March 21, 2019 – Slinger, WI – Korean War veteran Norvin Lehman, 81, of Slinger, is heading to Washington D.C. on the April 6 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.
Born in 1937 in Washington County, Lehman attended two years of high school in Slinger before eventually volunteering to enlist in the Army in 1955 when he was 18 years old.
“My basic training was at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and after that I went to Quartermaster School in Fort Lee Virginia,” Lehman said.
After 10 weeks of training, Lehman was sent to France where he drove truck. “It was exciting over there, all the places I’ve seen. I’ve gone from the English Channel down to Spain, just driving trucks,” said Lehman. “I drove all over those European countries and it was rough at times, but there wasn’t too much I could complain about. I’m grateful for the experiences.”
Lehman’s service in the Army ended in September of 1956, retiring as a Private First Class. “After a while, I worked for the Wacker Corporation and drove semi for them for a while until I officially retired in 1990s”
Lehman remembered coming home to nobody but his sister waiting to drive him home.
Lehman retired because he had a heart transplant a few months later, “My heart wasn’t pumping,” said Lehman. “It was only working at three percent.”
Lehman shared that his family is happy he has the opportunity to go on the Honor Flight.
“It’s something they had been hoping would happen,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the buildings and monuments, but it’s not the first time I’ve seen it. A long time ago, I was there during a bowling trip.”
Lehman’s son, Steven, will be his guardian on the flight.
Lehman also has two daughters and met his wife over 59 years ago. “She was milking cows when I met her,” he said. “I just popped right in to talk to her and that was history.”
Before the interview ended, Lehman wanted to impart some marital advice to the younger generation. “You gotta take the good with the bad,” he said. “Not everything is peaches and cream. Don’t toss it when it’s broken.”
On a side note: During a sentimental moment Lehman went from talking about the service, to buying his first car to the love of his life Eileen. Throughout the afternoon, Lehman teared up. He’s currently going through treatment at the VA and he was truly gracious for the opportunity to go on the Honor Flight and to have spent his life with someone who has stood by his side in good times and bad.
Click HERE to read more about veterans from Washington County on the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.