U.S. Army National Guard
Global War on Terrorism Veteran
To get the needed financial help during college years at South Dakota State and University of Mankato, 1993 Fairmont High School graduate Cade Hartwig made the decision to join the U.S. Army National Guard. Hartwig did his basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, then onto 13 weeks of training with track-mounted, Vietnam-era 4.2-inch mortars.
Receiving benefits from the G.I. Bill wasn’t the only reason Hartwig became a soldier. His dad is a military veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy in submarine duty.
“I was loving what I was doing,” Hartwig admitted. “After college was done in 2002, I re-enlisted in the Guard.” More training stateside included combat training with simulated weapons and ammo.
Hartwig had been working as funeral director in Hutchinson, MN when his Guard unit got called up and deployed to Kosovo in the Spring of 2004 for two tours of duty with the HHC2/135 Infantry during the Global War on Terrorism. Hartwig also spent time at Fort Polk, Louisiana, helping train soldiers going to Afghanistan.
Hartwig was appointed Mortuary Affairs NCO at the Kosovo Battalion Operations Center. “I also was the Battle NCO, communicating with combat squads in the field,” he said.
By 2006, he eventually went back home and to the regular routine of work, summer guard training and drills. “I was offered to go back to Kosovo with the Guard, but we were so short-staffed at my regular job that I didn’t want to put my employer through that again,” Hartwig recalled.
He moved to Fairmont in 2008 when he accepted a job with Lakeview Funeral Home. Hartwig is married with four children. He is also a volunteer firefighter with the City of Fairmont Fire Department.
Story and Photo © 2019 Joseph Kreiss Photography