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Kenosha County Sheriff’s Detective Takes 99-Year-Old Military General Down Drag Strip For Bucket List Item

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Brigadier General (Retired) Dr. Lewis Harned & Tim Hackbarth, Kenosha Sheriff’s Detective
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

A 99-year-old World War II veteran checked yet another item off of his bucket list. KCE told you earlier this week about how Brigadier General (Retired) Dr. Lewis Harned wanted to do 100 things before he turned 100. On Tuesday, General Harnad was a bailiff for a day in Judge David Wilk’s court room. That was the General’s 94th item. Today, he checked off numbers 95 and 96. 95 – Harned participated in a parade of race cars in Union Grove, 96 – Harned drove a quarter mile in a souped-up Ford. Volunteering to take him down the drag strip at the Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, was Kenosha County Detective Timothy Hackbarth. Hackbarth is a seasoned Detective that does the toughest of work in the sensitive crimes bureau.

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Hackbarth loves muscle cars and going fast, just like his father before him – the late Don Hackbarth. Hackbarth had a constant smile as he was able to give Harned the ride of a lifetime.

Brigadier General (Retired) Dr. Lewis Harned
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

General Harned was announced over the loudspeaker before the beginning of the races and the hundreds of spectators rose for the nation anthem. Despite the scorching heat, the General didn’t waiver as he held his hand over his brow, saluting old glory.

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Hackbarth’s Ford
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Hackbarth started the experience with a burn out to get the tires sticky for a faster start. Smoke billowed from the tires. Then, he approached the starting line and waited for the tree to turn green. Then he was off. “I thought I was going to blast out the back of my seat when we took off,” said Harned. “It felt like I was in a plane about to take off.”

Hackbarth’s Ford
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Hackbarth’s Ford
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Hackbarth completed the quarter mile in less that 15.6 seconds, as he undoubtedly was a little light on the gas. Harned said at first he was a little nervous to go so fast. “I knew I was safe with Tim driving so smoothly,” said the General. “Old people like me like to slow things down a bit!”

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Harned said he learned a new phrase that he won’t forget – “If you never slow down, you never grow old.” Harned’s daughter told KCE that the phrase certainly connected to her father as he ages.

Kenosha County Sheriff David W. Zoerner
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Sheriff Zoerner learned of the event and had the following to say to KCE:

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“I have worked with Detective Tim Hackbarth for 25 years. I have had the privilege of watching him consistently and continually reach out to our community through various charitable, religious based and law enforcement endorsed programs.  His kindness, compassion and respect have shined in so many capacities and made him an ambassador for the Sheriff’s Office, especially with children’s programs.  Seeing this respectful effort to give the General a bucket list race day absolutely warms my heart.  Tim is a life long die hard Ford Race Fan.  To see him make this run with General Harned in his beloved Ford has me smiling from ear to ear.  God bless them both.”

Tim Hackbarth, Kenosha Sheriff’s Detective
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Brigadier General (Retired) Dr. Lewis Harned
(History.com)

According to the United Stated Amy Website:

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“Brig. Gen. Lewis B. Harned (Ret.) M.D. was born on August 17, 1924, in Madison, Wisconsin.

Harned graduated high school in 1942 and tried to enlist in the military to serve in World War II. Unfortunately, he was deemed medically unqualified due to his near-sightedness. This disqualification did not deter Harned as he volunteered for the American Field Service and was attached to the British Eight Army as an ambulance driver. During this time, he saw extensive fighting in Northern Africa and participated in major campaigns in Italy, including the invasion of Sicily and the Battle of Monte Cassino. As the war ended, he was awarded three British medals for his service and returned to Madison, WI, to attend college.

While attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Harned completed ROTC while completing his undergraduate degree in 1947. Unfortunately, upon graduation, he was still deemed medically unqualified to serve in the U.S. Army and decided to continue his education at Hahnemann Medical School, earning a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1951.

The start of the Korean War brought another draft; this time, since Harned had become a doctor, he was deemed eligible and was commissioned as a Warrant Officer in the Army. While attending training at Fort Sam Houston, many volunteers needed to switch services due to an abundance of doctors in the Army. Harned was one of the volunteers selected and transferred to the Air Force, where he served as a surgeon at the 2791st United States Field Hospital in Ogden, Utah, from 1953-1955. He received an honorable discharge in 1955 from the Medical Corps as a Captain.

Upon his honorable discharge in 1955, Harned believed that his service to the military was over. He had an extensive career as an orthopedic surgeon, primarily with Surgical and Orthopedic Associates of Waterloo, IA, until 1985. During this time, over 30 years (1960-1984), Dr. Harned was heavily associated with the University of Northern Iowa, serving as a team physician for 34 years and was later inducted into their Hall of Fame. He retired in 1985 and moved back to Madison, WI, where his third stint in the Armed Forces began.

In 1985 the Wisconsin Army National Guard required an orthopedic surgeon, so Harned once again volunteered to serve and was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel. He was quickly promoted to Colonel in 1985 and later assumed command of the 13th Evacuation Hospital in 1988. As Desert Shield and eventually Desert Storm began, Harned’s hospital deployed to Kuwait, where he commanded nearly 400 Soldiers running a 408-bed hospital some 40 miles south of the Iraqi border. During Desert Storm, he was the oldest commander in the conflict at 65-years-old.

During the 100-hour war, his hospital treated over 3,500 outpatients and completed 109 surgeries while treating both U.S. and enemy casualties. His hospital became one of General Fred Franks’ favorite places to visit as was annotated in the book co-written with Tom Clancy “Into the Storm.” Upon his return from Desert Storm, Harned was promoted to Brigadier General and retired from the military for a final time in 1992, as required by his age.

His honors include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3), National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Southwest Asia Service Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. In addition, he also received three foreign service medals – the Italy Star, the British Wars Medal (1939-1945), and the British Campaign Star (1939-1945).

In 1983, Harned earned an award from the Iowa High School Athletic Association for his service to Iowa high school athletics, was inducted into the University of Northern Iowa Athletics hall of fame for his 30+ years as a team physician and received the Panther Letterman Award.

He continued his efforts in the Madison, WI community focusing on fundraising for the establishment of physician rooms in area high schools. Lastly, he spearheaded a campaign throughout the greater Madison area to ensure flags were placed on veteran’s graves, especially in smaller communities in the region.

About the Army ROTC Hall of Fame

The ROTC Hall of Fame was established in 2016 as part of the ROTC Centennial celebration. The first class (2016) inducted 326 former ROTC Cadets who had distinguished themselves in their military or civilian career.

The Hall of Fame honors graduates of the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps who have distinguished themselves in military or civilian pursuits. It provides a prestigious and tangible means of recognizing and honoring Army ROTC Alumni who have made lasting, significant contributions to the Nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the Army ROTC Program.”

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23 Responses

      1. Yeah, I didn’t think that through. I’m glad he’s having a good time and should have kept my typing to myself.

      1. I drive an Audi RS6 but should’ve shut my yapper. Glad Lewis and Tim had a good time! Thanks for the report Mr Mathewson.

        5
        1
          1. Everyone thinks their car is the best and all other cars suck. It’s natural.
            My 1932 Stout Scarab will smoke both yer cars wee wooooooo

            1. Again 100 year old man doesn’t need to break land speed records. I mean I guess they could have put him in a jet car to make people happy? Hahaga

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