Service & Sacrifice:
War Through the Eyes of U.P. Veterans

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‘The Blue Devils’

MARQUETTE — When Wilho Ritola, now 93, joined the U.S. Army in June 1946, the lifelong Republic resident found himself rapidly propelled into a new way of life. “I enlisted at 4’o clock one afternoon in Marquette,” he said. “I was on the 400 train on the way to Chicago the next ...

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‘Good as done’

MARQUETTE — When Dan Atkins departed Ishpeming for special training in Indiana prior to his deployment to Iraq in 2004, it was impossible to truly fathom or prepare for what awaited him on the other side of the world. “It was just different all together because of ... the barriers that we ...

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‘Some things aren’t meant to be easy’

MARQUETTE — When Bob Bannan, 77, of Negaunee Township was asked to describe how he became enlisted during the Vietnam War, he called it “divine intervention.” Bannan said he went to the post office for the third time in search of the means to register for the draft. However, he ...

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‘I kept praying’

MARQUETTE — As Jim Hein, then a 20-year-old private in the U.S. Army Infantry, prepared in 1953 to enter the trenches of the Korean War, the reason for his service was painted in vivid detail as he rode a troop transport train from Busan, South Korea, to Chuncheon, South Korea. As Hein sat ...

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‘To meet a neighbor, 10,000 miles away’

MARQUETTE — When Dennis Grall was sent on a rescue mission to aid an injured man during the Vietnam War, he didn’t know anything about the wounded Marine, or if the man would even survive. But in the weeks following the rescue, Grall would find out he had a surprising geographic ...

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‘Prepared for the worst’

MARQUETTE — Lorrie Robinson will never forget the moment in 1990 when she heard about Desert Shield, which would soon develop into Desert Storm. She was standing in a formation with the 32nd Combat Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany, when the news was announced. “I couldn’t understand ...

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‘At the spur of the moment’

MARQUETTE — Willis Remus, who turns 94 this month, grew up in the Great Depression era and is no stranger to hard work or challenging circumstances. However, when Remus was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950 to serve in the Korean War, he never could have imagined the events that awaited ...

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Mining Journal marks Veterans Day with special section, videos

It started as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919 — the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1927, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance, with Nov. 11 becoming a national holiday in 1938. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the ...