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Van for veteran: VFW looking for disabled veteran

Published: Apr. 18, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The VFW Department of Wisconsin is looking for a disabled veteran who is in need of transportation that best accommodates them. The legacy of a Wisconsin veteran, Lonnie Grau, lives on with the gifting of his van. Lonnie Grau was a gas turbine engine specialist in Vietnam for almost 2 years before he was honorably discharged in 1968.

“In 1991, he was diagnosed with diabetes, which they said was caused by Agent Orange but they figured he actually was diabetic 10 years before he was diagnosed,” said Marilyn Grau, Lonnie’s wife.

Marilyn says Lonnie suffered from complications during a surgery that confined him to a wheelchair for the next 14 years of his life. They purchased a new Chrysler Pacifica in 2018 and the Veterans Administration helped turn the van into exactly what Lonnie needed, to be wheelchair accessible. But since his death in March 2020, Marilyn has decided to pay it forward by helping someone else like her husband. Marilyn decided to donate the van to Wisconsin’s VFW.

Disable Vets can win an accessible van
Disable Vets can win an accessible van(Wisconsin VFW)

“One of the things that’s probably one of the most important missions the VFW has, is to remind the public of what veterans what military does every day, what veterans have done to keep their memories alive, their legacies alive,” said Jason Johns, State Commander for VFW Department of Wisconsin.

Marilyn says she wants another veteran to feel the same independence that her husband did, that he had been missing for far too long.

“To me, it’s about giving back, and that was what he was for, he donated to numerous veterans organizations,” Marilyn said.

The application for the van is open until May 31st on Memorial Day. You can find it by clicking here.

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