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S lute VETERANS DAY 2015

Dentist in Afghanistan Luke Waln of Nisswa Smiles


+ Lessons at War- Bob Turcotte + Veteran Roundup + Local Photo Submissions November 11, 2015 A publication of the Brainerd Dispatch and Echo Journal


Staff PUBLISHERS Tim Bogenschutz Pete Mohs


06 12 22

Dentist in Afghanistan


By Nancy Vogt

Luke Waln finds his niche in the Army and in the dentistry field.


Lessons in War By Mike O’Rourke


Bob Turcotte, ill, starved and lost during WWII, found familiar faces and made lifelong connections.

Veterans Roundup

On The Cover

By Travis Grimler

Veteran services, events and activities.

Veteran Luke Waln, with son, Zach, 11, and daughter, Tori, 9. Photo submitted by Luke Waln

Also in this issue

Veterans Day ...... 4

How many branches of military are there? What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? These questions and more answered.

Civil War Vets ......... 5

Stone markers quietly honor the veterans at Evergreen Cemetery.

COPY EDITORS Nancy Vogt DeLynn Howard MARKETING COORDINATOR Leo Miller ADVERTISING Brainerd Dispatch and Echo Publishing Media Consultants ADVERTISING DESIGNERS Andy Goble, Angela Hoefs, Cindy Spilman, Sue Stark CUSTOMER SERVICE Marva Pearson Kori Flowers

To our readers, It is publications like this that really highlight our lakes area community support and citizenship. Thank you to all who submitted photos of your dearly loved veterans. We are so very honored to be able to put together such a special publication. A special thank you to our loyal advertisers who make this project possible with their remarkable support! ~ Brainerd Dispatch and Echo Journal

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CONTACT US: (218) 855-5895 ATTN: Salute Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401 Veterans Day Salute is an annual publication of Brainerd Dispatch and Echo Journal. Printed by Forum Communications. copyright© 2013 VOLUME 3, FALL 2015

Ralph Yeager Army, WWII

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Veterans Day • November 2015 3


Branches of U.S. Military

History, facts and symbols



On the 11th day of the 11th hour on the 11th month in 1918 the armistice agreement between Germans and Allied troops was signed ending battles of World War I after four years of continuous warfare.

Armistice to Veterans Day


Air Force

Coast Guard

d U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declare Nov. 11 “Ar mistice Day” and the day became a federal holiday in 1938. That act was amended in 1954 after veterans ser vice organizations asked that the day ored be renamed “Veterans Day” so it hon o all soldiers and not just those wh fought in World War I.

Correct Punctuation? Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day or Veterans Day? This is a very common mixup. Veterans Day is spelled sans apostrophe because it is for all veterans (plural), but not belonging to them specifically.

What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day? This is a frequently asked question. According to the U.S. Department of Veter Veterans Affairs FAQs page: Memorial Day is for remembering those who lost their lives in service, especially those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. Veterans Day is to thank and honor all those who served and are still serving our country. Both living and deceased veterans are appreciated and acknowledged on this day. For more FAQs go to vetsday/vetday_faq.asp

Did you know?

Marine Corps


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Individual school districts establish their own policies for school closings. While there is no requirement to close school on Veterans Day, most schools are open, like those in the lakes area, and celebrate with special programs, parades and/or guest speakers.

Veterans Day • November 2015



ncluded among the many veterans’ graves in Evergreen and Memorial gardens cemeteries are these 12 Civil War veteran stones in a plot owned by the Grand Army of the Republic. GAR is a veteran organization formed after the Civil War for union veterans.

Photo submitted by Karen Lentz, executive director for Evergreen Cemetery, Brainerd. Names of the headstones listed below.

Hiram Abbott (1831-1912) Co. C, 27th Iowa Inf ’y French Barnes (1844-1931) Co. C, 148th Ill. Inf ’y Charles A. Barr (1836-1913) Co. K, 13th N.Y. Inf ’y Alexander Belongy (1827-1911) Co. E, 3rd Ill. Cavalry William E. Gilpatrick (1837-1910) 2nd Minn. Light Artillery George W. Healey (1844-1908) Co. B, 3rd N.H. Inf ’y Charles Laurel (1832-1916)

Co. H, 14th Conn. Inf ’y Albert C. Leach (1835-1909) Co. H, 5th Minn. Inf ’y Lewis G. Moses (1839-1920) Co. F, 9th Minn. Inf ’y Israel Potvin (1846-1915) Co. E, 11th Minn. Inf ’y Henry Ritchie (1842-1918) Co. A, 10th Minn. Luke A. Smith (1846-1936) Co. E, 7th Iowa Cavalry Inf ’y

Thank You Tanner Auto Companies SALUTES all Veterans & their Families. This country couldn’t be great without your dedication & sacrifice!

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Veterans Day • November 2015 5


Besides U.S. troop dental patients, Luke Waln (far right), treated Afghanistan locals and allies to build trust during his 16-month deployment. Photos Submitted by Luke Waln

By Nancy Vogt Echo Journal Editor


oday you’ll find Luke Waln filling

a cavity or placing a crown at Nisswa Smiles, the dental prac-

tice he’s owned since 2009 on Main Street in Nisswa. Back in 2006, Waln was practicing dentistry overseas – in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army. Luke Waln, with son, Zach, 11, and daughter, Tori, 9, said he doesn’t have any regrets about his Army career, but admitted it was difficult being away from his family.


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“I never had a doubt I was going into the military of some sort.” - Luke Waln comes from “a hugely patriotic family.” His grandfather served in the Marines during the World War II timeframe and his father in the Army during Vietnam. His oldest brother served two tours in the Gulf War with the Air Force, and his next oldest brother served with the Air Force during peacetime. “I never had a doubt I was going into the military of some sort,” Waln said. After graduating from WadenaDeer Creek High School in 1994, Waln earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1998 from St. John’s University in Collegeville, where he joined the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). He had an obligation to serve four years active duty with the Army, but got an educational delay to spend four years at dental school at the University of Minnesota. “I just knew I wanted to do something in the healthcare field,” Waln said, noting he considered pediatrics or internal medicine.

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Veterans Day • November 2015 7

We Salute Our Veterans

To all of our veterans and active-duty military, we thank you for your service.


Thank you to all our Veteran’s for their Service to our Country and our people

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“When I deployed I had about 3,500 to 4,000 troops I was caring for,” Waln said. “We did a lot of medical missions into the Afghan countryside and treated locals and Afghan Army guys on our side. Our goal was trying to win the hearts and minds of the local people so they’d give us information on the bad guys.” Waln, 39 and a charismatic father of two, grew up in Wadena and


“I was really clueless and didn’t know what to expect.” - Luke Waln on his deployment “It (dentistry) just seemed to fit. I wanted to be my own boss and run my own business.” The day he graduated from dental school, he was commissioned a captain in the Army and spent five months in San Antonio, Texas, receiving additional training. He then did a one-year residency in the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program at Fort Jackson Army Base in Columbia, S.C. “It was awesome. I learned more in that one year than my four years of training,” Waln said, noting he was immersed in learning a little bit about everything. In 2004, Waln moved to Fort Drum near Watertown, N.Y., where he was the assistant officer in charge of the dental clinic for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, which Waln said is the most deployed unit in the Army. “So when I went, I knew I would be deployed,” he said. A year and a half later, Waln received orders to deploy to Afghanistan. He deployed in February 2006 and was in Afghanistan for nearly 16 months, until June 2007. “I was really clueless and didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I don’t really have any regrets. It was tough being away from my family.” Waln’s son, Zach, 11, was born in South Carolina, and daughter Tori, 9, was born during his deployment. He was able to come home for two 8

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weeks when she was 10 days old, but remained deployed for the first nine months of her life. In Afghanistan, Waln was part of a two-chair portable dental clinic that saw dental patients seven days a week. The clinic had modern equipment, and Waln did digital X-rays, whitened teeth and did crowns, root canals and extractions. “We had a regular buzzing little office,” he said.

While deployed, Dr. Luke Waln, right, teaches a physician’s assistant basic dental first aid in case of a dental emergency while out on a mission.

A typical day included working out and running in the morning and at night, and treating patients during the day. “There’s never a weekend,” said Waln. He frequently went on missions into the countryside. They’d load their gear, fly by helicopter to the mountaintop or the Pech River Valley, drop the gear from the helicopter and jump out. They’d work a week to 10 days and then load up and move to the next location. He served at bases that were rocketed or shot at. Overall, Waln said his deploy-

Dr. Luke Waln is shown on a medical mission in a remote forward operating base in the mountains of Afghanistan.

ment was a good experience. It was exciting and fun, and he was proud to serve his country. He’s always believed in serving his community, so he was willing to go wherever he was needed. Though Afghanistan is an ugly, dirty country, he said the Himalayan mountains are beautiful. When he returned home, Waln got out of the Army, though he hasn’t ruled out joining the Army National Guard or Reserve if either needs a dentist. He is a member of the Nisswa American Legion and is a lifelong member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Though no longer an active member of the Army, Waln hasn’t forgotten about other troops. Each Halloween, Nisswa Smiles offers a candy buyback, where the business will pay children for their candy and then package it to be sent to troops overseas. “Soldiers love candy. It’s a morale booster,” he said, noting he remembers how he loved to receive care packages while in Afghanistan. “Not everyone is lucky enough to have someone to send stuff.” NANCY VOGT is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. Reach her at Follow her at and on Twitter @PEJ_Nancy.

Norbert e. rau WWII, Navy Deceased 8/8/2008

ClareNCe l. WarNer WWII, Army Deceased 1/30/2013

GreG N. rieWer MN Army National Guard Deceased 3/23/2007

JaCk e. Meyer Air Force Deceased 7/9/2013

tiMothy l. JohNsoN Air Force, 1982-1986 Deceased 6/16/2012

earl D. JohNsoN Air Force, Korea

QueNtiN hoskiN Navy

Dale MoNsoN Navy, WWII

JaMes sipper Marines

bill latour Marines, Vietnam

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Veterans Day • November 2015 9

DaV e barker Navy, 194 9-1971

arNolD hall Army, WWII Deceased 10/28/2015

loreN eDWarD sMart Marines, 1968-1969 Deceased 07/15 /2012

Dale J. F iNCh Army Deceased 2/27/2009


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Veterans Day • November 2015


MelV iN braGstaD Navy, WWII Deceased 3/10/2010 reD

Jay brutsMaN Army, Korea

lee G. GuNDaNet sr Army

leroy sieGel Army, Korea Deceased 1/8/1995

Walter straka 194 1-194 6

WilliaM threlkelD iV Army National Guard

Darrell staV Navy


robert holloWay Army

erNest aarrestaD U . S . Army B and Korean War

Gilbert loWe Army Air C orp s, WWII Deceased

MiChael loWe Air Force Vietnam

Dale NathaN Air Force Deceased 7/28/2014

heNry peCk Army Deceased 2/28/2011

ralph holliNGsWorth Army Deceased 9/17/1992

aleX stalker Army

larry MorteNsoN Army, Vietnam Deceased 8/30/2015

With Respect, Honor and Gratitude

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Bob Turcotte’s

LESSONS AT WAR Bob Turcotte, 95, shared a scrapbook of memories put together by his mother.

Photos by Steve Kohls

By Mike O’Rourke Feature Writer


ob Turcotte, a World War II soldier in his early 20s, waited along with other GIs for gear to be unloaded from a

U.S. Navy ship to a smaller craft. That craft would carry the soldiers’ personal effects to them at a harbor near Naples, Italy. After training in the U.S. and in Africa, it was the soldiers’ first day in wartorn Europe. Bob and Joyce Turcotte, shown at their north Brainerd home, have been married 46 years. 12

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Veterans Day • November 2015

Honoring All the Men and Women Who Have Selflessly Served Our Country

16603 State Hwy 371 North, Brainerd/Baxter (Just North of the Pine Beach Rd)


Happy Veterans Day! • 218-829-3624

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We honor your service.

218-568-8069 | | Pequot Lakes, Minnesota

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Turcotte’s World War II service began with a splash. The north Brainerd resident recalled a big hoist was used to unload the equipment and news spread quickly among the soldiers that one duffel bag had landed in the water. Call it fate or Murphy’s Law, the young Brainerd soldier soon learned the doused duffel bag was his. For Turcotte, that was the illfated start of his role in the liberation of Italy from Germany’s Third Reich. He had already experienced scorching temperatures in Africa, where the Allied soldiers’ training had to be conducted at night. During his time in Italy he would experience enemy fire, numbing

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Bob Turcotte’s Army photo hangs on a wall in his house amongst other family memorabilia including relatives who have served in the military.

cold and severe illness, but upon arrival his first challenge was to lift the already-heavy duffel bag, which was now soaking wet and twice as cumbersome. “No dry blankets,” Turcotte said. “No dry clothes.” He relied on his buddies for dry clothes. The help he received from fellow soldiers, not just in that instance but throughout the war, is what he credits for his ability to make it through the hard times of World War II. One GI friend, he recalled, was a veteran of the Civilian Conservation Corps, who “knew the ropes” and had acquired skills that were useful to a soldier. During basic training a sergeant was impressed Turcotte was the only soldier who had followed through on his instruction to get a short haircut. Turcotte was singled out for his ability to follow simple directions. 14

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“He took me under his wing,” Turcotte said. “I became his gunner corporal.” The United States, Turcotte said, was slow to enter World War II. Hitler’s forces invaded Poland in September of 1939. The U.S. didn’t declare war until shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. “Hitler could have won this war,” he said. Just as nearly everyone past a certain age now remembers where they were when they heard of the 9/11 attacks, Turcotte has vivid memories of when he learned of Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor. He was a college student at Hamline University. “I was in the day room,” he said. “All the women started screaming.” His plans to come home and help run the family grocery store – a Fairway store located where Shep’s

on Sixth is now located – were postponed when he was drafted in the fall of 1942, a few months after he graduated from Hamline. He wanted to go to war, he said. Most of his peers also wanted to do what they could to fight the Axis. It was a thrilling feeling to board the ship that was headed for Africa and then Italy in the early years of U.S. involvement, he said. But a sinking feeling started to set in as soldiers watched the U.S. shoreline slowly fade away and the realization hit them they wouldn’t see their homeland for years. During basic training Turcotte grew from 138 pounds to 160 pounds and as he recalled, “it was all muscle.” Trained to serve in the artillery for the 91st Infantry Division, Turcotte saw fighting up close, but mostly recalled the hardships and deprivations soldiers suffered during everyday life as well as the

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A very heartfelt thank you to our veterans and their families. From the staff at Martin’s Sport Shop in Nisswa.

Located on Main Street in Nisswa

218-963-2341 • OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

Hours: Monday-Friday 9-9pm; Saturday 9-6pm; Sunday 10-4pm



Stick With A Pro! The Mid-Minnesota Builders Association is proud of their Veteran members and encourages the public to support them.

Serving Crow Wing, Lower part of Cass and Wadena Countries

Visit our website for a list of our members.

www.midmnba.orgS |lute (218) 829-4982 Veterans Day • November 2015


odd coincidences that took place during war. While training in Africa the troops arrived before their food supply and two men would share a serving of canned corn beef as their daily ration. When his division was spearheading an offensive in Italy, the soldiers once again found themselves ahead of their food trucks and someone had to search for the missing trucks. A lieutenant said, “I volunteer myself and Turcotte,” and off they went in a Jeep that would soon draw fire from enemy machine guns. During a freezing winter in Italy, one soldier rigged up a furnace for the main tent. Gas that was necessary for the furnace was siphoned out of Army trucks so the soldiers could get some warmth. When spring came the siphoned gas tanks were noticed by the Army brass. “We got chewed out something terrible,” Turcotte said. Despite his part in those transgressions, Turcotte went on to earn a Bronze Star for meritorious service and be promoted to first sergeant. After being hospitalized with yellow jaundice, Turcotte was sent back to his division in a freezing cold boxcar because the trucks headed to his artillery comrades had already left. At a certain point he had to resort to hitchhiking until his supply sergeant, Loren Croone, saw him and gave him a ride. Turcotte said he still keeps in touch with Croone. He lives in Stillwater and they check on each other every other week. Turcotte


Turcotte’s Memorobilia

In the Newspaper

Turcotte said one of his proudest days was when he lined up with fellow military recruits in front of the Crow Wing County Courthouse, before being shipped off to basic training. The Brainerd Daily Dispatch published a photo of the young men who were on their way to war.

Propaganda “The Allies are in Germany! What are you defending Italy for?”

was hospitalized for a second time and his Jeep driver got lost on his way back to his division. While in the hospital Turcotte had not been able to write home and his parents were writing every Brainerd soldier they knew in order to find out his whereabouts. As Turcotte and his driver were trying to find their way, Turcotte ran into Clarence Holden, another Brainerd soldier. Holden told Turcotte his parents were trying to reach him. The U.S. soldiers were used to a night-time pass by a German aircraft that dropped bombs nearby, usually not causing any damage. They nicknamed the aviator “Bedcheck Charlie” On Christmas Eve, Turcotte said, the aviator flew over and tipped his wings instead of dropping any bombs. By November of 1945 the war 16

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German pris one Po Valley, rs in Italy


Ruins in I

Claude Holden

was over and he was back in Brainerd. It was time to begin his postWorld War II life. “My dad took me to the Elks (club) and bought me a Tom and Jerry,” he said of his homecoming. As Turcotte approached another Veterans Day, this one 70 years removed from the end of World War II, he spoke of being at military concerts where songs representing different branches were played and veterans were asked to stand when their song was played. He said he was always proud to stand up. After years in the grocery business Turcotte joined the Brainerd Dispatch advertising department in 1959. He was an advertising representative and was eventually named advertising manager, a post he served in until 1985. He continued to work in the advertising depart-

ment and also compiled the ‘This Was Brainerd’ feature for the paper until 2008. He was happy to be home after the war but the transition wasn’t without adjustments. He admitted to feeling a little apprehensive about taking on the responsibilities of helping run the family grocery business so soon after returning from war. He said he was “not in the groove for a long time.” His eventual adjustment to civilian life was made easier after he married his wife, Joyce and they started a family. They’ve been married 64 years. Among the lessons the war taught him was sympathy for the suffering of other people. He and a buddy received a three-day pass to Rome where they were advised to stay with an Italian family that

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Turcotte, Jack Englehart, Medic.

shared what it had with the soldiers. Turcotte wouldn’t allow the family to use their valuable meat rations so the meals consisted of green peppers and onions. “We were embarrassed to take that because that’s all they had,” Turcotte said. Another lesson of war he learned stuck with him all of these years. “Mainly, life can be short,” he said. “It made you appreciate life.”

We join all of America in celebrating the endearing principles on which our nation was founded. We proudly salute the men and women of our Armed Forces, along with their families, who defend those principles with courage and honor.

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MIKE O’ROURKE is a former reporter, city editor and associate editor, who worked at the Brainerd Dispatch for nearly 37 years.

MauriCe karst Navy

steV e tusa Army

bruCe MCallister Navy, 194 4 -194 6 Deceased 8/4 /2007

JiM o’ rourke sr. Army, WWII Deceased 9/5 /2015

elMer a. F lateGraF F Army, WWII Deceased 9/20/2006

DuaNe F lateGraF F Navy, 1976-1983

F lateGraF F WWI Deceased 5 /26/1990

bob GuiDi Marines, Korean War Deceased 5 /11/2014

DuaNe a. roberts Marines, WWII Deceased 2/18/2015

kaylee aNDreWs Navy

briaN aNDreWs sr. Marines

saNDer eriCksoN Navy

JohN JaNoWiak Navy Deceased 9/3/2014

JeF F V olkl Marines 1989-1993

lloyD haNDelaND Army, WWII





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Veterans Day Day •• November November 2015 2015 SS lute lute Veterans Veterans Salute Ad, submitted Oct 9, please scale down to

JohN sChutt Army, WWI

ray CasWell Army, WWII

DaNiel barto Air Force, 195 2-195 6

JohN p. petersoN Army, WWII

herbert thiesse WWII

elDoN WarburtoN Army/National Guard

keN MiCko Army Air C orp s WWII

Daryl bahMa Army, Vietnam

phillip e. WiNDorski Jr. Army Deceased 01/26/2009

peter halV ersoN Navy

keN soloM Navy

Mark persoNs Army, Vietnam

DeNNis otteM Army



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Thank you to the men and women of the US Armed Forces (past and present) for serving our country.

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laurie Dally Army, Iraq

philip W. selisker Army, 194 3-194 6, WWII Deceased 5 /11/2014

Charles b. CroNiN Army, WWII Deceased 8/26/1980

Joseph F . CroNiN Army, Korea

reV . paul F ruth Army, 1961-1966, Vietnam

Charles eV erhart Army, WWII Deceased 6/30/1974

raNDy GilsoN Army

riCharD W. Wayt Navy, WWII

elDoN roberts Army, Korean War Deceased 11/1971

DeralD WatsoN Navy/Air Force

JessiCa ( NorDliNG) beireis Marines

aNtoN MoGeNseN Navy 19 4 3 - 19 6 7

DaNNiel kitZ eroW Air Force

seaN DaV iD Deist M ari nes, 2000- 2004



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DoNalD F . kraus Marines, 194 3-194 6

tiMothy Milo National Guard

JeF F kNapp Marines, 2008-2012

MiltoN MuNsoN Navy, 194 2-194 5 Deceased 6/1977

GuNNie F reDiN Navy, WWII

osCar MarsCh Army, WWI Deceased 1985

euGeNe MuNsoN Navy, 194 2-194 5 , WWII Deceased 1976

Col bill MCCollouGh Commanding Officer 1st Marine R eg iment 1991-p resent

JohN WeiDell Army, R eserve 1987-2009

bryaN bassett Navy

rayMoND C. eriCksoN Army, WWII Deceased 8/28/1992


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Veterans Day • November 2015 21

VETERANS ROUNDUP By Travis Grimler Echo Journal Staff Writer


here are individuals and groups throughout the lakes area who have a passion for the needs of veterans.

They demonstrate that passion through donations of time, money and materials. Following are just some of those groups.

Group Trips • Veterans hunting trips:

erans selected from among nominees, who often are recommended by Legion or VFW clubs. Contact: Minnesota Elk Breeders Association, 320-543-2686, mneba. org/; or Midwest Outdoors Unlimited,, 320-260-6023.

Band of Brothers Outdoors recently paired with hunting guide Jay Lindmeyer of Pine River in a bear hunt. Band of Brothers Outdoors has a mission of helping veterans to get into the wilderness for hunts, fishing trips and other outdoors activities. • Veterans Fishing Trip: Contact: or visit Band of This new event started in July with Brothers Outdoors on Facebook. the first veterans fishing trip. A collaboration between Tuck-a-Way Re• Minnesota Elk Breeders Asso- sort of Backus and Wounded Warriors Minnesota, the group brought ciation Charitable Elk Hunt: The Minnesota Elk Breeders Associa- veterans to the resort to enjoy a leition Charitable Elk Hunt works with surely pontoon fishing trip followed veterans organizations and Midwest by a picnic organized by the Backus Outdoors Unlimited to choose dis- American Legion Auxiliary. The second event is being planned abled veterans to hunt massive elk. Hunts take place in the fall with vet- for the end of May 2016. 22

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Veterans Day • November 2015

Contact: Wounded Warriors Minnesota, Steve Eisenreich, 320-2670376; Tuck-a-Way Resort, 218-5874725.

• Wounded Veteran Kayak Trip (spring and fall): Wind, Water & Wheels in Crosslake along with Wounded Warriors of Minnesota have banded together to bring veterans to the peaceful northwoods of Minnesota twice a year to kayak on the Pine River. The first group trip took place in June, with a fall trip following in October. Contact: Wounded Warriors of Minnesota, Steve Eisenreich, 320-267-0376; Wind, Water & Wheels, 218-692-1200 or

Motorcycle Rides


• Motorcycle ride for homeless and wounded warriors:

• Christmas for Vets:

This group brings veteran motorcycle enthusiasts together to enjoy scenic motorcycle rides. The 12th annual trip is scheduled to start at the Brainerd VFW on Aug. 29, 2016. Contact: Wounded Warriors Minnesota, Steve Eisenreich, 320-267-0376.

For the second year, a group of volunteers will gather to adorn the graves of veterans at five Pequot Lakes area cemeteries with wreaths during the Christmas season. Wreaths cost $15 each and are sponsored by donations. Names of veterans buried in the Pequot Lakes area are being sought, as well as donations to cover the cost of the wreaths. Contact: Cathy Malecha, 218-568-4488.

• Wreaths For The Fallen: honors veterans and their families by providing wreaths for the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Camp Ripley each December. Visit for more information.

TRAVIS GRIMLER is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. Reach him at Follow him at and on Twitter @PEJ_Travis.

• Leech Lake Area Ride for Vets:

The Leech Lake Area Ride for Vets is a motorcycle ride bringing people together to support veterans. The annual event takes place in August and follows a circuitous route from Walker to near Pine River and back to Walker by a different route. Registration costs for the event go to support Minnesota veterans causes. Contact: http://walkerlegionriders. org/events.html or


Our Military

Anyone involved in other charitable veterans services or events in the area is asked to contact Travis Grimler : Crosby, MN | 218-546-2100 l


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Veterans Day • November 2015 23

bryaN raGuse National Guard

Curtiss kraNtZ , Army Airb orne Korean War, 195 2-195 4

GeorGe W. Cauley A rmy Nati onal G u ard K I A 10/ 10/ 2009

GeralD hoeF s A rmy, W W I I Dec eased 11/ 12/ 2011

DuaNe hoeF s A rmy 19 7 0- 19 7 2

riCharD b. reZ aNka Air Force, WWII Deceased 3/23/1992

harley D. kaiser A rmy 3 5 years of servi c e

roN toW Navy 19 4 8 - 19 6 8

JohN J. herroN Nati onal G u ard

riCharD reZ aNka Army, WWI Deceased 8/2/1990

Brainerd Elks #615 2 1 5 S. 9 th Street, Brainerd 8 2 9 -2 6 4 3 after 3pm

“So Long As Th

ere A

re Ve

t An terans n e l o v o , The B en

tect d Pro

ive Order Of Elks W

ill N

e ve r


In 1907, th e B P O E lk s Grand L odg e desig nated b y resolution J une 14 as Flag Day, Mandating O b servation w as adop ted b y every lodg e in 1911.

t Them”

E very oth er month a visit to S t. C loud Veteran’ s H osp ital to p lay B INGO Free dinners every T uesday nig h t f or C entral L ak es C olleg e enrolled Veterans and th eir f amilies S ep temb er th ru May P articip ate in th e Disab led Veterans T urk ey H unt and th e Disab led Veterans Deer H unt at C amp R ip ley We sup p ort th e B rainerd C ommunity B ased O utp atient C linic ( C B O C ) Donate to Wreath s f or th e Fallen O f f er a f ree w eek of camp to 9-13 year old ch ildren of dep loyed soldiers at th e MN E lk s Y outh C amp during T roop s Week

I nterested in becoming a member, v isit w w w . brainerdelk s. org

Thank You Veterans For Your Service To Our Country So We May Enjoy Our Freedom! w w w . brainerdelk s. org 24

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Veterans Day • November 2015


C ommunity I nterests:

JaCk NorDliNG M ari nes W W I I and K orea

Gary l hiles, usMC, S taf f S erg eant, M ari nes 19 6 9 - 19 7 0, Vi etnam

Gilbert bittNer M ari nes, K orean W ar Dec eased 12/ 28 / 2014

DaN reiNert 19 4 2- 19 4 4

DoNalD peDersoN A rmy, K orea

laWreNCe ostroWski A rmy, K orea 19 4 7 - 19 52

Dale heMkiN A rmy

To All our Veteran's Thank you for your Service and Commitment to our Freedom!



Honoring Our Nations Heroes! Thank you to our Veteran’s & their families!





VFW NORTHERN POST 3839 Kitchen Open Tuesday - Sunday 5 - 8pm

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Veterans Day • November 2015 25

JeF F a. MCCarthy Army

WilliaM e. V aN esseN Navy, WWII Deceased 12/14 /1994

JohN F . haNsCoM Jr. Navy, 1965 -1968

DaNNy priCe Marines, 1973-1977

JasoN priCe Marines, 1997-2003

Col. JeroMe MarsChke Army, National Guard

bart skalsky Army, Military P olice

robert l. stephaN 1960-1980

bruCe berGstroM Army, 1979-2007

kareN berGstroM Air Force, 2011-current

Thank You For Your Service!


BlackRidgeBANK is proud to be a part of the Homes for Heroes Program. We offer a special mortgage credit for our Veterans. Call Sandy or Darlene for more details.

Sandy Bebler 218-963-4053

Darlene Hardy 218-454-8520


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Veterans Day • November 2015




Veterans Day Salute 2015  

Dentist in Afghanistan: Luke Waln finds his niche in the Army and in the dentistry field. • Lessons in War: Bob Turcotte, ill, starved and l...

Veterans Day Salute 2015  

Dentist in Afghanistan: Luke Waln finds his niche in the Army and in the dentistry field. • Lessons in War: Bob Turcotte, ill, starved and l...