Lonnie's Legacy

Lonnie L. Grau enlisted in the United States Army immediately after graduation from high school in 1965. After basic training, he joined a MUST unit (Medical Unit Self-contained Transportable) and became a gas turbine engine specialist. He was with the first unit of doctors and nurses to set up a MUST hospital in Vietnam. As these more of these units were established across Vietnam, Lonnie flew from location to location as a trouble-shooter for the engines that inflated the hospitals. After 22 months in Vietnam he was honorably discharged in 1968.

Due to a spinal cord injury in 2006, Lonnie was confined to a wheelchair for the next 13 years of his life. Purchasing this van in 2018, and the subsequent accommodations made to it, was God-sent to this Veteran. It gave Lonnie a much -needed level of independence that he had been missing for so long.

Unfortunately, less than 2 years after purchasing the van, Lonnie succumbed to a progressed form of cancer, likely due to exposure to Agent Orange. His wife of 51 years, Marilyn, has donated Lonnie’s 2018 Chrysler Pacifica, with only 1,268 miles on it, to the Wisconsin VFW Foundation. Her wish is for another severely disabled Veteran to be able to experience the freedom and independence that Lonnie felt when he had the van and she knows Lonnie would want the same as he was all about giving back! She asked that we pass on this simple, yet poignant message:

"To whomever receives this van, God Bless and Thank You for your service!”

The VFW-Department of Wisconsin is honored to remember Lonnie’s legacy of service and assist in locating its next home amongst one of our members in Wisconsin! If you are a Veteran who is in need of this van, please view the application and details here:

Click here to download application for Lonnie's van, open in Adobe Acrobat.

Deadline for submission of application has been extended to May 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. (Armed Forces Day)
The recipient will be presented the keys at the annual convention.

Please complete the application form and essay, and email to:
OR mail form to:

VFW - Department of Wisconsin

4622 Dutch Mill Rd.

Madison, WI 53716


If you are a Veteran in need of this van, but are not yet a VFW member, what are you waiting for? Go here to sign up for VFW membership now and then please complete the application!

Click this link to join

Or call Department Headquarters and ask for Thomas Heath, State Quartermaster 1-608-221-5276