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LETTER: Remembering veterans

(metro creative)

To the Editor:

My wife's father served in the Pacific theater during WWII; her stepfather fought in France and Italy where the end of his life began. I was fortunate to know Ralph decades before he married my mother-in-law. Every Sunday morning at the same time he would pass by our house as we lived on the same road on his way to church. Ralph was a kind soft spoken, hard working farmer proud Veteran and devout Christian.

When Ralph turned 74 he suddenly became ill and spent about a month in the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls. He died there all of us were devastated.

About a year later a report came from the VA saying Ralph had died from mold spores that had attached themselves to his lungs while he slept in the mountains of Italy. In addition, it stated that most of his Army unit, about 70 percent, had died from the same thing.

Many Sunday mornings as I stand outside I can visualize him driving by to church with his ear to ear smile and waving like he was in a parade.

So this is for all of today's protestors, lying draft-dodging political leaders, I'm entitled generation, lazy, non-believers, radical news people, Hollywood pretenders, and want a be heroes.

Ralph and thousands of veterans like him made it possible so you can do whatever you want today.

So R.I.P. Ralph Schmitt, farmer, husband, father, friend, veteran.

Gary Swensen

Yankton

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