger: Lake Michigan Carferry, and you loved it! Here's a few of the stories we heard from people across the country.

"I remember when my dad took us girls on the carferry and took us up to the captain area, and [we] got to see the big wheel and talk to the captain."  -Sue, Grinell, IA

"I went over when I was very young. Still remember it to this day. When we got close to Michigan I ran inside and yelled.... LAND HO!" - Mich, San Diego, CA
"That's where The Marine Corps sent me and my family to be the Marine Recruiter in Manitowoc, WI, 1981-82. Crossed on that Boat many times." -  Master Sergeant Linnabary, Virginia Beach, VA

"I went across on the badger in the mid 60's. Couldn't believe a lake could be so big that you could not see across to the other side." - Roy, Blue Ridge, GA

Thank you to everyone who shared their memories of riding the S.S. Badger! 
Something About A Flower
Our original comic "Something About A Flower" will return in our next issue. Also, congrats to its creator, Rodney Lambright II, on his graduation from UW-Madison! Catch up on the story here
Thanks for reading and get in touch. We love to hear about your
Wisconsin life.
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This newsletter was sent to <<Email Address>>. Wisconsin Life is a coproduction of Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television. Funding for Wisconsin Life comes from Alliant Energy, Lowell and Mary Peterson, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, and the Friends of Wisconsin Public Television. For questions or comments about Wisconsin Life, please use our contact form.

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