Special ceremony for some Wausau veterans ahead of Memorial Day - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Special ceremony for some Wausau veterans ahead of Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend started early for some. About 50 Wausau veterans got a special thank you in a somber ceremony Thursday.
A 21 gun salute, the raising of the american flag, and a choir, all to honor these veterans who served our country.

"Oh I enjoyed it here, I felt at ease and at home," said World War II veteran, Calvin Grosskopf.

Calvin Grosskopf was one of 50 veterans honored at Mount View Care Center in Wausau. Grosskopf says he joined the military when he was 17 years old, right after high school. He says listening to the choir sing patriotic songs brought back memories.

"We used to sing them in our school when we were younger, before I got old enough to go into the service," said Grosskopf.

George Jarntowski has a similar story. Joining the military also at a young age.

"I was in the army I went in at 19 years old," said Jarntowski.

And for that, a special ceremony hosted by the American Legion Wausau Post.

John Pijan, a Vietnam veteran, came up with the idea of paying tribute to veterans in nursing homes five years ago.

"I laid out a format as to what I would like to see be done," said Pijan.

Part of that format, handing each veteran a certificate recognizing them for their service to our country.

Organizers say most of these veterans are unable to attend memorial day celebrations, so organizers brought the tribute to them.

"That's why I gave each one of the men that were handing the certificates to be one-on-one with that person and let them know that when they get that final salute that might be the last salute they ever see out here," said Pijan.

Next Memorial Day, John Pijan takes his tribute to Kennedy Park Care Center in Weston.
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