Milwaukee VA In the News - Milwaukee VA Medical Center
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Milwaukee VA Medical Center


Milwaukee VA In the News

veterans photo showing boats in harbor‘Veterans in Focus’ at Carroll University showcases photography as healing recreation therapy

Veterans are the focus of a new photography exhibit at Carroll University, but the veterans aren't only the subjects, but also, the ones who were behind the camera. Through the lens of a camera -- Carissa Dipietro said she found her voice. She's one of the veterans in a recreation therapy program at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.(FOX6-TV, Milwaukee, Nov. 18, 2019)

A male Veteran in a wheelchairParalyzed Veteran Gives Back to fellow Veterans Through Clothing Line

Three days after returning home from a deployment in Iraq, Marine Veteran Noah Currier was in a car accident that left him a quadriplegic. Life as he knew it would never be the same, but thanks to one friend and the VA’s adaptive sports winter program, he found his reason for living. He now fills the void by giving back through "Oscar Mike."(Spectrum , Milwaukee, Nov. 11, 2019)

Marine Corps veteran Noah Currier speaks at VA Veterans Day ceremony  (CBS58-TV, Milwaukee)

Crash test dummyMaking Soldiers Safer: Milwaukee Institutions Continue Developing ‘Blast-Test’ Dummy

Three Milwaukee institutions — Marquette University, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the VA Medical Center — are continuing their work on a "blast-test" dummy. The dummy could help reduce harm to U.S. armed forces caused by explosions under their military vehicles.(WUWM-89.7, Milwaukee, Nov. 11, 2019)

A man standing near an information boothMilwaukee VA celebrates White Cane Safety Day with services for visually impaired veterans

At the Milwaukee VA, the day is meant to show off all of the opportunities available to veterans with vision impairment. More than 20 organizations displayed their programs and services for blind veterans -- things like braille, busing services, and even guitar and golf lessons.(CBS58-TV, Milwaukee, Oct. 15, 2019)

Man in a powered wheelchairMilwaukee VA Creates 3D Joystick for Veteran

A Navy veteran now has a new outlook on life thanks to the innovation of the Milwaukee VA. Jim Borelli knows all too well what it means to sacrifice his freedom. He served in the Vietnam War aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. But now, he’s fighting a different kind of battle after a terrible fall in March of 2018.(Spectrum News, Milwaukee, Oct. 7, 2019)

Honor Guard standing next to casketMissing since 1944, World War II soldier is laid to rest at Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee

In a letter home to his mother, Vincent Ferrara mentioned that he was in Belgium and expected to be there a little while longer. The V-Mail letter was written on Oct. 7, 1944. It was the last letter the Ferrara family received from their son and brother.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Sept. 25, 2019)

'Coming home': World War II veteran interred with full military honors (WTMJ4-TV, Milwaukee)

‘We’ve found closure:’ Soldier MIA in WWII is returned home, laid to rest at Wood National Cemetery (FOX6-TV, Milwaukee, Milwaukee)

Honor Guard standing next to casketEvery Hero Deserves a Home: Redevelopment begins on the Milwaukee VA’s historic Old Main

The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on September 20, beginning the long-awaited work of rehabilitating 6 buildings to offer housing for at risk and homeless veterans. (Milwaukee Independent, Sept. 23, 2019)

$44 Million Soldiers Home Project Launched  (Urban Milwaukee)

Work starts on $40 million Soldiers Home project to create veteran housing (BizTimes, Milwaukee)

More historic buildings at the Old Soldiers Home will be converted  (

Worker up in a tree trimming branches‘It’s very humbling:’ Arborists worked for free, trimming trees at Wood National Cemetery

Dozens of tree care specialists worked for free Wednesday, Sept. 18 in Milwaukee. This, as the industry came together for the fifth annual Saluting Branches Day of Service. More than 60 tree specialists volunteered their time to lend a hand.(FOX6-TV, Milwaukee, Sept. 18, 2019)

A woman looking through a cameraVeterans express themselves through photography program

For veteran, Shelly Lopez, finding a way to express herself wasn't always easy. Until the snap of a camera, gave her a new perspective. After serving her country for nearly a decade, Shelly struggled with drugs and alcohol. She’s now in recovery and has found an outlet with art.(Spectrum News, Milwaukee, Aug. 20, 2019)

A Veteran receiving flowersFlorist surprises veterans at VA Medical Center with flowers

Smiles and beautiful flowers were in bloom at Milwaukee's VA Medical Center Thursday morning. Florist Sharon Spidell and a group of volunteers delivered more than 100 bouquets of fresh flowers to the veterans there.(CBS58-TV, Milwaukee, July 25, 2019)

Left to right, Victoria Brahm, Robert Wilkie (center) and Dan ZomchekSecretary Robert Wilkie Discusses Ongoing Veterans Affairs Evolution During Milwaukee Visit

Prescription painkillers have a notorious reputation in the veteran community. In response to an opioid scandal in 2016, Wisconsin's Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center has reformed the way they treat pain.(WUWM-89.7, Milwaukee, July 8, 2019)

Screen grab of Veterans at a picnic tableVeterans celebrate Independence Day at Milwaukee VA

Independence Day is filled with grill smoke and fireworks, but it's important to honor those who sacrificed for our freedom. At the Milwaukee VA, there was a picnic for the heroes who have served to defend our country.(TMJ4-TV, Milwaukee, July 4, 2019)

Grave markers at Wood National CemeteryMemorial Day ceremony at Wood National Cemetery is an ‘important day of remembrance’ for the fallen

On Monday, May 27, a large crowd gathered at Wood National Cemetery to honor the fallen. The community was invited to a Memorial Day ceremony hosted by the Milwaukee VA Medical Center to remember those buried there.(FOX6-TV, Milwaukee, May 27, 2019)

Veterans, soldiers gather for Memorial Day observance at Wood National Cemetery (WTMJ4-TV, Milwaukee)

Memorial Day ceremony held at Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee (CBS58-TV, Milwaukee)

Memorial Day: Sights and sounds from Wood National Cemetery (WISN12-TV, Milwaukee)

Honoring Fallen Heroes: Wood National Cemetery hosts 2019 Memorial Day tribute (The Milwaukee Independent)

A female Veteran talks to an interviewer‘Life-changing:’ Nonprofit Feast of Crispian brings together actors, veterans to help them overcome trauma

For members of the United States military, the hardest battles fought often come when they return home. Through the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, one group of vets has found an unlikely form of therapy -- putting their issues on stage.(WITI6-TV, Milwaukee, May 19, 2019) (JSOnline version for subscribers only

A man rides an adaptive bicycleVeterans with spinal cord injuries use bicycles for therapy

On Monday mornings, Milwaukee VA Spinal Cord Injury Clinic patients bicycyle on the nearby Hank Aaron Trail as part of their rehab.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 23, 2019) (JSOnline version for subscribers only

A young man in karate attire loads items into a shopping cartThree Karate America Studios raises over $19,000 for Milwaukee VA

The Milwaukee VA Medical Center filled lots of shopping carts with supplies for local veterans at Target on Thursday. Three Karate America Studios in the Milwaukee-area raised more than $19,000 for veterans at a fundraiser last month.(WDJT58-TV, Milwaukee, April 25, 2019)

‘Honored and excited:’ Karate America goes on shopping spree for Milwaukee VA (FOX6-TV, Milwaukee)

Karate America goes on a $19,000 Target run for local vets (, Milwaukee)

People dump old electronics into a storage containerMilwaukee VA's annual electronic recycling event helps more than just environment

The Milwaukee VA doesn't want the old computers, televisions and other electronics ending up in a landfill because they contain metals that are bad for the environment, so it's helping people safely get rid of them.(WISN12-TV, Milwaukee, April 23, 2019)

Old Main buildingThe Soldiers Home at the Milwaukee VA Center is Getting a New Life

In the last 40 years, many of its 20-plus buildings have fallen into disuse and disrepair while the nearby Zablocki VA Medical Center has grown. Old Main, the grounds’ 130,000-square-foot centerpiece that long housed the largest portion of the Home’s veterans, has been blocked off since 1989. But by fall 2020, it is set to reopen as housing for up to 80 vets at risk of homelessness.(Milwaukee Magazine, April 22, 2019)

Brewers wives preparing food‘Great opportunity:’ Brewers’ wives give back, serving dinner for vets’ families at Fisher House Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Brewers have brought a lot of excitement on the field early this season, and their wives were also in the giving mood. With the players warming up at Miller Park, their wives warmed up ovens in the kitchen - giving back before the game by preparing a meal at Fisher House at the Milwaukee VA.(FOX6-TV, Milwaukee, April 21, 2019)

Screen grab of Veteran talking to the camera'60-Second Video Project' brings stories together to build community among veterans

A new video project at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center hopes to bring people together to share their stories."If I can share my story and the impact of my own family, maybe I can impact somebody else," said Matthew Cade, Coast Guard veteran. The 60-Second Video Project gives veterans, their friends, family, and caregivers the chance to answer one question: What inspires you about our incredible veteran community?(WBAY-TV, Green Bay, Wis., April 17, 2019)

"60-Second Speak-Up" project gets people talking (WFRV-TV, Green Bay, Wis.)

screen grab of artist showing his paintingMilwaukee Veteran who spent decades in prison and homeless uses talent to heal and help

When Willie Weaver-Bey puts brush to canvas, a story begins to emerge.“This picture is of my significant other and her name is Jules,” he says, as he works at an easel in his home. Slowly and methodically.. “We've been knowing each other for 35 years.” For several hours nearly every day.. “I have to be able to feel the picture.” Willie lets his gift tell the stories of other people.(Spectrum News, April 8, 2019)

Joyce Casey, recreational therapist at the Milwaukee VA jokes with Noah CurrierParalyzed Marine finds hope and redemption in adaptive sports and starts Oscar Mike apparel company

But the life of the strapping 21-year-old Marine actually changed three days after returning home to the U.S. following the invasion of Iraq. Asleep with his head against the passenger seat door of his pickup truck as his buddy drove them back to Camp Pendleton, Calif.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 14, 2019)

Business owner to host wheelchair rugby (FOX6-TV, Milwaukee)

Marine veteran encourages other injured vets to participate in life-changing adaptive sports (CBS58-TV, Milwaukee)

a person delivers a karate kick to a boardBoard breaking marathon to knock out Milwaukee VA wish list

A board breaking marathon was held Saturday to knock out items on the Milwaukee VA's wish list. Karate America put on the fundraiser at three of their metro locations. Supporters donated cash for each brick and board they kicked and chopped. All of it goes to the Milwaukee Veterans Affairs medical center.(WISN-TV, March 10, 2019)

person tying fishing fliesVeterans on the Fly Brings Camaraderie and Peace to Local Vets

Tucked back in a small room on the VA campus in Milwaukee, veterans from Vietnam to the Global War on Terrorism alike escape the cold embraces of the polar vortex by sharing warmer stories and laughs about the stresses of life.(Media Milwaukee, March 6, 2019)

diner tray with hot dog, shake, ketchup and mustard bottles‘It’s just fun!” Milwaukee VA hosts sock hop with 50¢ burgers, lots of rock ‘n roll

Poodle skirts, 50-cent cheeseburgers, and lots of rock 'n roll. A sock hop at the Milwaukee V.A. was the place to be for many veterans on Thursday, Feb. 28."I was frankly overwhelmed when I walked in the door," said Jane Jensen, wife of Wade Botsford. It is an event put on for veterans like Botsford -- and their significant others.(FOX6-TV, Milwaukee, Feb. 28, 2019)

Sock Hop for Veterans held at Milwaukee VA Medical Center (WDJT-TV, Milwaukee)

Three ice fisherman hold a large fish they caughtSmith: Wisconsin Hero Outdoors extends a hand to vets, first responders and their families

The sun rose Monday behind a mountain of steam that covered the open water of Lake Michigan east of Milwaukee. Every so often the gray mass would lift, revealing a treacherous jumble of waves and icebergs. In this condition, the lake is unfit for humans. But just 100 yards to the west, inside the breakwall, solid ice packed McKinley Marina. A dozen domed fishing shelters dotted the white landscape.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 23, 2019)

A woman looks at a display case featuring items put in a recently discovered time capsule at the Milwaukee VA.Time capsule discovered at Milwaukee VA Hospital was almost thrown away

Apparently what the good folks building the new veterans hospital in Milwaukee wanted people to remember five decades ago were headlines in the local papers, cafeteria menus, a thermometer, coins and the speech Congressman Clement J. Zablocki gave at the cornerstone dedication.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Feb. 22, 2019)

Time capsule accidentally dug up now on display at Milwaukee VA Medical Center (WDJT-TV, Milwaukee)

Time capsule found under Milwaukee VA Medical Center opened, contents on display (WISN-TV, Milwaukee)

Time capsule travels back to Milwaukee VA (

Unearthed time capsule travels back to Milwaukee and confirms legend about Clement J. Zablocki (Milwaukee Independent)

Artist Frank KaiserVeterans Art Show begins at Milwaukee VA Medical Center

Wisconsin veterans are showing off their creative side. The Milwaukee VA Medical Center is holding an art show this week. It features work in 100 categories like painting, sculpture, dance, and music.More than 30 veterans are participating. That includes Frank Kaiser, who finds artwork calming and an escape from everything.(CBS 58 WDJT-TV, Milwaukee, Feb. 11, 2019)

VA arts competition offers Milwaukee Veterans an avenue of expression, healing and redemption (Milwaukee Independent)

Purple Mask art project and first-place ribbon‘Rewarding to me:’ Milwaukee VA Creative Arts Festival helped injured Army veteran heal

Artists from the Milwaukee area prepared for a special festival that helps prevent veteran suicides.Rochelle Lopez said she never thought of herself as an artist. Her road to art started in Iraq. She served in the Army for nine years."I wanted to be proud of myself," said Lopez. Her service ended with an injury(FOX6-TV, Milwaukee, Feb. 6, 2019)

Art therapy gives Milwaukee veteran a new life (WTMJ-TV4, Milwaukee)

Two people practicing Jiu-JitsuJiu-Jitsu used to prevent veteran suicides: ‘Great way to get rid of anxiety and depression’

Officials at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center are taking a unique approach in the effort to combat veteran suicides -- using Jiu-Jitsu as a form of physical and emotional therapy. "This is a great way to get rid of anxiety and depression and just to be around like-minded individuals," said Dustin Jackson, a a combat medic, was deployed three times. (FOX6-TV, Milwaukee - Feb. 3, 2019)

West Allis firemanNew partnership tries to prevent veterans from avoiding 911 because they fear missing VA care

Staff at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center's emergency room were aware of the baffling trend: Veterans suffering heart attacks and strokes would drive themselves to the ER. Why not just call 911 and come by ambulance? Starting last August, the Milwaukee VA began working with the West Allis Fire Department to identify veterans who want to be taken to the VA in emergencies.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Jan. 25, 2019)

‘Improving ease of access:’ Milwaukee VA partners with fire departments to better serve veterans (FOX6-TV, Milwaukee)

Dean Juntunen walking with robotFor 27 years this paralyzed Air Force veteran could not walk. Now a robotic exoskeleton has him on his feet.

In 1991 Dean Juntunen broke his back when he fell 30 feet from a rope swing. Doctors told him he would never walk again. For the last 27 years, their words were correct. But in November the paralyzed Air Force veteran stood up for the first time since the accident and walked with the help of a robotic exoskeleton.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Jan. 16, 2019)

Robotic exoskeleton helps veteran take steps forward (WBAY-TV, Green Bay, Wis.)

After 91 wheelchair marathons, UP's Juntunen walking again (The Daily Globe, Ironwood, Mich.)

Local paralyzed veteran walks with new state-of-the-art robotics exoskeleton (WLUC-TV, Houghton, Mich.)

Paralyzed veteran shows off wearable exoskeleton that helps him walk (WLUK-TV, Green Bay, Wis.)

One Step at a Time: Robot Gives Paralyzed Veteran the Chance to Walk Again (WFRV-TV, Green Bay, Wis.)

Robotic exoskeleton helps veteran take steps forward (WBAY-TV, Green Bay, Wis.)

Robotics study helping paralyzed U.P. Veteran step forward (WJMN-TV, Marquette, Mich.)

Copper Country veteran learns to walk with robotic exoskeleton (ABC10-TV, Ishpeming, Mich.)

Milwaukee VA in the News - 2018

Officer Cole KantnerAppleton VA police officer praised for helping capture suspect, save young child

An Appleton VA police officer is being called a hero after his quick thinking helped save an 18-month-old child. "It's kind of one of those situations where I guess when something negative like this happens that you just pray to God that you're at the right place at the right time," said Officer Cole Kantner. (WSAW-TV, Wausau, Wis. - Dec. 19, 2018)

'Right place at the right time': Appleton VA officer talks on baby rescue (FOX11NEWS-TV, Green Bay, Wis.)

More Milwaukee VA in the News - 2018