Friday, November 11, 2011


Veterans Day falling on such a unique day. I just got home from watching the Gopher basketball team win another game to get their season off to a good start. It was not a good game, but a win is a win no matter how you get it.

At halftime, they honored seven former Gopher players who also served in the military. They also brought on the court seven men and one woman from a Minnesota National Guard Unit who will be deployed to Afghanistan in the spring. They all received several standing ovations. It was a nice tribute. But that is not why I am writing this post.

I want to tell you about my mom's seven brothers. Between Bill, Charlie, Clem, Bob, Ed, Terry and Tim, they served eighty-two years of military service which includes all four major branches. Bill and Ed served one and Bob served two tours in Vietnam, Terry was in Thailand during the Vietnam Era and Charlie served one in Korea. That is commitment!

Bob bought the home farm years ago and every fall at least three or four of them make an annual pilgrimage back to South Dakota to hunt pheasants. They literally come from all corners of the country. This year Terry and Tim came from Alaska, Ed came from Pennsylvania and Bob from Mississippi. The three sisters were also there. Dee and her husband came from Wisconsin and Mom and Judy from Minnesota.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of my uncles: L to R: Terry, Bob, Bill and Tim taken several years ago:

Click on the image to make it larger:

I love them all and missed my second trip in a row because of these pressure sores. I will make it next year for the Grand Opening of the Smith Family Hunting Lodge. Bob is restoring the 1901 Barn and they are making a true man cave restoring this old barn.

There are always lots of stories being told and laughter reigns supreme in the barn after the boys come in after a day's hunt. It is always great fun!

As always, I look forward to your comments.




Earl Hipp said...

A fitting tribute Mike, and a good crowd of men to want to be around. You may have to grow a beard for next year though.

Jodi said...

Dad read it and loved it ... great job Mike.

Jane L said...

Hi Mike,

Loved your family hunting story — and that's the BEST hunting photo I've ever seen! How proud your family must be of all of them for being committed to our country and to their family!


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Ruona said...

Serving your country is a real honor. I feel that I've sorta done that in my career. Your uncles exceed my meek contribution.

Awesome pic. They look like some Arkie rednecks instead of some SoDak hicks.