Chris Abele gives out 12 Purple Heart Passes in Union Grove

RACINE (WITI) -- Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele met with military veterans at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Union Grove Friday, April 5th and handed out 12 Purple Heart Passes (PHP). Nine of the recipients are World War II veterans.

The PHP is a first-of-its-kind pass that allows Purple Heart veterans from Wisconsin free admission into a number of private and public Milwaukee County venues.

Purple Heart recipient 94-year-pld Henry Altstadt says he is excited to use the pass.

"I want to go to some of those things -- I haven't been to the museum for a long time," Altstadt said.

Altstadt is a World War II veteran who fought in New Guinea. During his time at war Altstadt says he was shot in leg after being ordered up a platform to face enemy fire.

"Did you think when you were up there 'I'm not going to make it down this thing'?" That's right. But you did it anyway. You were in the army and you were under orders. You do what they tell you to do," Altstadt said.

Abele was joined at the ceremony by Racine County Executive James Ladwig and Jim Duff the Director of the Milwaukee County Veterans Service Office.

“It’s an honor meeting these brave men who gave so much for our country,” Abele said. “We can never repay them for their service, but this is a small way we can mark their sacrifice and the sacrifice of all the veterans across the state.”

The PHP Program was started by Abele and the Milwaukee County Veterans Service Office. The program went into effect this year; nearly 300 passes have already been handed out to veterans across the state.