Flandreau native and retired Lt. Col. Aaron Schultz will deliver the Memorial Day message Monday at Union Cemetery.
Schultz, who enlisted in high school before graduating from Flandreau in 1987, has been called up three times for active duty overseas. He served as a truck driver with the 1742nd Transportation Company of the South Dakota Army National Guard when the Flandreau unit served six months during Operation Desert Storm in 1990-1991. He also served from 2010-2011 in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, and his unit was activated in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. But 24 hours before they were scheduled to leave, they were ordered to return to normal duty.
His first awareness of Memorial Day was putting flags on the graves when he was a boy and helping his dad Russell, a Korean War veteran.
“I have a lot of fond memories with Memorial Day,” he said. “When I was a kid, he would drag me out to the cemetery, and we’d put all the flags out there.”
Later, Schultz worked for the city mowing the cemetery.
This year’s ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and will include music by the Flandreau High School band. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the William J. Janklow Community Center, where there will be a potluck following the service.
Following his deployment during Operation Desert Storm, Schultz graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn., with a bachelor’s of science degree in 1992. He became a commissioned officer in 1994 and earned his master’s in Business Administration from the University of Sioux Falls in 2009.
Schultz’s last duty before retiring in 2016 was professor of military science for South Dakota State University’s Army ROTC program. After 30 years in the military, Schultz now works as a veterans service representative in the benefits area at the VA Hospital in Sioux Falls.
Schultz, 52, is married to Danelle (Hove) Schultz, who also is from Flandreau. The couple lives in Sioux Falls and has three sons.
Other services in the county include:
•Vicar Nancy Rieke of the Colman Lutheran Church will speak in both Egan and Colman, where the Colman-Egan High School band also will play.
The Egan service starts at 9 a.m. at the former Methodist Church and is put on by the American Legion Frederick C. Schroeder Post 97 and auxiliary.
The Colman service will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the cemetery, with the location switching to the high school gym if there is bad weather. The program will be the same as the one in Egan and is led by the American Legion Shaffer Lellelid Post 278.
•The Trent American Legion will have services at several locations, starting at 8:30 a.m. with Naval services at the bridge. At 9 a.m., there will be a memorial service at the Trent Gym.
The legion will travel to the Trent cemetery at 10 a.m., the Salem cemetery at 10:30 a.m., the Bethania and Oslo cemeteries at 11 a.m. and the Nelson and Riverview cemeteries at 11:30 a.m.
Last year, the county shared a virtual Memorial Day service because of COVID-19 precautions.
The VFW’s Moody Post 3351 also will sell poppies on Saturday, with Luther Dappen as the chairperson of the project. Proceeds are used to support Moody County veterans and their families.
In addition, the VFW announced winners for the third grade poster contest at Flandreau Elementary School.
First place went to Rhegan Sheppard, while second place was Tinley Johanson and third place was Molly Kelm. All three received Flandreau Bucks.