The wait is over: WWII veteran finally receives medals after 71 years


Arnold Hjermstad had to wait a long time for a medal he earned during the war.

It's been 71 years since he earned the Legion of Merit award for his service during World War II, and on Saturday the 96-year-old veteran finally received the prestigious honor.

Hjermstad was nominated to receive the commendation in 1944 after serving in North Africa and Europe during the war, but due to bureaucratic errors, he never got them, a news release notes.

Instead of focusing on getting his awards, he opened a hardware store in Cannon Falls and raised a family, the Red Wing Republican Eagle reports.

“When he came back from the war, he was a humble person. He wanted to get on with life,” his son, Bob Hjermstad, told the newspaper.

That didn't stop his children from trying. Since the 1970s, the three Hjermstad brothers have tried to secure the commendation for his father before it was too late, but they kept running into delays and obstacles.

But finally, after contacting U.S. Rep. John Kline – also a veteran – their father got the honor he deserved.

Hjermstad was also presented with a handful of other awards, including: the European-Africa Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Army of Occupation Medal, KDHL says.

He was also awarded the French Knight Legion of Honor – the highest honor available to noncitizens – after being told he'd receive the award back in October, the Pioneer Press notes.

Next Up


Police seeking man who spray-painted camera shortly before fatal Uptown crash

The camera was painted just hours before the deadly crash happened.

FLickr - Uptown, Winston Smith, Deona Marie - June 14, 2021 Chad Davis

Frey vows removal of Lake Street barriers, lays out protest response plan

"We can't have a major commercial corridor like this shut down," the mayor said.

Camden Heide

Wayzata's Camden Heide commits to Purdue

The four-star guard is the top-ranked Minnesota recruit in the Class of 2022.

Pexels - moving boxes

Landlord group sues governor, attorney general over eviction moratorium

The suit argues property owners are left in a bind due to the executive order.

best buy

Best Buy is now selling travel, outdoor living items

The electronics giant announced the new collections on Tuesday.

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez says 'we will' keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota

Glen Taylor has stood by his statement that he will ensure the teams stay in Minnesota.

House for sale

Zillow says its upgraded 'Zestimates' are now more accurate

It's employing machine learning to increase the accuracy of its price estimation feature.

geoffrey compton

Child who drowned in Woodbury was celebrating his 9th birthday

He drowned in Carver Lake in Woodbury on Sunday.


WWII veteran, Twin Cities business owner finally receives H.S. diploma

After 70 years, a World War II veteran from Fargo, N.D., can call finally call himself a high school graduate. Teddy Wong, who was drafted into the Army during his junior year of high school, was given an honorary diploma Saturday in Fargo. Wong is the owner of the longest family-owned business in Roseville.