[Spencer Daily Reporter nameplate] Fair ~ 60°F  
High: 75°F ~ Low: 51°F
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Veterans honored Monday at the fair

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Korean War veteran Jack Frandsen (above) spoke to a jam-packed Clay County Regional Events Center ballroom as veterans were honored, with a special focus on those who served during the Korean engagement. Frandsen is flanked by Spencer High School's choir. The choir performed multiple patriotic musical numbers. During Daly Tighe's solo of "Amazing Grace," Everly veteran Arvin Schmidt (below) closed his eyes and listened intently, before bursting into applause as she sang the final note.
(Photos by Randy M. Cauthron) [Order this photo]
"These people defend the principles of our country so we can enjoy the freedoms and liberties that we have enjoyed for many, many years," Korean War veteran Jack Frandsen said of active duty soldiers during Monday's veterans appreciation program at the Clay County Fair.

Frandsen spoke of his military experiences, in line with the theme of a tribute to Korean War veterans.

Before recounting his tour of duty, he asked female Korean War veterans to stand.

"I'm checking to see if 'Mash' was really for real," Frandsen joked when he saw no one standing, inciting laughter and applause.

On a more serious note, Frandsen talked about the frigid conditions he and his comrades encountered. When mobilized in the winter, they were forced to sleep in their sleeping bags without tents and woke up covered in snow from time to time.

"But you don't change anybody's mind when you're there with a group that's doing what you're there to do," he said.

Conditions grew worse as the unit moved west. Frandsen was thankful for battery-powered razors, but noted that showers became five weeks apart.

"We forgot about basic training, as far as shining shoes and things like that," he said.

Frandsen recalled one of the most intense battles he experienced. At one point, his commanders changed the artillery shells being used to more efficiently destroy the equipment being used against them.

"This was only one occasion where we were determined to change the enemy's way of thinking," he said.

Frandsen accrued 32 points while in Korea and was discharged shortly thereafter.

He recalled being reunited with his wife Dorothy in Des Moines and meeting his 9-month-old son Ron for the first time.

Ron and his sisters Barbara and Kay attended Monday's event and were applauded by the crowd.

Frandsen spoke fondly of U.S. military personnel and their families.

"They're fighting today on the other side of the world, just like we did then," he said. "We've got to continue to guard and protect and defend our freedoms and liberties that we've always enjoyed. Once again, like in the '50s, there are many families eagerly waiting at home for their service men and women to return."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: