In honor of our veterans

Top of Iowa Quilters veteran for the month of March is Jim Kozitza.
Jim went to the Federal Building in downtown Minneapolis, Minn., Aug. 7, 1967 and took an induction physical there. A day or two later, he was on a bus headed to Fort Campbell, Ky. He did eight weeks of basic training, then had a short leave before being sent to Fort Eustis, near Newport News, Va.
After arriving at this location, he had an additional six weeks of Army Individual Training (AIT). His M.O.S. was 57H20, which was a cargo mooring specialist. The next four-and-a-half weeks were spent learning how to survive in a jungle.
Before leaving Virginia, Jim got married in Newport News to Diane Grunhovd. With a chuckle, he said “Diane must have been the right gal, as she’s still with me after 52 years.”
On Jan. 12, 1968, Jim and about 360 other GIs were looking out the windows of a 747 and just before landing, all they saw were a bunch of little pople dressed in black, wearing pointed straw hats; making him wonder what he was getting into. Jim was just a couple months past his 19th birthday, being young and having no idea what was ahead of him.
On Jan. 28, 1968 the Tet-offensive started (a date he will never forget). He said it didn’t matter how gung-ho or old you were, when the shooting started, everything changed. Not much time was spent in the jungle, as he ended up busy working with moving cargo and ammo to four different military bases. He said the last eight months there, five other GIs and himself manned two boats, about twice as big as the ones used on D-Day at Normandy.
Jim enjoyed this duty, as they shuttled VIPs and cargo up and down the Saigon River. They went all the way down the Saigon River to a base called Nam Bay and the Delta, so he saw a lot of the country.
One important piece of information Jim passed along, was when President Dwight Eisenhower passed away in 1969, Jim was asked to be an usher for his funeral in Abilene, Ks.
Jan. 10, 1969, Jim left Vietnam, heading home with an honorable discharge.
Once home, Jim went into carpentry work, and he and Diane had a family. They have three sons: Warren, Chad, and Jared; along with two daughters-in-law and four precious grandchildren.
He appreciates everyone for remembering the guys from the Vietnam era, for the years of sacrifice that were made by so many GIs back then, before then, and present day.
Top of Iowa Quilters meets once a month and sew patriotic quilts for local veterans of Winnebago County as a thank-you to them. If you know a veteran that would enjoy a quilt, please contact Dave Anderson, Bill Clark, or Robin Grunhovd.

Lake Mills Graphic

204 N. Mill Street
Lake Mills, IA 50450

Office Number: (641) 592-4222
Fax Number: (641) 592-6397

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