I am retired Chief Petty Officer living in Menasha, Wisconsin. I am very active with the local American Legion. This is where I met Bob Woldt. Bob was John's best friend back in Winneconne. Bob heard I was conducting searches of the gravesites of all the men who are on the Vietnam Wall from the area. Bob relayed to me how he knew John. You see Bob was one year older than John and he knew his draft notice was coming up so he went down to the local Post Office to sign up. The only recruiters at time were the Navy so he joined. One year John would do the same. Bob saw John one more time when they were both on leave. Bob and I were both at the burial ceremony for John when he was finally returned home, but I didn't know Bob at the time. The ceremony was quite moving and I've been to a several memorial cermonies during my career. Bob told me John could catch on to complicated things quickly. Maybe that's why he got into electornics. I could envision both of them fishing or working on cars together in that small town on shores of Lake Butee De Morts. A sad footnote to this story is that both his parents died before they knew he was found, but maybe they had found him first.
I returned to the cemetery to record John's located and do more searches. As I left his grave and started to look for another I came upon another individual's grave who's name is on the wall. He was buried with his family also. The reason his wan't on my list is that he enlisted in Illinois. It was, as if John was guiding me to him, saying don't forget him he's one of us too.
John is buried at the Winneconne Cemetery, far southeast side next to his parents in the town of Winneconne, Wisconsin. My search is called the Final Bridge. You can view my findings of men from Northeastern Wisconsin on thevirtualwall.org website.
I thank you all for your time and your sacrifice for our country. Fair winds and following seas. Gods Speed to each of you.