As some U.S. military personnel start to come home from the war against Iraq, central Minnesota can be proud of all of the men and women who have served in the armed forces overseas.
Pierz residents and the Tschida family are no doubt particularly proud of Sgt. Mike Tschida of Pierz, who was a member of the U.S. Marine search and rescue helicopter group that rescued Pfc. Jessica Lynch on April 1. The rescue operation the 1997 Pierz High School graduate took part in was one of the coalition forces' finest moments. In a daring night-time raid a combination of Marine, Air Force, Army Ranger and Navy SEALS forces rescued the injured Lynch and recovered the bodies of her comrades who had been killed in battle.
The rescue came after an Iraqi citizen tipped off U.S. armed forces about Lynch's whereabouts, an encouraging sign that at least some Iraqis were eager to cooperate with the soldiers who helped oust Saddam Hussein.
"My wife and I are proud of what he and the rest of the folks over there are doing," Paul Tschida, the Pierz marine's father, said last week. "We're praying him home."
The Tschidas can be certain that similar prayers are being offered for their son and for all of the men and women of the armed forces.
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