Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg Hosts Local Veteran, Making His Last Wish Come True
HO-CHUNK GAMING WITTENBERG
Vietnam Army Vet completes his final mission among a rally of support in Wittenberg, Wisconsin. Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg, a community minded gaming establishment in north central Wisconsin, was able to make a final wish come true for local Army Veteran and Iola Resident, Ray Staral and his caretaker wife, Mary Staral.
An inquiry from Compassus Hospice in Stevens Point set in motion a flurry of teamwork to provide Ray and his wife Mary a memorable time for perhaps their last outing together. While providing care and support to patients and their families, Compassus Hospice has the opportunity to work with some patients nearing the end of their life’s journey to help grant and coordinate a “last wish”. In the case of Ray, his last wish was to visit Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg and have a nice steak and lobster meal with his wife.
“Words cannot express what this means to us,” said Executive Manager Fletcher Collins. “To be able to provide such a request was so compelling and meaningful that we had to make this happen! We all have been blessed with this request. We all wish Mr. and Mrs. Staral all the best and we are grateful to them in many ways.”
Ray served in the Vietnam War from 1965 through 1966 in the United States Army. He was a supply man and provided support for the helicopter squadron that he served. Ray and Mary moved to Wisconsin over 25 years ago from the Chicago area after Ray retired from a trucking company that he owned. They have been married for 57 years; have two children who visit often, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Mary and Ray during their visit to Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg and what a blessing it was to witness,” said Slot Service Technician Adrianne Peters. “Watching Ray tear up while talking about their grandchildren and great grandchildren was so very touching. I am blessed to have been part of their visit and will always remember Ray’s face smiling, proud and happy.”
Ray and Mary made the trip to Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg from Iola for Ray’s last wish. As perhaps their final adventure out of doors that Ray and Mary will make together, employees at Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg wanted to make it a memorable and special time for the couple.
“We’ve been treated so good here, I’ll never forget this,” said Mary Staral. “I’m glad to see him happy and I’m trying to stay strong.”
“Everyone has been so nice,” said Ray Staral as he choked back tears. “I can’t believe what everyone has done for us today.”
The couple received Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg gifts and Rewards Play to enjoy during their visit. Sous Chef Mitchell Giles treated Ray and Mary to a delicious treat upon arrival to the Casino and later, an exceptionally prepared three-course steak and lobster banquet. Along with having the restaurant closed to the public and only open to the couple, the details and care put into creating such a special meal definitely elevated the overall experience and a memory to cherish for all.
“I am grateful and honored to be a part of a team and community that is willing to work hard and go the extra step to make sure our guests have an amazing experience,” said Sous Chef Mitchell Giles.
“Thank you Ray and Mary for giving us a chance to be part of your lives in such a special way.”