Ret. ADM. James Winnefeld, USS Sioux City sponsor Mary Winnefeld share story of son’s death

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – Students at Bishop Heelan High School heard from Retired Navy Admiral James Winnefeld, and his wife, Mary, the sponsor of the USS Sioux City.

They shared the very personal story of how the opioid crisis tragically touched their lives.

“Our goal is to try and prevent one of these wonderful young men and women in this community from falling into the same thing that cost us our son,” says Retired Navy Admiral James Winnefeld.

Just last year retired Winnefeld and his wife Mary lost there son to an opioid overdose.

“We lost our wonderful son, Johnathan just over a year ago to a Fentanyl laden dose of heroin in Denver, Colorado. John was a great kid, starting as a Freshman in college. You know, this just shows that it can happen to any family, it can happen to anybody,” says James Winnefeld.

The Winnefeld’s now have a non-profit called Stop The Addiction Fatality Epidemic, or SAFE.

They do a number of things including family outreach, educating high school students and making more resources available to those who need it.

“Treatment and recovery from an opioid addiction is possible. It takes a lot of love and it takes a lot of support. It takes a lot of determination on the part of the person who is trying to recover,” says James Winnefeld.

Students at the event say they took away a lot from the conversation with the Winnefeld’s.

“I never realized, it could happen to anyone,”  says Kate Gill, a senior at Bishop Heelan High School. “I just thought ‘oh, it happens to people who start using drugs in high school.’ But, it could happen to just someone that got prescribed for an illness. it could happen to anyone.”

Ashly Richardson

Ashly Richardson

Top Stories

STORM TEAM 4 FORECAST
Sioux City
16°
Yankton
23°
Spencer
21°
Norfolk
19°
Storm Lake
19°
Denison
21°
A nice recovery for Monday afternoon

A nice recovery for Monday afternoon

By mid-morning that fog clears away and we will be left with sunny skies and temperatures near 30 degrees.

Click for forecast details...
Connect With KTIV
Top Stories

New phishing e-mails hitting consumers this season

The e-mails appear to come from major retailers, Amazon and Apple, aimed at confirming purchases that were never made.

KTIV transmitter site maintenance work set for Monday

Full power is expected to return at 5 p.m. Monday.

Ernst says she’ll seek re-election to US Senate in 2020

The 48-year-old military veteran was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014 after serving four years in the Iowa Senate.

Nebraska health officials: 2 flu deaths reported this season

The two 65-year-olds died from areas covered by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and the North Central District Health Department

Cohen filings spark talks of Trump impeachment

Michael Cohen filings renew discussion of Trump's impeachment.

Scroll to top
Skip to content