Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Cannabis Collective LLC opens in West Bend

 Cannabis Collective LLC is now open in West Bend; it’s located inside Cherry Pickin’s Home Furnishing, 549 W. Washington Street.

“We specialize in CBD oil,” said owner Melissa Collett.

CBD stands for cannabidiol which is naturally found in hemp plants. “Research is showing and people’s anecdotical evidence shows people who use CBD experience relief from anxiety or chronic pain, muscle pain, and it helps you sleep,” said Collett.

While the raw product or flower may look like marijuana and carry a similar aroma, the product is legal. In Wisconsin hemp was officially legalized by Gov. Scott Walker in April 2017.

“We carry an isolate product which has zero percent THC and we have full plant or full spectrum with a legal limit of 0.3 percent THC,” Collett said.

The boutique shop is in a cozy corner on the first level of Cherry Pickin’s. Simple glass cabinets carry three tiers of shelving with a variety of CBD products including oils, Gummy morsels, sprays, flowers and products for your pets.

While CBD outlets are becoming more common in music stores and craft stores, Collett said the items she carries are handpicked for purity.

“We have the least amount of extra ingredients in our products,” she said.

Dyes and preservatives are common in a variety of CBD items. “Most people don’t have many negative side effects, but I’ve seen people come in with their old bottles and when you read the label there are all sorts of artificial ingredients,” Collett said.  “Our products don’t have that.”

One of the manufacturers carried at Cannabis Collective is Wisconsin Hemp Scientific based in Sussex, WI. “Everything is grown locally and all of it is lab tested,” said Collett. “Most of the bottles have a scan code and with the scan you can see the full lab results.”

Customers at Cannabis Collective are extremely inquisitive about the product.  “Typically, the people I see are ones who have pain or migraines or a muscle strain. We have products for all of it,” she said. “These products don’t get you high or drugged, you just feel calm,”

Cannabis Collective carries a variety of items including body balm, soft gels, Gummies, and oral spray. “You can smoke it or put it in your vaporizer or place the oil under your tongue or topically on the back of your neck,” said Collett. “If people don’t like the texture of the oil, we do carry gel capsules and we have shampoo and conditioner.”

Prices of CBD items vary. Collett invites people to come into the store and look around and ask questions. She said they will only sell items to people 18 and older.

Even though Cannabis Collective opened just a couple weeks ago, Collett said she is hoping to expand with other outlets in neighboring communities. “We have the best quality product and the most educated staff and that’s what will set us apart from the other stores,” she said.

Cannabis Collective is open weekdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

West Bend woman runs the U.S. to raise awareness for MS             By Tabetha Wolfe

Tabetha Wolfe of Germantown is helping bring awareness to multiple sclerosis (MS) via the MS Run the US. “The run is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to support multiple sclerosis (MS) research, while also supporting those living with disability due to MS,” said Wolfe.

The running events focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle while inspiring individuals to maximize their capabilities and become more active to help those in need.

The MS Run the US- Relay is an annual 3,260-mile relay run across America for multiple sclerosis.

 Tabetha Wolfe’s story is below

I was selected from a pool of runners to run Segment 2 of the MS Run the US relay across America. So, in April, I will be running a marathon a day for eight days (204 miles) from Barstow, CA to Las Vegas, NV in honor of my mother-in-law Betty and my cousin Kelly whom both suffer from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and all those suffering from MS.

I began running and completing obstacle course races following a lifestyle change in 2015, where I have completed numerous races ranging from a 5K to a 50K.

I landed a few podium spots…most notably the Husar’s Diamond Dash in 2018. I love the medals, t-shirts, and the occasional beer, but I wanted to put my passion for running to use in a way that could make a difference in my community.

I saw a post last year on Facebook; a friend was looking for donations. She was running Segment 14, of MS Run the US.

After contacting her and doing research on my own, I quickly became intrigued by what this relay was about, and I knew it was my calling. As soon as I saw their post about accepting applications for 2019 ultra-runners, I filled one out and sent it in. In August of 2018 I was contacted to set up an interview to become an ultra-runner and I was super excited, but also shocked they chose me.

After I interviewed with Ashely, I felt great about the organization and the journey that awaited. After what seemed like an eternity, I received my acceptance letter to be an ultra-runner and run Segment 2.

I quickly realized my segment began in April and that was only seven months away. I have been training and running races since my acceptance.

I have had my ups and downs during the training process, but I try to stay positive. This run wasn’t so much a goal to complete but a way for me to use what I love to honor those I love.

It is for my mother-in-law, my cousin, friends, and 2.2 million people living with MS.

 The Relay begins each year mid-April in Santa Monica, CA and finishes mid-August in New York, NY. Relay runners are selected via an online application process; each person participates as an individual segment runner as a part of the Ultra Relay team.

To participate each runner commits to fundraising $10,000 over 10 months and to running approximately 160-miles over six consecutive days during his or her assigned Relay segment.

There are 19 segments total in the relay spanning from California to New York. Once selected each runner spends months training and fundraising before the event as they prepare to devote one week on the road with the nonprofit while completing their segment’s miles.

Each runner’s section is logistically coordinated back-to-back as a part of the collective team effort to run 3,100-miles over the duration of 4.5 months.

Helicopter delivery for downtown’s Historic West Bend Theatre

A locally-owned company in Barton has been awarded the bid to install new heating and air conditioning at the downtown West Bend Theatre, 125 N. Main Street. Albiero Plumbing and HVAC will be adding some aerial flare to its effort as they use a helicopter to deliver the new units to the rooftop of the downtown theatre.

“We’ll use the helicopter to remove the old units and then deliver four new ones,” said Albiero’s John Bohn. Albiero Plumbing is still working out the logistics with the City of West Bend, the Police Department, and the helicopter company.

Staging for this install will be at the former Gehl Company parking lot, just off Water Street and S. Forest Avenue. “We’re going to be flying the equipment back and forth between the theatre and staging,” said Bohn.

There will be some big safety issues to consider about this type of special delivery. Bohn said the roads they fly over, including Water Street and Veterans Avenue, will be closed during the project which is estimated to take four to six hours.

Albiero’s Travis Roell said logistically it wasn’t possible to complete the project from the ground because of restrictions on closing Main Street in the Downtown West Bend Business District.

“We couldn’t bring in a crane because we’d have to shut down the road for two days,” said Roell. “This probably hasn’t been done before ….  we’ve not done this before.”

Years ago, when the theatre was built in 1929, Roell speculates a crane had to be used to install the heating system. “Who knows… they could have taken them up there with ropes for all we know,” he said.

Safety is a big factor and according to Bohn the helicopter company will require two crews for the project.

“One will be on the ground in the staging area to hook the equipment to the helicopter and another crew on the roof to guide it into place,” he said.

Midwest Helicopter from Illinois will be assisting Albiero Plumbing with the project. Below is a video of some of its work as it lifted a Beach Bonanza B36 out of a bean field and back to DuPage Airport.

“We’re pretty excited about this project,” said Roell. “We’re wishing we could get into the helicopter, but I don’t think that’s going to happen for anybody, but it’ll be interesting to see.”

Right now, the exact date for instillation is still in flux.

Right now, there are four rooftop heating units and the AC is ingenious.

“There’s a six-foot tall giant squirrel cage in the basement and back in the day it would cycle water from the river with a huge fan and it would blow that cool air into the theatre,” said Roell. “That unit is still in the building, we’ve seen it… it’s kind of a piece of history in and of itself.”

Hunter Zaskowski from West Bend takes the podium at Nationals | By WBHS Team

Hunter Zaskowski, WBHS Snowboard alumni and season coach, has been competing at a national level for five years.  On Thursday, April 4, Zaskowski took the podium receiving a bronze medal in Giant Slalom.

After winning his own race in the JAMS bracket, he went back to the top of the course to coach Brian Pomeroy, a junior at WBHS-East.  Brian had a great day by advancing to finals and placing 4th of 32 competitors in the 16-17 age bracket.

What a great outcome after being only his second year competing at a national level.

Cole Rummel, who is in the same bracket as Brian, unfortunately was unable to race today due to injury. Although this wasn’t how Rummel wanted to end his national experience, he had a fantastic season.

Ethan Benedict was also on the GS course today and placed 25th of 42 competitors. Ethan has had a great week as well.

Lauren Nast had an experience on her first national boardercross course. She placed 29th feels good about her time, while looking forward to future races on a technical course such as this. No local hill can prepare you for what nationals offers.

Kelci Waters was off and got to enjoy her time strolling through beautiful Breckenridge, and treat herself to a favorite, Starbucks.

 Slinger High School marketing class rebrands local business       By Alexia Kossow

Slinger High School’s Advertising and Promotion class was presented with the task of re-branding the outdated frozen yogurt shop, “Fill N’ Chill” located in downtown Slinger.

Students were asked to make improvements regarding the name and logo, refinishing adjustments, as well as other important business elements including the hours of operation and positioning the frozen yogurt store.

In the beginning, the students began the process by taking notes on the subject matter and openly discussing with their team their thoughts and ideas. After that, the teams considered all ideas and came together to determine which ideas would meet the requirements and needs of the newest owner, Kerri Ast.

The process continued with the students taking their ideas and constructing them to become real life. The students used computer programs to build logos and floor plans, and then assembled information on their recommended business plans to later present to the owner of Fill N’ Chill.

On presentation day, students made their final preparations and rehearsed their presentations to ensure they maintained the professionalism the project was aiming towards. A lot of nerves were present leading up to the presentation, but overall many of the teams had a wide variety of ideas that all contributed to owner Kerri Ast’s overall business plan.

Slinger student Owen Zaskowski said, “Our team suggested a name change and created ‘Myogurt,’ and a color scheme of dark green, light green, and Irish cream color, in hopes of developing a feel that is healthy, yet fun.”

Even though Ast decided to keep the name Fill N’ Chill, she was so impressed with all the student ideas. Students applied their in-class knowledge on basic business principles and applied them to the real-world business atmosphere.

This Fill N’ Chill business presentation allowed Slinger High School students to get a real-life experience on how to create a business plan and present their ideas confidently and professionally. Students have been given the opportunity to encounter the types of things that marketing agencies observe every day.

Participant Mackenzie Bruger said, “This project has been a great learning experience for all of us and has most definitely furthered my business knowledge. It has been important for all us to tie in what we’ve been learning with a real-life situation.”

This project was very beneficial in introducing a real-world marketing atmosphere to Slinger High School students, and the Village of Slinger is looking forward to seeing the improvements owner Ast gives the local frozen yogurt shop.

West Bend Plan Commission gives green light to Kwik Trip No. 3

It took about four minutes worth of discussion and the West Bend Plan Commission wrapped up a public hearing for a conditional use permit and gave Kwik Trip a green light for development at 1300 E. Paradise Drive. The store is the former Citgo station also known as Egbert & Guido’s Express.  It’s on the northwest corner of Paradise Drive and S. River Road at the roundabout.

Plans below show a new design for the corner as the old Citgo building will be leveled and the store will be moved to the northwest back of the lot with the front facing the roundabout by S. River Road and Paradise Drive.

Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick had some concerns about the exit for the car wash possibly merging with three areas of cross traffic within the Kwik Trip parking lot. Troy Mleziva with Kwik Trip said if there is a way to work with staff on signage Kwik Trip would be happy to work to make sure it isn’t an issue.

This will be the third Kwik Trip in West Bend. The other stores are located on Silverbrook Drive just north of Paradise Drive and on the corner of S. Main Street and Decorah Road.

Recognizing Boltonville Fire Chief Ken Ramthun                               By Ron Naab

 The Boltonville Fire Department honored one of its own on Saturday, March 30. The celebration commemorated Ken Ramthun’s 47 years serving as a Chief Fire Officer for the department.

Ramthun started in 1969 and after three years of training and attending fire service educational programs he was chosen to be an Assistant Chief.

Assistant Chief Ramthun served in this capacity up until 2012 when he was elected Chief of the Boltonville Fire Department.

Ramthun was the Training Officer for many of his years as Assistant Chief. In addition, Ramthun was an adjunct instructor for Moraine Park Technical College teaching Firefighter I and Firefighter II courses along with Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator.

Town of Farmington Chairman Chris Elbe presented Ken with a formal resolution recognizing his many years serving as a Chief Officer.

Ron Naab, President of the Badger Firefighters Association, presented a citation plaque recognizing Ramthun’s years of mentoring and sharing his knowledge with others to be better firefighters.  The department had a very nice Maltese Cross plaque made with an axe in the center recognizing Ramthun for his outstanding leadership.

There were approximately 100 people in attendance, which included Ramthun’s immediate family and several firefighters from the area.

Deer Management meeting is Monday, April 8 in West Bend

A final report from the Deer Management Committee will be presented during a meeting April 8 at 5 p.m. Earlier this week during the Monday night Common Council meeting details were released on the number of deer killed during the 2018-19 program at Ridge Run Park and Lac Lawrann Concervancy. According to the agenda a recap will be presented by Certified Wildlife Biologist Charles Lovell. There will also be discussion about what’s ahead for 2020 and a possible deer removal program. The meeting next Monday, April 8 is open to the public and will be held at the Park & Rec Conference Room at City Hall.

 Open House is Saturday, April 6 at West Bend Airport

The Kettle Moraine chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association announces the availability of a flight training scholarship for young adults ages 15 – 19. Up to $10,000 will be awarded to an interested local candidate who is considering an aviation career and who is committed to flight training in the West Bend area.

The Ray Aviation Scholars program, administered by EAA, provides up to $10,000 in scholarships to young people who are seeking to learn to fly. The Ray Foundation seeks to improve the flight training success rate and assist young people in their interests in aviation.

The Ray Foundation is furthering the legacy of James Ray, an EAA lifetime member who was dedicated to aviation and youth education. The initiative is designed to help meet the tremendous future demand for pilots and associated aviation careers.

Interested young adults and parents should attend an open house Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Kettle Moraine EAA Educational Facility, 310 Aerial Drive at the West Bend Airport to learn about the scholarship opportunity and other programs available for youth.

The local EAA chapter also hosts a week-long camp for youths ages 12-19 that features hands on STEM and aviation activities. This year’s event runs from June 17-24.  For more information, come to EAA open house on April 6 or call 262 338 – 8411.

DNR Spring Hearings are Monday, April 8

On Monday, April 8, starting at 7 p.m. in each county of the state, individuals interested in natural resources management will have the opportunity to provide their input and testimony on proposed rule changes and advisory questions relating to conservation and fish and wildlife management in Wisconsin.

This year’s Spring Hearings will offer additional opportunity for the public to weigh in.

The DNR and WCC will provide an online option for input for those people who aren’t able to attend a hearing in person or for those who’d rather provide input at the hearing using their smart phone. The online version of the Spring Hearing questionnaire will be posted on the Spring Hearing website (dnr.wi.gov search keywords “spring hearings”). The input form will go live at 7 p.m. on April 8 and remain open until 7 p.m. on April 11.

The Spring Hearing input process allows the public the opportunity to comment and register their support or opposition to DNR proposed rule changes as well as Congress proposals that could someday become the rules that regulate fishing, hunting, trapping and other outdoor recreation activities in Wisconsin.  This year the DNR will be presenting 49 proposed rule change questions for input. Citizens may also submit ideas to address conservation needs or concerns they observe through the WCC resolution process and vote for WCC delegates to represent them on the Conservation Congress. However, providing input on resolutions or participating in the WCC election will continue to require in-person participation.

People interested in attending the hearings are encouraged to review the questionnaire online prior to the April 8 hearings and should arrive at the hearing location early to register before the hearings begin at 7 p.m. Washington County Spring Hearing is at Kewaskum High School, 661510 Bilgo Ln, Kewaskum, WI

Ozaukee County Spring Hearing is at Ozaukee County Fairgrounds, Ozaukee Pavilion North, W67 N866 Washington Avenue, Cedarburg, WI 53012

Dodge County Spring Hearing is at Horicon Marsh DNR Education and Visitor Center, Auditorium, N7725 Highway 28, Horicon, WI 53032

Fond du Lac County Spring Hearing is at Theisen Middle School, Auditorium, 525 East Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Updates & tidbits

 Jack Russell Memorial Library in Hartford is celebrating National Library Week, April 8 – 13. The community library will be offering various swag during the week including tote bags, magnets, and pens.

 -There is a public information meeting Thursday, April 11 for improvements to North Wacker Drive in the City of Hartford. The meeting will be from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Hartford City Hall. There will be a presentation at 6 p.m. Hartford is proposing to replace the bridge carrying North Wacker Drive over the Rubicon River. The project is approximately 0.2 miles north of the junction with WIS 60.  The project is currently scheduled for 2020. The roadway will be closed to through traffic during construction.

– Get your tickets today for the Saturday, April 13 Brunch with the Easter Bunny brought to you by the West Bend Kiwanis. The event is from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. at The Columbian, 3245 Lighthouse Lane in West Bend.

-Come out and help support your local fire department at the Fillmore Fire & Rescue Fish Fry on Friday, April 12 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Tommy Schwai will be manning the fryer.

– Hartford Union High School’s (HUHS) Board of Education announced it hired a new superintendent to start the 2019-2020 school year, Jeffrey A. Walters, Principal, Kettle Moraine High School.

-On Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the West Bend Police Department will be selling approximately 70 abandoned bicycles. The bike sale will occur at the West Bend Police Department at 350 Vine Street.

– Tickets go on sale April 21 for the 32nd annual Washington County Breakfast on the Farm. It will be held June 21 at Highland Dairy, LLC this year in Kewaskum. Mike, Linda and Corey Enright are set to roll out the red carpet and invite guests to tour the robotic farm, listen to live music and share in some eggs, ham, pancakes and applesauce.

-The Exclusive Company in West Bend, 144 N. Main Street, is hosting its annual Record Store Day on Saturday, April 13.  The event is a week earlier than normal because Easter Sunday is April 21.

– Auto Safety Center, 3700 W. Washington Street, in West Bend is offering a free Car Care Clinic on April 17.  There will be free food and drinks as guests watch master mechanics pass along some simple tips on how to keep your vehicle running smoothly. This clinic will be designed to help teach you the basics of car care. ASE Master technicians from Auto Safety Center will be on hand to answer any question. The clinic will be open to women, men, new drivers, experienced drivers, and even soon-to-be drivers. Please RSVP by calling 262-334-7241.

Cedar Lake Sales to celebrate 50th anniversary

Cedar Lake Sales in West Bend is prepping to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Bell family hosted an after hours meet and greet and shared tours of its store, 3820 Highway 33.

Brian Bell provided a trip down memory lane with details on how the store got its start as Cedar Lake Simplicity. “Mom and Dad received news they were awarded the Simplicity brand with lawn and garden equipment,” he said.

The Bells started the business at their house where they expanded to chainsaws and snowmobiles.

Details posted on the Cedar Lake Sales web page: In late February of 1969 Don and Eileen incorporated the business and signed a lease to rent a building on Hwy 33, our current location. A franchise agreement was signed with Arctic Cat Snowmobiles and Chrysler Boats and Motors from Hartford, Wisconsin.

Their business began to grow year after year, so in 1972 they doubled the size of the building. With this improvement they sold 350 Arctic Cat snowmobiles in 1972 alone. In 1974, Don and Eileen signed on the Lowe Boat franchise and now had two boat lines to sell.

With business continuing to grow, 1975 meant “acquire as many franchises as you can in one year.” So Cedar Lake Sales added Johnson outboard motors, Forester Boats, Mirrocraft Fishing Boats, Kayot Pontoon Boats and Puma pop up campers. In 1977, the Sylvan Boat franchise signed on the 1978 model year.

Don Bell recalled when he first opened a couple of the fellas including Walter Koehn and Fred Sager sat on an old church pew at the entrance to the store. “They said, Don we wish you well but you ain’t going to last six months out here… you’re in the boondocks,” he said. “That was 50 years ago.”

Alan Bell said over the years Cedar Lake Sales has made a big impact in the number of boat sales and that’s after his Dad got his start by selling snowmobiles. “Since the snowmobile business was incredible.. we then moved to Crestliner boats and we were ranked No. 1 in the world in sales,” he said.

Coming up April 11-13 Cedar Lake Sales is celebrating its 50th milestone with seminars, food, prizes and in-store specials.

 Slinger Man Donates $500 to the Slinger Pantry from hobby-turned business      By Dan Durbin

 Sam Mountjoy, of Slinger, has turned his hobby of making maple syrup into a small side-business this year and the first $500 he made was given to the Slinger Food Pantry last week. “Until this year it was a hobby, and still is really, but I was only making about five gallons a year,” he said.  “Most was given away to family and friends.”

Mountjoy became interested in syrup making when he noticed a friend’s father making it up north.  He immediately started researching the craft.

Last year, Mountjoy, 42, only had eight taps for production, but this year he had 155.  His style of boiling the sap, his storage capacities, and overall operation needed to be drastically changed in order to produce the 30-gallons he hoped to create.

“I did a lot of research and knew I couldn’t justify spending money on commercially-built units and an osmosis system, so I decided to design my own,” he said.  “Once designed, my friend Jason Peeso, helped fabricate the evaporator I used this season.  It really turned out great and has helped my production abilities immensely.”

Thus, “Iggie’s Acre” was born. “I was always outside working on the lawn or cutting firewood,” he said.  “Jason was giving me a hard time one day and called me Farmer Iggie as a joke and the name kinda stuck.”

Mountjoy chose the Slinger Food Pantry for the donation because a few years ago his father was given food by the pantry when he was dealing with cancer.  He eventually passed away from the disease.

The $500 donation came to be when he posted on FACEBOOK that he would be taking offers for three pints of maple syrup and would take the money from the highest bidder and donate it to the pantry.

“It went really well so I offered the top four bidders the same deal and came up with a donation of $445,” he said.  “Besides the 12 pints of maple syrup, Sarah and I then kicked in the extra $55 to get to an even $500.”

“I really don’t do it for the money at all,” he said.  “I just like being outside and working on it and hanging out with my helper, my youngest son Lincoln. Having built the equipment from the ground up even makes it more rewarding.”

Mountjoy does not have a website for purchasing product but he can be contacted on the Iggie’s Acre Facebook page.

Vietnam veteran Allen Polachowski of West Bend on April Honor Flight | By Samantha Sali

Vietnam War veteran Allen Polachowski, of West Bend, is heading to Washington D.C. on the April 6 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Polachowski was born in 1944 in Milwaukee. His mother was a secretary for a company in Milwaukee called Vilter Manufacturing, while his father served in the Army during World War II. “My father, Erwin, was serving when I was born,” said Polachowski. “My daughter is an only child as well and she was also born when I was in Vietnam.”

Thankfully, Polachowski’s father made it home safe because he was lucky enough to have served within the U.S.

In 1955, his family left Milwaukee and moved to St. Francis. Polachowski graduated Don Bosco High School in 1963, an all-boys, parochial school. In the early 70’s, Don Bosco High School merged with Pio Nono High School, establishing the current Saint Thomas More High School in Milwaukee.

After graduating high school, Polachowski attended college at UW-Eau Claire to study economics and political science. “It was the furthest from Milwaukee that I could find at the time. I wanted to be, shall we say, footloose and fancy free,” Polachowski said.

The day of his college graduation, in 1968, Polachowski was drafted into the Army. “At the time, there was an active draft, no lottery,” he said. “I had a deferment of an S2, which meant I was a student. 1968 was one of the high points of the war, so they were eager to get anyone they could. Anyone on my block that was a male was drafted.”

Polachowski was able to enroll in UW-Milwaukee to pursue his master’s degree, the draft board allowing him to finish his first semester as long he enlisted in their College Op program. Polachowski said that the advantage of joining the army the way he did gave him the ability to choose which OSC (Officer Candidate School) he wanted to attend. “I selected armor because there wasn’t a lot of armor in Vietnam,” Polachowski chuckled.

Both Polachowski’s Basic Training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) was completed in Fort Dix, New Jersey. “Obviously the majority of people there knew where they were going after, it was one step away from jungle school or some other form of advanced training,” Polachowski said.

After AIT, Polachowski married his high school sweetheart, Lynda, and was transferred to OCS in Fort Benning, Georgia. “By the time I got done with my basic schooling, armor school had been closed,” he said. “They said too bad, you’re now going to infantry school.”

Polachowski was commissioned in April of 1969, his first duty assignment was a training officer in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, “My wife and I lived in there until November when I signed up for Heavy Mortar Platoon Leader School. At the completion of that, I was sent to Vietnam on December 24, 1969,” Polachowski said.

In Vietnam, Polachowski was assigned to the biggest division, Americal (or 23rd Infantry Division), which was in Chu Lai, “You probably know the division from a guy named Lieutenant Calley, who was responsible for the 1968 My Lai massacre,” said Polachowski. “The division consisted of three brigades. The 11th, which was part of the massacre, I was in the 198th Brigade, which was in the central part of their area of operation, and the final brigade was 196th.”

Polachowski became a rifle platoon leader and was responsible for 36 infantrymen. “The primary objective we did was patrolling, which meant we went from our base camp and would search through an area,” he said. “We would patrol for about three weeks at a time; It was what they called search and destroy. We kept patrolling until we were hit by the enemy, in which case they would reinforce us with a larger unit that would augment us. We also had to defend the engineers who had to clear a road, or if a helicopter went down, we’d have to go out and try to recover the pilot if he was still alive. We also did a lot of ambushing at night.”

Polachowski shared that his platoon would be sent clothes every other week. “The clothes would just rot off your body,” he said. “We didn’t have daily changes of clothes or showers or bathrooms. This one particular time, they shipped us hot food, but the food they sent us was spoiled chicken and everyone in my platoon came down with dysentery.”

Polachowski’s time serving the 198th Brigade in Vietnam lasted a year, ending because he got shot. “After I recuperated, they were going to send me back to the bush, but it just so happened there was a job available; they were looking for an officer who had a college degree,” Polachowski said.

Working in Vietnam in Division Headquarters, Polachowski became Commanding General Briefing Officer. While he was serving, his daughter, Stacy, was born. “I wanted to save my life as much as I could so my last duty assignment in Vietnam was working as an operations officer at the G5 Psyop,” said Polachowski.

December 1970 was his last month of service, leaving Vietnam as a 1st Lieutenant. His daughter was four months old by the time he arrived home. Jobs were scarce during that time, so Polachowski ended up working for Xerox for a few years. In 1971, his family moved to West Bend. In 1976, he entered the Army Reserves, leaving after seven years as a Major. His wife, Lynda, worked in the West Bend School District for 26 years.

Recently, in his spare time, Polachowski gives presentations on Vietnam. “They last about 45 minutes – breaks down what the army was like, how it was organized, the missions, the weaponry, interesting facts….I’ve been giving them to rotary, ladies clubs, schools if they ask,” said Polachowski.

Polachowski’s daughter will be his guardian on the flight. “I’ve was in D.C. before the Vietnam memorials were up,” said Polachowski. “I’m excited to go. Ninety-seven guys were killed in my company and I’d like to see their names and numbers.”

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