Marathon County apologizes for veteran's memorial confusion - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Marathon County apologizes for veteran's memorial confusion


A central Wisconsin veteran is upset about a memorial honoring veterans of the Korean War. The recent winter weather left behind a lot of snow, covering everything, including those monuments.

But one veteran thinks it shouldn't have stayed that way.

It's a place to remember the fallen.

"Uncles, dads, sons are on here," said Brian Sodke.

But under all this snow, you'd hardly notice.

So, the big question for Sodke, why aren't they shoveled out?

"I can't make it through the snow anymore," he said.

Sodke came to visit his uncle, a Korean War veteran.

"The prints there, those are mine," Sodke says as he point to the footsteps in snow covered ground.

"I tripped in the snow here, it was a little deep for me. I can't lift my legs that high. I swiped the snow off my uncle's name," said Sodke. "His name is third from the top, Lawrence Erdman."

Sodke never met his uncle, he died in combat. But, they share a bond. Sodke is a former Marine sergeant.

"There's no respect or empathy for the dead. These are the ones that died for our country."

So, Sodke went inside the Marathon County Courthouse asking staff what could be done about the snowy monuments.

"The Parks Department, I found out, is supposed to be responsible for this. They say they don't do it. I don't understand why,"explained Sodke.

So, he came to Newsline 9 with his concerns.

"You can't even see their names anymore," he said.

We went looking for answers and found it came down to a mix up.

"We've never really seen this before so nobody knew they were supposed to be doing it," said Michael Lotter, facilities and capitol management director.

Lotter admits it was an oversight. But within minutes of our interview, the monuments were getting shoveled out and cleaned up.

"We usually don't have this problem because we don't have this much snow. It usually just keeps itself clear," said Lotter.

It's a quick fix for now. But the county plans to address the problem indepth later this week.

"From this point forward we're going to be taking care of it," said Lotter.

That's an answer Sodke was hoping for. Now, he can look forward to his next visit. Hopefully it's one without such an obstacle.

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