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Remembering Veterans Today and Always

Photo by Lexey Small, Getty Images

Veterans’ Day serves as a reminder to all of us of the sacrifices so many have made for our freedom.

I’ve written before, but it’s worth repeating, of the welcome one of my uncles received, not only from his community but also his family, when he returned from World War I.

This is the story my father, Lloyd Hetland, told to me many years ago.

His brother Conrad Hetland had worked as a clerk of sorts, helping to muster soldiers out of service after the Armistice on November 11, 1918, and so it was well into 1919 when he came home to Montrose, SD.

My dad, who was 12 at the time, and the rest of his family didn’t know Conrad was coming home, so when he arrived at the train station in Montrose, no one was there to meet him. Whether it was day or night, I don’t know, but Conrad walked 10 miles to the family farm.

It was not because of neglect or apathy–they just didn’t know he was coming.

He later went to what was then South Dakota State College in Brookings, where because of his wartime service he was called upon to help teach ROTC (It was mandatory then) and he worked with the future 5-star General Omar Bradley.

My dad and his family are gone now, but I feel a responsibility to keep that story alive.

I always have and I always will.

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