November 17, 2011 at 8:20 a.m.
The luncheon, which hosted about 30 Veterans, was held at the fire hall. Guest speaker was Veteran and former teacher Mike Moberg. Moberg reminisced about his time in the Army. While serving in Germany, Moberg recalled how soldiers really looked forward to mail day. Moberg held up a stack of letters that his mother had sent him religiously every week. He spoke about the special bond between a mother and a soldier. Moberg then held up a few posters that children from Taylors Falls Elementary had made for Veterans Day in the early 1970's. He compared the posters to the placemats and other decorations the students had made for this luncheon.
Moberg then told the group of Veterans and their wives about a special cause that was near and dear to his heart. The program is called Luke'swings.org. Luke's Wings is an organization whose purpose is to bring soldiers home for the holidays that otherwise couldn't afford to do so.
Moberg then turned his attention to five local Veterans. Moberg said there are lots of Veterans that he could talk about, but this year he decided to focus on five. Robert Turner, John Tuvey, Kenny Tesh, Chester Marmon and John Gordon Folsom.
Moberg told the audience about each one of the soldiers beginning with Folsom. Folsom was killed in Iwo Jima in a battle that took the lives of 28,000 US soldiers. When Folsom was at the battle, over 6,000 men perished in just 35 days of fighting.
John Tuvey, Moberg explained, served in the Army in 1941. He was part of the Normandy invasion while serving in the 135th Division of the 137th Regimen.
Moberg then talked about Robert Turner. As he told Turner's story, he added that Turner's great nephew was killed in Iraq in 1991.
Chester Marmon served in the Navy and was killed in action in April of 1941.
Wendell Moberg served in the 17th Airborne Division and was part of Operation Varsity. Operation Varsity was an air assault that dropped men into Germany close to the Rhine River. Over 4,000 flights were made each one dropping many, many men. It was the United States largest air arsenal ever, he added.
Moberg read a couple of letters from the soldiers he had been speaking about. The first letter told of how beautiful Germany was, but friends were dying every day. Another letter from Kenny Tesh told of German soldiers raising their white flags and when captured, how they had huge smiles on their faces.
Finally, Moberg acknowledged Curt Anderson who was in attendance. Anderson served on the USS William P. Biddle where he was a cockswain. Moberg held up a photo of Anderson and his wife Fern behind the counter of the Taylors Falls Red Owl grocery store. The photo was taken in 1958 during Wannigan Days. Moberg reminded the crowd this is how America got to be so great. Soldiers had come back and were making an impact in communities.