Greetings and salutations. I’m very excited and looking forward to writing this column for the Extra. I’m following in giant footprints. Les Bakke’s dedication to veterans’ issues, as well as the quality and value of his content, will be hard to match. I’d like to thank him for his service to the country and to this community.
About me: I served 28 years in many capacities. I joined the Minnesota Army National Guard in 1984. I began as an infantryman, then went on to serve later as a forward observer and as a recruiter. I was very fortunate to be part of that rich history.
After I transferred to the North Dakota Army National Guard, I became one of the first enlisted persons to join a brand-new air defense artillery unit. The Stinger missile opened many doors for me to travel, train and instruct on many levels. A helicopter crash ended my Army career.
I joined the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1998. There I worked with logistics of many types. I was injured the Mideast in 2010, which led to my discharge in 2011.
Currently I’m a life member of the Amvets and serve as chairman of the house committee of VFW Post 762. I’m also a member of American Legion Post 21. I am District 9 director of the Legion Riders as well as director of the FM Legion Riders.
I’m hoping to take this column in many directions. I would like to bring up some aspects of history that would leave Cliff Clavin, the know-it-all on “Cheers,” scratching his head. I would also like to kick a couple of white elephants that affect veterans – suicide, health care, the VA, retirement, housing, divorce and family issues. I also plan to bring up groups you can get involved with and excellent veterans charities.
With Veterans Day fast approaching, I would have liked to post local activities. Due to Covid, however, these could change rapidly and may be canceled last minute. Please call your local American Legion or VFW for the latest information on what they have planned.
Two things every veteran loves are their country and free or discounted deals. You can find anything from haircuts to oil changes. The food freebies and deals are far-reaching. Here are just two websites where you can find some of them. There are many more; search Google to find hundreds of results.
Enjoy your Veterans Day.