ERIC BERGESON: The Country Scribe — A Salute To Veterans

I think of the local combat veterans I know and know of with particular gratitude:

Ken Helm, Keith Bolstad (and his buddies I have met), Pumper Christianson, Jon Hovde, Harding Vidden, Bernie Lieder, the late Victor Ness, late neighbor Norris Jacobson, a nursery employee named Gullickson who committed suicide after World War II due to PSTD, neighbor Krogstad whose landing craft apparently flipped on top of him, making him one of the first casualties of D-Day, Uncle Orville’s brother who died in Korea, (I don’t have the list of all the first names, sorry), the Jagol boys, the five Gredvig brothers, the late Gus Haugen, Truman Opheim, Marvin Nelson (saw bad combat in Korea), our phy-ed teacher (still living) John Vorachek, who saw action in Vietnam as I recall; the late Chuck Erickson; a local whose name I don’t have access to right now who was killed minutes before the cease-fire in Europe, my history professor at UND, Playford Thorson, who parachuted behind the lines in France, (“frankly, I don’t think we accomplished a whole hell of a lot,” he said of the sabotage efforts of paratroopers) …

The list goes on, and this one is incomplete, but there are stories we should all hear. I am thankful that Veterans Day is celebrated with greater fervor than in past decades, for we all — not just the kids — need to know.

And one more: Great Fertile, Minn., town-team pitcher Gus Isaacson, plagued by terrible ghosts, calm only when he was on the mound, who eventually walked into the Pacific Ocean while serving and was never found …

Leave a Reply