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Voyageur's Best Features of 2002

Area families receive Blue Star Banners

Area families receive BLUE STAR BANNERS
Seven families receive banner
by John Grones  | November 12, 2002

The Dale Wayrynen American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 23, held their regular meeting on Mon., Nov. 4, and presented Blue Star Service Banners to area families with sons or daughters in the armed services. Each family, when presented with the banner, shared a few comments about their son or daughters involvement.

The Blue Star Banner first appeared during World War I, and was placed in the window to signify that a person from that household was in service to his or her country. Recently, the National Legion Commander reactivated the Blue Star Service Banners. Many American Legion Posts and Auxiliary units across the nation are presenting banners to families.

Theron Carlstrom was one of seven families to receive a banner on Monday. Her son, Elijah Wencl, is a Lance Corporal in the Marines, and attended the special presentation. Elijah has been in the Marines for two years and is very happy with his decision to enlist.

“I like it a lot. It’s made me a better person,” said Elijah. “It teaches you to deal with stress and it makes civilian life seem easy.”

Elijah is currently stationed at Fort Snelling in St.Paul, and is a 50 cal. machine gunner. His duties include urban warfare, convoy security and handling enemy prisoners of war. Lately, there has been a ‘stepping up a notch’ in the training process. Elijah feels there is a likelyhood that, in the next year, he will be deployed.


“I’m not allowed to say,” was the quick response.

Elijah is very proud to be a marine and shared a little history, considering the fact that the Marine Corp celebrated their 227th birthday this past weekend. “I attended the Marine Birthday Ball at the Riverfront Radisson,” said Elijah. “It’s the longest standing military service in America. Every single year, no matter where you are, every marine takes a moment to recognize the birthday.”

“Our motto is ‘Always faithful’.”

Elijah’s experience has gone well. If the next two years go as well as his first two, he will re-enlist. Just this month he was selected ‘Marine of the Quarter’. The honor goes to the marine who demonstrates excellent physical abilities and solid corp values.

Theron has much to be proud of, as do the rest of the families who received Blue Star Service Banners. Other families included:

Dan and Nancy Warriner. Their son, Danny, has been in the Air Force the past 16 years. He supported Desert Storm, and is on his way to an unknown destination in the gulf.

Joe and Dawn Pierce. Their son, Joseph, joined the Army National Guards three months ago. He is at Fort Jackson.

Dennis and Louise Kohlgraf. Their son, Nick, is a sergeant in the Marine Corp Reserves.

Don and Laurie Johnson. Their daughter, Lisa Johnson, has been in the Army for seven years. Lisa served in Boznia for seven months and is currently in Germany for six months. She was promoted to staff sergeant in December.

Richard and Millie Eklund. Their son, Doug, has 28 years with the National Air Guard in Duluth. He is waiting deployment to Maryland.

Dean and Carol Hunter. Their grandson, Danny, is in the Navy. He is at the Great Lakes Training Center for computer training.

As we head into an uncertain future, everyone should keep these families in their thoughts. With the growing instability around us, we need to remember that they have loved ones in the thick of it. God’s speed to all the fine individuals who are serving our country at this time.

At the conclusion of the banner presentation, Auxiliary president, Midge Wilson, shared the following memorial service for prisoners of war and those missing in action.

This article first appeared in the November 12, 2002 issue of the Voyageur Press.