Local veterans honored at Heartland

Sue Kraft, Lifestyles Editor
Jerry Fjeld, President of the International War Veterans Alliance, salutes Art Sorum after placing a medal around his neck during a ceremony yesterday at Heartland Care Center.

“We haven't forgotten what you have done for our country.”

That was the basic message delivered to local veterans Tuesday, when Jerry Fjeld, president of the International War Veterans Alliance, visited Heartland Care Center. More than 20 veterans were honored with a medal and a certificate of appreciation for their service.

“We want to recognize the vets and let them know that we thank them for their service,” said Fjeld.

So far, he noted, around 100 local veterans have received the recognition, with about 150 more to come.

At Heartland Care Center, 10 men sat in the front of the room in wheelchairs as Fjeld approached them one by one to place the medal around their neck and salute the retired servicemen.

“We have to keep recognizing the vets that have served,” he said.

Each man received a certificate from the International War Veterans Alliance, which includes service members from the U.S. and Canada.

Lisa Crosby of Heartland read the certificate aloud: “This is awarded to the veterans who served their country. We were born side by side, raised side by side, fought wars side by side and many died by our side. One person gave his life for our soul and many in uniform gave their lives for freedom in Canada and the United States. The International War Veterans Alliance was organized in 1937 for the purpose of continued comradeship that was designed to last forever. We will remember the sacrifices made by all. The IWVA expressed their heartfelt thanks for your sacrifices and service to our great countries. Thank You!”

The certificate featured one word in each corner: Faith, Love, Hope and Peace.

“Where there is faith, there is love,” Crosby read. “Where there is faith and love, there is hope. Where there is faith, love and hope, there is peace.”

Fjeld also took a few minutes to thank the ladies in the crowd that had been married to servicemen, recognized the sacrifices they made.

Those receiving the honors were: Bill Brown, Anthony Schneider, Arthur Olson, Paul Lange, Wendelen Vetter, Hjalmer Hermanson, Merlyn Knutson, John “Art” LaFleur, Clifford Niemann, Arthur Sorum, Howard Thacker, Clarence Miller, Thomas Moen, Herbert Bryn, Doug Mootz, Leland Windjue, John Logan, Dr. Vernon Otis, Izzy LaFleur, Forrest Swartz, Irvin Nelson, Leonard Schwab and Reuben Mittelsteadt.