Butterfield-Odin public school will hold their annual Veterans Day ceremony in their gymnasium at 10 a.m. Monday, and individuals at the school said the event is always highlight of each school year.
Dennis Stade teaches history at the school, and he's been coordinating the production for years.
“It's personal, because they answered the call, their stories are amazing, and they're an unbelievably great group of guys,” he said. “I want to make sure the students will always remember these guys and actually know who they are in the community.”
The featured speaker will be Richard Valen, who goes by the first name Doug. Doug's family moved to Butterfield when he was in fourth grade, and he graduated from Butterfield High School in 1954.
Valen served in the Air Force for 28 years, Stade said, and he spent a year in Vietnam--for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1966, he was assigned as an instructor at Squadron Officer School in Alabama's capital city of Montgomery. He then inhabited various roles, including teaching positions, in different locations before retiring in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel.
Following his time in the military, he began working as a ground school instructor and A230 flight training manager at Northwest Airlines' training center in Eagan. He retired from that post in 2001, and lives with his wife, Patricia, in Savage; they have three children and four grandchildren.
For the full story, see the November 7 print edition of the St. James Plaindealer.