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Timothy W.
Democrat MN 1

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  • In Honor of Colonel Merle Peterson, Us Army (Ret) and Captain Donald Peterson, Us Navy (Ret) Regarding Their Dedication to Our Service Academies and Our Nation

    by Representative Timothy J. Walz

    Posted on 2013-03-13

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    WALZ of minnesota in the house of representatives Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Mr. WALZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Colonel Merle Peterson, US Army (Ret) and Captain Donald Peterson, US Navy (Ret) for their extraordinary dedication to duty and service to our Nation. These gentlemen served long honorable careers in the United States Military. Upon retirement, both continued to dedicate their lives to ensuring our nation's premier Service Academies attendees included the most talented nominees from the First Congressional District of Minnesota.



    Colonel Peterson joined the US Army as an enlisted Soldier in 1948 and served in the Korean War. When he returned home in 1951, Colonel Peterson joined the Army Reserves, serving with the 419th and 407th Civil Affairs Companies from 1956 until 1969. Colonel Peterson attended Winona State University becoming a schoolteacher. Between St. Charles High School and Rochester Kellogg Middle School, Colonel Peterson taught for 31-years.

    In 1971, the United States Military Academy selected Colonel Peterson as Academy Liaison Officer for Minnesota's First Congressional District. For over 41 years, Colonel Peterson worked with five Members of Congress of the First Congressional District; assisting over 100 candidates to attend West Point.

    Captain Peterson joined the US Naval Air Reserve in 1953 as an enlisted servicemember. He served in that capacity until 1956 when drafted and inducted into the US Army where he spent the next four years. In 1959, Captain Peterson rejoined the Naval Air Reserve and had over 39 years of total military service until his retirement in 1992.

    Captain Peterson attended the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology where he attained a degree in mechanical engineering. He purchased his own business, Mississippi Welder Supply Company currently located in three states with ten different branches.

    In 1984, the United States Naval Academy selected Captain Peterson to be a Blue & Gold Officer. He has represented the Naval Academy in Southeastern Minnesota for 29 years. Captain Peterson interviewed countless candidates over the years helping many highly qualified Midshipmen enter the Naval Academy.

    Mr. Speaker, I seek to recognize the dedication and selfless service both Colonel and Captain Peterson provided the United States Military, the United States Service Academies, [[Page E292]] the First Congressional District of Minnesota, and our nation. For combined 70 years, Colonel and Captain Peterson assessed our best and brightest candidates, enabling these young recruits to continue the proud tradition of attending United States Service Academies. Both Colonel and Captain Peterson are patriotic Americans who deserve this nation's thanks and gratitude.

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