Sunday, November 22, 2009

Veterans Day Tribute (For Freedom)

This video was created by a WLA student, Zach Stowe, for Veteran's Day 2009. He writes:

This video was created by request for my school's (Winnebago Lutheran Academy) Veterans Day service. The song along with the pictures is "For Freedom" by Avalon. The soldier featured after the first verse is Marine LCpl Joshua Wege, a recent graduate from WLA. He recently was injured in a road-side bomb explosion in Afghanistan. The resulting injuries required that both of his legs be amputated below the knee. He is currently at Walter Reed and is being fitted for prothstetic legs. We all thank God for his safe return and speedy recovery. Josh is a perfect example that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. So next time you see a veteran, say thank you for their service, each one helps preserve our liberties and we own them immense gratitude. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baby Steps...

Today Josh got his new feet! He was able to take about 10 steps while putting 70% of his weight on his new feet. It got more comfortable as went along, but he said his new shoes need some getting used to. He and Joe are going to celebrate with pizza at Ledo's tonight. And yes, Josh is eating his veggies. (Mike Krug, that's for you!)

Josh, we couldn't be happier for you!  Praise God for giving you every victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Brother to Brother

Many of us wonder how far we would go to help someone in need. We might even suggest that we would be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save another life. As Christians, we certainly hope we would follow Christ's example like the Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep. By this time we are all aware of the deep love Josh Wege has for his country. He signed on the dotted line, as someone once said, payable up to and including his life, when he became a Marine.

Would you, however, put your entire life on hold to help someone in need? That is perhaps the missing sideline in Marine Josh Wege's story. Josh's twin brother Joe has been with him every day since the Wege family first was able to visit Josh. First at Bethesda, then at Walter Reed, and now at the Mologne House, Joe takes care of the day-to-day details of getting Josh back on his feet. From making sure medications are on time, to running to get things for his brother, to listening when Josh needs to unload, Joe has been there. In so many ways, Joe has shown a steadfastness and patience worthy of someone far older.

Growing up, "the boys" were inseparable. Josh couldn't bare to be away from Joe. At age three and four, even the top bunk was sometimes too far away, and we would find the boys snuggled together in the bottom bunk at home. As they got older, no one could fight and argue like them, but they were also fiercely protective of one another. At WLA, Kay and I worried that their separate interests would lead them apart. God has shown us through Josh's injuries, however, that the bond between the boys is deeper than ever.

As we continue to pray for Josh's speedy recovery and the safety of all of our troops, let's also remember the sons and daughters, wives and husbands; the family left behind who also have made sacrifices. May God give them comfort during their time apart and a swift reunion with their loved ones.

Dave Wege

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The History of the Star Spangled Banner

This is one of the two videos that was shown this morning at WLA for our annual Veteran's Day celebration. The combined Traveling, Viking, and Freshmen Choir sang the National Anthem at the close of the video.

The Star Spangled Banner, like you've never heard it

Smittys Place | MySpace Video

Friday, November 6, 2009


From Dennis, Betty and Tom Krueger, owners:

Josh and his family are very special to all of us here at the Fin & Feather; we employed his mom, Kay, his sisters Jessi and Jamie, and his twin brother Joe,  a very kind family that is now in need.  The family would like to continue visits with Josh who is now in Washington DC.  We would like to help offset the travel costs by holding a "Josh Wege Benefit Day" on Sunday, November 15th 2009.  We will give back 10% of our total income that day to the Wege family.  Please help us help the Weges!

We offer a spectacular brunch every Sunday and a Sunday evening special.

Dennis, Betty, and Tom Krueger

Three miles south east of State Hwy. 45 on Hwy. SS located in the heart of the scenic northern Kettle Moraine State Forest.

From the North:  Take Hwy. 45 South to County Hwy. SS. Turn left (east) and continue on SS into New Prospect.  You'll find us on your left.

From the South:  Take Hwy. 45 North through Kewaskum to Hwy. 67. Turn right (east) on Hwy. 67 and continue to Hwy. SS. Turn right on SS and continue into New Prospect. You'll find us on your left.

Wege's "Angel" Comes to Fond du Lac

Last night, Kay, Jordyn, and Dave Wege had the privilege of meeting yet another truly awesome person.  Air Force Sergeant Rebecca Cave honored our family by agreeing to meet us for supper at Applebee's in Fond du Lac.  Sgt. Cave, whose home is just south of Oshkosh, does some rather impressive work for our military as she serves our country.  Let's just say she deals with generals.

Sgt. Caves was at Landstuhl, Germany when Josh was brought there from Afghanistan.  Through a series of extraordinary "coincidences" that believers recognize as the hand of God working in our lives, she became aware of Josh's presence at the base and sought him out.  Though not a nurse, she managed to become closely involved in helping to provide care for him during his brief stay in Germany.  It was Rebecca who read several emails from us to Josh.  During one of them, though sedated heavily, he smiled several times as word of his family's love and prayers was read to him.  Sgt. Cave also made sure that Josh had several "necessities" for the long flight home from Germany to Bethesda.  These items included Mike and Ikes (his favorite candy) and an iPod packed with his favorite tunes.  She even went so far as to get into contact with Joe, Josh's twin brother, to make sure that the music was just right.

One of the most heart-warming things Sgt. Cave told us last night has been circulating through my mind.  We asked what was it about Josh that made him seem special to her.  Josh has been asking that, too.  He wonders why so many of you have had such an interest in his story and shown such incredible support. More evidence of God at work!  Sgt. Cave said that she has seen many casualties.  Many are powerful personalities who fight and struggle with their doctors and nurses.  They seem to react to their injuries by feeling threatened and becoming loud and aggressive.  Then there was Josh, a nineteen year old Marine who could have been her brother.  Though grievously injured and in obvious pain, he cooperated with the staff, smiled, and was pleasant.  Sgt. Cave said that even the doctors talked about him in the halls, and described him as their best patient.  His trust in their medical knowledge and expertise was obvious, but he also demonstrated a trust in his Lord.

That's the answer to why Josh's story is interesting.  He lives his faith in a way that others see and feel.  Though there have been some down days, he regains strength by understanding that God knew him before he was born, laid out His plans for Josh's life before he was conceived, and is faithfully watching over him as he moves ahead one day at a time.  Through Sgt. Cave we saw Josh as strangers saw him.  Our hope is that we, too, can live our lives in such a way that we give clear testimony that points to Jesus as the reason for our joy in this world and our hope of heaven. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

PT Room "A Place of Miracles"

Dave Wege gets up REALLY EARLY every morning.  This morning he wrote and sent another picture of Josh cranking off 50 pushups:

Good (early) Morning!

I had a couple of thoughts for you this morning.  First and foremost was thanks again for all of your work.  We have received many cards that tell us your blog is the place people go to keep posted on Josh's progress.  You're doing good work, and the positive, Scriptural tone of your blog serves as a great advertisement for our joy in the Lord.

The astronauts we met (was it only yesterday?) were Pat. G. Forrester and Christer Fuglesang (Sweden).  Josh was given signed photographs and a miniature flag that flew aboard the United States Space Shuttle Discovery that went to the International Space Station August 28-September 11, 2009.  These two men spent quite a bit of time with each service member in the PT room.  When they heard Josh was almost finished with his session, they made sure to come to see him before he left.  That was very gracious!

Volunteers and talented, dedicated therapists make that PT room a place of "miracles."  A man named Tom, a double-amputee in Korea, comes to the center at least once a week. Many people know him for years before realizing he lost both legs.  His positive demeanor projects an incredible "can-do" attitude. A man named Bert, who signed up with 22 other football players on December 8, 1941 to fight in the Second World War, is also a real treasure.
We saw many, many wounded warriors, some with incredible injuries, who have not been destroyed by the turn their lives have taken.  They are nurtured by the staff and the volunteers and shown how to rebuild their lives.  I wish every American could visit Walter Reed or any of the other care facilities for our veterans.  What a ripe mission field for Josh, who truly understands the reason for the hope he has. I know I have a knew appreciation for the spirit, courage, and value of each of these special Americans.

God bless, Dale,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Astronauts and PT – All in a Day's Work at Walter Reed

Dave Wege sent two pictures today from Walter Reed. The first is of Josh posing with two astronauts who just came back from a mission in space (I don't know their names yet or what Space Shuttle mission they flew on).

The second is of Josh "pushing it" in PT (physical therapy).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Josh "Smells" Good!

Dave Wege wrote today:

Mr. Witte, Sir!

Today Dave showed up to take Josh to the hospital at 7:30 a.m. There Josh took a "smell" test that is being given to military personnel who have suffered concussions. There is a concern that severe concussions can destroy the sense of smell, which would cause some really negative impacts on a person's life. The sense of smell is directly related to the sense of taste and contributes to the enjoyment of food. among other things. Josh passed with a score of 40/40. No one to whom the doctor gave the test had ever managed a perfect score. After this test, Josh headed to PT with his nurse. The staff and the patients in the PT room are nothing short of amazing. So many torn bodies hold the fighting spirits of so many wounded warriors! They are all so positive, but Josh received special notice for high spirits from several volunteers and specialists with whom he came into contact. He's still a tough Marine! When the physical therapist gave him a choice of moderate or more strenuous exercises, Josh, of course, chose the hardest possible. His strength is coming back quickly, along with an incredible increase in the range of motion in his "bad" left leg. He said he loves PT! At the root of it all, of course, is his desire to get up on his feet and home again. He told me that he wants to walk into a room where he can thank all of you who have done so much for him and the family. At noon we returned to Walter Reed for an official dismissal from the hospital. That, too, has happened quickly. We give all thanks to God for His gracious care in all of these things! He controls the minute details of our lives in a way that gives us an ability to persevere.

Kay spent the late morning getting the details of Josh's medication so that Joe and Josh can have an easier time of administering them. She made the process so simple that even Dave can figure it out.

As we continue to take our family's situation day be day, we rejoice in the support given by family and friends. How awesome were the reports shared with us by the good people at Culver's and Ransom's. The support demonstrated at the recent fundraisers cause us to be humbled and even a little embarrassed by all of the attention! We thank you all.

May God bless you. To Him be the glory!
the Weges

I Don't Know What to Say

CNN rates church musician 5th most stressful job

"You may not think of people who plan, direct and conduct performances for religious services as being under a particularly high amount of stress. But they also choose the appropriate psalm or hymn for every wedding and funeral -- only some of the most important events in a family's life. And those stressful situations can create some demanding clients.