Leon Mike Swendsen
569th Field Artillery-1st Army Division
Rank T4 Sergeant
97th Birthday 11/11/11
My dad, Leon, was very proud to serve our country over 60 years ago in WWII. My dad did not serve directly on the front lines since his expertise was in the culinary field. With a passion for food, he made sure his troops were always fed well on a daily basis. He never skimped on providing the best food for the troops given the limited amount of supplies. While stationed in Germany, a supply truck never made it to camp and the squad was left without any meat. My dad, with his resourceful thinking, told a few soldiers to venture off into the woods in search of a wild boar, and my dad with his years of butchering animals as a kid back on the home farm in Culver, MN, provided a meal that the troops would never forget.
Presently, my dad continues to be a very patriotic American by supporting the American Legion and VFW. He enjoys participating in the various events Rochester sponsors for the veterans throughout the year. He was also a part of the 2nd Honor flight from Rochester to Washington, D.C. honoring the WWII veterans that served our country. It was a trip of a lifetime for him. He wears a WWII veteran cap almost daily and frequently gets stopped by strangers to thank him for his service. It touches him emotionally.
Today, my dad is 97 years young and he continues to love spending time with his family. He tries to be active by jet skiing in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter. He cooks daily and bakes at least twice a week.
What amazes me the most about my father is when anyone meets him; they cannot believe that he is 97 years old. They think he is still in his 70's. He truly is my inspiration in life and I am thankful to be able to share some of his life with you.
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