A hat tip to Johnson Bus and driver John Schmidt, 58, who helped transport Korean War veteran Wally Daggett, 86, of Kewaskum get to Milwaukee on Saturday so he could take part in the latest Stars & Stripes Honor Flight tour to Washington D.C.
Schmidt, who has been driving for Johnson Bus for 41 years, just saw it as the right thing to do. “We’re friends,” Schmidt said as he lowered the wheelchair lift on the bus. “I drove their grandson Brian when he was in football for Kewaskum.
Schmidt also worked with Wally’s wife Joan Daggett when she was a driver for Johnson Bus. Joan recently retired after 22-and-a-half years.
Joan and her grandson took the elevator at the Samaritan Home up to the fourth floor. “He’s nervous,” said Joan about Wally. “They’ve had him up since 2 a.m. He’s going to be chomping at the bit.”
Walking down a dark hallway, Wally rolled out in his wheelchair and his blue Honor Flight jacket. “Morning grandpa,” said Brian. He was to be the guardian for Wally on the trip.
Joan approached her former manager at Johnson Bus, Lori Heisler, about getting a ride so Wally could get to the airport and back home in the evening.
“This trip is really great,” said Schmidt. “It’s something not a lot of people get to do.”
Other veteran from Washington County who participated in Saturday’s Honor Flight include Korean War vet Kenneth Basta of Germantown who was an Army tank driver, Korean War veteran Donald Frohmader of West Bend who was a meat inspector in the Air Force, Korean War vet Earl Goeltz who was on a destroyer in the Navy, Korean War vet Donald Richter who fought on the front lines in the Army, Roger Heppner, Army captain, Korean War, Slinger, Allen Jamieson, Navy tugboat duty, Korean War, West Bend, and Philip Kramer, Korean War, USMC, truck driver, Germantown.