Rep. Sean Duffy (right) and his staff helped veteran Ray Plenge and his family reclaim a World War II shell casing that Plenge had engraved with the names of his unit members.
Yet only one word could describe how the family felt when they finally saw the casing, she said. Amazement.
As for Heiser, the whirlwind of the past six months had come to a close and here, in front of him, was the result of all the emails and phone calls. “I wish we had gotten it earlier,” Heiser said. “But now it’s real.”
The shell casing is in Shirley Plenge’s possession. The family hasn’t decided what to do with it. Perhaps keep it and pass it around to the children. Maybe donate it to a museum in the future.
But for now, they can see it and touch the story that Plenge told across the decades.
Correction: Jan. 19, 2012
The story incorrectly stated that only the office of Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) responded to a request for assistance from the family of World War II veteran Ray Plenge in his search for a souvenir shell casing from the war. The office of Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) also responded, and Plenge and Tom Heiser did not contact the office of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
Visitors get their first look at the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, which opened to the public on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. The new memorial is located off Independence Ave. SW between the Rayburn House Office Building and HHS. Buy photo here.