These bugs are “Vet Bugs,” created and designed by a Prairie du Sac couple, who have criss-crossed the state selling the collectible lawn ornaments as a way to raise money for wounded veterans.
Since 2011, Maurice and Jackie Nolden have used recycled cattle drinking cups farmers no longer need, along with other barn equipment. Jackie estimated they have made their way into nearly all of the Veteran Service Offices throughout the state.
“We can’t keep the money,” Jackie said. “We get so much pleasure from making them.”
The idea for the bugs started as the couple were reading a story about a veteran, diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, who was receiving treatment at a VA Hospital in Madison in 2011. Wanting to help, Maurice, a former veteran himself who served in Korea in the late 1960’s, came up with the idea for the bugs.
The bugs sold quickly around Sauk County and the Prairie du Sac area. They were about to present the man and his family a $500 check. It caught the attention of the Wisconsin State Journal, which profiled the Noldens in a December 2011 article.
The story spearheaded the Noldens to think about selling the Bugs statewide and they have usually gotten the same overwhelming positive response.
Except for one time, Jackie remembers, when it took a County Veteran Service Officer a good 15 minutes to believe they had no hidden agendas.
“He thought for sure it was a scam,” she said.
It’s not a scam; in fact, the Noldens have donated money all over Wisconsin over the past several years. They will deliver to the local Veteran Service Offices your order, they sell for $40 each. Call ahead for availability as we will get a limited amount available for sale; 715-537-6290.
They can always use drinking cups from farmers no longer needed in barns. If you are interested in donating cups or ordering bugs please contact them directly. Maurice or Jackie Nolden can be contacted at 608-643-8484 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. [Article courtesy of Barron Co CVSO]
Chippewa County Veteran’s office would like to thank Mike O’Donnell for all his help in locating donated drinking cups in Chippewa County area for the Nolen’s this past year.Vet Bug Picture