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70-year Legion member

By Staff | May 18, 2018

Bob Pollman (center) with fellow Legion members and American Legion Commander William Fecho (right).

This month, Bob Pollman, 93, was awarded the 70-year certificate of membership in the American Legion by Commander William Fecho in Rugby.

Pollman served in Europe in WWII with the US Army Signal Corp.

Fecho spoke with pride about Pollman’s service in the American Legion. “Bob gave us many fine years of service with the American Legion, but I can tell you one thing that stands out in my memory which personally affected my family.

“You may remember last year, on August 13, 2017, Lawrence Fecho’s remains were returned from WWII from the Pacific where he died during the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941,” Fecho explained. “My uncle was brought home from WWII after identification of his exhumed remains positively confirmed him from over 400 sailors from the USS Oklahoma. This was accomplished after an intense DNA process that took years.”

The Bottineau County sailor was buried in an unmarked grave in Hawaii for 76 years but last year he was buried at the Willow Creek Cemetery of the Immanuel Lutheran Church near Willow City.

Pollman, having survived battles in Germany and France, and 76 years, walked Fecho’s remains home to his final resting place during a full military funeral for Fecho.

“Bob Pollman, who could barely walk himself, insisted that he walk the road with my uncle’s remains at the cemetery. I told him he could sit down.” Pollman firmly replied, “No! I will walk.”

And walk he did alongside a brother soldier who gave his life for freedom. Pollman, now a resident of Heart of America’s Medical Center, Care Center may be 76 years older now, but he walked with military pride to finish the job he started many years ago…service to his country, until the end.

The other recipient of the 70-year honor, Don Diepolder was featured in last week’s edition of The Pierce County Tribune.

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