Skip to main content

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

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

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

Screen Shot 2022-06-29 at 4.53.56 PM

Abortion-rights protestors clash with driver in downtown Duluth

Police say they've cleared the driver of any wrong-doing.

Delta

Report: Hundreds of Delta flights for holiday weekend don't have pilots

It could be a brutal travel weekend due to major staffing issues at Delta.

image

Animal Humane Society plans trailblazing new campus

Take a look inside the plans for a first-of-its-kind adoption center and animal care campus.

syphilis

Minnesota reports 'concerning level' of syphilis cases

The Minnesota Department of Health says most of the cases are being discovered in the northern part of the state.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Airport police intercept 5,600 fentanyl pills headed to St. Cloud

Three were arrested following a police raid in St. Cloud.

covid

Minnesota switches to weekly COVID updates

The weekly updates will be provided on Thursdays.

Screen Shot 2022-06-29 at 12.22.08 PM

Man shot inside Oakdale movie theater expected to survive

The 23-year-old victim underwent surgery and is recovering at the hospital.

monkeypox

Minnesota confirms second case of monkeypox virus

More cases are expected in the coming days and weeks, the health department says.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, June 29

One of the newly reported deaths was a person aged 15-19 from Yellow Medicine County.

Screen Shot 2022-06-29 at 10.19.37 AM

Drone drops bag of candy near kids fishing

A black SUV quickly left the area afterwards.

Related

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.