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Tomah VA stop proves memorable

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 15, 2012 – 5:15 pm

Tomah VA Medical Center

After a tasty lunch at Burnstad’s European Restaurant in Tomah, the Tailgate Tour made a stop at the Tomah VA Medical Center

The facility, situated on 170 acres, serves veterans in Western and Central Wisconsin. Currently about 240 veterans are being treated. The players met veterans who served in a variety of capacities, spanning from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The players addressed a large group of veterans and staff in the commons, pausing to visit with many veterans individually and pose for pictures and sign autographs.

After the group setting, the players had the opportunity to visit a handful of veterans in hospice care who weren’t able to leave their rooms.

One veteran immediately picked up his phone after the chat with the players to excitedly call his sister to share the story.

“This visit will be spoken of for the next two or three months,” said Laura Bishop, volunteer manager with the facility. “It’s so nice to see these vets light up for this. For their families, too, it’s great to have them see their family member enjoy a moment like this.”

For William Henderson, the visit had deep meaning.

“I at one time thought my route may go through the military,” he said in explaining one of his college options if he had not played football. “It means so much for me to be able to thank them for their service. I could have been serving with them.”

Click here to see photos from the tour’s stop at the Tomah VA Medical Center.

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