Williston High School Alumni

Williston, North Dakota (ND)

Military Alumni

Military High School Alumni

Honoring Our Heroes

This area is dedicated to our alumni that have served or are serving in our armed forces!

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Honored Military Alumni

Aaron Schwehr
Aaron Schwehr
Class of 1992
National Guard, 9 Years

Aaron is a UH-60 Blackhawk/ OH-58 Kiowa Pilot in the Iowa Army National Guard.
bill gill
bill gill
Class of 1978
Army, 10 Years

optics repair tank sights
Bruce M. Nelson
Bruce M. Nelson
Class of 1968
Army, 2 Years

INFRANTRY March 1969, Fort Lewis, 8-69 to 8-70, Viet Nam / Cambodia, 1970-1971 Fort Riley, KS
bryan kessel
bryan kessel
Class of 1987
Army, 4 Years

Christopher Lee Solberg
Christopher Lee Solberg
Class of 1998
National Guard, 6 Years

1st tour 00' in Kosovo, 9 months.
2nd tour in 03-04' Iraq 16 months.
Engineering Corp. Battalion, Heavy Eq.
Dean R. Martinez
Dean R. Martinez
Class of 1982
Air Force, 17 Years

Currently Serving on Active Duty with the 92d Services Squadron, 92 Air Refueling Wing located at Fairchild AFB, Spokane, WA.
Gerald (Jerry) Allen
Gerald (Jerry) Allen
Class of 1966
Navy, 4 Years

PO2. 1968 in Boston. 1969 - 1971 Viet Nam. 1966 & 1967 US Merchant Marine engineer on troop transports to Viet Nam.
Harry Kulas
Harry Kulas
Class of 1921
Army, 20+ Years

Extracts on Harry Kulas from Jack Brady’s Bataan Death March Auto Bio by Dennis Kulas (cousin of Harry Kulas)

Following are excerpts in regard to mention of Harry Kulas by the author, Jack Brady.

“---I got tired of that business of working all the time so the Sunday before the war started (remember this is on the other side of the date line) I decided I wanted to get some time off so I went to the First Sergeant, who was Harry Kulas, one of the best sergeants I think anyone could possibly hope for. He was a really good man. I asked for a pass to go into the city. I wanted to see if there was a picture, Sergeant York, playing at the Times Theater, which is about a mile and I a half or two miles from the barracks. I wanted to go see it and Kulas gave me the pass, said nothing further, just handed me the past, that was it, and off I went. Coming back, the air raid alarm sounded. I knew for a fact that at that time it was a real alarm. I ran that mile and a half or two miles back to the barracks. When I got there Kulas was laughing all over himself. He thought that was one of the best jokes he had ever played on me because he hadn't bothered to tell me there was going to be a practice alarm. ----“
“---The next morning, --- ---We're at war with Japan. They just bombed Pearl Harbor." I heard it and I just laughed and I told --- left not to pay too much attention, he was just being a jokester again. ---I couldn't figure out what in the world was going on I ---. Nobody was there, not even Kulas.
“---Our naval bases at Cavite and Olongapo had been bombed and demolished---“, “---The Japanese declared that they had captured Manila and were in control of most of Luzon. There was quite a bit of confusion in Manila at this time---“,” we got there. Mudhole was a bivouac area up above Mariveles on Mariveles Mountain. That's where, when we showed up, Kulas was very unhappy because he had dropped me and O'Shea and Bryant from his morning report because he was told that we had been killed, and he was very unhappy because he had to do all that paperwork to pick us up again. Actually, I think he was kind of glad to see us, he just didn't like all the paperwork.—“, “---, anyway, we got the stuff and unloaded it there in Mudhole, so I guess Kulas forgave us for not being dead after all. On one ration run, very early on December 29, I was with Kulas and he wanted us to go around to all the switchboards and see what was going on. This was two or three days after I got back to the company, I think. We were up on the trail, or road, delivering rations, and we could see Corregidor from there. They were being bombed terribly. There was just a big cloud of dust over there on Corregidor. We could hear it from where we were. In fact, it drowned out the noise of the plane that was coming down on us. Fortunately the trail that we were on twisted and made all kinds of turns and when the pilot of the plane finally gave up and shoved off and went ahead in a straight line, in the bed of the truck there was a line of bullet holes on either side of the bed that stopped about a yard in back of the cab. That was a real close one for us. We were in the cab. Kulas was the passenger and I was the driver. ---“”, “---

SURRENDER AND MARCH “---When our first sergeant, Kulas, came back with the word that we were to get rid of our weapons we knew for a fact that was the surrender---“, “”---Kulas was a real hero on that hike. He kept us together as much as he could, tried to get everybody to stay together as a unit and to help each other out as much as we could. He said that it would always be better to stick with people you know, and that is true. You always have a better chance in anything if you stick with people you know, even if you don't like them. One of the things that Kulas did was to have a sort of a roll call every time we stopped, just to make sure that nobody got really separated. Ii they were a few feet away from the closest member of the company, they were gathered in to join up with the company again. We had no officers left there. They were all separated from us and taken somewhere else. The next day we went to another place and again Kulas was instrumental in keeping the company as much together as possible with a little bit of, not exactly coercion, but a little bit of persuasion. Some of the people were almost required to rejoin the company. It was not necessarily an easy thing to do because people were still individuals and they wanted to do what they wanted to do themselves, so I don't know how Kulas did it but he managed. He was really one of the best sergeants I've ever known. ---“,”--- . All the time Kulas was there trying to get us to stay together---“,”--- That was one thing that Kulas insisted on too, was that we all do that. We all drank our fill of water since ---“,”--- It's amazing when you see so many dead people you stop feeling very much about it one way or the other. They're dead, so that's it unless they happen to be somebody you know and know well, a friend of yours or something. There was none of that among the group that Kulas had herded. He made sure that we had water and he also made sure that we hoarded it as much as we could and didn't drink any more than we had to. It was hard to convince some people that you shouldn't drink very much but he managed to do that. He was instrumental in keeping a lot of the people alive, I think.

“---that was quite a chore in itself, getting water. It was almost impossible to get enough to drink, and you certainly couldn't get enough to do any washing or cleaning up of any kind, even if you had soap. The only time you could do anything like that was when it rained. It started to rain off and on before we left. It was beginning to get into the rainy season. We left in the early part of June in order to go to Cabanatuan, and the rainy season had started then, so we were able to clean up once in a while. Even in the tropics, rain is cold, especially when you aren't accustomed to anything like it. Even if you didn't have soap you still got out there in the rain, stripped down, and did the best you could to clean up.
Kulas, sometime or other during that time, had disappeared. Nobody knew where he was. Finally, O'Shea found him and he was out among those lying around the hospital, too weak to move from dysentery. The stench of the hospital was even worse than the rest of the camp. The decaying bodies of those left too long unburied, the excrement of all those who had long since died of dysentery and not cleaned up, for there was nothing to clean them with, the smell of bodies unbathed for weeks, all combined to make the whole unbearable odor which was worse here at the "hospital" than anywhere else in camp. Kulas was almost unrecognizable. His usual dark sharp features were more pronounced because he had lost his muscles and flesh. Every bone in his body and face stood out sharply and distinctly. He was covered with his own and others' bloody mucus from dysentery. Over everything crawled the maggots and the flies. Kulas was obviously glad to see us, but even then he couldn't relax his usual gruff tone. "I thought you guys were long dead," he told us. "I thought I was going to die here with all these people I don't even know." We assured him there were even more of the company at the camp and told him how we had searched for him. After 10 or 15 minutes of talk, he said "Look, I know I’m going to die pretty soon, but (I)rd like you to do me one last favor. Get me out of here where I can get cleaned up. I don't want to die in all this filth. When I go, I want to go as clean as I can." We promised, and then left to round up the others from the company and make our plans. Each of us would contribute our half-cup of water to a five-gallon can that O'Shea had acquired. It took the dozen or so of us until some time the next afternoon to fill that can about half full. Taking turns by pairs, each pair carrying the can between them until they were exhausted, and then letting the next pair take over for another 10-15 yards, we succeeded in getting the water to a reasonably clean space. Leaving a couple to guard the water, we proceeded to go get Kulas. On the way we picked up a bamboo door to carry him on. Finally, we had Kulas and the water together. Using a small piece of shirt and no soap, we painstakingly cleaned him up. That night, as we gathered around Kulas with our supper ration of rice, he looked like so many corpses, except that once in a while we could see his chest and stomach move. Finally, he opened his eyes. "Did any of you get my rice?" he asked, his voice very faint and weak. "I think I'd like to eat something." Each of us supplied a spoonful from our ration, carefully covering it between our cup and his mouth to keep the flies from covering it, and waving them away before the rice entered his mouth. Finally, Kulas slept and we slept around him that night. The next day we repeated the process. That afternoon, Kulas sat up. Our next job was finding something for him to wear, for all this time he was naked. I don't remember who "found" what, but we got a pair of shorts, a can, a spoon, and a piece of shelter half to use for a blanket. All this time, Kulas had not had a single one of the terrible gripping pains of dysentery or one of the uncontrollable bowel spasms. On the second day after we had found him, Kulas stood up and, with support, took a few steps. From then on, his recovery was fairly rapid. When we left O'Donnell about a month later, he was in about the same condition as the rest of us. I never saw Sgt Kulas again, as he stayed in O'Donnell when I went to Cabanatuan. I heard that he finally died in the early 1950s, in the northern Midwest. ---
“---After Kulas joined us it wasn't very long before the Japs came through and separated everybody according to their particular specialty, or MOS”---“,”---

Note: Jack Brady’s complete Biography can be found on line at “ http://philippine-defenders.lib.wv.us/pdf/bios/brady_jack_e_bio.pdf “ . Recommended Reading.
Jon Bosley
Jon Bosley
Class of 1986
Navy, 4 Years

Flight Deck crewman
Larry Hillstad
Larry Hillstad
Class of 1984
Navy, 20+ Years

Submarine Force, SONAR technician. Got to be a teacher, mentor, leader and friend to the hardest working, crazies this side of Williston!!
Michael Thompson
Michael Thompson
Class of 1970
Navy, 4 Years

Home port at Pearl Harbor,went on two western pacific cruises. Port calls included Guam ,Midway Island,Phillipines,Tiawan,Hong Kong,Maylasia,Viet Nam,and Japan. Spent the majority of our time in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Viet Nam ,during WestPac's.
Nicodemus Pederson
Nicodemus Pederson
Class of 1988
Coast Guard, 3 Years

E-3 electronics technician on US Coast Guard Polar Star. Had a great time and wish I was still in the Coast Guard. Thank you to all our veterans!

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Williston High School Classmates

Debra Lee Harmon
Class of '76

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Our Williston High School military alumni are some of the most outstanding people we know and this page recognizes them and everything they have done! Not everyone gets to come home for the holidays and we want our Williston High School Military to know that they are loved and appreciated. All of us in Williston are proud of our military alumni and want to thank them for risking their lives to protect our country!