WINSTED, HOWARD LAKE, MN Winsted’s Gilmore Schrupp, 85, is the middle brother in his family. He and his older brother, George, his younger brother Glenard, along with their father, George Sr., share a unique distinction. Each man served in a different war during the last century.
George Sr. served in World War I. George Jr. served in World War II. Gilmore served in Korea, while Glenard served in Vietnam. No matter the conflict, the Schrupp men have been there for their country.
The three Schrupp brothers were raised on a dairy farm in the Norwood/Cologne area.
Gilmore said his father George rarely talked about his World War I experiences.
Gilmore and his brothers knew their father had been in the Army, and had been injured by gas fumes in France. George was hospitalized in France, and eventually returned home. He suffered lifelong breathing difficulties.
George Jr. served his stint in the Army as a trucker in Alaska. He eventually returned home to farm.
Glenard, the family’s only Navy man, served on fuel delivery ships. Upon his return to civilian life, he, too, went back to farming.
Gilmore served his country stateside, from November 1952 to November 1954. He remembers eight weeks of Army infantry training, followed by eight weeks of engine training at Fort Campbell, KY.
After his basic training, he decided to join the Paratroopers, and trained at Fort Bragg, NC.
Gilmore said he was one of eight area men to join the Paratroopers.
He recalled his first parachute jump was slightly surprising. “The prop blast blows your chute open,” he said, “you could hear helmets falling off, and the blast blew your legs out.”
He remembered that the Army later changed the jump process to avoid the prop blast, so the troopers’ falls would be sufficient to open the chutes.
Following his paratrooper training, Gilmore was asked to serve as a water purifier.
He said he was happy to do so, and always felt a tremendous responsibility to get the purification process exactly right. The water he worked with was used by 3,000 people.
Gilmore recollected the water purification process utilized two 3,000-gallon tanks. Water was pumped into the first tank, where the dirt was allowed to settle out of it. The water was then moved to a second tank, where chlorine was added.
Gilmore served at Fort Campbell until his two-year stretch of service was complete.
He then returned to Minnesota to farm.
Gilmore and his wife purchased a farm from his uncle in 1961. They operated that farm, near Dog Lake, for 42 years.
The couple raised two daughters during those years, and now enjoy three grandchildren.
Gilmore said he has been a member of the Howard Lake American Legion for about 55 years.
He served as a member of the honor guard for many veterans’ funerals, and this year, will place the wreath during Memorial Day services.
The observance means “a lot” to Gilmore. “A lot of people died for us,” he said. “My family was lucky.”
Gilmore said he has always been impressed with Howard Lake’s Memorial Day service. “There’s a good crowd, and it’s a good program,” he said. “The chairs are always full.”
Howard Lake’s Memorial Day program will take place Monday, May 29, at 9:15 a.m. at the cemetery.