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New book will highlight local veterans

FAIRMONT — Lenny Tvedten, director of the Martin County Historical Society, is gearing up for a very special project. The project? A book honoring living veterans, specifically those who have lived in Martin County. To that end, Tvedten is looking to get in touch with as many veterans as he can who would like to share their stories and photos of their time in the service.

Tvedten shares how the project came about, as well as specific information on what he hopes to accomplish.

“I’ve been thinking about doing this for at least the past six months,” he said. “Ernie Nuss has done a lot of interviews and oral histories with Martin Couty Veterans, and I thought it would be interesting and a tribute to anyone who has served. We’ll document their service and put it in the book so they’ll be able to have it and pass it on to their children and grandchildren and so on.

Tvedten states that word is just getting out about the project, so he has yet to receive much feedback.

“The only thing I’ll say is that the people I have talked to are very positive and interested in it. Hopefully, I’ll get more responses and people will want to be a part of it.

There are some criteria, including that the veteran is currently or was previously a resident of Martin County.

“This is open to anyone who is currently or was previously a Martin County veteran,” he said. “In other words, if somebody was living in Martin County in the past and they entered the military they would certainly qualify. It’s pretty wide open, it just has to be Martin County veterans whether they live here now or previously lived here.”

Other criteria include that the veteran has to have been honorably discharged and that they served on active duty other than training in any of the five branches of the military, either stateside or overseas, regardless of their tour of duty.

Tvedten shares more.

“I would like to emphasize that if anyone is at all interested or uncertain to contact me via email or phone call,” he said. “I’ll do whatever I can to further explain what we’re trying to do. I guess I look at it as a tribute to anyone who has served.

“I’m trying to make this as user-friendly as possible for anyone who wants to participate. I’ve got a series of questions they can respond to and we’ll put it together in story form and give it back to the veteran to proof and make edits as they like. Hopefully, that will make it easy for anyone who wants to participate and give them the opportunity to see the final draft and make any changes they want.”

Tvedten also noted this is not his first time interviewing veterans, an experience he thoroughly enjoys.

“This summer I interviewed about 10 veterans that were involved with helicopters because of the helicopter dedication. I found it both very interesting and a great experience, and I learned a lot. This is something that I’m looking forward to.

“A lot of us who served you might not consider heroes from what you see on television. Maybe we were behind a desk, maybe we were an M.P., but everybody did something that was supportive of the country, the military, and other people involved in the service.

“Everybody had an integral part in serving the country, and I wouldn’t want anyone to think “I didn’t do anything that great,” because that’s not true. Everybody who served did something that was very worthwhile and should be recognized.”

The deadline for submission of stories is March 31, 2021. Those interested may contact Tvedten by email at edirectormchs@gmail.com or call (507)-235-5178.

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