In honor of our veterans
Gary Fjelstad is the veteran we would like to honor for his service to our country.
In October 1965, Gary received his draft paper and was on to Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. for basic training. He left there for Fort Belvoir Military Base, Fairfax County, Va. Gary took Advanced Individual Training at this time to become an instructor, teaching others. He remained there until Oct. 1966.
Gary volunteered to go on to Vietnam at this time, having to report the day after Christmas. Gary was stationed with the 39th Signal Battalion, which set up the signal sites, generators, and refrigeration. All calls back home to the states went through this.
Gary’s tank was E4, or specialist. He was an expert rifleman. Gary had an assignment over there while on duty, that was dangerous and he was glad to be out as soon as possible. He was stationed at Vung Tau Air Base in Vietnam, before leaving and returning to California in October of 1967.
Gary found what the welcome was like as a Vietnam Vet returning home, as people stood by the fence calling them names. Gary soon found work after returning home, at Winnebago Industries, Forest City.
In 1969, Gary married Nancy Brekken and they had two sons, Allyn and Ryan. They now also have three grandchildren.
Gary has worked various jobs in the area, along with Winnebago over the years. He was a policeman in town here for a couple years; worked at the Joice Coop for 20 years; then retired in 1996. Gary wasn’t ready to sit around yet apparently, as he went to delivering motor homes for Winnebago and after that, drove the city transit in Lake Mills.
Today, Gary still keeps busy helping with seasonal field work. He commented that for most the part, he really liked being in the service, but wouldn’t do it again.
Top of Iowa quilters meets the third Monday of each month to make quilts as a thanks to local veterans and would welcome new members. If you have any questions, contact Dave Anderson, Bill Clark, or Robin Grunhovd.