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Bob Lind, Published May 31 2010

Lind: Honoring family’s military service

Lawrence and Bertina Peterson’s family of 11 children was raised in Mapes and Lakota, N.D.

Eight of those kids were boys, and seven of them served in the military during World War II.

Although Memorial Day focuses on those who died while in the service, it’s always good to pay tribute to everyone who served his country through the military. So, in keeping with that, here’s the rundown on the seven Peterson boys:

Roy fought on Guadalcanal. Pat was in the Philippines. Orville fought in Europe. Roland served aboard a Navy minesweeper out of San Pedro, Calif. Wally, too, was in the Navy. Twins Lyle and Lowell served in communications in Alaska.

The Petersons also had a brother-in-law, Al Kleven, who served in Europe.

All of the boys survived the war, although Roy was wounded on Guadalcanal. He since has passed away, as have Orville, Pat and Al.

After the war, Lyle, Lowell and Roland attended college under the G.I. Bill and became school superintendents.

Lyle now lives in Hope, N.D.; Lowell is in Valley City, N.D.; Roland lives in Carrington, N.D.; and Wally lives in Belfair, Wash.

Mapes to Lakota

This information comes from Roland, who adds that the family lived on a farm and he and his siblings rode the bus to the Mapes school. But when their father was hurt in an accident and couldn’t farm, they moved into Mapes.

Their parents, unable to work, “were forced to accept welfare and ‘relief commodities,’ " Roland says.

When they became old enough, Roy worked for the Works Progress Administration and Orville joined the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Eventually the family moved to Lakota, where some of the kids finished their schooling.

All of the Peterson children eventually graduated from Valley City State University.

But going back to the war years, Roland says “Our mother and dad were very proud to display the many-starred flag in the window.”

Every family that had or has someone in the service can be equally proud on this Memorial Day.


If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com