Skip to main content

Minnesota Army vet gets POW medal -- 60 years later

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

An Army sergeant from Roseau spent five harrowing days lying wounded in a trench in Korea, a captive of enemy soldiers who apparently did not expect him to live through his ordeal.

While Duane Broten waited five days to escape from his captors, he waited six decades to receive the Prisoner of War service medal that was finally presented to him by U.S. Sen. Al Franken at the Minnesota Capitol Sunday.

A mix up in his military records denied Broten the recognition he deserved. Broten, who is 80 and now lives in Princeton, received a purple heart but only recently became aware that there is a medal for prisoners of war. Now that his records have finally been corrected, Franken presented his medal to Broten in a ceremony witnessed by family and well-wishers.

He began to read the remarks he'd prepared for the occasion, but the Pioneer Press reports he was overcome with emotion and turned them over to one of his sons.

Broten, an uncle to three hockey-playing brothers who made names for themselves in the NHL, was wounded in the second battle of Pork Chop Hill in Korea in 1953. The Star Tribune has details of the incident, which left him bleeding from 27 shrapnel wounds. He drifted in and out of consciousness and stayed in the trench because he was unable to march to a POW camp.

After his escape, Broten needed six months of rehab before eventually returning to Minnesota. The loss of a finger and reduced vision are among the physical scars.

Broten served in a conflict sometimes called the Forgotten War, but Sen. Franken said Sunday he was grateful to play a role in allowing the country to mark the sacrifices he made.

Next Up

Police tape

Woman dies after being shot in Minneapolis

The woman in her 20s died at the scene.

318932855_566492482149686_9036958628999185261_n

Twin Cities liquor store worker offers shoes off her feet to unhoused man

The man asked for boxes to use as makeshift shoes before the woman offered hers.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 2.19.37 PM

St. Paul PD releases footage showing fatal police shooting of Howard Johnson

The 24-year-old died after being shot by a St. Paul officer Monday night.

318945683_10161683635994714_4236667683357316937_n

22 dogs taken in by Animal Humane Society from shuttered breeder

The dogs were taken in after a report stated there were too many on a single property.

COVER

Latest on the 2 snowstorms set to impact Minnesota

The first arrives Thursday night into Friday before a bigger system comes next week.

PepperSprayCopMPD

Cop who pepper-sprayed downtown protesters received $150K payout

Samantha Belcourt said she "feared for her life."

Powerball Minnesota lottery

$1 million Powerball prize won in Twin Cities

The winning ticket was sold in Chanhassen for Wednesday's draw.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 9.16.18 AM

Animales Barbeque Co. looks to open brick-and-mortar location

The popular food truck has partnered with the owner of Billy Sushi.

Christmas presents

Here are some 2022 holiday shipping deadlines to keep in mind

Most deadlines are a few days before Christmas Eve.

Related

10 years later: Minnesota honors Paul Wellstone

Many Minnesotans recall where they were on Oct. 25, 2002, when they heard the news that Sen. Paul Wellstone's plane had gone down near Eveleth. He, along with his wife, daughter and five others, died in the crash. Across the state, Minnesotans are honoring the 58-year-old advocate for the poor who widely respected for the passion he brought to government.