Albert Lea Navy, Army veteran receives World War II tributes

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 15, 2017

Edwin Richard (Dick) Paul, who served in both the U.S. Navy and Army during and after World War II, was recognized at a special presentation in Albert Lea on June 8, according to a press release.

Paul received Certificates of Recognition congratulating him for his extensive military service to America, and gold commemorative U.S. Army and Navy lapel pins. The presentation was led by Jackie Carstens, licensed social worker, of the Mayo Clinic Health System Hospice Program in Albert Lea and retired Sgt. Major Ron Reule, Freeborn County Veterans Services officer. Attendees included Paul’s wife, Kathy; daughter Barbara R. Paul; son-in-law Tom LaFaille; and the Rev. Elizabeth Endicott.

Paul, who was born in Albert Lea in 1924, volunteered for military service at the age of 18, serving from 1942 to February 1947. He started in Naval Aviation, becoming a licensed pilot and receiving his Cadet Wings. At that point in the war, naval pilots were not required in great numbers — but his honorable discharge proved to be short-lived. He was soon drafted into the U. S. Army and served with the occupation forces in Germany. He retired from the Army with the rank of first lieutenant. Upon his return home after the war, he helped to form the Army Reserve unit in Marshfield, Wisconsin, where he received a promotion to captain.

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Paul and his wife have been Albert Lea residents since 1989. Dick is retired as a Scout executive with the Boy Scouts of America and has been active over the years with many local service and charity organizations, and Salem Lutheran Church. He was named Freeborn County Senior Citizen of the Year in 1996.