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park rapids enterprise | Wednesday, November 11, 2020




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Veterans Day Salute A special publication by

Nov. 11, 2020

Thank You for Serving Our Country and Protecting Our Freedom

We Offer VA Financing (218) 732-3393 | 300 W First St., Park Rapids, MN | www.cnbbank.com

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | park rapids enterprise

Honoring all who serve We’re pausing, reflecting and saluting America’s veterans—who work hard to defend our freedom, every day.


park rapids enterprise | Wednesday, November 11, 2020




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Navy vet Bremel says he would do it again

Robert Bremel, originally from South St. Paul, lives at the Heritage Living Center in Park Rapids. He served in the U.S. Navy from August 1964 to August 1970. For part of that time, he was a radioman for an operation so classified that he couldn’t talk about it for the next 25 years, and he wasn’t allowed to know the last names of the other men in his 10-person group. “Nothing in my service record even suggests that I was there. I wasn’t supposed to be there,” he said. “We set radio beacons along the ocean in a trail, and that wasn’t much wider than a sidewalk. The beacons were so the (Air Force) bombers could find it.”

On board the USS Bigelow (DD-942), a Forrest-Sherman class destroyRobert Bremel er, Bremel worked in radio and electronic interception. One of his duties was to find the frequency the enemy used to launch surface-to-air missiles. “I could hear when they were firing them off,” he said. “So, we got the frequency. Maybe we could jam that frequency. They wouldn’t be able to fire them.” In this way, he helped protect Navy aviators and ships. “Basically, it was all just work,” he said. “It was a job. That’s about all I can say about it. I did a good job.” Asked if he saw any action, Bremel said, “Nothing more exciting (than) we pumped water on the Forrestal when she blew up.” A fire broke out on board the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal on July 29, 1967 in the Gulf

Laura Winterberger

Al Winterberger

By Robin Fish rfish@parkrapids enterprise.com


U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War era recently shared experiences on a top-secret mission and on board a destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin.

‘I did a good job’

U.S. Army E-4

believe his story or what I heard over the radio. Of course, if you ask the Navy, they’re going to deny it. They deny it furiously.”

‘I’d do it all over again’

He saw a lot of the world while sailing with the Bigelow, making memories along the way. “We made six trips to the Mediterranean and one to the South Pacific,” said Bremel. “It would have been a world cruise, but Israel got in a Submitted photo little spat in ’72.” Bob Bremel’s framed photo of his U.S. Navy ship, the Advised against going U.S.S. Bigelow, comes with ribbons for the National through the Suez Canal, Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the ship sailed instead the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Calligraphy on the matte to New Zealand, which also recalls service in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Hawaii, Japan, Bremel described as Panama, Philippines, Okinawa, Midway, Guam and Cuba. having “super people.” “We were the first Bremel claims he of Tonkin, off VietAmerican warship to nam. Officially, it hap- heard a different version pened when an electrical of the events in radio pull into their harbor since World War anomaly caused an F-4 chatter that day, a verII,” he said. “TherePhantom fighter-bomb- sion that left a bad taste fore, they decided our er to fire a Zuni rock- in his mouth about a money wasn’t any good. et, striking the external flight officer involved in We didn’t have to pay fuel tank of an A-4 Sky- the incident – Lt. Com- for anything.” hawk. The fire burned mander and later SenaOverall, he called his for hours, killing or tor John McCain. tour on the Bigelow “a “I don’t like the guy, good time. I was aboard injuring hundreds and causing millions of dol- in case you can’t tell,” a good ship with a good lars worth of damage, he said. “He was real- captain and crew. I’d including the loss of ly a typical officer…. It go back and do it all more than 20 aircraft. depends on whether you over again.”

Married and divorced twice, Bremel had two sons and a daughter. The older son retired after 22 years in the Air Force. After leaving the Navy, he made printing ink and did some janitorial work. He retired after having a stroke in 1996, and moved to Walker to live closer to his children. He transferred to Heritage last December, after the Golden Living Center closed in Walker. “I like it,” he said of the Park Rapids nursing facility. “There isn’t too much I can do. Mostly because I can’t stand. My left arm is non-functional. I do manage to get out fishing, if someone takes me out on a boat.” Asked why he would recommend serving in the armed forces, Bremel said, “It teaches you patience and gives you an insight on the world.” It also forces young people to grow up, he said: “Behaving yourself. A little bit of discipline there. If someone tells you to do something, you do it.”

Allen Kruse U.S. Navy RM3

U.S. Army E-3

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Veterans Day Salute

Larry Carroll Navy HM2-E5

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Army National Guard Sergeant

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Air National Guard Tech Sergeant

Air Force Brig General

Air Force Major

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Marine Corp Lance Corporal

Mark Bjerke

Henry Moyer Army National Guard E1

Fred W. Hensel

Anne Huhtala

Navy Lieutenant Commander

Curtis Hensel

Arnold D. Leshovsky

Marine Corp Corporal

Navy Petty Officer Second Class

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Veterans Day Salute

Frank E. Soukup Jr.

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USMC Master Gunnery Sergeant

Frank Joseph Soukup

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Army Corporal


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Joshua Rolando Bruce Rolando USAF SMSGT


Allan Selseth Army E4

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Navy E6

Joseph Brumbaugh

Charles M. Hensel

James (Gene) Brumbaugh

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Army Tech. Sgt. 5

Navy SFMFN (E-3)


David Vocelka Navy E5

James Vocelka Air Force E4

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Veterans Day Salute

Carol Joan White “Paquin”

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Army Private First Class WWI

Army Staff Sergeant WWII

Charles Andress

Charles A. Rich

Andy Roberts

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Army Spec. 5

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Rex Lindblom

Danny Martin

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Army CW3

Eugene M. Henderson

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Air Force Master Sergeant

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DAV outdoors program promotes friendship By Shannon Geisen sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com


ark Rapids Chapter 38 of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), with support from American Heroes Outdoors and other area businesses, recently treated veterans to a pheasant hunt. Fifteen veterans participated in the event, held in mid-October at McCollum’s Hunting Preserve in Bejou, near Mahnomen. The 360-acre, pheasant and chukars preserve is operated by Terry and Theresa McCollum. The DAV is a nonprofit, membership organization made up exclusively of Minnesota men and women disabled in the nation’s defense. Their mission: To fulfill promises made to those who served and improve the lives of disabled veterans and their families. Darius Simon, a DAV member and Hubbard County Veteran Services assistant officer, said the hunt was the first major event that the newly formed DAV outdoors program has hosted since COVID-19 struck. “We just have a very diverse group out here, as far as veteran age, demographics. We have Vietnam vets. We have current-era vets,” Simon said. “I think our biggest thing is we’re trying to encourage that younger generation to

Photos by Shannon Geisen / Enterprise

John Erickson, vice commander of the Akeley VFW, was one of 15 veterans who participated in a pheasant hunt hosted by the Park Rapids DAV outdoors program. participate in different things, and this is a huge part of it.” Previously, Simon has taken veterans archery hunting. He plans to take another group of veterans deer hunting this fall. A generous, anonymous donor gave seed money to help the DAV outdoors program get up and running, explained Simon. “We purchased some used (deer) stands. We had

Gary Harshe

Jim Harshe

Marines P-1

Army E-5

some stands donated.” All the shotgun shells were purchased by the DAV for the pheasant hunt. Different bait shops have contributed bait and tackle so the DAV can take veterans fishing last winter, Simon continued. It’s all about camaraderie, and of course, venturing into the great outdoors. Pointing to one group, Simon said, “These gentlemen hav-

en’t shot an upland bird since 1980 – that’s 30 years – and we’re able to get them out here and do that, so that’s super exciting.” Tommy Blumhoefer, another DAV member, arranged the pheasant hunt. “It’s important for veterans to meet up with veterans,” he said. “Some have physical disabilities. Some might have mental health disabilities, and it’s important that we

bring veterans together to let them know that they aren’t alone and that leaving the couch can be a good thing. We do what we can and help what we can to get veterans out. That’s what this organization is about.” Blumhoefer served 20 years in the Marines because “it was the right thing to do.” Returning to civilian life wasn’t easy, he said. “I was one of the guys

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that sat on the couch.” Special challenges face the younger generation of veterans, making it more difficult to recruit them to traditional vets organizations. In addition to families and careers, Blumhoefer said they are among the few who have volunteered for military duty – unlike previous generations where groups of classmates were drafted into war. “It’s harder for my generation to ask for help,” he said. As he trudged through knee-high clover and grasses, John Erickson, vice commander of the Akeley VFW, said he enjoyed the outing. He agreed that similar outdoor activities are more enticing to younger veterans than, say, sitting at a VFW meeting. Harvey Girtz, a Vietnam vet, said the DAV “does a lot for vets.” Ryan Mathisrud, the former Park Rapids city administrator, served for six years, from 2002 to 2008. “I spent a year in Iraq,” he said. Mathisrud’s father served in the National Guard during the Vietnam era. “I remember, growing up, it was always something that I wanted to do,” he recalled. “I was an aircraft mechanic, worked on CH-47s, which looked like a school bus flying around.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | park rapids enterprise

We pretty much moved equipment and people, so we’d do air assault missions and load up a platoon of guys and get them where they’re going.” Mathisrud said he hunts deer, but has never been pheasant hunting. His military experience has been mostly positive. “I would say that it really created more of a drive in me than I think a lot of people have. After I went to basic training, I started seeing the world just a little bit differently. I think that after I got deployed, I became much more focused on whatever it is I’m working on,” he said. “I’ve been goal- or mission-oriented. I’d say that’s what I took away from the experience, and you don’t see that in the civilian world as much.” There are numerous benefits from military service, Mathisrud con-

tinued, as well as some drawbacks. “You feel comfortable with other people that have served, so it’s a community,” he said. Based in Fargo, American Heroes Outdoors (AHO) started six years ago. Dave Morris of Park Rapids joined in 2009. “Our mission is to share stories and showcase the great outdoors,” Morris said of the television program, which airs on Fox Sports. AHO (americanheroesoutdoors.org) honors veterans, military, law enforcement, first responders and non-profit organizations, like the DAV and Walking on Water, while offering year-round hunting, fishing and outdoors activities. Morris is active duty for the Minnesota National Guard. He works at the Bemidji and Detroit Lakes armories. The hunt concluded with lunch – a scrumptious, homemade pheasant and wild rice hotdish – and companionship.

Michael Henry Hafner Sr

Michael Henry Hafner Jr

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class

Anthony V Eischens

From Page B7

Steve Girtz was a volunteer guide on this trip. He brought his German short-haired pointers, Jake and Max, to retrieve.

U.S. Army veteran Mark Harmon takes aim at a pheasant. He served in the U.S. Army. “I felt there are so many people that just come and take this for granted, that someone needs to go in there and help pay for all this. I felt it was my patriotic duty to give to my country that I loved.”

Pictured, from left, are Harvey Girtz, Dave Morris, Mark Harmon and his chocolate Labrador Scout, John Erickson and Tommy Blumhoefer and his service dog, Lucy.

James D. (Jerry) Cole

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class

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Air Force SSGT

Anthony J. Eischens

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David Hilgendorf

George Roger Clark

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USN/USMC E-5 1st Force Recon

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park rapids enterprise | Wednesday, November 11, 2020



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Veterans Day Salute A special publication by

Nov. 11, 2020

All of the Men & Women who have Served our Country in the Military!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | park rapids enterprise


Army gave Winner first test of management skills at age 19

A runner-up for the Enterprise’s 2019 Jack Pine Savage beard contest in the categories “Jack Pine Savage lookalike” and “hippest beard,” Winner is originally from St. Paul. He currently lives at the Heritage Living Center. Winner served in the Army from November 1964 to November 1968. “It was an interesting time of my life. I was a young kid when I went in,” he said. “I learned to get along with people a little bit better than I did. I learned about race, black people. As a white boy in St. Paul, I’d never seen anything other than white people in St. Paul.” Winner didn’t care to share much about his

experiences in Vietnam, other than admitting that he saw combat and that his quality of life – including the reason he lives in a nursing home – has been affected by things that happened to him in the service. He has brighter memories of his first two foreign postings in the Army. The first was in Vicenza, Italy – about 45 miles from Venice – where he worked in a supply company. “I was 18 years old, and I was in charge of the gas station there,” he said. “And I had three or four local people working for me.” He called this early taste of management experience “unusual.” “I was an E4 before I’d been in the Army a year,” he said, referring to the enlisted rank commonly known as specialist. “That was pretty good.” Although he enjoyed the seeing sights of Venice and the mild weather, Winner said he didn’t care for Italy. “It was nice and warm, but it was too strict,” he said. “You would have to wear ties off base, be in by midnight. You couldn’t be GIs.”

Michael Moyer

Raymond G. Dockter

Jan Bauerle

Bill Pinnick

Rick L. Pinnick

Jim Lange

U.S. Army National Guard E-3

U.S. Army National Guard E-3



Air Force

Marine Corps Corporal

Joe Markell

Eddie R. Jokela

Mark O. Hensel

Bob Johnson

Keith Lee Kraft

Army 1st Sargeant

Army, Private 1st Class

U.S. Marine Corp Corporal



By Robin Fish rfish@parkrapids enterprise.com

obert Winner, a former restaurant owner and sometime manager of Akeley’s municipal liquor store, recalled lessons he learned on U.S. Army assignments in Italy, Germany and Vietnam during a recent interview.

‘I learned to get along with people’


To our men and women in uniform, Past, Present and Future.

Robert Winner, a resident at Germany and Vietnam.

‘It gave me a good outlook on life’

Later, he joined an artillery company in Nuremberg, Germany. “I loved Germany,” he said. “Beautiful country. The people are wonderful. The scenery is all pretty.” He described the base as an old complex, about a mile down the road from where the Nuremberg trials took place, where young men learned how to handle

a factory worker to a truck driver to a salesman to a business owner to the manager of a liquor store,” said Winner, who managed the Akeley muni for seven years and owned the Headwaters Cafe before it became Zappy’s. During the 1980s, at a Twin Cities-based firm that helped people on workers’ compensation find jobs, Winner rose from being a client to managing the phone room. Divorced once and widowed once, Winner has a biological son and daughter, an adopted son and a stepson. Submitted photo His stepson, 24-year the Heritage Living Center, served in the U.S. Army in Italy, National Guard veteran Brain Hitchcock, served big guns before being were so big that we had in Iraq and is currently shipped to Vietnam. a machine that picked the mayor of Akeley. In spite of some neg“It was a good place them up and put them ative aspects of his milto go, when you could inside the barrel of go anywhere,” he said. the gun. They weighed itary service, Winner said, “I think it’s won“I was on an 8-inch 210 pounds.” Howitzer. It was a real When fired, the shells derful” for young peobig gun.” flew up to 10.5 miles. ple to serve. “It gave me In contrast to pictures Nevertheless, they a good outlook on life. It showing people stand- were “very accurate,” told me more than what ing behind a gun, Win- he said, with gunners I knew from being an ner said, “We were on adjusting the horizontal east side kid.” If we didn’t have the the gun. There was a and vertical aim based gunner on one side and on instructions from the armed forces, he said, “we wouldn’t be a counan assistant gunner on forward company. the other side. There Back in civilian life, try. We’d be Chinese was the driver. There Winner held a variety or Russian or Korean were loaders. The shells of jobs. “I went from or German.”

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park rapids enterprise | Wednesday, November 11, 2020




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Veterans Day Salute

Theodore Johnson

Melvin F. Larson

Aaron Michaels

Army Sergeant 1st Class

Army Sergeant

Marines Staff Sergeant

Lloyd Lundstrom

Loren Bruce Jr.

Robert Johnson

Navy Seaman 1st Class

U.S. Navy Machinist Mate E5

Rod Vredenburg

Ryan Vredenburg

Aaron Majors

US Army Nat. Guard Comand Sgt. Major

U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer

U.S. Air Force Tec. Sgt

Leslie Anderson

Lance Hansen

Leslie (Whitey) Hansen

Army Spec 5

Navy E-3

Navy AW-E4

Greg Parks

George M. Isaacson

Donald F. DeLisi

Air Force Sergeant

US Army Corporal

Cal Astrum

Terry Morris

U.S. Navy WWII

U.S. Air Force Sgt (E-3)


Orville Vredenburg U.S. Army Corporal

Servicing all makes and models of cars and light trucks

20+ ExperYi ears ence

Supplying Quality Landscape and Masonry Products Since 1909

18813 Eagle Bend Road, Park Rapids 218-732-6633 • wwthompson.com

Thank You For Your Service!

Located 1/2 Mile South of the Emmaville Store on County Road 4



In Debt to our Veterans 


Thank You For Your Service ! WE BUILD YOUR DREAMS!



700 East River Dr. Park Rapids, MN


AT THE JUNCTION OF 34&64 AKELEY, MN 218-652-2233

Thank You For Your Service!

Proud to be a Yellow Ribbon Company

Thank You For You Service!

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13 Aspen Ave NW • Menahga, MN Hours: Mon-Thur 7am-2pm Fri 7am-7pm • Sat 8am-2pm

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We thank all men and women in uniform past, present & future.

Fuller’s Gun & Pawn 223 Main Ave. S. 218-732-4038 Park Rapids, MN 56470

Thank You, Veterans!

Check out our Facebook page for full menu.

• Home Care Services • PCA • Respite Care • Private Duty Nurse • Independent Living Skills Services For All Ages Heidi Clements & Helen Drewes (218) 573-2238 • 1-800-535-5895


Now providing services to Veterans as part of the VA Community Care Network

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | park rapids enterprise


Finding peace in an organization of war By Anne Huhtala “Nate!” The older man in another car at the intersection recognized me, too. We pulled into a parking lot where I blurted, “I have so much to tell you!” A former naval officer (before a “reduction in force”), Nate had joined our army reserve unit at an upper enlisted rank while retaining some rights as an officer. He treated everyone with respect – even me, a small but stubborn woman. I had asked him to be the presiding officer at my re-enlistment in the early 1980s. Before joining the formation for the ceremony, Nate asked if I would be willing to place my hand on his well-worn Bible. My flippant attitude changed. “Yeah, I guess so.” The commonplace ceremony became a solemn rite. A short time later, I had traveled from California to Massachusetts for training. There I met Rich, also known as “Sergeant Rock,” a look-alike for Charlton Heston in Ben Hur. Accepting his invi-

tation to a gathering at the post chapel, I met another sergeant, Karen, who worked in the post clinic. We became fellow altos in the chapel choir – a paradox for me, in the process of divorce and in questioning rebellion. Rich inspired me to do crazy things – like rappelling. Who in their right mind would back off the top of solid ground and trust a rope and some guy way down at the end of it? I wanted to understand the paradox of a strong military man confidently trusting in “The Man” of ancient history. Occasionally, Rich asked a question, such as “Have you asked Jesus into your life?” Putting him off, I finally flamed, “I have to do it myself, you said, and I’ll do it in my own time, when I’m ready, so quit bothering me about it! Stop pressuring me! Leave me alone!” He did. Karen often invited me to her house, but I always declined, fearing the “Jesus question” from her, too. Then a youth min-

istry presented a slide show at the post theater: “How’s Your Love Life?” Since mine was a disaster, I went to the show. The story was similar to my own, but from a man’s perspective: divorced, searching for love to fill the hole in his life. His story ended in suicide, which shook me. The alternative? Daughter of a math teacher, I was stunned to hear that mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal described the hole in each of us. The “God-shaped void” could only be filled by Jesus. Seeing me exit the theater, Karen invited me to her house, and I accepted. She provided counsel for various problems I voiced, and then she said, “You need something else. You need Jesus in your life.” “But I don’t know how!” “Just ask, and He’ll come in. All you have to do is ask Him to come into your life.” Back in my barracks room (my roommate was out), I sprawled face down on the bed.

Was Jesus really alive? I imagined Him standing in white robes plastered against the wall next to my bed. I thought the words. No, I had to say them. I opened my mouth, and it stuck open. After an eternity, I spoke the difficult sentence: “Jesus … I need You in my life.” I went to bed and slept well. Wrestling with the paradox of my new identity (“a child of peace in an organization of war”), the inspired writing of Paul in the Bible settled the matter. His letter to the church in Ephesus describes the armor of God. His letter to the church in Corinth assured me to remain in the situation I was in when God called me. Rich had returned to his armor unit in another state and I returned to California. Now here was Nate, retired military and respected memory in my life. Delighted to see him, I exclaimed, “I’m a Christian!” Though I was sweaty and grimy, returning home from reserve duty, he hugged me. It was the last time I saw him on this earth.

David E. Hernandez

Ernie D. Hernandez

John G. Brauch

Naval Reserves LTJG


Alison E. Swedean Hernandez

Bud Gates

(AKA: Santa Claus)

Marine Corps Corporal


U.S. Coast Guard Machinery Technician 2nd Class (MK2)

Dorset Storage Center 130 Self Storage Units • Boat • Pontoon • RV • Bulk • & Self Storage

Winterizing • 24 Hour Access Pontoon Trailer Rentals

Downtown Dorset • 218-732-5108

By Lorie Skarpness lskarpness@ parkrapidsenterprise.com Veterans are invited to enjoy a free dinner in appreciation for their service to our country. The Akeley VFW Post will be sponsoring a free veterans dinner at the Red River Event Center on Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. The main course will be a choice of meatloaf or fried fish. Veterans have the option to dine in or pick up their meal with curbside service available.

Debra Anderson -Gates

Shelly GatesShermer

Navy E-5

Paul Bridwell

Philip Busch

Robin (Dillon) Brown

Raymond J. Wolf

Engineers 1st Lt

U.S. Army SP-4

Army MSG

Army P.F.C.




11393 State 34, Park Rapids, MN



luxurydogspaw@gmail.com • LuxuryDogsPaw.com

Expanded Mini Storage UNITS: 6ˈx10ˈ, 10ˈx15ˈ, 12ˈx20ˈ, 12ˈx30ˈ Loading & Unloading Service


Owned & Operated over 43 years.

MEET OUR HEROES! Our patient, Ring and his owner Tony Rouillard! Ring spent 3 deployments in Afghanistan as an explosive detection dog in the Military. After that Ring worked alongside his handler, Tony, while both in Washington

Call 218-652-5222 to order curbside. Coborn’s will provide a free chicken dinner with two sides, a dinner roll and beverage to active duty, National Guard, Reserve, former military and retired military from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. on Nov. 11. The Park Rapids American Legion will be serving a free turkey dinner to all veterans who are paid members of the organization on Saturday, Nov. 14, beginning at 4 p.m.

Army Spec-4


Patrick Sullivan

Free dinners offered to veterans

IRCC# 37962

Park Rapids We except all credit cards.

Dr Mia Long Dr Vickie Wang

for the Navy. In January 2019, Ring retired and was adopted by Tony. Thank you both, for your service and commitment to each other and our Country!


“Skills That Heal and Hearts That Care!”

17261 State Hwy 34, Park Rapids • 218-732-3119 • arkanimalhospitalpr.com

park rapids enterprise | Wednesday, November 11, 2020




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Veterans Day Salute

Richard W. (Dick) Max

Richard Kok

Richard W. Weech

Robert Linder

Russell H Rasmussen

Zachary O’Hern

Air Force Airman 1st Class

U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant

U.S. Marine Corp 1st Lieutenant

U.S. Army Cpl

Army Corporal

Edward Guy Smith

Leo Wallnofer

James Geisen

Robert R. Natzel

Bruce W. Krabbenhoft

Navy PR3

United States Navy

Josh Mock

Gilbert Simon

Navy E5

U.S. Army Private

U.S. Army Air Force SGT

Elaine McGaughey Nelson

Logan Carmichael

William Knapp US Air Force Master Sergeant

U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant


U.S. Army SGT

U.S. Army SSGT E-6

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Auto glass repair & replacement . Commercial doors & storefronts . Insulated units . Shower, fireplace and patio door glass . Screens . Custom mirrors Specialty glass . Heavy equipment glass & more!

218-237-2300 1308 1st St. E. Park Rapids, MN (Across from L&M)

HOURS: Mon.-Fri.: 8am-5:30pm 807 1st St. E. • Park Rapids

MARCHELL ELECTRIC 12500 County 106, Park Rapids, MN 56470

Residential - Farm - Commercial A Steffes ETS Heat Dealer


Contact Mike at (218)732-8862 or marchellelectric@gmail.com

timparkerfamilyglass.com . parkerfamilyglass@charter.net


THANK YOU Kimball’s Inc. Kimball’s Logging Logging Inc. (218) 573-3454 573-3454 (218) Owner: Kelly Kelly Kimball Owner: Kimball Park Rapids, MN Park Rapids, MN

We Salute our Veterans

Do It Right Handymen, LLC

No Job Too Small • Free Estimates Bob Miller 218-252-6552 Jason Miller 701-640-9324

Army Infantry

Darius Simon U.S. Army E-5 Sgt

“Small enough to know you, Large enough to SERVE you!”

The only full-service glass shop in the area!



Matt Knott

U.S. Army E-5 SGT

Auto . CommerCiAl . residentiAl


Air Force Senior Airman



• Area’s Premier Meat Department • Take & Bake Pizza • Mack’s Small Town Smoke House • Soft Serve Cones & LaFreezés Line of Smoked Brats, Summer • Bakery • ATM • Hunting & Fishing Supplies Sausage, Ham & Snack Sticks

We Honor All Veterans! Monday-Saturday 8am - 7pm & Sundays 8am - 5pm Downtown Laporte • 218-224-2202 • laportegrocery.com




Welding • Machine Shop • Pontoon Boat & Dock Repairs • Deck Handrails • Driveway Gates • Walk-ins Welcome George Darchuk Sr., Owner 1608 Industry Ave., Park Rapids, MN 56470 (218) 732-1427 • Fax: (218) 732-1439 www.darchuksfab.com

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | park rapids enterprise


Local Marine’s memorial marked 15th anniversary in 2019 By Shannon Geisen sgeisen@parkrapids enterprise.com

he sun shone and a brisk wind whipped the flags atop Bunker Hill Road, where Howard and Trudy Maninga hosted their 15th annual Vietnam and all veterans memorial flag-raising ceremony. With the help of area veterans, their August 2019 tribute recognized all who have served their country and, this year, honored Korean War vets in particular. “The official dates of the Korean War were 1950 to 1957,” Trudy said, although the shooting ended in 1953. “There were 5,725,000 Americans who served during that time – 36,568 of them were killed in action. Those were our brothers. 7,140 were prisoners of war.” Each year, the Maningas hold this special veterans event at their home. A replica of a ship deck and a solemn statue of a soldier overlooks the Ponsford prairie, while the U.S., Armed Forces and POW/ MIA flags wave amid a flower garden. First dedicated in 2005, their memorial has expanded to include replicas of a battlefield bunker and a fighting hole, along with a museum housing a sizeable collec-

tion of Vietnam-era military memorabilia. Howard served in 1967-68 in Vietnam, where he lost fellow Marines in combat. “Fifteen years ago, I started building this memorial. I needed something. I was having a lot of problems,” he said in his opening remarks. “When I went to sleep, dead soldiers told me they wanted a memorial. I got up in the morning, and I started building. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just started building this. Every morning, it was something different. It helped me with the PTSD. It didn’t cure it, but it helped. What really helps a lot is seeing all of you veterans coming here, and maybe it will help you guys.” Howard credited Trudy for saving his life. “The only reason I’m here is because of my wife, Trudy,” he said. “She’s the backbone of the place.” Veterans representing the five branches of the military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard – retired faded flags, then raised crisp, new ones on Saturday. Assisting with the Army flag were Russ Rasmussen and Lester Ristinen, both Korean War veterans. Jim Palokangas, another Korean vet, replaced the Navy flag.

Kayla Simon

Arthur E. Mills


U.S. Army E-4 CPL

United States Navy Boatswain’s Mate 3rd

“We’re very honored to have them here today,” Trudy said. Lou Schultz and Ron Masanz raised the Marines flag. “Both of these Marines are over 90 years old,” Trudy pointed out. The worn flags were burned in a ceremony led by members of the U.S. Marine Corps League Star of the North Detachment.

Local Korean War vets

Trudy told the crowd, “I set out to do something different this year. I wanted to interview some Korean War veterans, and I found a couple.” Palokangas was one of them. He served from 1952-55 as an aircraft mechanic on the USS Hornet and USS Midway. “I asked him what he learned the most and he said, ‘To move fast on the flight deck,’” Trudy said. “He worked the flight deck for bombing runs. Several airplanes crashed, and when planes couldn’t come in straight, they would bounce, hit barriers, explode and burn, often taking their pilots with them. Fires would have to be put out.” Palokangas told Trudy that “rough waters would often put a sailor overboard” and a helicopter would “fish them out of there.”

Enterprise file photos

Howard and Trudy Maninga hold an annual Vietnam and all veterans memorial service at their Ponsford home every August. The 2020 ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic. Attired in his blue dress Marine uniform, Ron Masanz salutes the U.S. Marines’ flag with fellow Marine Bob Johnson as Lou Schultz hoists it skyward. “His ship was never bombed, but they were always in danger,” Trudy continued. “He said he was glad to have

Carl R. Lyburner

James E Cameron Marines Sergeant

Air Force A1C, served 4 years, Korean War

Unit, 8th served, and if the call portation came and he was able, Army Division from he would serve again.” March 1953 to 1955. Rasmussen served with the 351st TransMEMORIAL: Page C8

Dave (Lefty) Anderson

Edward Anton Jonas

U.S. Navy, served 4 years, Vietnam Era

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class, served 4 years on the USS Stallion, 1955-59

Thank you for your service!


Septic Pumping, Septic Systems, Steam Frozen Sewer Lines, Basements, Roads, Gravel, Black Dirt, Backhoe & Bobcat, Building Demolition, Sewer Line Camera Inspections, Winter Logging

218-732-0015 • thelensexcavating@gmail.com www.thelensexcavating.com

For your next vehicle, For your next vehicle, see Darrell Steinke or see Darrell Steinke Ken Christensen




New Location:(2277) 218-564-CARS

South of Menahga on Hwy 71, Hwy. 71,56564 PO BoxNorth 255, Menahga (2277) 56564 PO 218-564-CARS Box 255, Menahga

We Honor All Who Served! www.communityfirstbankmn.com MENAHGA OFFICE: 218-564-4171 PO Box 250 • 21 Main St. N.E.

SEBEKA OFFICE: 218-837-5171 PO Box 311 • 115 Minnesota Ave. W.

Hwy. 34 E., Park Rapids


OFF SALE 732-0998


Downtown 218-652-3115


Hwy. 34 & 64 218-652-3676

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Hwy. 34 & CR 6 218-732-8853


NORTHERN BAIT INC. Retail – Wholesale Bait, Tackle & Guns


614 S. Main, Park Rapids Corner of 7th St. & Main Ave. S.


322 Main St. S., Suite #1 Park Rapids, MN 56470 Fax: (218) 732-1460 Email: prdeputy@gmail.com Mon - Fri: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Whistle Stop Parcel Center


UPS Authorized Shipping Outlet prdeputy68@gmail.com

15357 Hwy. 71, Park Rapids • (218) 732-1461


Motor Vehicle/License Center Phone: (218) 732-4363


Gas - Diesel Fuels - Convenience Store - Clean Restrooms Thank You For Your Service Veterans!

With Respect, Honor, and Gratitude

Deputy Registrar #68, Inc.

For Serving Our Country &Protecting Our Freedoms!

Locally Owned Since 1978


Hwy,. 34 East Park Rapids



park rapids enterprise | Wednesday, November 11, 2020



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Veterans Day Salute

Glen Wolters

Greg Yates

Valerie Yates

Jacqueline Kay Schmelzer

Nick Litzau

Jerry Olsen

Army National Guard, served 4 years

U.S. Marine Corps MSGT (retired)

U.S. Army Sgt E-5, served 3 years, Vietnam War

John Firehammer

Jonathan L. Fondow

James Killmer

Air Force Master Sergeant, served 20 years

U.S. Army Reserves Captain, served 9 years

Robin (Bob) Rossi

Richard Moen

Army Sp4, served 2 years

Army Sergeant, served 2 years, Vietnam War

Army SP3(T), served 2 years, Korean War

Navy, P.C.T. 1st class, served 4 years, received European WWII Occupation medal

U.S. Army Master Sergeant, served 18 years, Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Marines Corporal E-4

Robert L. Schroeder

David Stowman

Marvin Brown

Tony Yerkes

Maggie Yerkes

Navy HM3 Army Cpt

U.S. Marine Corps Captian

Marines, CPL, served 4 years, Vietnam War

USNR LT, served 6 years, Vietnam War

USN CDR, served 23 1/2 years Vietnam; DS/DS

Elmer (Jake) Yliniemi

Navy HM3

Paul Leon Shepersky




Dick’s Auto Wrecking LLC

We Honor All Who Have Served!

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1-800-492-4835 • 732-4220 AFTER HOURS TOWING 218-639-9700 Brad Snelling & Mark Snelling, Owners • Hwy. 71 South, Park Rapids 


STEPPING STONES Adult Foster Care Homes

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(218) 237-DANS (3267) 2012 PARK AVE. S. (HWY. 71 S.)


HWY. 71 SOUTH • (218) 732-3512

Army, Cpl, served 2 years, Korean War

i’m lovin it! McDonald’s

101 S. Park Ave. • Park Rapids

Shell Sport & Bait Headquarters for all your Hunting Needs! • Hunting Supplies & Licenses • Propane • Ammo • Gas Station Convenience Store Hours: 5am-9pm Daily 218-564-5203 • 17 Aspen Ave. NW • Menahga




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Trudy said, “He arrived in time to see other units leaving. He said, until his dying day, he’ll never forget the look on those soldiers’ faces. He said their eyes were fixed and very large, like a person in shock. They talked of the waves of Chinese that came and attacked them. The first wall had guns. The second wall had clubs. They were often a very outnumbered unit.” When the combat ended, Rasmssen became a classified material clerk for the company commander. Seoul was flattened, and he remembered the children begging for food “and being the best thieves possible.” Trudy said she interviewed another Army rifleman who was unable to attend. When asked what was the lasting result of the war, Trudy recounted, “He said he was proud. He often


Wednesday, November 11, 2020 | park rapids enterprise

wondered what it was for. But the one thing he’d never do is leave Korea. He said Korea comes every night and sometimes stays around for the daytime.” She urged everyone to hold the flag and country with the utmost respect. She estimated about 150 people attended the commemoration. Among them was Wally Nitsche, who served in the same platoon as Howard. “We’ve been friends ever since Vietnam,” he said. Nitsche drives from Chicago each year for the annual flag raising. “I’ve only missed one, the second one. That’s because he didn’t tell me he was doing it,” he said. The Marines and their wives get together for a long weekend each year. “We have a reunion every year, a bunch of us that were in the same platoon together, maybe between 10 to 15 will show up. We’ve been doing that for 25 years now,” Nitsche said.


The U.S. Marine Corps League Star of the North Detachment participates in the ceremony with a rifle salute.

Bugler Jerry Wolters played the official song for each military branch, along with the national anthem and Taps at the event.

Dedicated in August 2005, Howard Maninga’s Vietnam Veterans War Memorial began as a way to honor his friends who were killed in action.

Veterans Day Salute

Tim Ranisate US Army Reserves Sgt., served 14 years, Iraqi Freedom

Mike Swanson Army, E-5 Staff Sgt., served 4 years

Army, Pfc, served 4 years

Mike Smith Army SSG, served 6 years, Iraqi Freedom

Richard Peterson Army SFC E-7, 20 years of service, Korean War

We Honor Those Who Serve

Thank you for your Service!

Thank you for your sacrifice so we remain free

Highway 34 West, Park Rapids • 732-1423

Lloyd Allen Hensel


Proudly Serving the Park Rapids Area Since 1991

Mon-Fri 7:30-5:00 • Sat 8:00-Noon

Steve Noonan Agency Inc Bus: (218) 732-9428 1201 E First St, Park Rapids




NORTHERN PINES SANITATION Commercial & Residential Service


Locally owned & operated

218-732-6767 CELL: 218-255-4220


Career Opportunities Available in CNC Machining MENAHGA, MN

501 Industrial Park Rd., Park Rapids


New Homes • Remodeling • Pole Buildings www.spiritlakelumber.com

“your partner in power-train solutions”


Akeley Muni


Where Paul Wets His Whistle!


• Happy Hour Monday-Friday: 11am to Noon & 5pm-7pm • 2 for 1 Saturdays: 11am-Noon FOOD - POOL - DARTS - PULL TABS, E-TABS, FUN! ON SALE/BAR Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-1am Saturday: 9am-1am; Sunday: Noon-8pm OFF SALE Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-10pm Saturday: 9am-10pm; Sunday: Noon-6pm



Arise Financial Group Ameripriseadvisors.com/gina.l.rypkema Gina Rypkema, CKA®, CFP® Shelley Lof, CKA®, APMA® Donna Gunderson, APMA®

1202 1st St E, Park Rapids (218) 732-8861

Profile for Park Rapids Enterprise

Veterans Day Salute 2020  

Veterans Day Salute 2020