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20 Questions with a Siouxland Admiral

Start now if you want a green lawn next year

How do you cope with post-traumatic stress?







November 2012





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Young couple welcomes to a home that’s holi-ready.

ON THE COVER One of many flags flies in downtown Sioux City, a symbol of the community’s pride in its nation and its armed forces. This month, we take a look at veterans, their families and their lives after their service time is done. Photo by Jim Lee. FEATURES 4 Feature home: Holiday treat 8 Collections: Hobbit time 10 HOME: Saving your lawn 12 SALUTING VETERANS: Recruiting 16 SALUTING VETERANS: After service 18 SALUTING VETERANS: Inspired to serve 22 SALUTING VETERANS: Recruiting members 26 SALUTING VETERANS: 20 questions 29 SALUTING VETERANS: Blue star moms

8 HOBBIT HABIT 30 33 34 38 42 44 45 47

SALUTING VETERANS: Life of a military wife SALUTING VETERANS: The 185th’s place SALUTING VETERANS: Military pioneer SALUTING VETERANS: Paying honor SALUTING VETERANS: Time in Vietnam SALUTING VETERANS: Offering help Doc, I’ve Got a Question Parting Shot

A Siouxlander got hooked on a book – and its characters.

PUBLISHER Steve Griffith EDITOR Bruce Miller EDITORIAL Joanne Fox, Dolly Butz, Tim Gallagher, Earl Horlyk, Nick Hytrek, John Quinlan PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Hynds, Jim Lee, Laura Wehde, Jerry Mennenga DESIGN Kathryn Sesser ADVERTISING SALES Nancy Gevik ADVERTISING DESIGN Stacy Pajl, Jill Bisenius ©2012 The Sioux City Journal. Siouxland Life is published monthly by The Sioux City Journal. For advertising information, please call (712) 224-6275. For editorial information, please call (712) 293-4218.


If you had drought, now’s the time to take care of that lawn.


November 2012


HOME one

for the holidays

Above: Jake and Ilisja Moreland and their son, Ravi are shown in their Sioux City home. The home was one decorated as part of the American Red Cross Tour of Homes. Bottom: Decorations and wallpaper throughout the rooms in the Moreland home.



Left and below: People walk through the Moreland home during the Red Cross Tour of Homes. Right: One of the Christmas trees throughout the Moreland home.


Text by Joanne Fox Photos by Jim Lee and Tim Hynds

IT’S NOT ENOUGH JACOB “JAKE” and Ilisja Moreland are kept busy with their young son and Newfoundland dog. The young couple decided to purchase a three-story home in 2007, remodel it and open it to several thousand individuals during the 2012 Siouxland American Red Cross Tour of Homes. “It was a spur-of-the moment choice,” Ilisja Moreland explained. “We were looking at a house across the street and saw this one and thought, ‘I hope no one else is looking at this one.’” Jake Moreland echoed those sentiments. “I wasn’t even on the house-buying bandwagon,” Moreland confided. “But when I walked into this house, I thought, ‘I could live here.’ It’s really a once-in-alifetime kind of place.” The Northside house was built in 1912 with aspects of the Colonial Revival and Prairie architectural styles. The Colonial Revival style can be seen in the Doric columns flanking the front porch, while the Prairie style is less obvious. The signature exposed rafter tails have been removed, but the knee braces still remain on the south side of the house. The Morelands’ restorations began with fixing damage caused by broken water pipes including new flooring and ceiling in the kitchen. Repairs have been made to fix the deteriorating wall in the maid’s staircase. The fact that both Jake and Ilisja’s parents live just a few blocks away helped with the repair projects. “The labor was the most challenging aspect of getting the remodeling done before the tour,” Jake quipped. “I think the tougher part was coming up with ideas for all the spaces we hadn’t completed,” Ilisja clarified. “We

NEW SPONOSOR The Tour of Homes, an annual holiday festivity with a 21-year history in Siouxland, is changing hands. The Siouxland Area Chapter of the Red Cross is turning the reins over to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland. As Red Cross organizations across the nation restructure, merging local chapters and nationalizing fundraising strategies, the Siouxland chapter decided to pass on the torch. Tour proceeds will now go to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland and help the organization recruit mentors, provide training and match donations. DETAILS What: Dashing through the Snow Who: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland Tour of Homes When: Nov. 14-17 More information: Call 252-8687 or visit Homes: • Bill and Michelle Andrews, 364 Firethorn Trail • Jason and Shelly Kleis, 504 Firethorn Trail • Bruce and Karen Matthey, 703 Cherry Hills Lane • Phil and Sarah Powell, 26 Spanish Bay • Troy and Sara Redler, 509 Firethorn Trail were lucky enough to have a great decorator in Kathy Erion, who did a fantastic job with her decorating styles.” Renovations the Morelands made inside include modern updates for a young family with efforts to preserve the historical beauty of the house. For the tour of homes, the couple integrated their “family” as much as possible. Son Ravi was captured in a Santa Claus outfit in a photo that accented an

acorn-decorated table. Amidst garlands of gold and ivory highlights on the tree in the family room were ornaments that included photos of family members. Just off the family room in a gathering area was a smaller tree, this one swirled with burgundy ribbons and gold ornamentation. Four stockings were hung on the fireplace for Jake, Ilisja, son Ravi and dog Bartok. An unusual look was chosen for the presents, enveloped in brown


November 2012


Home Grown & Proud to Live & Work in Siouxland




Dr. Laura Giese was born and raised in Sioux City , growing up in the Morningside Area. She attended Heelan High School and graduated in 2000. She then went on to spend the next 8 years at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, receiving her undergraduate degree in Biology in 2004 and her Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree in 2008. In July of 2008, she joined Wheelock and Bursick Dentistry as an associate. Dr. Giese is married to her high school sweetheart, Bob Giese and has a son, Cal. Dr. Giese is committed to providing quality dental care for Siouxland.

Dr. Brian Bursick is a Sioux City native growing up in the Crescent Park area. He attended West High School and graduated in 1986. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree from the University of Nebraska Dental School in 1994. After graduation he practiced briefly in Sergeant Bluff, IA. In 1997 he joined Dr. Wheelock as an associate. In 2004 he became a business partner. Away from the office Dr. Bursick is busy with his family. He and his wife Kristy have three young sons. Dr. Bursick is devoted to delivering quality comprehensive dentistry to the people of his hometown, Sioux City, IA.

Dr. Wheelock established his own dental practice in 1977. It originally was only 2 blocks from its current location at 4100 Morningside Avenue. Dr. Wheelock was born and raised in Sioux City graduating from Sioux City Central High School in 1969. He went on to receive his Bachelors of Science degree from Briar Cliff College in 1973. He attended dental school at the University of Iowa and earned his Doctor of Dental Science degree in 1976. After graduation Dr. Wheelock returned to Sioux City. Dr. Wheelock is involved in his community & church. Dr. Wheelock is married to his college sweetheart, Marilyn, and has three adult sons and three daughters in law. He is the proud grandfather of five incredible grandchildren. Dr. Wheelock is proud to call Siouxland home and enjoys providing quality dental care to the community.

Our hOme-grOwN prOfessiONals have iNsight aNd experieNce tO make aN exceptiONal cONtributiON tO Our patieNts aNd cOmmuNity

Where Quality, Comfort and Value Meet. New patients are welcomed!

DOUGLAS A. WHEELOCK, DDS, PC BRIAN B. BURSICK, DDS LAURA E. GIESE, DDS 4100 Morningside Ave. • Sioux City, IA 51106 Phone 712-274-2038 Fax 712-274-0648 6

November 2012


wrapping and simple string ties. Off the family room is the formal dining room. The dark mahogany table and chairs were highlighted by the whites and gold in the full-place china settings with crystal goblets and silverware. A period chandelier illuminated the rich rust walls. A swinging door took visitors from the dining room to the galley-style kitchen. A fondue pot, complete with skewers, was ready to entertain a small party of four with red and yellow place mats and red plates. Use was made of the slatted staircase, as a Christmas wreath wound its way up the banister and draped off the second floor landing. A small, flocked tree was decorated with whimsical ornaments, including a miniature book, “The Elves and the Shoemaker.” The upstairs bedrooms all spoke to their own personalities. The master bedroom had its own tree with sparkling stars which looked recently plucked from the night sky. Rich brown tones were used for the bedspread and decorative pillows which reinforced the beauty of the wood floor. Capturing the history of the home in the second bedroom was a dark, roll top desk with a miniature holiday tree on top. Nestled in one window was another period piece – a small settee next to an old-fashioned radiator. A child’s bedroom was the place to

deviate from the rich, earthy colors and the traditional red and silver associated with Christmas. A bowl held fluorescent balls of green and blue while the wallpaper was a light blue with dots and stars. Both bathrooms have also been remodeled while still retaining the original character of the home by reusing the claw foot bathtub in the main bathroom and the small cast iron tub and original floor tile in the Jack and Jill bathroom. “The best part of our home is that each floor and each room is its own little space and has its own character,” Ilisja said. “That enables you to create scenes in each room. Each room has a concept, completely different from each other.” Being musically talented, the Morelands use the third floor ballroom as their music room as well as a family room.

Top: The dining room in the home of Jake and Ilisja Moreland is also decked out for the holidays. Bottom: The Morelands also took time to decorate the bedrooms in their house as well.

“When we remodeled the third floor, we decided it was the perfect place to bring our instruments out of the closet and on display,” Jake said. The Morelands appreciate the original details throughout the house including lead and stained glass windows, pocket doors and natural woodwork but have put their personal touch on the home by incorporating contemporary colors in their paint selection and furnishings. The exterior has been freshly painted utilizing a neutral tone as the base color and enhancing the architectural details with more bold and contrasting colors.


November 2012




Lori Berning, a teacher at Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto High School in Mapleton, Iowa, has asked her students to create their own “Hobbit” picture books for years. The classic J.R.R. Tolkien tale, she says, has instilled a passion for reading in many of her students.


HIGHLIGHTS READING ZEST Text and photos by Tim Gallagher

MAPLETON, IOWA | LORI BERNING has a “Hobbit” habit. “Students tell me I’m obsessed,” says Berning, teacher of Communications I and II at Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto High School in Mapleton. “I get teased about it a lot.” Berning read J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous “The Hobbit” as a junior high student in Anthon, Iowa,

years ago. As a young teacher in Anthon more than two decades ago, she returned to the classic as part of a reading unit. She’s taught “The Hobbit” ever since. “I taught it to three sections for 22 years,” says Berning. “So I suppose I’ve read it more than 60 times.” Why has this book struck such a personal – and educational – chord with the teacher? “The Hobbit is an awesome story involving a creature I once believed existed,” Berning says. “It’s an ordinary hobbit who did extraordinary things even though he just wanted to stay home.” Tolkien’s own story seems to resonate. Born and raised in poverty in South Africa, he relied on a priest to help fund his educational journey. He began this literary lottery of sorts with the following words on a blank sheet of paper, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Like “Harry Potter,” the works of Tolkien inspire a generation of young readers. Berning, an avid reader in her own right, loves to see students excited by the printed word. A few hundred of her own books take up room in her classroom, an open invitation for students to devour. Along with her “Hobbit” habit came the “Lord of the Rings” spin-off trilogy and its 8

November 2012

popular movies, which Berning has seen. She’s excited about the December premier of “The Hobbit” movie. She may take a personal day from school to see the film that’s based on the “Rings” prelude. While talking about Tolkien’s masterpiece, Berning files through two clear plastic bins in her classroom. There are dozens of laminated picture books her students created in past years. There’s a copy of “The Hobbit” animated movie from the 1970s. “It was horrible. Do not watch it,” Berning sighs. She has Hobbit puzzles, mugs and the original book from which she built her curriculum. There are posters, a checkers set, playing cards, audio cassette tapes that contain the book and Valentines based on “Lord of the Rings.” TV Guide copies as well as magazines that featured “Rings” and “Hobbit” buzz find a place in Berning’s room when she teaches from the literary work. There are maps, more posters, additional books and a John Wayne account that shows his personal copy of “The Hobbit” was sold after his death. It brought somewhere between $500 and $700. Berning collected action figures from Burger King and can position the figures


Windows Doors Siding SENIOR DISCOUNT • FINANCING AVAILABLE Above: “The Hobbit” has been a part of the curriculum of teacher Lori Berning for 22 years. She’s shown here at the high school in Mapleton, Iowa, with a portion of a collection based on the J.R.R. Tolkhien classic. Below: The J.R.R. Tolkien tale has instilled a passion for reading in many of her students. It has also instilled in her a passion to collect “Hobbit” and related “Lord of the Rings” collectibles.

to breathe life into the story. Students memorize all 19 chapter titles of “The Hobbit” and can recite lines from the book when they pass her in the hall. “I’d say my students have a love/hate relationship with ‘The Hobbit,’” she admits. “Maybe that goes with anything in which you assign homework.” Berning grabs her iPad and punches up a preview for the December movie. She’s watched it more than 20 times and says she’s captivated already by the musical score. Near the bottom of a plastic bin is a box of “Lord of the Rings” Pez dispensers. Berning laughs and explains why two Walmart receipts remain attached to the unopened box. “I bought these at Walmart and got home and noticed from the receipt that I wasn’t charged for this purchase,” she says. “I took it back and paid for it.” Honestly compelled her to shell out $15.97 for these collector’s items. The teacher wasn’t about to have her collection tainted in any way.

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November 2012


HOME take

care of next year’s lawn now

Drought- and heatstressed grass is shown in a Sioux City lawn. The summer’s prolonged heat wave is drying up mowing jobs for local lawn care service firms.




Text by Dolly A. Butz Photos by Tim Hynds

THE WORST DROUGHT IN more than 50 years parched lawns and plants across Siouxland this summer. Cool fall nights and chilly mornings haven’t done much to revive burnt, brown blades or shriveled leaves. “A lot of people weren’t irrigating this summer, so a lot of it went into dormancy and hasn’t shown a lot of life,” said Nick Crowder, manager of Earl May Nursery & Garden Center, 4101 War Eagle Drive. “We really haven’t had the moisture to kick it back into gear.” Whether lawns will regain their green luster and plants will sprout anew in spring is uncertain, according to Lance Britton, president of Sharp Lawn Care. “There’s going to be some of it that will come out and some of it won’t,” he said. “Plants, if you didn’t give them any water and they’re looking dead, they’re probably dead.” Normally at this time of year, Crowder said a little rain will green lawns. “Even though we’ve had the cooler temperatures, the grass just isn’t showing any signs of life right now,” he said. “I hope that the grass does come back because it will be really bad if it didn’t. A lot of people will be reseeding or re-sodding their lawns next year.” Watering a dry, burnt lawn now, Britton said, won’t make a difference, but he said there are some things customers can do right now to prepare their lawn for next year. He recommends power raking, aerating and overseeding. Crowder is telling his customers to reseed sooner rather than later in order to try to get new grass established before winter comes. The best way, he said, is by drill seeding


November 2012


- getting the seed in direct contact with the soil. “They’ll need to water it so it can germinate,” he said. “A good starter fertilizer will get it established before the fall.” Seed that is scattered toward the end of fall, Crowder said, has no chance of germinating, but the effort won’t be in vain. Next spring, Crowder said the theory is that the grass that was laying dormant will overwinter and then start to germinate in the spring. “You get kind of mixed reviews with that, so if a customer can get the grass seed planted now and get it established before fall, that really is the optimal time to get it done,” he said. Plants that were watered throughout the drought, Crowder said, are “looking good.” Even those lacking irrigation, he said will perk up with a little water. “We’re telling customers that if they can give any amount of water between now and when the ground freezes, the plant material is going to look a lot better next spring,” he said.


November 2012



Senior Airman Wesley Rueter is a recruiter at the Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing.


November 2012


ENLISTMENT CONTACTS • U.S. Air Force, 4283 Sergeant Road, Ste. 2, (712) 276-6642 • U.S. Army, 4283 Sergeant Road, Ste. 4, (712) 274-7445 • U.S. Marine Corps, 4283 Sergeant Road, Ste. 1, (712) 276-6090 • U.S. Navy, 4283 Sergeant Road, Ste. 3, (712) 274-2793 • 185th Air Refueling Wing of the Iowa Air National Guard, (712) 233-0537 • Iowa Army National Guard which includes the 1-113th CAV and 334th BSB, (712) 276-1315




Text by Joanne Fox Photos by Jim Lee

IF NOT FOR A GOOD BUDDY’S experience, Senior Airman Wesley Rueter with the Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing might not have enlisted in the military. “I had a friend who was going to enlist and I accompanied him,” he said. “As I listened, I thought what a great thing – to enlist – I could do for my country.” While serving may not appeal to everyone, spokesmen for Sioux City military recruiting offices report individuals have been inquiring about enlisting in a branch of the military. Many are interested for the same reasons the recruiters enlisted. Sgt. Manuel Camacho with the U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office joined the armed services to get away from his harsh upbringings. “I knew I would lead a life of poverty and crime like some of my family and friends, so I wanted to get as far away as I could in order to ensure a success in life for me and my future family,” he said. “The Marines was the only option for me because I needed strict structure, pride of belonging, financial security, educational opportunities, travel and adventure to keep me motivated, and technical skills, so if I one day got out, I would be set up for any obstacles that were in the future.” Marine recruits often share the same sentiments as Camacho. “They want to be a part of something greater than themselves, to be able to be proud of themselves and show that they can do anything if they can make the cut for the Marines,” he said. “Many just want to change themselves, just as my reason was.” Petty Officer John Porambo joined the U.S. Navy, unlike the character whose name so resembles his – John Rambo from the popular action movies. “I didn’t even look into the other branches,” he admitted. “I grew up in San Diego, Calif., and was always close to the ocean. I wanted to keep it that way. I also wanted to see the world, and I am

halfway there. I’ve traveled to 20-plus countries throughout Europe, Africa and the Gulf.” He added, “I knew college was not for me. I wanted something new, something exciting.” Master Sgt. A college education Dan Roupe may be a factor for some recruits; however, Porambo stressed that was not the main reason most of the young people he speaks with decide to join the service. “Really, a lot of the people I talk to are looking Sgt. Michael for the same things I was Kiss when I joined: travel, excitement, change and independence,” he said. “College is just a bonus compared to all of those things.” Master Sgt. Dan Roupe, Recruiting Office Supervisor with the 185th Air Refueling Wing, had a strong family tradition of serving in the military. “As one of the two eldest sons in my family I thought it was my duty to serve my country,” he said. “I did four years in the active duty Air Force, three years in the Army National guard and the last 14 years I have been with the Air National Guard.” Roupe cited the top reasons he hears from recruits are service to their community, state and country, educational benefits, job skills training and the opportunity to travel. “A lot of times it is a mixture of two or more reasons,” he said. “One of the great things about being a member of the Air National Guard is that you can both serve your country and go to school at the same time.” For Sgt. Michael Kiss, recruiter with the U.S. Air Force, the decision to enlist was the result of a major event. “At that time, Sept. 11, 2001, just occurred and I thought doing something bigger than going straight to college would be a little more fulfilling,” he said. “It gave me the opportunity to travel and

see the world at the same time. I have served in the Air Force over 10 years and I could not see myself doing anything different.” Kiss reported although each recruit has a unique story as to why he or she wants to enlist, a commonality tends to surface. “Many of our younger men and women are looking to serve because of the opportunities the Air Force offers,” he said. “We get a number of reasons – dealing with wanting to leave Iowa, money for college, family tradition and the opportunity to gain experience.” As the process of considering a career in the military progresses, each recruiter cited surprises that young people discover along the way. “I think the biggest surprise is that many young men and women think it’s much harder to join because of the physical standards for the Marines, but it’s not,” Camacho said. “Some think the Marines take felons, kids that don’t graduate high school or kids that have a past with drug addictions. We don’t.” “The biggest surprise for most people I talk to is how much I’ve been able to accomplish thus far in my young 28 years,” Porambo said. “Also the fact that I will retire when I am 38, after 20 years in the Navy, and get paid for the rest of my life.” Rueter, who joined in 2008, had his own “aha” moment. “I was surprised at how the guard was one huge family,” he said. “Everybody is there to help each other.” Kiss stressed a different experience with potential recruits. “I believe in our day and age, many young men and women already have a great understanding of the armed services,” he said. “The reason is because the Internet gives so much information.” “I think what surprises them the most is the differences in missions between all of the armed forces including active, guard and reserve components,” Roupe said. “We all are working toward the same goal, we just have different missions to get there.”


November 2012


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November 2012

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ask a professional Q: The holidays are coming! Any suggestions for easing aches and pains on long car trips? A: As you venture over the river and through

the woods to get to Thanksgiving dinners, your body feels the lumps and bumps of the road. What takes the brunt of those bumps, and supports your body’s weight, is your low back, or lumbar spine. Your spine is made to support Dr. Joel this weight, each bone in the low back being Pistello, DC created just like a tripod. The two back parts (facets) support a portion of the weight, and the other portion in the front (disc) supports the rest. When you are sitting straight up without bending forward, the weight is typically distributed throughout those three supports as it’s supposed to, keeping aches and pains to a minimum. If, however, you start bending forward, you put more weight on the front portion (the disc), increasing the pressure inside, which can be irritating and painful hours on end. Plus, your low back muscles end up holding you up for hours, creating that feeling of stiffness and achiness. The opposite is true too: if you are sitting too far reclined, the back two parts of the bone take more of the abuse, which can lead to pain and tightness as well. What’s the right answer? Frequent breaks, stretching, and good lumbar support. If you can, take a break every now and then while driving. Stopping every hour to an hour and a half not only splits up the journey, but allows you time to stretch and “uncrunch” that low back. Find a few good positions for you that stretch that low back and do them when you take those breaks. Shifting around in your seat every 20 minutes also breaks up the monotony and tightness as well. Investing in a good low back or lumbar support pillow can also take the work off of those muscles, just be sure to follow the instructions! Bottom line: take more breaks and drive safe out there!

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3930 Stadium Drive. (Between Wal-Mart & Explorer Stadium)


November 2012






Text by Dolly A. Butz

OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS, DANIELLE Dempster said services and benefits offered to military veterans through the Veterans Affairs Administration have exploded beyond basic healthcare, pension and counseling. “When you ask, ‘What’s available to a veteran?’ probably the better question is, ‘What can’t they get?’” she said. In terms of health care, the Veteran Affairs executive director for Woodbury County said services have become more specialized. There are now caseworkers assigned to work with homeless veterans and veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. Programs are also available to post 16

November 2012

9/11 veterans, including a special GI bill. “If you’re coming back and you’re a young guy and you want to buy a house, there’s a benefit through the state. There are VA home loans. There’s a property tax exemption,” she said. SEEKING FUNDS Approximately 10,000 veterans live in Woodbury County. The main purpose of the Woodbury County Commission of Veteran Affairs, Dempster said, is to help veterans in the county obtain and maintain federal, state and county benefits. The Commission’s office was previously housed on the seventh floor of the Woodbury County Courthouse. In February 2010, the office relocated to a


single-story building at 1211 Triview Ave. “We got two or three visitors a day on average,” Dempster said. “Since we moved out here, we have 20 or more a day.” Dempster said she is spreading the word about benefits and services by visiting veterans in nursing homes and conducting Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program events for veterans returning from combat. “I want the chance to try to help them as much as I can,” she said. “I don’t think we would have the country we have without our veterans. That’s why we have an office and we’re willing to serve.” At the office, Dempster has been working with numerous veterans who

Pets’ Hea r u



Both dogs and cats can get internal parasites, heartworms and intestinal worms: they can also contract external are retiring from their jobs and losing parasites, fleas and ticks. All of these employee health care benefits. They’re parasites are capable of causing serious signing up for VA medical benefits, but diseases in your pets, and they can also not all will be eligible. infect your pets with other contagious Dempster explained that coverage for diseases. For instance, ticks can transmit veterans with no combat experience is Lyme Disease and fleas can transmit feline SIOUXLAND VETERAN administered based on income. leukemia and cat scratch disease. Some AFFAIRS OFFICES “If we have someone who’s interested, parasites cause problems for you people, • Woodbury County Commission of we have them fill out the enrollment too. All of these parasites are common in Veteran Affairs, 1211 Triview Avenue, form, that way the VA knows who wants this part of the country. 712-279-6605 or 279-6606. health care and they can try to get more All of these parasites are preventable • Monona County Veteran Affairs, funding,” she said. “That’s probably our by safe, inexpensive, easy-to-use Monona County Courthouse, biggest complaint. The ones who can’t Robert Billiar, Presented Robert Billiar, medications. Webyhave some newDVM products 712-433-3710. And Brooke Brooke Gilbert, Gilbert, get into VA medical are pretty upset to offer. When you buy fromDVM us you know • Plymouth County Veteran Affairs, about that. They feel like they’ve served what you are getting is the best and we Plymouth County Courthouse, and that they should get in.” provide professional service for your pets, Medical services aren’t just for older 712-546-7090. PetsweDon’t Them! 24-7.Your For us, knowWant disease does not Anyone who has seenand a dog constantly veterans who served in Vietnam, accord• Union County Veteran Affairs, Union Both dogs and cats can get observe the calendar theinternal holidays scratching or heartworms chewing onanditself probably parasites, intestinal ing to Dempster. She said young veterans County Courthouse, 605-356-2181. or time of the with day. allergies. In some Most instances we has seen a dog allergies worms: they can also contract external who served in Iraq and Afghanistan • Dakota County Veteran Affairs, aredogs cheaper the Internet catalog in and than cats immune parasites, fleas are and exaggerated ticks. All and of these should take advantage of routine physiDakota County Courthouse, reactions to are flea bites, contact toserious airborne prices; also, wecapable offer of free products with parasites causing cals, blood testing and other healthcare substances some particular ingredient diseases in your pets, andothers, they can also 402-987-2120. some and or rebates with bringing in food. towith fleasother are contagious caused by an infectAllergies your pets and social services offered at the Veterthe cost down further. immune reaction to flea saliva. Common diseases. For instance, ticks can transmit ans Affairs Outpatient Clinic, 1551 Indian Dogs over inhalant 6-months of age feline need to contact and allergens include Lyme Disease and fleas can transmit Hills Drive Suite 206. seasonal bushes, grasses, weeds haveleukemia a pollen, heartworm test indisease. our hospital, andtrees, cat scratch Some Young soldiers returning from Iraq and allergies canyou be a reaction parasites cause problems for people, a flowers. simple Food blood test. Heartworm to almost anything in aeffective dog’s diet, and Afghanistan, are having problems bereavement counseling. To be eligible, too. All of these parasites are common in but preventatives are also against common food allergens this part of the country. include beef, dairy readjusting and struggling with postveterans must have experienced combat many All intestinal worms. They are best products, corn, wheat, eggs,are and chicken. of these parasites preventable traumatic stress disorder, according to or sexual trauma. used yearsafe, around, but least through inexpensive, easy-to-use Inbydogs and cats, theatnoticeable signsthe of Dempster. “I don’t want there to be any stigma mosquito season. It is some alsoappear bestproducts to use flea medications. We have new allergies most frequently as skin She said the Veterans Outreach asking for help,” she said. “This is a hard to offer.ear When you buyaround, from us you problems, irritation or gastrointestinal preventatives the year butknow at least what youirritation are getting the best and we upset. Skin inispets can be seen by Center, 1551 Indian Hills Drive Suite situation for us because we can’t force during the warmer months. Please note: provide professional redness, service for your pets, and itching, scratching, rashes, 204, provides a variety of counseling the vets to ask for help, but we want to we are talking about PREVENTION, not For The us, we know disease does “hot 24-7. spots”. most common itchynotareas services from marriage counseling to be welcoming to them.” waiting until is exposure or chance observe thethere calendar and the holidays of the skin include the paws, between toes, or time of area, the day. In some instances in groin and in the armpitwearea. of the exposure. are cheaper than Internet and catalog Ear We irritation frequent scratching have includes two the newer products that we offer freehead, products with of at theprices; ears, also, shaking of the thinning are effective preventatives for both somearound and rebates with others, bringing of a the hair the ears, and build-up heartworms andfurther. fleas. OnceCommon is a once-athe cost down waxy residue inside the ears. signs Dogs overliquid 6-months age need of gastrointestinal upset include burping, month topical that ofis applied into one have adiarrhea, heartworm testloss inregion ourappetite, hospital, vomiting, gas, of place over the shoulder or topand of a loss. simple blood test. Heartworm weight the neck, it is called Revolution. The other preventatives are also effective against Flea bite allergies are best avoided using preventative for heartworms and by fleas is many intestinal worms. topical products to keep fleasThey off ofare ourbest pets. To called Trifexis, and it is a once-a-month used year around, but at least through the prevent contact or inhalant allergies, owners mosquito season. It is also best toproduct use flea we chewable Another new should keeptablet. their dogs away from whatever around, at least seasonal allergenthe causing thebutproblem (to havepreventatives available isisayear once-a-month topical during that the warmer months. Please note: the extent they can). Advanced tests are spot-on called Certifect and it has extra we are about PREVENTION, available totalking identify specific allergens.notYour protection against ticks asthese well fleas. waiting until is exposure or as chance veterinarian canthere discuss tests with of welcome about youWe in exposure. greater detail.your Foodinquiries allergies can be We have two newer products that prevented oncepreventatives. the causative component of these newer We are here are diet effective preventatives for the pet’s is identified, which can both be done to provide you with the best health care heartworms and fleas. diet Oncesupervised is a once-a-by a through an elimination for your we know month dogs topicaland liquidcats that is- applied in onethey veterinarian. place over the shoulder region or top of areIt family. is very important for owners to work the neck, it is called Revolution. The other closely with their veterinarians to identify preventative for heartworms and fleas is exactly what the pet is allergic to before called Trifexis, and it is a once-a-month attempting treatment. If left untreated, chewable tablet. Another new product we allergies can become very irritating to have available is a once-a-month topical affected animals and can greatly compromise spot-on called Certifect and it has extra theirprotection quality of life. By working with your against ticks as well as fleas. THE CENTER FOR HOPE AND HEALING veterinarian you can help your pet alleviate We welcome your inquiries about itchiness, pain and other discomfort and to these newer preventatives. We are here return the dog to a healthy and comfortable to provide you with the best health care Siouxland Hematology-Oncology Associates Radiation Oncology quality of life. for your dogs and cats - we know they

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to serve

Jeff Harstad of Sioux City.


November 2012


Soldier enlisted just one day after Sept. 11 attacks


Text by Tim Gallagher Photos by Jim Lee

SIOUX CITY | JEFF HARSTAD enlisted in the U.S. Army a day after the attacks on the United States, Sept. 11, 2001. A senior at North High School at the time, he had no idea what the future held. What he knew: The past. “I was in electronics class at North when we heard about the attacks that day,” says Harstad, now 28 and a member of the Sioux City Police Department. “We didn’t normally watch TV in school, but we sat there and watched. There was anger and a

fear of the unknown. “We feared New York was under some kind of military attack,” he remembers. “I thought about our own military. I had planned to sign up anyhow.” Harstad went home and talked it over with his parents, Bill and Joyce Harstad. While Dad’s support was solid, Mom remained apprehensive. Still, she let her son decide. On Sept. 12, he enlisted. He stayed in school until the end of the first semester, when he graduated. He worked with his father in the family’s Harstad Carpet Cleaning before reporting to Ft. Benning, Ga., for the start of his military tour. Two years later he was serving with the U.S. Army Infantry near Baghdad, part of Operation Iraqi Freedom I. He returned to Iraq in 2005, part of Operation Iraqi

Freedom III. “We moved all over Iraq in 2003,” Harstad says. “I was there for a full year on my second rotation in 2005, serving in Baghdad.” Harstad, who could still pass for a teen, remembers eating a full steak dinner just before his enlistment. The Army, he says, won’t take men who weigh less than 119 pounds. Stuffing himself allowed him to put on the pounds he needed. In the Infantry, he carried 120 pounds of armor, arms and equipment, often marching through heat and dust. The longest daily march consisted of 25 miles. His worst day came on Oct. 27, 2005, when Harstad and his fellow soldiers came under attack. Capt. Michael John MacKinnon of Helena, Mont., was killed that day. He served with Harstad, and was the same age. To this day, Harstad wears a bracelet with his friend’s name printed on it. “I don’t like to talk about it or think about it,” says Harstad. “Some days it’s OK, but other days – like when I hear a helicopter or smell burning garbage – and the memory triggers,” he says. He “friended” the MacKinnons on Facebook and from a virtual distance watches the anniversaries of his friend’s death pass as MacKinnon’s children grow up without their father. “That makes me sad,” he says of the ultimate sacrifice. Harstad himself was close to paying such a price. It came in 2005 when Harstad, during a raid on a village in Iraq, suffered shrapnel wounds to his left arm. The wound still bothers him on occasion. “We raided a village and we were rounding up suspects,” he says. “I was a sergeant at the time and had soldiers under me. We were in the compound when a mortar strike came in and I was hit by mortar.” Harstad was speaking with an Iraqi family who, at the time, aided Harstad and his troops in the mission. The group had just moved from a gate at the compound entrance. “Had the mortar landed 60 seconds earlier, it would have hit where we’d been standing and we would have been smoked,” he says. Harstad fell, scrambled from the compound to a line of trees outside. From there, he boarded a helicopter that swept him to safety and, eventually, to a hospital. He was out of

Above: Jeff Harstad of Sioux City, is pictured with his wife Jasmin. Below: Jeff Harstad is shown at his parents’ home in Sioux City in 2005, the day the 21-year-old U.S. Army sergeant departed for the second half of his second tour of duty in Iraq.

commission for a day. “First, there was anger and then some shock,” he says. “It was a scare.” Harstad completed his second tour and came home to a party. He laughs and says his family threw him a big bash whenever he came home. On the

way back, however, he landed in a big city – maybe Atlanta, Ga., he’s not sure – and he rushed for a taste of something he missed more than just about anything but his family. “Cinnabon,” he says with a wide smile. “I missed Sioux City’s Sunshine Donuts and I missed the taste of Cinnabon. So when I was in the airport at Atlanta, I ordered two Cinnabons.” Harstad couldn’t finish the second, as his stomach had likely contracted a bit in his time overseas. He got sick before he was finished climbing that sugary high. He laughs about it now. He finds no humor in the decade our troops have faced in battling an enemy that springs forth from the most unlikely of places in Iraq and, Harstad suspects, Afghanistan. “You always hope for a conventional start and finish to a war, or a line in the sand,” he says. “In Iraq and Afghanistan there is no definition. You don’t know who the bad guy is. Everyone could be the enemy.” That said, Harstad left with a sense he and his fellow soldiers had made a difference with the vast majority of


November 2012



November 2012


Iraqis, most of whom are peaceful and hoping to just go about their daily lives in tranquility. As far as this two-tour veteran of duty in a foreign war? Harstad’s life has taken its own positive turns since his last active date in the military some six years ago. He married North High classmate Jasmin. Together, they have two daughters; Laylah, 5, represents the fifth generation of Harstads to attend Bryant Elementary; little Alexandria, 10 months, stays home with Mom. Jeff used the G.I. Bill to earn a criminal science degree at Western Iowa Tech Community College. He then earned a bachelor of science at Bellevue University in Bellevue, Neb. For the past couple of years, he’s toiled as an officer with the Sioux City Police Department. “The military steered me toward law enforcement,” he says. “I like the camaraderie and the order they provide. My thought process is the same: I protect my country; I fight for and defend the Constitution. It’s just a different capacity now.” Best of all? He’s home with his wife and family every day, where they raise the U.S. flag on the front steps every morning.


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November 2012






Text and photos by Earl Horlyk

ON A WINDY SATURDAY AFTERNOON, Larry Salmon was among a small group of men staging the scene for the funeral of a 45-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran. First, Salmon helped to place American flags around the burial site. Then, he and 22

November 2012

other members of the Northwest Iowa American Legion Riders revved up the engines of their motorcycles in order to escort the body of their friend. Known to both his friends and family simply as “Grandpa,” the 64-year-old Salmon doesn’t look like a typical American Legion member yet he’s been one for years.


Sporting both a motorcycle vest and a pierced ear, the former U.S. Marine from the Vietnam War is part of the push of the American Legion to attract a larger membership. STRUGGLE TO ATTRACT YOUNGER MEMBERS Both nationally and locally, American

Left: Most weekends during the summer, Chris Radloff, left, Larry Salmon and Brian Hall can be seen in area parades representing the Northwest Iowa American Legion Riders. The motorcycle group is one way the American Legion is seeking younger members. Right: At age 52, Ranae Reed is one of the VFW Post 1973’s youngest members as well as being one of its few female veterans.

Legion posts – as well as posts for the Veterans of Foreign Wars – have been struggling to survive as older members die and younger members opt not to join. Despite coming from a military family, Salmon said he was hesitant about taking a more active role in the American Legion simply because he was too busy working and raising his children. “When you’re just starting out, a lot of the things you used to enjoy end up taking a back seat,” the Day’s Door Company employee explained. “Once the kids started leaving the nest, it allowed me to ride my bike again and take part in American Legion activities.” Luckily, Salmon was able to find an organization which promoted two of his favorite interests. Founded about seven years ago, the Northwest Iowa chapter of the American Legion Riders (or NWIAALR, for short) is

based out of the American Legion’s Wasmer Post 241 in Le Mars, Iowa. With approximately 140 members, the Northwest Iowa chapter is one of the fastest-growing American Legion groups in the state, according to Chris Radloff. At age 44, Radloff is one of the youngest members of both the American Legion Riders and the Wasmer Post. An Akron, Iowa-based photographer and web designer whose nickname is “Hippie Boy,” he initially didn’t think he was eligible to become a member of either organization. In order to join the American Legion, honorably discharged veterans or current military personnel had to have served at least one day of active duty during one of seven possible conflicts, ranging from World War I to Operation Iraqi Freedom. “I was in the Iowa National Guard for eight years but went to school for one day on an Army base,” Radloff said with a shrug. “So, I guess I was on active duty for exactly one day and that’s how I was able to join.” Brian Hall, on the other hand, was able to join both the American Legion and the NWIAALR through his dad’s and grandparents’ military service. “I’ve never personally served in the

military but have always believed in what the American Legion served for,” the 53-year-old rural Elk Point, S.D., man said. “Guess this is my way of showing my appreciation for the service performed by guys like my dad and grandpas.” In addition to volunteering their time at funerals, NWIAALR members conduct motorcycle safety programs and participate in area parades. “Especially during the summer, we’ll be volunteering our time in parades just about every weekend,” Hall said. “That visibility is great for showing we’re still active and vital.” TRYING TO STAY RELEVANT IN A TOUGH ECONOMY Watching a college football game on a big screen television, Jerry Brooks asked the bartender to refill his glass with some more cranberry juice. “I haven’t been much of a drinker since I had a stroke last year,” the commander of Veteran Foreign War Post 1973 said, regarding his non-alcoholic beverage of choice. “I’m getting better though.” With both an eye patch – decorated with a Bald Eagle – and a baseball cap that bears the inscription


November 2012


H oliday Tour of H omes

Go Dashing Through the Dunes with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland as we showcase spectacular views and tasteful decor of five gorgeous homes. Begin the Dashing Through the Dunes experience at Stoney Creek Inn, located at 300 3rd Street in Sioux City. Arrive early for refreshments while browsing the auction items and complete the registration process. Once aboard the charter coaches, tour guides will communicate special features of the homes and keep the group on schedule. The gracious families who have opened their homes to the 2012 Tour are Bill & Michelle Andrews 364 Firethorn Trail, Jason & Shelly Kleis-504 Firethorn Trail, Bruce & Karen Matthey- 703 Cherry Hills Lane, Phil & Sarah Powell-26 Spanish Bay and Troy & Sara Redler- 509 Firethorn Trail. Tours dates and times are Wednesday, November 14 from 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Thursday, November 15 from 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 16


from 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 17 from 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased starting on October 24 and are $25, $35 or $40, dependent upon the time of the tour selected. Visit to view the price chart. A light lunch will be provided for guests purchasing tickets at 11:30 a.m., 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m., daily. Order tickets by calling 712-226-TOUR (8687) 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. Or come by the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland office located at 3650 Glen Oaks Boulevard to purchase and pick up your tickets. (preferred method) Tickets are also available for purchase online at Tickets purchased online will be available at registration the day of your tour. To become a Tour of Homes sponsor or to donate any auction items, please contact Teresa Magnussen of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland at 712239-9890 or via email at tmagnussen@

Tickets $25 - $40


November 2012


About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland we believe that inherent in every child is the ability to succeed and thrive in life. Most children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland are often a part of a single, low-income family. Long-standing, independent studies have also proven that youth enrolled in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ programs are more likely than their peers to achieve in school; avoid risky/ delinquent behaviors and have high self-esteem and aspirations. Children are able to realize their potential and build their future by being enrolled in our programs. We nurture children and strengthen communities. Big Brothers Big Sisters relies on donor funding to support professional staffing for screening volunteers, carefully matching mentors and youth and providing ongoing support to sustain the matches so that they yield successful outcomes.

Jerry Brooks, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1973, said his post’s members range in age between 50 and 90.

“Dysfunctional Veteran: Leave Me Alone,” the 73-year-old Brooks has come by his nickname “Lucky” the hard way. Like the American Legion, membership to the VFW is open to honorably discharged veterans who served overseas during a conflict. Brooks was in the service during the Lebanon crisis of 1958 when U.S. Marines helped to protect the war-torn country threatened by outside insurrection. Yet, at the moment, Brooks is more concerned with his post’s aging membership. “Our youngest member is 50 and our oldest is 90,” he remarked. “It’s hard to overcome the image that the VFW is simply a place where a bunch of old guys sit around drinking beer when that’s what our membership consists of – a bunch of old guys.” That’s why Post 1973 is trying to liven things up by booking bands to perform, a regular karaoke night and rebuilding its declining membership rolls. At age 52, Ranae Reed is one of the Post’s youngest members as well as being one of its few female veterans. A 15-year U.S. Army veteran during the Gulf War crisis, the Sioux City woman was

“Our youngest member is 50 and our oldest is 90. It’s hard to overcome the image that the VFW is simply a place where a bunch of old guys sit around drinking beer when that’s what our membership consists of – a bunch of old guys.” JERRY BROOKS, COMMANDER OF THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS POST 1973

initially asked to become a Women’s Auxiliary member. “I said ‘No way,’” Reed said with a smile. “I’m just as much of a veteran as any of the guys. I wanted to be a VFW member with all of the benefits and all of the responsibilities.” To that end, Reed has assisted in VFW efforts to raise funds for aging veterans and their families as well as for programs that will help out in times of emergency. According to Brooks, such programs are becoming more difficult to sustain as

funds are hard to come by. “We’d like to be more active but everything takes money,” he said. “In a bad economy, we all suffer.” LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Despite an aging membership, Reed said the VFW is “still kicking” because it provides “a sense of camaraderie.” “Whether you’re a VFW member or a member of our women’s or men’s auxiliary, you’re made to feel like a family,” she said. “In good times or in bad, we are all a family.” The American Legion’s Chris Radloff agrees, adding that today’s young veterans will see benefit in joining military organizations. “Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone who has been through what you’ve been through,” he said. “It helps that we all come from a similar experience. “When I was younger, I’d see these old American Legion guys with their funny hats, marching in parades,” Radloff remembered. “I could never see myself as being one of those ‘old guys.’” “On my motorcycle, I don’t feel like an old guy,” he admitted. “I get to be myself and still show my pride.”


November 2012



“The nation should be thankful our military members answered the call of our civilian leadership. People signed up for the military knowing they were going to war. That’s worth a tip of the cap.” 26

November 2012



with Rear Admiral Michael Franken A life in the military? Nick Hytrek discovers what it’s like when he talks with Rear Admiral Michael Franken, a Sioux Center, Iowa, native, who graduated from Sioux Center High School in 1976. 1. How long have you been in the Navy?

what my intention was. It’s a typical Midwestern thing, you join and you don’t stop. You keep carrying forward.

2. How did you get interested in military service?

9. Where are you stationed now and what are your duties?

I am in my 32nd year of service.

I was a biochemistry major at Morningside College, intending to go to medical school as many of my family members had. By chance I had a talk with my brother, who was a pilot in the Navy. He said rather than go straight to med school, why don’t you join the military and goof off for three years and see the world? So I went to (the University of) Nebraska and looked around and joined the ROTC.

3. Why the Navy?

I applied to the Air Force first, but it was too late for them to take me. So I went to the Navy and they accepted me.

4. Does military service run in the family?

My father served during World War II (in the Navy). My brother did 34 years in the Navy. I have a brother-in-law who was an Army surgeon. I have another brother-in-law who is an Air Force retired colonel pilot. And I have a third brotherin-law who was a Marine infantryman in Vietnam.

5. Have you served in the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan? I have.

6. In what capacity?

Right after 9/11, I went to a staff in the Navy called Deep Blue, and we worked on early operations in Afghanistan and planning for Iraq. I had jobs that were either there or tangential (to the wars) since 2002. Recently, I did a year as commander in Djibouti and was responsible for actions in the southwest Middle East and the Horn of Africa.

7. When did you get promoted to admiral? In July 2008. I was promoted to twostar in February.

8. Was becoming an admiral a goal of yours?

No, never. It couldn’t be farther from

I’m in the Pentagon and live in Alexandria, Va. I represent the Secretary of the Navy on Capitol Hill. I ensure that our nation’s legislators are well-versed in all things maritime. I am, by all other descriptions, a man of the legislative process.

10. Do you get any kidding about being an admiral who grew up about as far away from the ocean as you can get? No. It’s unbelievably common. We had a chief of naval operations who was born in Sioux City. There’s, I believe, five or six one- or two-star admirals from the University of Nebraska.

11. From your biography, it looks like you’ve been all over the world. How many countries have you visited? Something over 80. Some of them a dozen times or more.

12. What are your favorites?

The northern half of Italy is notable. Western Great Britain in the moor area is phenomenal. The mountains of Ethiopia. The Rift Valley of Tanzania. The Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. The northern reaches of Norway.

surrounded by the green corn and bean fields of Northwest Iowa? There are some visuals which are the same. As the corn and beans wax and wane in the breeze is like waves. The expanse is kind of the same.

16. What does Veterans Day mean to you? I’ve never really needed to be thanked for my service. I chose this lifestyle. The right outlook on it ought to be a high degree of humility. We shouldn’t seek preferential treatment.

17. Do you think the way the country views its veterans has changed since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? The nation should be thankful our military members answered the call of our civilian leadership. People signed up for the military knowing they were going to war. That’s worth a tip of the cap. The nation should treat us like any person who’s in a service-related field like teachers or social workers or police officers.

18. How do you personally honor veterans? I honor my elders. I have a soft spot for World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans. There’s no honoring other than treating them with respect.

13. Are there any places you haven’t visited yet that you’d like to?

19. Can you describe the bond shared by veterans who have served together?

I would like to spend time in Madagascar. I would like to live for a year in Nepal. I think I would appreciate living in the hill country of Southeast Asia, say Cambodia or Thailand.

You have to really have an understanding of what the person did during their service. Before I show any emotion, I try to understand what that person did in their service.

14. How much of your Navy career has been spent on a ship in the middle of the ocean?

20. What’s been your proudest moment as a member of the military?

That would be an indeterminate question. I have about 12 years of sea service. In essence, I spent the ’80s at sea.

15. How’s that compare to being

Standing on the bridge after you know your ship did really well. When you’re the CO (commanding officer) of a ship, you’re really alone at the top.


November 2012


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November 2012



star moms



Text by Joanne Fox Photo by Jerry Mennenga

SOME THINGS CHANGE, SOME things remain the same. That’s the feeling of Pat Macrander, a Blue Star mother whose two sons serve in the military. “Mark has done two tours of duty and possibly may be doing a third,” she said. “Jonathan has done three tours and there is a possibility he may go on a fourth.” The Sioux City mother recalled her moment of greatest joy was tempered by her moment of greatest dread in which she wished for the support of other Blue Star moms. Macrander and her husband Terry were set to pick up their son on July 25, 2007, in Waterloo, Iowa. Staff Sgt. Jonathan Macrander, 25, was returning from 22 months in Iraq. At 5:30 a.m., Macrander received a call from Baghdad. Her 21-year-old son, Army Spec. Mark Macrander, was coming out of surgery after being hit by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) while on patrol. “It was the longest four-and-ahalf-hour drive of my life,” she said as tears welled up in her eyes and then coursed down her cheeks. “I was absolutely numb.” She wiped the tears with the side of her hand, put forth a brave smile and said: “It would have been wonderful to call a Blue Star mom at that time. It would have made all the difference.” Blue Star Mothers of America Inc. have sons and daughters who are serving or have served on active duty in one of the nation’s military services. In 1942 hundreds of mothers of servicemen met in Flint, Mich., in response to a newspaper ad to initiate such a support group. That year the organization was reported on the Congressional record and Iowa was one of the charter states. The Blue Star mothers provide support for one another when their sons and daughters are serving abroad, Macrander said.

Pat Macrander stands at her front door that has the family’s last name and a Blue Star flag denoting that both her sons, Iowa National Guard Staff Sgt. Jonathan Macrander with the 113th Cav, and U.S. Army Spc. Mark Macrander, serve in the armed services.

DETAILS Blue Star Mothers meet the first Saturday of every month in Des Moines at the Gold Star Musuem at Camp Dodge. Visit the organization’s Website at

“If you have never had a son or daughter in the military,” she said, “you can’t imagine what we go through.” Macrander had never heard of Blue Star Mothers until her own mother saw a newspaper article about the efforts of Jean Strunk of Knoxville, Iowa – at that time, the organization’s state president. “I looked it up on the Internet and wrote to Jean,” Macrander said. “I found out she had two sons in the military and her husband was a retired serviceman.” Family, and especially friends who don’t have children serving in the armed forces, sometimes can’t grasp

the emotional turmoil, Macrander said. “With another Blue Star mom, I can rant and rave and cry and I know that individual will not take what I say personally,” she said. “They understand and they don’t judge. The camaraderie is there.” Blue Star members receive a flag emblazoned with a blue star. The Macranders proudly display theirs in the window of their northside home. In addition to supporting one another, Blue Star mothers will participate in veterans’ or Memorial Day services. They help with funerals when mothers receive the Gold Star banner signifying the loss of a son or daughter while he or she was serving in the military service, Macrander said, and will deliver the banner to the family. “I remember driving up to a farmhouse and there was a flag on every fence post and then one flying in the yard at half staff,” she said of one such delivery. “The pride that family had displayed in the midst of their loss was just overwhelming. I had to sit in the car for the longest time.”


November 2012



life of a military wife

Sarah Petersen pictured with her husband Shawn and daughter Claire. Sarah founded Support Siouxland Soldiers while her husband was deployed.



Text by Earl Horlyk Photo by Jim Lee

WHEN SARAH PETERSEN MARRIED her boyfriend Shawn in May 2007, the couple knew they were in a race against the clock. Shawn, a member of the Iowa Army National Guard, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry, knew he was to be deployed for a year-long tour as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom the next month. “There were definitely a lot of mixed emotions,” Shawn admitted. “Sarah and I had been together for quite some time but, now, barring a few leaves, we’d be apart for the next 12 months.” “I was in complete denial up until the last minute,” Sarah explained. “If you put it out of your mind, it won’t hurt as much.” 30

November 2012

It was only after he became one of the 250 Iowans deployed in June 2007 that Shawn Petersen’s absence became “real” to his bride. “I threw myself a big ol’ pity party for a while,” Sarah said. “Then I decided to take action.” A marketing coordinator in wealth management for Security National Bank, Sarah knew that several Siouxland families also had loved ones serving in the military overseas. That’s why she helped to found Support Siouxland Soldiers, a community nonprofit (501c3) organization whose mission is to support veterans, members of the armed forces and their families. The original mission of the organization was to provide personalized “Care” packages for soldiers as a way to increase morale.


“Since we began in 2007, the organization has held ‘Care Pack’ events every other month,” Sarah said. “To date, we’ve sent out thousands of ‘care’ packages to all branches of the armed forces.” But for Sarah, Support Siouxland Soldiers allowed her to connect with other families going through the same sense of loneliness. Then living on an acreage east of Sioux City, Sarah admitted she felt isolated. Support Siouxland Soldiers proved she wasn’t alone. “It was awesome because no one knows what you’re going through as much as another military family,” Sarah said. “As much as the organization was created to help the soldiers, we were also providing support for ourselves.” When Shawn Petersen’s deployment

in Iraq ended in 2008, the couple was able to make plans for the future. First, the Petersens moved into a house in Sioux City and, then, started a family with the birth of their daughter Claire. Claire was only a month old when Shawn Petersen was deployed again in 2010. This time, he was to serve a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan. “I think the second deployment was easier on Sarah than the first one was,” Shawn noticed. Sarah agreed, adding that caring for her daughter took her mind off her husband half the world away. “Sarah and I would stay in contact via Skype,” Shawn said. “That was nice because I could yell at Shawn with Skype,” Sarah said, jokingly. “You can’t do that as effectively with an email.” In addition, Shawn said he was able to get to know his daughter via Skype. “I knew I’d miss Claire’s first steps or first words,” he said, shaking his head. “That’s time that I’ll never be able to get back. Yet Skype made me feel like I was still involved with my family.” Since returning in 2011, Shawn has became reacquainted with both his daughter and his wife.

SUBMITTED PHOTO Sarah Petersen, one of the founders of Support Siouxland Soldiers, said her organization has sent thousands of “Care” packages to members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

SUPPORT SIOUXLAND SOLDIERS Support Siouxland Soldiers is a community nonprofit (501c3) organization whose mission is to support Veterans, members of the Armed Forces and military families. The mission of the organization is to provide food for Veterans and their families as well as hosting fun family events. Since it was formed in 2007, Support Siouxland Soldiers has helped more than 11,000 Veterans. If you would like to know more about the organization, go to www.

“It was great having everything go back to normal,” said Shawn, a welder with Sioux City Foundry. For Sarah, it took a little time to get used to married life again. “I was becoming accustomed to being a single parent and being the one responsible for seeing the bills get paid on time,” she confessed. “It was hard letting go.” Still, the Petersens are happy to be a family once again. Even though fewer soldiers are being deployed, Sarah said her commitment to Support Siouxland Soldiers has remained as strong as ever. “The group has definitely evolved,” she said. “In addition to helping soldiers overseas, we are also helping when they get back.” Today, Support Siouxland Soldiers provide food, financial and human resources support for returning veterans and their families. In addition, the organization continues to bring military families together through family events like holiday parties and youth camps. “When Shawn first went overseas, I felt very alone,” Sarah said. “Through Support Siouxland Soldiers, I discovered I had an extended family I never had before.”

Changing Trends in remodeling reasons and rooms Americans are in love with remodeling. Television networks such as HGTV and DIY run 24 hours a day with shows like “BATHtastic” and “Design Star.” Magazines, websites and blogs feature happy home owners gushing over perfect room makeovers. And with the continuing challenging economy, more home owners have decided to stay in their current home longer, which has created higher demand for remodeling. A survey released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in 2012 shows that common remodeling projects have increased, compared to a similar survey from 2010. And nearly 50 percent of remodelers report seeing an increase in the number of home owners who undertake remodels to avoid moving, compared to the 2010 findings. Bathroom and kitchen remodeling remain the two most common types of jobs, as they have been consistently since 2001. After 2009, however, bathroom and kitchen remodeling switched places— bathrooms became the most frequent type of job for professional remodelers. Seventy-eight percent of the survey respondents cited bathroom remodeling as one of the most common jobs, an alltime high.

Home owners are frequently asking for a high-end spa feel to their new bathrooms, with features and materials such as television screens built into mirrors, exotic wood finishes, recycled glass tiles and sophisticated lighting systems. Other popular features include those that enable a home owner to stay in their home as they age; including step-in tubs and shower stall benches and rails. Both kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects were up 17 percent from two years ago. Other popular jobs were window and door replacements, room additions, handyman services and whole house remodeling, although whole house remodeling is down significantly from its peak in the mid-2000s. The motivation behind many home owners’ decision to remodel has changed as well. The top two reasons for remodeling were the need to repair or replace old or outdated components and the desire for better and newer amenities. More than 50 percent of remodelers said that these two reasons for remodeling have become more common over the past two years.

In contrast, more than 20 percent of remodelers said there was a decrease in customers remodeling to increase home values as an investment or to prepare for a sale (whether distressed or not). Remodeling to accommodate a change in the number of people living in the home also received low scores. Whether they are inspired by the amazing makeovers shown on television shows, or their changing lifestyle necessitates repurposing spaces to make more efficient use of their home’s square footage, home owners are turning to professional remodelers to help improve their home. For more information on remodeling, go to

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November 2012



185th’s place in defense



Text by Earl Horlyk Photos by Jim Lee

TSGT DAVE HENSON KEEPS A watchful eye as a three-man crew checks the tire on a KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft, inside the massive hangar of the United States Air Force’s 185th Air Refueling Wing. Gauging the crew’s performance, Henson is looking for both speed and accuracy as the mission of the 185th is to provide mid-air refueling and mobile sustainability in order to support the global mission of the Air Force. In other words, the 185th is where planes go to gas up and have maintenance performed before heading off to hot spots around the world. “Everybody needs fuel,” Henson says, nonchalantly, “so they always stop here.” Yet, as a community-based organization, the 185th – located at the Sioux Gateway Airport – also plays a pivotal role in providing a response in times of state or national emergency. Its commitment to the community was put to the test when United Airlines Flight 232 was forced to crash land at the Sioux Gateway Airport on July 19, 1989, and when the Missouri River flooded in the summer of 2011. In addition, the unit also deployed more than 30 percent of its members in support of Operations Jump Start, Iraqi Freedom, Noble Eagle and Enduring

Freedom. Employing more than 1,000 people (including traditional guardsmen, full-time military personnel, air technicians and state contract employees) and with an annual payroll of $49,781,600, the 185th is one of Siouxland’s largest employers. According to MSgt. Vincent De Groot, the 185th’s public affairs manager, the unit is also one of the busiest places to be. “On most weekends, we’re a community unto ourselves,” he remarks. Established in 1962, the 185th flew the North American F-100 Supersonic jet fighter for 15 years, when it converted to the A-7D Corsair II. The F-16 “Flying Falcon” – which the 185th began receiving in 1991 – would be the last jet the unit would fly before converting to KC135 tankers in 2003. That was also the year that the former 185TH AIR REFUELING WING BY THE NUMBERS $49,781,600 Annual payroll 1,155 - Number of full-time employees 9 - Number of KC-135R aircrafts assigned 33,900 Number of volunteer hours performed by 185th unit members in the Siouxland area Source: 185th Air Refueling Wing Fiscal Year 2011 Economic Impact Statement

Major Joe Bousquet sits in the cockpit of a KC-135 after landing at the 185th Air Refueling Wing.

SrA Bryan Whilock, A1C Dillion Choquette and SrA Allan Patterson check the tires on a KC-135 at the 185th Air Refueling Wing.

185th Fighter Group was re-designated the 185th Air Refueling Wing. In 2007, the unit transitioned from KC135E to the KC-135R, newer planes with larger engines and the capacity to go on more missions. “Since we have airplanes all around the world, this is a very challenging place to work,” Henson notes. “It’s also an important place to work.”


November 2012




military pioneer



Text by Joanne Fox

CONNIE (HAMBLIN) SPAIN HAD A decision to make. “I was a midyear graduate of Central High School in 1941,” she recalled. “I had taken some businesses courses in school, but didn’t want that to be my profession. I figured I had from January to September to decide what to do.” In the back of her mind, Spain wanted to be a nurse. “I remember when I was a patient how much I loved the nurses who were caring for me,” she said. “But my sister told me I couldn’t be a nurse and I was not very brave back then. I took her word for it.” What turned Spain’s thinking around was an invitation from that same sister to move to Clinton, Iowa. “At that time, she was studying nursing at St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing and she told me I could earn a dollar a day working there to help pay for my education,” she said. “I decided to do it.” Spain loved it and was particularly drawn to the obstetrics department and nursery. “I guess I was good at what I did,” she said. “I always knew when to call the doctor.” 34

November 2012

In that first year of Spain’s nursing training, she was hospitalized for strep throat. “On Dec. 7 , 1941, while listening to the radio from my hospital bed, I heard President (Franklin) Roosevelt speak, saying Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States was at war,” she said. “In a short time my doctor visited me and stated he would soon be joining the armed services as were so very many other doctors and nurses.” Spain recalled how quickly the country came together to do whatever it took to join the fight against Japan. “However, it left nurses to fill the gap,” she said. “We were quickly activated through our training and were performing graduate nursing duties our third year of training.” In the beginning of Spain’s second year of training, she and others were given the option of joining the Cadet Nurse Corps, a federal program for the training of American nurses during World War II. “The Nurse Cadet Corps was instituted to encourage us toward enlisting in the armed services,” Spain said. “With that we also were to be paid $20 a month.” Cadet nurses were the largest and youngest group of uniformed women to


serve their country. It was a time when nursing students lived together in nurse residences and cared for injured servicemen, Spain explained. “I was in a class of 23 nurses, so most of us joined,” she said. “Our first check was $60 for three months back pay. Our nurses home was a bedlam of joy, with the buying of everything from wristwatches to perfume and going out to eat ‘non-hospital’ food. Such fun we had! We felt we were rich.” Soon after Spain and the other nurses were given a choice to sign up to spend the last six months of their nurses training in an Army or Navy hospital. “Four of us were chosen to go to a Navy hospital in California called Oak Knoll Naval Hospital,” she said. “Before that time we were given an opportunity to write our state boards in Des Moines. If we passed, we were given our RN degree before we left for California. We felt very blessed.” In January Spain left by train for California and, upon arriving, was sent to live in the nurses officer unit and was treated as an officer. “What an experience we had,” she said. “We were trained to march, and all other Naval procedures and ate in the Officers Mess.”

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Connie Spain worked in different departments to care for Naval and Marine war victims – mostly from the Pacific theater.

Photo: Joan Marcus

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Spain worked in different departments to care for Naval and Marine war victims – mostly from the Pacific theater. When Spain returned to Iowa, she considered joining the U.S. Navy. “But the war ended and I was engaged to be married,” she said. Connie Hamblin and Francis Spain were married in 1945 in Clinton, Iowa. She was employed as a night supervisor at the hospital in Clinton until the couple moved to Sioux City in 1953. Spain was employed at St. Vincent Hospital as a private duty nurse and by the Public Health Nursing Service. Active with the Siouxland Council on Alcoholism since 1966 and a charter member of its board, Spain began employment in 1970 with the Siouxland Council on Alcoholism, which today is Jackson Recovery Centers. She retired in 1985, although continued working part time in the field of nursing. At age 89 and widowed since 1998, Spain has traded the unpredictable Iowa weather for the temperate California climate. “It was great learning, fun, and exciting entertainment on time-off duty,” she said of her Cadet Nurse Corps experience. “Young girls with all those fellows!”

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Get trendy in your kitchen!

Siouxland area designers have shared the latest trends in kitchen design, based on what they are seeing in the marketplace. Jamie Miller, AKBD Designer, of Creative Cabinetry in South Sioux City, Neb., said she is seeing some accents in an island or furniture looking piece. Creative Cabinetry uses Wood-Mode Fine Custom Cabinetry and the Brookhaven Semi-Custom Cabinetry in their kitchen designs. As far as wood species, she said homeowners are requesting natural wood finishes and painted finishes. “We’ve been doing a lot of both in the fall,” she said. Bob Miller, owner of Pioneer Cabinetry in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, said homeowners are tending to use warm earth tone colors, such

as greens and beiges, and possibly some darker shades, in their kitchens. Cabinetry doors are mostly Shaker and Mission styles with straight panels, but square raised panel doors are still popular. “We’re distressing some cabinets to make them look like older furniture. We do a lot of glazing and antiquing to make cabinets look softer and not so sharp,” said Bob, who has owned Pioneer Cabinetry with his wife Robin for 18 years. “Homeowners prefer a dull finish rather than a glossy finish. They mix and match a lot.” In addition to cabinetry, Pioneer Cabinetry offers countertops in laminate, solid surface and stone, and handles the fabrication, making them a one-stop shop.

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Breezy Struthers Drake of Modern Kitchen Design said that the focus is always on creating a space that is highly functional according to you or your family needs, whether it is a remodel or new build. “We are seeing a wide variety of styles being used. The main idea is to let us help you find the style that is all your own and being able to make that a reality. Being in the Midwest we will always see traditional woods and overall feel. It is creating a space that is unique to the client’s needs and wants which makes our job fun and exciting. We carry a wide variety of cabinet lines so we are able to create any look … and able to fit any budget. Lately we have been seeing a preference of cherry wood, but with a more brownish cast. We’re even

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doing quite a bit with rustic cherry, then the tried and true deep burgundy that is classic. Paints of all kinds are being used as well … a true white for that crisp feel in the kitchen, or a more antiqued look with heavy glazing and distressing that is more common on a furniture piece,” said Struthers Drake. Laurie Baldwin, owner of Solid Fabrications in Sioux City, said the current trend in solid surface countertops is color and patterns with movement. “You can get subtle veining to dramatic patterns. Colors are all over the palette,” she said. Solid surface countertops embody the look of natural stone and they are durable and easy to care for. Stacy Kaiser, co-owner of Surface Solutions in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, with her husband Gary, said homeowners are going more middle of the road when it comes to choosing wood species for cabinet refacing, a process of renewing cabinets by removing old doors and drawer fronts. The cabinet face frames are resurfaced with prefinished wood veneer and the bottom and sides of the cabinets with prefinished plywood. “The cabinet fronts they are choosing are not really light and they’re not really dark,” said Stacy. “Homeowners are choosing various wood types. Maple has been popular, more because oak has been so popular for so long. It’s more cutting-edge. It’s less grainy wood with a subtle, rich look.” Homeowners are selecting square raised panel doors and drawer fronts, or a flat panel, Shaker style door, she said.

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honor WWII veterans Don Bauerly, left, and Warren R. Hobbs are shown with Souxland Honor Flight coordinator Cathy Mueller in Sioux City.





Text by John Quinlan Photo by Tim Hynds

AN IDEA CATHY MUELLER HAD while reading an article in American Profile magazine (inserted in the Sioux City Journal one Saturday five years ago) took flight, literally, when she started thinking about her dad, Warren Hobbs, a World 38

November 2012

War II veteran from Kingsley, Iowa. The result? Siouxland Honor Flight volunteers, led by Mueller, the Sioux City organizer, raised $300,000 in less than 18 months to fund three Honor Flights carrying 315 Siouxland veterans from Sioux City to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 9, 2008, June 2, 2009 and Oct. 13, 2009.


“It’s the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Mueller, her eyes glistening while she discussed that first flight with her father and another WWII vet, Don Bauerly of Merrill, Iowa. Mueller said she read about the National Honor Flight Network, to which Sioux City became Iowa’s first hub and thought it was pretty neat.

“I called my dad and I asked if he would be interested in going on one of those flights, and he said, yeah, he might. So we filled out an application together and I faxed it in the next day. That was October of ’07,” she said. They heard nothing over the winter from the national organization. So she called in early April 2008 to see about getting Dad on a flight and was told that his application was there along with those of about 5,000 other veterans. Told to contact the hub organizer in Omaha, she learned that his priority was naturally the hundreds of Nebraska vets who wanted to fly. “I realized that someone needed to form a hub here in Siouxland and it needed to be done very quickly since we were losing these silent heroes at the rate of 1,000 per day,” Mueller said. “After being told my venture was impossible and experiencing bouts of rejection for donations to this very worthy cause, I became even more determined to see my dream come true and insisted that I would make the community aware of what I was trying to accomplish.” Determined to make it happen, she did. It was, after all, her way of saying “thank you” to her dad and all of the other WWII veterans, the then-young men and women who helped assure we live in a coupon

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free country. The big purpose, of course, was to let these heroes see the new World War II Memorial in D.C., along with the other war memorials and sites honoring those whose lives were lost, those whom Hobbs called “the real heroes.” So Mueller went to the local media. The word got out. The money was raised. Flights began. Many businesses, citizens and American Legion posts contributed. One flight clearly wasn’t going to get the job done, but by the third flight, most of the veterans interested in taking part were accommodated, Mueller said. And she is still working to find flights for missed out on the Siouxland planes. “It’s in my blood. They’re precious to me,” she said of the vets. THE VETS These were whirlwind one-day flights to our nation’s capital. “Everyone was very enthusiastic about the flights out, but there were a lot of them falling asleep coming back,” Hobbs said. A Navy vet who served as a gunner on troop ships in the South Pacific during the war, Bauerly said he helped run troops to shore in Higgins boats in the last two campaigns of the war, the bloody battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Bauerly stayed in the National Guard after the war for

another 30 years, giving him another “free Asiatic tour,” this one to Vietnam in 1968, when he was 42, much older than the 18-year-old kid soldiers who surrounded him. Bauerly and Hobbs were both 18 when they entered the service in 1944. Hobbs served in the Army Air Corps as a lower ball turret gunner on a B-17 that flew 52 bombing missions in Italy. Most of his missions were in the Balkan countries, but he also took part in the invasions of Italy, southern France and Germany. As a member of the Air Force Reserve a few years later, he just missed being sent to Korea during that conflict. Everything about the Honor Flight was “spectacular,” Bauerly said, from the young people who hosted the pre-flight dinner at the Marina Inn to the folks in D.C. who greeted them when they arrived. “I’d been to Washington D.C. several times before, but I was surprised at how many of the 100 (veterans on the first flight) had never been to Washington. And that was a positive. I was impressed with them all and some of them were in pretty bad shape,” he said, noting that the flight carried “three women and 96 grouchy men ... and me.” Bauerly found the WWII Memorial to be very impressive, the Vietnam and Korea memorials more “shocking.”

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“It meant a lot to me, knowing that people appreciated what we had done.”

WARREN HOBBS World War II veteran from Kingsley, Iowa

Both men were profoundly affected at the sight of the Iwo Jima Memorial. “Of course, I was in Iwo Jima, took troops there,” Bauerly said of that memorial. “I took young Marines ashore and then five or six days later took them out in body bags. And when you’re 18, you don’t think much about it. But then in Vietnam, at 42, it was entirely different. I had a son. In fact, he went to Vietnam right after I did. So…” The flight to D.C. was just another flight for Hobbs, but the day in D.C. was “very impressive, a long time coming,” he said. “I appreciate the fact that I was instrumental in getting it. You know, it was for us, the veterans of World War II.” Bauerly said he was impressed with the guardians, the volunteers who, at their own expense, took the flight to assist vets who needed help. Some in wheelchairs, many with canes, they aren’t as spry as they were 70 years ago. “When she said something about two guardians that first night, I thought what the hell! I don’t need a guardian,” Bauerly said. “But at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, there’s small steps. I went to sit down and there was two guardians that got there and sat me down. I went to get up and there was two of them picked me up. They did a fantastic job.” Mueller said that in reviewing all the veterans’ applications, she was able to discern how many guardians were needed. Some vets, like those with wheelchairs, needed a fulltime guardian. Others, like her dad “and Don pretty much,” just needed to share a guardian. There were also “floaters,” extra travelers like herself and various family members who were along to help out, fetching water or whatever. “It meant a lot to me, knowing that people appreciated what we had done,” Hobbs said. “Yeah, I thought it was kind of amazing,” Bauerly added. “In the reception in D.C., there was one lady in a pretty blouse and she gave me a hug. So she was there when we left and I said, ‘You give me a hug when I got here. So come here, I’ll give you another.’ The enthusiasm of the younger generation, I was impressed with it.” Siouxland Honor Flight board members along with Mueller were Virgil Kleve, David Rasmussen, Ranae Reed, Tim Artz, Chuck Thompson, Fidell Wadsworth and Bruce Curry.

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November 2012



life in Vietnam

Glenn Barnett, 70, is shown outside his residence at Dakota Dunes, S.D.


He earned his wings – and the Distinguished Flying Cross – in fight on Ho Chi Minh trail


November 2012


Text and photo by Tim Gallagher

DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. | Glenn Barnett shot twice in Vietnam. Fortunately for him and his fellow U.S. servicemen, he was quick and accurate. Glenn Barnett Barnett, 70, served 25 is shown on his years with the U.S. Air 30th birthday. Force. The New York City The U.S. Air native studied accountForce Major ing and banking/finance enjoyed a at New York University. military career that spanned A member of the ROTC, 25 years. Barnett saw his immediate graduate school plans scrapped when Uncle Sam tapped him for flight school. He flew C-130s and F-4s in his military career, including a two-year stint in


Vietnam, 1966 to 1968. “I was in a C-130 above Vietnam when the Tet Offensive started,” he says from a dining room table at his Dakota Dunes residence. “You couldn’t find a place to land.” Sought for its versatility, the C-130 could cruise at 335 miles per hour; it could also land in the same space a Cessna might drop from the sky. C-130s dropped cargo and supplies for troops all over southeast Asia. Barnett’s closest call came in midDecember 1967 on a day when he flew supplies to a U.S. Special Forces camp on the Ho Chi Minh trail not far from the border with Cambodia. On the fifth and final trip, Barnett landed in a different direction and pulled into camp nose-first. (He’d been backing the plane into camp on four previous flights.) “We landed on a big, wide road that looked like 230th Street (a gravel road in rural Woodbury County) only with no telephone poles,” Barnett said. “We’d land, put the props in reverse and back into camp. We’d unload and then take off for Saigon to get another load.” On this final trip, though, he pulled in nose-first. He walked from the cockpit to the back of the plane to help unload. Sensing he was hungry during the loadout process, Barnett walked to the front of the plane when he encountered two men dressed wearing loincloths. They’d entered the front of the plane with a satchel full of explosives. Barnett didn’t have time to interrogate. Grabbing his pistol, he shot one man as the other enemy turned, rifle drawn. Barnett shot him dead, too. Barnett grabbed the satchel, sprinted 40 yards from the plane and threw the bag as far as he could into a section of trees. It exploded in seconds, throwing Vietcong bodies about, starting a firefight. “Our Special Forces jumped into the fight immediately,” Barnett said. Back at his C-130, Barnett directed the pilot in his effort to back from the camp. The plane took rounds of mortar in the mêlée before successfully backing down the road and taking off. Barnett dove from the back of the plane into the cockpit as the vessel accelerated and lifted from the ground. “The best thing I got out of Vietnam was my butt,” said Barnett, who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his work. Barnett spent that night being interviewed for reports and in de-briefing sessions. He then got drunk. “I remember that I could fire a rifle well as I had earned my marksman’s badge in the Boy Scouts,” he said. “But I

Glenn Barnett is shown in Vietnam with the C-130 he helped save from an enemy attack at a U.S. Special Forces camp on the Ho Chi Minh trail in mid-December 1967.

had trouble qualifying in the military with my pistol. After that experience, I never had trouble with a pistol on the range.” Those shots, fired at no more than 15 feet from the enemy, would be the only shots in combat Glenn Barnett would fire. All told, Barnett flew more than 1,000 hours in a 12-month span. The U.S., he said, won numerous battles, but ultimately didn’t win the war. “They (the enemy) had all the time in the world,” he said. “We did not.” The trained accountant would spend the rest of his military career training pilots and air crews in a variety of spots around the world, such as Egypt, Japan and Iran. Early in his career, he served the Air Force in England in Germany. Glenn and his wife Sharon, a native of Massachusetts, followed an Air Force family to Moville, Iowa, when they relocated in 1988. The move marked their 21st home in 18 years of marriage. They would raise six children, and move a couple of more times within Moville. The retired U.S. Air Force major kept busy with children and grandchildren. Drove school bus for 20 years.

Just two months ago, he and Sharon moved again. This time to Dakota Dunes where they continue to stay busy with their growing family. Glenn Barnett also volunteers, filling time as a tour guide at the Sergeant Floyd Museum on Sioux City’s riverfront. And, he finally got into his chosen field – accounting. Now in his Golden Years, the Vietnam War veteran fills out tax forms for those in need through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.


November 2012







Text by Dolly A. Butz

A research project aimed at better understanding the effects of traumatic stress on war veterans will commence in Siouxland in the coming months. University of South Dakota psychology professors Jeffrey Simons and Raluca Gaher recently received a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine the association between traumatic stress and health outcomes among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that occurs when someone goes through a traumatic event such as war, assault or natural disaster. Sleep disturbance, emotional numbing, avoidance behaviors, anger and flashbacks are common symptoms of PTSD sufferers, according to Simons. “We have a whole new generation of veterans coming back from these recent wars and they have seen a host of difficulties due to some of their experience there,” said Simons, who hopes to begin collecting data in the coming months. His previous research focused on selfregulation and health behaviors among young adult populations, while Gaher has worked with veterans before. The research project is being conducted in partnership with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Sioux Falls and 44

November 2012

the Veteran Health Care System near Pines, Fla. Simons and Gaher are seeking 250 veterans for the 18-month study who have served in operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom. The participants must be able to safely participate in the study and be able to travel to Sioux Falls and Vermillion, S.D. Simons said age will be a factor in who is selected for the study, but he said participants do not have to have PTSD symptoms. Participants will undergo an initial interview and submit a genetic sample for genotyping - the process of determining differences in the genetic make-up of an individual by examining their DNA sequence. With the help of smart phones, participants will answer questions daily in real time about their feelings, social relationships, behaviors, activity levels and PTSD symptoms. Simons said they will answer questions for a few weeks, take a break, and then begin answering questions again. “The advantages of doing it this way is that we’re essentially assessing the behavior in real time, rather than getting an assessment of what’s happened


over the last month or six months or year,” Simons said. “We’re able to get very specific information every couple hours about how they’ve been doing. By doing that we’re able to model very specific relationships over time to understand variability within the person across time.” Each war has its own stressors, according to Simons, although he said there are some common problems that war veterans share across the generations. “Veterans have different levels of problems, but to a greater extent, within a person they vary from day to day,” he said. “You have good days and bad days.” Exposure-based treatments, which involve having war veterans repeatedly reexperience their traumatic event, Simons said, is often used to manage PTSD. “It’s also something that veterans don’t always want to do because of the severity of the experiences,” he said. Through the study, Simons said he hopes to determine what triggers PTSD in war veterans and therefore increase the number of good days they have.

HEALTH Answers

to your questions

‘DOC, I’VE GOT A QUESTION …’ answers to your medical questions

Is it OK to get rid of nose hair? Let’s clarify… you aren’t collecting nose hair are you? If you are, we need to talk. Nasal hair is one of the first defenses of the respiratory system. The hair inside of your nostrils is there to filter out particles that you breathe in before they reach your lungs. These sometimes harmful particles include pollen, dust, smoke, mold and germs. When this airborne nastiness comes into contact with the lining of the nose, sinus, throat or lungs, it may trigger sneezing, coughing, or allergic reactions. Humans can inhale particles 100 microns or smaller through normal breathing. Nose hair will filter this down to approximately 5-30 microns. The lining of the airway takes care of the remaining particles with the help of mucus trapping, sneezing and coughing. Cosmetically speaking, nose hairs do not score very many points. After an exhaustive internet search I was not able to find any information about cultures that value an exceptionally long nostril mullet, booger blanket, or schnoz pelt. Men typically have thicker and coarser nasal hair. If the hair does interfere with your quality of life, they can be removed. Because of their role in protection from inhaled particles, I would recommend removing only the hairs that protrude from the opening of the nostrils. Nose hair trimmers are available at most pharmacies and department stores. Grooming scissors should be used with

caution to prevent injury to the inside of the nostrils. I do not recommend tweezers or other methods of pulling out nose hairs. This method causes more irritation and increases the risk of ingrown hairs which may increase the risk of infection. If you are so inclined, there is also laser hair removal for the nose. This method is reported to be more permanent but comes with increased cost and may render the natural filter less effective.


If someone coughs in your direction, what should you do? Will you get the germs that could cause a cold? The human cough is an explosive eruption of aerosolized mucus and various sized droplets into the air. The

MEET THE DOC Dr. Nick Bechtold is a family medicine resident at Family Medicine Center. He grew up in Sioux City, graduating from Bishop Heelan Catholic High School and Briar Cliff University. Before pursuing his career as a physician, he spent a couple of years in Omaha and Iowa City working at research labs and a biotech company. He graduated from Des Moines University and returned to his favorite corner of Iowa with his wife Karla.

cough has been clocked up to 64 mph and has a direct distribution of droplets of 2-3 feet. The area cough droplets travel may be increased in open areas or with the presence of air movement like wind, fans or opening doors. The cough mechanism is present to clear the lungs of irritating particles. Small droplets hang out in the air for long periods of time while larger droplets tend to fall and stick to nearby objects. The problem is that sometimes these particles are infectious, such as the influenza (flu), H1N1, as well as coronaviruses. Coronavirus causes the majority of adult colds (this is not to be mistaken with the “Corona” virus that hits adults around May 5). Germs like the cold and flu virus need to come into contact with your mucus membranes in order to infect you. These surfaces include your eyes, mouth and inside of your nose. To prevent the spread of the cold and flu we need to remember to cover our cough into a sleeve or tissue. As far as defense goes, try these tips: Remember to always adequately wash your hands before eating or having any contact with your mouth, eyes or nose. Keep your immune system up by reducing stress getting adequate sleep. Lastly, being a frequent unwilling cough droplet recipient, I highly recommend getting a flu vaccine every year.

WHAT KIDS OF HEALTH QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE? Submit your questions and they may be used in this monthly feature. Write to Siouxland Life at 515 Pavonia St., Sioux City, Iowa 51102.


November 2012


HEALTH Answers

to your questions

What can bedbugs do to you? Are they just a nuisance or do they cause much bigger problems?

This reminds me of that terrible bedtime mantra “Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Then the lights go out…Really Mom, you expect me to go to sleep with the possibility of bugs in here? And they bite?! Cimex lectularius is the name of the common bed bug. These pests were nearly eradicated in the 1940s with the use of the highly toxic pesticide DDT. Today, there has been an increase in the number of infestations of bed bugs. They most commonly inhabit beds with high turnover rates such as hotels, apartments and shelters. The bed bug is about the size of an apple seed and is reddish brown in color. The bed bug is nocturnal coming out at night and feeding. Feeding on you that is! Blood is a typical meal for the insect. Bed bugs are a nuisance, but they also pose potentially serious health problems. Insect bites may cause secondary bacterial infections. Some bugs carry bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). Other skin problems include blisters, rashes or allergic reactions. To check for bed bugs look for dark spots in the crevices of your bedding, mattress or other furniture. Remember, the term bed bug is a nickname. These insects can live in your couch and other parts of the house as well. If bed bugs are suspected, you should contact a professional exterminator. If you believe that you are having health problems related to bed bug bites, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Good night, sleep tight!


Do you have any quick advice for losing weight? A friend said if I cut out soft drinks I could lose 20 pounds in a year. Is that true? While I answer this question, start jogging in place. The advice that I give my patients concerning losing weight is the simple formula CALORIES IN – CALORIES OUT = NET CALORIES. Every person requires a certain number of calories to “fuel” their body every day. This amount of fuel is based on you basal metabolic rate (BMR) or metabolism. This is the calories that you would burn lying in bed. There are many websites that you can use to calculate your BMR. After finding your BMR you can

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November 2012


determine your activity level and this will give you a better idea of how many calories you actually need to eat in a day. For every 3,500 calories that you take in above your daily recommended amount you gain one pound. So for an example, let’s say your dietary calories were perfectly balanced based on your BMR and your activity level. You then drink a large regular cola (32 ounces) every workday. That is only an extra 310 calories a day; an extra 1,550 cal per week; an extra 80,600 calories a year. All things equal, with an extra soda five days a week, it is possible to gain around 23 pounds in a year. Your friend that advised you on cutting out soda may be on to something. Losing weight involves much more than just cutting things out and eating only certain types of food. It can be very difficult to fully balance. I would recommend using websites to calculate your calories needed, calories taken in, and calories burned through exercise. There are also apps available for smartphones and tablets. Remember, with any lifestyle modification, make a small change every few days. Cut the pop down gradually; try one every other day, or order a smaller size or drink flavored water instead. Your doctor’s office may have access to personalized dietary education as well. I wish you great success.


Bruce Miller

THERE’S NOTHING WORSE THAN THE FLU (AND A WHINY ADULT) How do you know you’re sick? You’re watching a Lawrence Welk show from 1973 and you think you recognize someone sitting in the audience. That was me, last month, trying to shake off the effects of the worst flu I’ve had since childhood. Yes, I got a flu shot and have been so diligent using hand sanitizer I should be a spokesman for Purell but, somehow, the bug decided to settle in. For three days, I could have been an extra on “The Walking Dead,” complete with his own special effects. If you’ve had it, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, grab that Purell bottle one more time. You’ll be glad you did. So what goes through your mind during the siege?

’t Friends didn believe I was I really sick, so o. ot ph a took See what I stly. mean? Gha

A BRIEF TIMETABLE: 11 p.m. – I should go to bed. 11:30 p.m. – Why can’t I sleep? Maybe I should get up and watch TV. 11:45 p.m. – My stomach hurts. Maybe, I need a Coke. 11:50 p.m. – Mom! HELP! 11:51 p.m. – Wait. Mom’s not here. (Expletive) What do I do now? Ruuuuunnnnnnn! 11:55 p.m. – Now, maybe I can sleep. Midnight. – Geez, it’s cold in here. I’m going to turn the heat up. To 80. Midnight-thirty – I’m sweating like a pig. Get a cold wash cloth! (Isn’t that what mom would do?) 1 a.m. – Ruuuuuuuuuuunnnnnn! 1:10 a.m. – This is worse than prepping for a colonoscopy. 2-3 a.m. – Sleep. 3:01 a.m. – I’m cold. I’m thirsty. WWMD? 3:01 a.m. – Ooops. Runnnnn! 3:10 a.m. – I’ve got to write emails to everyone saying the end is near. 3:30 a.m. – Am I still alive? 9 a.m. – I’m thirsty. Really thirsty. (Five bottles of water later: I better quit drinking water.) 10 a.m. – I’m going to bed. 3 p.m. – I look like hell. Where’s the scale? I must have lost weight. 4 p.m. – I think I need to call an ambulance, but I can’t find the number. 6:20 p.m. – I’m hungry, but what do I eat? Candy? I’m not interested. 9 p.m. – I better go back to bed. And the day starts over again. This happened for three days. THREE DAYS! Wars have ended in less time than that. Meanwhile, I had no interest in watching television. I turned it on once – for “The Lawrence Welk Show,” hoping I’d see Mom in the audience and she’d be able to tell me what to do about the flu.

The house looked like a hoarder lived there. Apparently in my weakened state, I have a tendency to leave things everywhere. So a minefield of magazines, books, clothes, dishes and newspapers littered the floor. In the kitchen? Empty water bottles. I cleared out a 24-pack of water and was reduced to drinking tap water at one point. As a result, five glasses lined the kitchen counter. At some point, I must have had the great idea to wash clothes. The light was on in the basement and the washer was full of wet clothes. When I did that, I have no idea. I made a halting effort at cleaning the bathroom, too, but that didn’t bear much fruit. There were four cans of cleanser standing on a counter next to bottles of outdated flu-relief medicine. I was a mess and, apparently, have pictures to prove it. I took a “last” photo of myself just in case relatives wanted to know what I looked like before the end. I’d show it to you but I can’t find the camera. When the haze lifted, I pulled out two big garbage bags and threw everything I might have touched that couldn’t be washed. I stripped the bed, sanitized the bathroom and put a parental block on “The Lawrence Welk Show.” I made a list, too, of food I needed to have in my home at all times (chicken noodle soup, you’re right there with the Tums) and put all the medicine I might need in a single place. Now, I’m ready for the flu to strike again. But, just in case, what’s the number for 9-1-1? SIOUXLAND LIFE

November 2012


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November 2012

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Siouxland Life Magazine - November 2012  

A guide for living in Siouxland

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