Veterans 'humbled' by community support on Veterans Day
Businesses and organizations all across our area are recognizing and thanking veterans and active service members on Veterans Day.
From free meals to free services at businesses, they're receiving recognition for their sacrifices, but even though they're grateful, many veterans say it's not about the recognition at all.
For Steve Kaster, a Korea and Vietnam war veteran and one of 10 brothers who all enlisted in the military, today is a tough day.
"I remember," says Kaster, tearing up. "I remember all my men who aren't here."
Kaster and his bride of nearly 62 years are among the dozens of veterans spending a few minutes of their Monday morning at PDQ Car Wash in Ashwaubenon.
As a thank you for their service, all veterans and active duty personnel receive a free car wash on Veterans Day.
The company has been doing it since the '80s and given veterans more than $1 million worth of free car washes.
But the company says numbers like that don't really matter.
"If they didn't do what they do, we wouldn't be able to have those choices, and that's truly why we do it. Especially in our community, our local vets, it makes a big difference for us," says Becky Lewis, vice president of PDQ Car Wash.
Each veteran can also fill out a card showing when and where they served and their branch of the military.
The cards are hung in the lobby for all to see, filling the windows quickly.
Over the years, that's made a big impact on some veterans, even reconnecting them to other vets.
"Reconnections as in, oh, I served with that person or oh, I remember that person," describes Lewis.
Paul Puyleart retired from the Army after 21 years in the service.
"It's very humbling when people do appreciate what we've done for the freedoms of the country," says Puyleart. "I just did it because I wanted to serve our country. We don't do it to get the recognition, but it is nice to see places like this."
"It's an important job that we did and are still doing, so it makes us feel good," says Marine Corps veteran Jim Stocki of Crivitz.
Veterans received free car washes at PDQ locations in Green Bay, Manitowoc and Appleton.