August 13, 2007
Telling the tale of a soldier
Marvin Granath of Dassel preserves his brother’s courage through a biography
By Kristen Miller
Marvin Granath hadn’t heard much of his older brother’s wartime experiences when he was younger. It wasn’t until the two were retired that they actually got a chance to sit down and talk in detail.
From their talks grew an ambition for Marvin to share his brother, John’s story.
“Growing Up and Going To War” is a biography told by John Granath, formerly of Dassel, and written by his brother, Marvin, of Dassel.
The book is about John growing up on a farm in Dassel, being drafted into the army during World War II, and then beginning his own business, Storm Industries in Dassel (now Firelake), with his business partner, Seymour Peterson.
A large part of the book is about John’s war experiences, including lying wounded in the fields of Germany before being rescued by another battalion.
After being shot in his hip joint, John became infected with Osteomyelitis, which is an infection of the bone and marrow. This prevented the doctors from doing surgery.
After 62 years, John recently received a hip replacement and is going through therapy at the Avon Care and Rehabilitation Center in Indiana.
After articles were written in John’s Indiana community, Marvin was compelled to bring his brother’s story to his original community.
“I wanted to preserve his war story,” Marvin said who is also enjoys history.
“I wish that it would inspire other veterans’ stories to be told,” he added.
After John was honorably discharged, he received a Bronze Star with an Oak Leaf Cluster and a Purple Heart.
Marvin’s admiration for his brother grew from a combination of patience and persistence he has seen in John.
Roland Dille, who graduated with John in 1942 from Dassel, has read the book and finds the history to be an accurate recollection.
“I thought it was a very good book, very well written and insightful about Wally’s experience,” Dille said.
Growing up, John was also known as Wally and nicknamed Boo.
“He could’ve given up after the war, but he didn’t, and he became a very successful businessman,” Dille said.
John’s story, which also includes history of the Dassel area, can be purchased at the Dassel Area Historical Society.
Marvin will also be signing books Labor Day at the Dassel Area Historical Society.