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by Wendy Winkler
My brother, Frank Winkler, served in Vietnam. Because he was exposed to Agent Orange, he experienced significant health problems, including tumors along his spinal column, pituitary gland and brain. The final tumor, in his brain, was inoperable, and he died at the VA Hospital on August 7, 1985. Frank’s funeral was held in the Soldiers Home Chapel, and he was buried at Wood National Cemetery. It meant a great deal to all of us to hold the funeral in the Chapel. Coincidentally, Frank’s burial plot is just behind and south of the Chapel. The Chapel can be used as a marker to direct people to his burial plot.
Frank belonged to Vietnam Veterans of Wisconsin, and members of that group were active in his funeral service. I don’t believe anyone there looked around the Chapel and thought the building was in sad shape and should be condemned. Granted, that was 20 years ago, but I doubt anyone who has even been in the Chapel — for silent meditation or to participate in an event such as a funeral or wedding — would want to see the building destroyed.