By Brenda Erdahl
Vietnam had been raging for 11 years when 20-year-old Randy Mavencamp received his draft letter from Uncle Sam. The Mavencamp family already had a long history of serving their country in the military. Randy was a third-generation soldier. His father was a navy man in WWII and his grandfather, well, Randy could still hear him singing the old marine hymn “The Halls of Montezuma.” It was with both resolve and trepidation that he reported to duty in 1970. His would be a three-year stint with the Army Special Forces, but he wouldn’t be the last Mavencamp to serve his country. A handful of his siblings walked the same path, drawn to serve their nation during a time of war, and most recently, his son Ted finished a 22-year career with the Minnesota Army National Guard that included two deployments – to Kosovo in 2003 and Iraq in 2007 .
On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, we celebrate the sacrifice men and women like those in the Mavencamp family made when they put their lives on hold and risked everything for the freedom we enjoy today.
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