Hero Worship

Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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It seems only fitting that Art Wollmann’s funeral be held on Veterans Day because he was not only a gallant World War II veteran but a hero in every sense of the word.
I am one who believes that the word “hero” has been applied a bit too freely in recent years diminishing its meaning.  But with Art, it is a truly deserved recognition..even though he, himself, never considered his actions on the field of battle in the Pacific Theater as anything heroic.
I did an Eye On Keloland story 8 years ago about Arthur Wollmann’s war experiences after he called and said it was time to get some of the things he’d kept bottled up inside out in the open. This was not for any personal glory..but a need to vent about the things he saw and did during 600 days of combat..including being wounded four times and single handedly killing 21 Japanese soldiers he encountered at the base of a hill.
I recounted his story a year ago on this blog..some of which I am repeating here as a Veterans Day tribute and because Arthur’s heart finally gave out last Saturday at the V.A. Hospital.
Art was my first wife’s uncle and totally different from any of my Norwegian relatives. He grew up, tough as nails, on a farm near Freeman where the whole family spoke German. He was never able to shake that thick accent which, to me, made Art sort of mysterious because he sounded just like those German soldiers depicted in movies and on television.
Anyway, Art never talked about what he did in World War II. All we knew is that injures he suffered prevented him from working on the farm and led to his long career at the V.A. Hospital lab.
When he called wondering if I’d be interested in hearing his story, I considered it a privilege and it’s an honor to share it again with you here.
Just click play.

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