Dozens of veterans honored Sunday in Rothschild - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Dozens of veterans honored Sunday in Rothschild

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Dozens of veterans were honored Sunday in Rothschild.

State Senator Jerry Petrowski, who is also a veteran, thanked the men and women attending for their service.

One of those veterans was Julian Sonnentag, who served in the Marines during the Vietnam War.

He made the decision to join the military 50 years ago.

"I just wanted to be there," said Sonnentag. "All through high school I knew where I was going."

Sonnentag was 21 years old when he joined the Marines.

"My folks had me going to college, like my older sister," said Sonnentag. "I just told me dad no. I'm going. And he said I don't want any tear drops on the letters coming home and so that's where I went, and I'm really glad I did."

The young marine was sent to Vietnam early in the war.

His time in Vietnam came to an end abruptly after a cut lead to gangrene.

A few years ago Sonnentag retired from the service. But his work with Veterans of Foreign Wars keeps him connected.

This Veterans Day ceremony was even more emotional for the Vietnam vet.

His wife was honored as a gold star mother, because of the couple's son who died serving in Libya.

"You can feel sorry for yourself," said Sonnentag. "And waste your life away. Or you can take your scars and move on for the rest of your family. I run that over in my mind a thousand times."

Sonnentag endured many hardships and troubling times during his military career. But the decision to serve our country is one he says he'd never take back.

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