Green Bay, Wis. (WFRV) – Growing up in Green Bay, Lee Aanonsen knew in 1967 it was only a matter of time before he got his call to service.
Aanonsen was sent over to Vietnam with the 5th Infantry Division, stationed on the DMZ.
“It made us grow up fast. I was 21, and I was the oldest. I was the Sergeant, and they called me the ‘old man.’ I was 21 years old! I think there was a 17-year-old, 18-year-olds, 19-year-olds, in my squad, so we had to grow up really fast,” Aanonsen recalled.
After he got home, Aanonsen went back to his normal life, raising a family.
But he made something else a part of his normal life pretty early on too; Giving back to his community through various organizations.
“I support them all, really. I saw the need for those organizations and felt that maybe I should be supporting them, if not actively, at least through my membership,” he said.
And the one that Aanonsen has really called home for the last 27 years- Green Bay’s Moose Lodge, a members-only sort of club, that’s dedicated to making its community better, especially taking care of its children and elderly.
Aanonsen serves as the lodge’s administrator, overseeing operations for its members, close to 200 of which are local veterans.
“It’s a pretty awesome place. For that one reason, I’m a moose member,” Aanonsen said.
The Moose Lodge may be a pretty awesome place for Aanonsen, but it’s the feeling he gets from being a member that keeps him coming back.
“It’s something you feel deep down inside of you, and so often it pulls you in. It’s just a good feeling you get from helping others that helps you to keep going, you know?” he said.
“It makes you feel proud, proud of your service and proud of your fellow veterans when you see them doing stuff together,” said Aanonsen.