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Veterans honored in Blackduck

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Veterans who aren’t able to attend events such as Memorial Day services or the Veteran’s Day program at Blackduck High School were honored on Monday, Feb. 17.

Blackduck AmVets Post 101 dedicated a plaque to the veterans living in the Good Samaritan Society of Blackduck in a ceremony held at 10 a.m. in the community room.

Chaplin Raymond Klug of Blackduck AmVets Post 101 opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and then went on to tell about the wooden plaque, which will hang in the community room.

“Post 101 AmVets has adopted the Good Samaritan Society of Blackduck as our special project and in that we want to always honor those who have served our country, because the vow that we took when we first went into the service is a lifetime oath,” Klug said.

In addition to the plaque, the AmVets have donated the flagpoles that stand outside of the Good Samaritan Society and will also donate flower baskets in the spring.

“We want to remember the veterans who are living here as residents, because a lot of time people get lost at nursing homes,” Klug said. “They don’t have families close by or even good friends so they’re sort of on their own.”

After Klug spoke, he officially presented the plaque to Good Samaritan Administrator Angel Normandin.

“We are blessed here at the Good Samaritan Society having the AmVets adopted us as a place to come and also bring this remembrance of those that we have with us,” Normandin said.

Post 101 has their monthly meeting on the third Tuesday of each month in the community room. At the end of the presentation, Klug invited the veterans who live there to attend their meetings.

“This is just absolutely beautiful,” Normandin said. “I promise to take very good care of this plaque and keeping it updated and also utilizing it and making sure everyone understands the importance of it to us here and to those of us that are currently residing on our campus.”

The veterans were then recognized individually with wooden card holders, which state their name, rank, branch of service and years of service. The card holders host a United States flag and a flag from the branch of service they were in on them.

Veterans honored were Lyle Delaney, Al Gerner, Pat Gilstad, Neal Hazelton, Richard Heald, Shirley Latteral, Raymond Theisen, Albert King, Raymond Klug, Wilmar Smerling and Vernon Smith.

The idea of the plaque came about around a year a half ago, according to AmVets member Sam Christenson.

“The service that they gave to their country is no less than anyone elses,” Christenson said. “So we had a discussion and we thought we should somehow recognize it and make it so when you come into this room you can see that these guys are here.”

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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