HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) – An effort is underway to mark a milestone in the life of an area veteran and you’re invited to join in. Kris Schuller reports a call has gone out for birthday cards for a World War II veteran – about to turn 100 years old.
In an assisted care facility in Howard, a table is filled with memories. Pictures, awards and medals from Loren Thiede’s time in the Coast Guard as a chief petty officer during World War II – so many years ago.
“He does not have a good memory but he sure loves the pictures and likes seeing it,” said Loren’s nephew Dan Bastien.
Loren Thiede was 19 years old when he enlisted in the US Coast Guard. But one year later when he turned 20, the war was underway.
“You made many trips escorting the troops and troop carriers and the other ships going across the pond to England for the war,” said Bastien.
Serving six years in the service, he returned to Green Bay where he lived with his wife and spent 30 years as a truck driver; yet always so very proud of his time serving his country.
“He’s a very, very, proud veteran. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without his World War II veteran hat on,” said Jen VanDeHei, an R.N. from Heartland Hospice caring for Thiede.
And it’s that patriotism that the staff with Heartland Hospice love about their patient, that has them planning something special for his coming birthday.
“He’s going to be 100 years old April 1st,” said Bastien.
And they’re asking for your help.
“I thought it would be nice to get 100 cards from 100 veterans. The more the better. You don’t have to be a veteran to send a card, anybody can send a card,” said VanDeHei.
Those birthday cards have just started to come in, but Tracy Rosinski hopes for many more. The hospice’s veteran liaison says she excited for the public’s response.
“It’s not just going to be family, not just going to be friends, but it’s going to be people he has never met who appreciate what he did for them and their freedom so many years ago,” said Rosinski.
“It is a great effort. There are not many of these WW II Coast Guard veterans left. To get cards like this now would be something just wonderful,” said Bastien.
Birthday cards to honor this Coast Guardsmen – marking a century on this earth.
If you’d like to send a birthday card to Loren – send it to:
Att: Jen VanDeHei/Loren
1145 W. Main Ave., #205
De Pere, WI 54115
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