Their Sacrifices, Our Freedom (veteran series)

In Feb. of 2022 the series "Their Sacrifices, Our Freedom" began sharing interviews with veterans who have been featured in the book “Martin County Veterans – Their Sacrifices, Our Freedom.” Hosted by citizens from the Martin County  community including author Lenny Tvedten. Each episode like the book that inspired it are proud to feature and honor those that served our country from Martin County!  


Throughout the year you will find all the episodes of "Their Sacrifices, Our Freedom"

On this the first episode Martin County Historical Society Executive Director Lenny Tvedten's interviews Vietnam Veteran Gary Dean Schaub & Persian Gulf Veteran Jeff Hagen.

On this the third episode Martin County Historical Society guest host Jeff Hagen interviews Vietnam Veterans James Richards and Glen Hemiller.

On this the fifth episode Martin County Historical Society guest host Jeff Hagen interviews veterans Brenda McEwing & Lenny Tvedten

On this the seventh episode Martin County Historical Society Executive Director Lenny Tvedten interviews veterans Michael Tow & Neil Iverson.

This book entitled “Martin County Veterans – Their Sacrifices, Our Freedom,” was an endeavor meant to honor Martin County veterans. The project involved interviewing those veterans agreeing to be in the book, recording their stories, allowing for their proofing and editing, and finally publishing. Their stories are interesting, enlightening, and emblematic of the commitment and bravery of our men and women in uniform. Each experience provided was unique in and of itself. They are to be commended and honored for their service. “Not that the veterans who aren’t living aren’t important, I just wanted to limit it to the population of living veterans,” Tvedten explained. While all of their stories started in Martin County, Tvedten said some of the veterans included now live in Texas, Alaska and California. One of them, Brenda McEwing from Sherburn, flew from Atlanta, GA to meet with Tvedten face-to-face. “That was an interesting and unique situation,” Tvedten said. The book includes veterans from WWII–the oldest being Leo Mau at 103 — up to those currently in the military and not yet discharged. The book even includes Tvedten’s own story. He had been teaching in Fairmont when he was drafted. He was in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1968 to 1972. Tvedten shared something that happened that he hadn’t anticipated. “There were about four included in here that were former students of mine. That was quite interesting and a lot of fun,” Tvedten said. The book not only covers a wide span of time, but a variety of experiences. “There’s everything from wartime to desk jobs. One individual was a military dog handler, a kennel master who trained dogs in Iraq and assisted in starting the Iraqi police canine program,” Tvedten said. Tvedten explained he didn’t know what to expect when he put out a request for veterans to contact him. “I found that it was extremely interesting, more so than I thought I would when I started, but also inspiring to hear all of the different stories,” he said.

On this the second episode Martin County Historical Society Executive Director Lenny Tvedten  interviews veterans  Marlin Wrucke/ US Army Spc 5 E5 & Aaron Meier/ US Army Retired Service First Class.

On this the fourth episode Martin County Historical Society Executive Director Lenny Tvedten  interviews veterans Bob Huemoeller and Paul Gladfelter

On this the sixth episode Martin County Historical Society Executive Director Lenny Tvedten  interviews veterans Douglas Landsteiner, Benjamin Olson

Interview with  author Lenny Tvedten featured in the Fairmont Sentinal

As the Martin County Historical Society director, Tvedten is no stranger to important bits of history from the area. He explained how he began to collect the stories of local veterans. “In 2019, for the helicopter dedication, I was asked to interview some veterans who had experience with helicopters, either pilots, gunners or mechanics. So I interviewed about 15 and submitted their stories to the county newspapers,” Tvedten said. Then Tvedten began thinking he would like to expand on that and include more Martin County Veterans and put their stories into book form. Tvedten isn’t new to the book-writing world. His first book, Tales of Martin County, came out in 2018. There are noticeable differences between the two, both in topic and method of creation. “That was a compilation of the historical articles I’ve been submitting to the newspapers. That was more of a history of the county,” Tvedten said of his first book. For his latest book, Tvedten took the stories of local veterans and put them on pages. He started the process in early 2021.“I put some information in the county newspapers asking anyone who would like to be in the book to contact me. Then I sent a questionnaire out to those who contacted me,” Tvedten explained. Once the questionnaire was returned to him, Tvedten began putting the information in story form. Then he sent it back to each veteran to proof. Once Tvedten got them back again, he made a final copy and sent the book off to be printed. “I tried to be as thorough and accurate as possible which is why I sent it back a couple times to make sure it was done accurately,” Tvedten said. The book was delayed several times due to paper supply issues. While they were initially shooting for a Black Friday debut, the books were delivered last week. As for what’s in book, Tvedten had collected a big binder filled with pages of information and pictures on 72 veterans. He tried to limit each veteran’s story to two pages. This resulted in a 164-page book. The book was limited to living veterans.

These are the organizations & individuals who made this series possible. 

The American Legion is built on a promise from men and women who swore with their lives to defend and protect the United States through military service. The promise begins at enlistment, grows through training and discipline in the U.S. Armed Forces and continues after discharge, as veterans in service to community, state and nation.

Legionnaires constantly remind communities that freedom and prosperity come with a price, a price often paid in blood. They know the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. They raise the money, put in the hours and bring into existence monuments and memorials to “preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in all wars.”

Among American Legion members, there is no rank or prejudice, only purpose. A veteran is a veteran. And the purpose of veterans in The American Legion is to strengthen the United States of America through programs, services, compassion and actions that have proven vital, timeless and life-changing for over a century.

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Family of Michael Garry

Michael Garry’s grandparents came from Ireland and settled in Martin County. All his life, Michael cherished his own historical roots, as well as the history of Martin County. He was always honored to be involved in the valuable work carried out by the Martin County Historical Society, and had the highest respect for those men and women who unselfishly and patriotically served in the military.

We have a passion for service and innovative guidance.

Since our inception, Sweet Financial has always strived to develop personalized and comprehensive financial planning and investment services that can help you build the best possible future.

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