Bob Lind column: Neighbors: Veterans' Day salute to Fargo Air Force family
Seventeen men and women from North Dakota are enrolled in the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo. Two of them are from one Fargo family. They're a brother and sister. Erik and Kristin Swenson have made a 360-degree turn. They were bo...
Seventeen men and women from North Dakota are enrolled in the Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo.
Two of them are from one Fargo family.
They're a brother and sister.
Erik and Kristin Swenson have made a 360-degree turn. They were born to Orven and Deb Swenson at the academy when their father was an instructor there. Now they're students there.
The kids "grew up as military brats," Deb says. As is the norm for children in a military family, they lived in many places, including the academy for four years while Orv was an associate professor of physics.
The family moved to Fargo in 1992 when Orv retired as a lieutenant colonel after 21 years in the Air Force.
He now teaches physics at North Dakota State University. Deb is the library media specialist at Discovery Junior High School in Fargo.
And the kids?
Both are graduates of Fargo South High School, Erik in 1999, Kristin in 2001. Erik is now a senior at the academy and Kristin a sophomore.
Erik is majoring in astronautical engineering. He hopes to attend pilot training after graduation.
He was part of the Air Force Academy summer research program last summer at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, where he flew the shuttle simulator. He also toured Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Kristin is majoring in physics, just like dad.
Both siblings have earned their parachute wings and are on the dean's list.
Both plan to make the Air Force their career.
Their parents are natives of western North Dakota; Orv grew up on a farm in Adams County and Deb is from Mandan.
Orv was not the first military man in Deb's life. Her father was an Army paratrooper.
Being married to a man in the service was a positive experience for Deb.
"I enjoyed being a military wife and mother when Orv was on active duty," she says. "It was a rewarding experience being a part of the Air Force family."
It seems appropriate to spotlight this military family today on Veterans' Day.
To them and to all people in the military, past, present and future, thanks for serving our country.
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