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Hometown Hero: Joe Aulik

Tonight's Hometown Hero is Joe Aulik, a Kewaunee veteran who helps other vets get their benefits.<br><span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre; "> </span>
Kewaunee, Wis.(WFRV)--The US has been involved in three wars since 1990. But many military veterans also serve during peace time.
That includes this week's Hometown Hero. Local Five's Terry Kovarik introduces us to a Kewaunee veteran who fights to make sure all veterans get the benefits they've earned, and need.
Joe Aulik enlisted in the Air Force in 1983.  After a long tour in alaska, he was discharged in 1990.
 That was just before the first Gulf War broke out.  But Aulik says having been in personnel and management support, it's unlikely he'd have been near the war zone.
Says Aulik, "You're just a support service,  not so much for ground troops, but I didn't feel like I was missing out."
Aulik worked for a couple of different employers upon returning to Wisconsin.  Then in 1999,  he learned of a job opening in Kewaunee County for a Veteran's service officer.
Says Aulik, "I really enjoyed serving my fellow active duty members when i was in the service, so I went after this job."
So Aulik now fights for veterans who may not know what their military service entitles them to. That included one man who was part of a dubious military experiment.
Says Aulik, "He was an "atomic veteran".  He participated in the atomic test in Nevada and he contracted a cancer from that radiation exposure. They're entitled to a 75-thousand dollar check from the federal government, if they're an on-site participant, downwind participant."
In all,  that veteran and his wife, received two-hundred thousand dollars in Veteran's Administration benefits.  But this Hometown Hero says he's just keeping up with his mission statement.
Veterans who would like to know whether they may have benefits coming to them --can get more information at county courthouse, or on the Wisconsin Department of Veterans affairs website.
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