FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Vietnam veteran receives free accessible van from another veteran’s widow

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – An Army medic who recently passed away asked his wife for one thing before he passed – and that was to give his van to someone in need.

Jim Schafer, a three-tour medic, was a Vietnam veteran who died from an Agent Orange-related sickness. Before his death, Schafer told his Air Force veteran wife, Susan, that he wanted his accessible van, which included a motorized scooter, given to another Vietnam veteran in need.

John Koehler, an area Vietnam veteran who is actively involved in many charitable veteran causes in Northeast Wisconsin, says he was able to find a veteran in Baraboo in need of a van.

John Pekala of Baraboo is an amputee who is 100 percent disabled. He served with the Army in Vietnam in the early 1970s and suffers from the impact of Agent Orange.

On Tuesday, Pekala and his family picked up Schafer’s van, free of charge.

Download the Free WFRV News, Weather, and Sports Mobile Apps

“I’m amazed and I’m grateful, and I’m very happy,” Pekala told WFRV Local 5. “I think I’ll get a lot of use out of this. I haven’t been able to leave the house by myself for a couple of years now. Just to be able to get into a vehicle and take off down the backroad and relax.”

Pekala says that as soon as he’s allowed, he’s going to do some fishing.

OTHER STORIES FROM WFRV LOCAL 5

Local Weather | Local News | Local Sports
Digital Exclusives | Critic at Large/Local Theater
Positively Wisconsin|Midwest Farm Weekly
Download the free WFRV apps here

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus

Trending Stories

Your Local Election HQ

More Election

Local Sports

High School Sports Xtra: Local 5 Top 5 Plays, Xavier girls tennis Team of the Week

High School Sports Xtra: Howards Grove's Damrow focused on big goals

High School Sports Xtra: West De Pere wins Game of the Week, volleyball and soccer sectionals set

Xtra Point High School Football: West De Pere gets first win, Kaukauna blasts D.C. Everest & more

Green Bay Nation 10/21: What happened to the Packers offense?

Green Bay Nation 10/21: GBN Gang Pick 'EM

People In Our Community <<View More

Hometown Heroes <<View More