To hundreds of men and women that live, work, and play in Door and Kewaunee counties and served our country: thank you. Ceremonies from Washington Island into Kewaunee County were held to pay tribute to the men and women of the Armed Services that returned home and, in some ways, make the lives of their fellow veterans better. It was something Richard Purinton took on when he and his family landed on Washington Island following his service during the Vietnam War. Purinton did not face some of the verbal and emotional abuse other Vietnam veterans received when they returned home, but he was invited to attend a meeting of American Legion Post 402. Forty-eight years and three stints as the organization’s commander later, Purinton still sees the importance of veterans connecting with the community and each other.
Veterans and even aspiring soldiers have found other ways to support each other outside of American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) halls. In August, St. Norbert ROTC members Samuel Skiff, Lydia Myszka, Andrew Lopez, Anton Bruley, and Cameron Wittman stopped at the Luxemburg Fire Station VFW building in Kewaunee in route to Milwaukee as they raised money for 4th H.O.O.A.H, a national non-profit specializing in support for deployed servicemen and servicewomen and their families and returning veterans. In recent years, Door County Farm for Vets, started by a group of veterans, including recent Congressional candidate Jacob VandenPlas, provided training and financial support for veterans looking to get into agriculture.