HOWARD, Wis. - They have known each other since high school and with a common interest in military history, two men came up with a side-project.
A real labor of love. And it comes in the form of a calendar.
"The calendar is 100 percent self-funded by Justin [Watruba] and myself," said Michael Garsow, co-founder of Classic Publishing. "So, to do this we go out there and we do flooring work, tiling work--just to bring in money to support this calendar."
It is hard and sometimes painful work.
But to them, it does not stack up to what our enlisted men and women do every day.
And you don't have to go very far to find a hero.
"Everything's Wisconsin," he said. "We wanted to keep it local so it's by Wisconsin, for Wisconsin."
Both men had grandfathers in the Pacific Theater of the Second World War and that is where the admiration began.
"Listening to the stories growing up, you hear what they all go through and the sacrifices they make," said Justin Watruba of Classic Publishing.
They started working on the calendar late last year to help support local veterans organizations, such as Vets 4 Vets and the 4th HOOAH Wisconsin.
"Everybody lives in their world here. And they have their freedom," he said. "They can go to the mall. They can go do whatever they want. And when you're in battle and when you're in the military, you don't have that choice. It's totally different."
By providing a snapshot into so many military lives, the pair hopes the calendar reminds us every day is worth something.
"We're supporters of those who served," said Garsow. "We think it's the right thing to do and we're doing our best to serve those that served us."
You can find the calendars for sale at Hinterland, Gallagher's Pizza, and Vandervest Harley-Davidson, and be sure to check out ClassicPub.org for more information.
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