MADISON, Wis. - Some Wisconsin veterans hoping to score special Badger Football tickets believe they lost out because of a change in the distribution process.
To show appreciation, the University of Wisconsin-Madison hosts a "Salute to Veterans" football game, giving free tickets to Wisconsin veterans like Columbia County resident Norm Bednarek.
“I’d been there three times,” Bednarek said.
That is, until this year. The Wisconsin VA distributes the 350 tickets to veterans organizations in the state to be picked up in person. This year they took the process online, but Norm said he and fellow vets didn't find out until it was too late.
“How come I didn't know that sooner?” Bednarek said. “To get on the website and find out that they were already gone was kind of a shocker.”
Within hours, all 300 tickets were gone online. Bednarek said the process might not be fair to older vets.
“I know a lot of veteran friends that I have that don't do anything with the internet,” Bednarek said.
Caral Vigue, the VA’s communications director, said the purpose of the online system was to give more access to more vets in the state.
“This year, we were able to reach many people who we had not been able to in the past, and it was very effective, with all tickets being claimed in about an hour,” Vigue wrote in a statement.
“I guess I’m not bitter about it. If veterans have the tickets, that's just great,” Bednarek said.
As a result of the popularity, the VA will release another 165 tickets online Thursday. So Bednarek will get another chance to root on the Badgers with fellow vets.
“I can assure you at 10 o'clock I’ll be on that website trying to get tickets,” Bednarek said.
Eligible veterans can go to wisvetsports.com to try to get tickets.
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