KEWAUNEE, Wis. (WFRV) Donnie Kickbusch glances at a wall in the hallway of Kewaunee High School with the pictures of 11 young men who bravely served our country.
“I just happened to think we should do something for the deceased veterans that attended Kewaunee High School.” he said.
A graduate from the school, the Korean War veteran’s dream is now a reality.
“I knew a lot of people on there, two of them were my neighbors,” he said. “The average age of these 11 was 21-years-old, and that’s just too young to die.”
Donnie himself enlisted at 21-years-old when the Korean War got underway.
“The Navy had frozen their enlistments at that time,” he said. “I joined the Naval reserve and applied for active duty, and I got it.”
Assigned to the USS Sutherland, Donnie was a quartermaster signalman.
“Quartermaster would steer the ship, and the signalmen – we took in visual light by flags,” he said.
They would also assist Marines with artillery support.
“We had five inch guns on the destroyer, so we would zero in on whatever coordinates they told us to do and we gave them the support that they needed,” he said.
Fast forward to last fall, Donnie got the idea for the Veterans Honor Roll wall. He researched the men and found pictures all on his own. Kewaunee High then gave him the green light, and the wall was posted. Creative Sign Company Inc. came up with the final product.
“People take freedom for granted, and these people paid the ultimate price,” Donnie said. “Freedom is not free. When [people] read that and see all of those that have given their life, it should be impressive [to] them, and I hope it will be.”
There will be an official dedication of the Veterans Honor Roll wall on Sunday, February 23rd at Kewaunee High School at 2 p.m.
Donnie will recognize the 11 men, the high school choir will be singing, there will be a playing of taps and much more.
It’s free and the public is encouraged to attend!
Nominate your Hometown Heroes to firstname.lastname@example.org