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Wish comes true for local veteran

Packer autographed football, card from Aaron Rodgers

December 28, 2011
The Daily News

IRON MOUNTAIN - Through its Butterfly Wish program, the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain was able to fulfill a wish of an 80-year-old Korean War veteran and hospice resident in the Medical Center's Community Living Center.

Just before Christmas, Medical Center Director Jim Rice, presented Zygmund "Ziggy" Zyskowski of Iron River with a football signed by the Green Bay Packers team and a card from quarterback Aaron Rodgers stating the team was thinking of him and wishing him well.

He also received a Packers fleece blanket, pin, and team photo.

Article Photos

Zygmund “Ziggy” Zyskowski holds the football signed by the Green Bay Packers and listens as his wife, Sharon, reads a card from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Zyskowski, wearing a Packers sweatshirt and knit hat, was very surprised by the gift and all the attention, but he was extremely appreciative.

"I've been a Packers fan since the 1930s," he said to family and VA staff in attendance.

"He enjoys reminiscing about past games that he and his wife, Sharon, have attended," said Selena Okler, Palliative Care Nurse at the VA Medical Center and coordinator for the Butterfly Wish program.

"He is not able to celebrate Christmas at home this year, so this (gift) is a close second," Okler said.

"The Packers are going to win the Super Bowl," Zyskowski confidently predicted.

The VA Medical Center's Butterfly Wish program allows veterans in inpatient or home-based hospice or palliative care an opportunity to make a wish.

The VA staff collaborates to make their wishes come true.

The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center thanked the Green Bay Packers organization and players for making this special wish come true.



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