Herald JournalHerald Journal, Aug. 15, 2005

Soldiers reunite after 50+ years

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

Fifty-plus years ago, while serving in the Korean War, Gordon Kubasch of Winsted received a letter from fellow Winsted native and World War II veteran Paul Hertzog.

Kubasch knew Hertzog from his childhood, but never imagined him writing Kubasch a letter while he was overseas in Korea. He said that when he was in Korea, Hertzog’s letter is the only one he received from someone else who had been in the service.

Just last week, Kubasch finally had a chance to tell Hertzog “thank you” for sending him that letter, which brought a touch of home to Kubasch while he was at war.

“He had just served in World War II, and must have known how nice it was to get a letter from a person back home,” Kubasch said.

Several weeks ago, Kubasch read a newspaper article in which Hertzog was mentioned. He then decided to pay him a visit, and offer an overdue word of thanks for that letter.

Following Hertzog’s stint in the war, he moved north to Freeport, where he lived for many years, before returning to Minnesota in 2003 following the death of his wife, Florence.

“Time is of the essence,” Kubasch said. “When you got something nice to say to a person – you better say it.”

Hertzog recalled writing Kubasch that letter, as well as writing letters to several other local soldiers who were serving overseas in that time-frame.

“I don’t remember how I wrote to them, but I did,” Hertzog said. “He didn’t know I was living in Winsted, but he called me up and asked if he could stop by . . . that really surprised me. I sure appreciated it.”

“That’s the least you can do – write ‘em a note,” Kubasch said about those who are currently serving in the military away from home. “It doesn’t cost hardly anything, but it means a lot.”

Several web sites offer ways to get in touch with soldiers who are currently on active duty.

The web site www.writing.com offers soldier’s e-mail addresses who wish to receive e-mail notes from home.

Other places to watch for soldier addresses include church bulletins, contacting family members, or local American Legion clubs.

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