29

Nov

Ft. Meade National Cemetery Stories

Elijah T. Strode

Elijah T. Strode On a spring day in March of 1851, a baby boy was born somewhere in Monroe County, Kentucky. He was christened Elijah T. Strode and would go on to have a life as a farmer and soldier until tragedy struck a month before his 30th birthday. Strode lived a humble life as a farmer in Kentucky until October 15, 1872, when he visited Elizabethtown at the age of 21 and enlisted in…

29

Nov

Black Hills National Cemetery Stories

Ralph Edward Mousel

Ralph Edward Mousel On April 5th of 1929, Ralph Edward Mousel’s story began in Rapid City, South Dakota. His parents, Lourella (Louie) and Ralph Mousel Sr. were married in Rapid City in 1925; that same year they welcomed their daughter Pearl into the world who would later marry Red Pesek. Ralph Jr., although four year younger, grew up in the Rapid City area beside his sister and attended Cathedral High School. He had a passion…

29

Nov

Black Hills National Cemetery Stories

Ralph Charles Pesek

Ralph Charles Pesek The Pesek family has many family members interred at Black Hills National Cemetery. Ralph Charles Pesek is one of many Pesek boys who established a successful military career. Ralph was born on April 3, 1920, to Christina and Adolph Pesek in White River, South Dakota. He was the oldest Pesek boy with five younger brothers and a younger sister. They moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, shortly after his dad Adolph passed…

29

Nov

Black Hills National Cemetery Stories

Wayne Freeland

Wayne Freeland Wayne Freeland spent most of his life in Lead, South Dakota, married to his beloved wife Dorothy. Wayne didn’t grow up in South Dakota though, he graduated from Palmer High School in his home town of Palmer, Nebraska. His parents, Frank and Jessie Freeland, had four children including Wayne. After Wayne graduated with the Palmer Class of 1948, he enlisted in the army to serve in the Korean Conflict. The Korean Conflict lasted…

29

Nov

Black Hills National Cemetery Stories

Wendell Hood

Wendell Hood In early June of 1941 the second draft from Spearfish, South Dakota, was called to join the Army just before the United States joined World War II. The young men with low draft numbers were the first ones called. Wendell Hood, at the age of twenty-three, was one of these men. Before he was drafted, Hood was ranching at his home near Spearfish; he made money doing odds jobs for family and friends…