OSHKOSH — U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) issued the following statements after introducing bipartisan legislation to rename the Port Washington Post Office after WWII veteran Joseph G. Demler:
“Joe Demler served courageously in the Battle of the Bulge where he was captured and then survived the horrors of a Nazi prisoner of war camp. Throughout his life he truly lived by his motto ‘every day is a bonus’ and proudly shared his story of service through the Honor Flight organization he helped start. Joe is an American hero and I am proud to introduce this bill to rename the Port Washington Post Office where he worked for nearly four decades in his honor,” Sen. Johnson said.
“Joe Demler bravely served our country during World War II, and deserves to have his service and sacrifice to our nation honored,” said Senator Baldwin. “After the war, Joe returned home to Wisconsin, organizing Honor Flights for local veterans and serving his community at the Port Washington Post Office. It is fitting that this building will bear Joe’s name so that his contributions to his community and country will always be remembered. Today, more than ever, we remember Joe’s motto that he shared with us after being liberated from a Nazi POW camp: ‘Every day is a bonus.’”
The bill introduced by Sens. Johnson and Baldwin would officially change the name of the post office at 104 E. Main St. in Port Washington, Wisconsin to the “Joseph G. Demler Post Office.” Joe Demler served in the 137th infantry during the Battle of the Bulge where he was captured by German troops and taken as a prisoner of war. Doctors told him he was days away from death when he was liberated from a Nazi camp in April 1945 weighing less than 70 pounds. He became known as the “human skeleton” after Life magazine published his photo. Upon his discharge from the Army in November 1945, Joe began working for the U.S. Postal Service in Milwaukee before transferring to the Port Washington Post Office where he worked for 37 years. Joe coined the motto “every day is a bonus” which became the motto of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, an organization he helped organize. Throughout his life, Joe participated in countless Honor Flights and proudly shared his story of service.