Massachusetts Korean War veteran fulfills bucket list dream

Yarmouth was overwhelmed by offers to donate

(CNN) – A Massachusetts veteran asked for a canoe. He never expected to receive it. Now he wants to use it to help others. Jim Goetschius, a New Jersey boy who survived two years serving his country, is now a Hyannis resident.

He told Police Deputy Chief Steven Xiarhos his golden years were missing something, a canoe. Xiarhos, a Gold Star dad who lost his own Marine son in Afghanistan, was immediately on the case.

Goetschius said, “As my Scottish grandpa used to say, don’t get too excited, because you’ll wet your knickers.” He reminisces about the dolphins he saw on a canoe ride a decade ago. “They would come up to the boat. And that’s where I took my sweetheart, before we were married. I took out my guitar and played.”

Rob Scala, an electrician from Brewster, is the canoe donor. Scala canoed with his own World War II grandfather. With a love of lakes, ponds and country, this army man in gratitude Thursday announced his new mission, promoting “Canoes for Vets”. He said its the relaxation veterans need. “Get out there and give this boys the respect they need. Even if they don’t show, they have the mental scars.”

Wife Maxie Goetschius said, “People are so good, this just made me cry.”

Yarmouth was so overwhelmed by offers to donate, they’re starting a GoFundMe page.