SCHEELS HOMETOWN HERO – ROD WILSON
Rod graduated high school in 1965. Knowing that the draft was coming up for him, he decided to enlist in the United States Army. His job was to be a map maker and after 6 months in Washington DC being trained in the map department, he shipped off to Vietnam. He arrived in country February 1968 at 19 years old. He spent one year with the 70th Combat Engineers. His company was charged with moving a camp from Pleiku to Ban Me Thout, much of which was accomplished during the monsoon season. They built roads and bridges, clearing a path through the jungle just days after Agent Orange had been sprayed to kill the vegetation. He served his time in Vietnam and was grateful to come home when many did not. Upon arriving back in the states, Rod worked in the Army Induction Society in St Louis for a year, fulfilling his commitment to the Army.
As a child growing up, he learned from his father, Charles David Wilson, how to respect and be observant of nature. The peacefulness and healing aspect of nature was something that he felt was important in returning to “civilian life” after his military service in Vietnam. In 2012 Rod and a group of fellow veterans, talked about building a place where other veterans could come to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. After countless hours of planning, volunteerism and seeking monetary donations, Dairyland Outdoor Veterans Retreat (DOVR), was born. DOVR is a non-profit retreat in the quiet woods of Dairyland, Wisconsin where veterans of all backgrounds are free to escape the chaos of modern life. Its mission statement is: Return. Rest. Renew. Rod has been instrumental in the process of planning, in the organization of events and volunteers, the general contracting of the building projects and in procuring donations. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for DOVR.
Rod is in every aspect, A Hometown Hero.