The “Veteran of the Month” for February 2017 is Edward Kamradt.
Born on March 30th, 1892 on the family farm in Eveline Township, Charlevoix County, Michigan, Kamradt walked to a one-room schoolhouse in Advance, Michigan, which was about a mile and a half east of the Kamradt farm and only attended school through the sixth grade.
When 18 years old he became a hired farm hand at the Charlevoix County operated poor farm and when he was 20 or 21 years old he took employment with the East Jordan Lumber Company becoming a re-sawyer in Mill B.
On July 14th, 1915 Kamradt enlisted in the Michigan National Guard at Company Rendezvous, East Jordan, Michigan and took the oath on June 3rd, 1916.
Kamradt was promoted to Sergeant in Headquarters Company I, 125th Infantry Regiment of the 32nd Division.
His unit was called to serve in El Paso, Texas during the Pancho Villa uprising in 1915, and later his unit was stationed in Waco, Texas for further training before returning to Michigan where the unit was assigned to guard the railroad tunnel connecting Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. From Port Huron his unit was mustered into the regular U.S. Army and sent to France with the American Expeditionary Forces departing the USA on Feb. 10th, 1918 arriving in Brest, France on Feb. 24th, 1918.
Kamradt was engaged in trench warfare during World War I in the battles of Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood and the 2nd Battle of the Marne.
Kamradt departed Europe on Aug. 19th, 1918 arriving in the USA on Sept. 10th, 1918 and was reassigned to Camp Sherman, Chilocothe, Ohio to assist in training new troops in trench warfare.
On Dec. 12th, 1918, one month after the Armistice ending WW I was signed, Kamradt received an Honorable Discharge.
Returning home to East Jordan, and his job in the saw mill, on May 2nd, 1922 Kamradt married Martha Lorraine in Chicago, Ill., as she was returning home from a visit with her maternal grandmother and sister in Palo Alto, Cal., and they returned to East Jordan where they spent the remainder of their lives.
The sawmills closed in East Jordan in 1928 and Kamradt worked for Motor Wheel in Lansing, Michigan for about a year and was able to buy a 1930 Model A Ford truck and worked with the truck for the Charlevoix County Road Commission until 1938 when he became the manager of the Albert Miller Potato Warehouse in East Jordan. In 1942 he became the manger of the Golden Rule Service Station in East Jordan from which he retired in 1959.
He was an active member of the East Jordan American Legion Post, served for 23 years as a volunteer fireman with the East Jordan Fire Department, served for many years as the Constable of East Jordan’s Third Ward and drove a school bus for the East Jordan School system for several years.
On Sept. 21st, 1961 Edward Kamradt answered the final call and is being honored by his son Bill, his grandson Michael and their families.
To honor a veteran, call the program chairman at (231) 588-6067 or on Tuesdays call (231) 582-7811 between 3:30-8:30 p.m.
The ceremony may be witnessed on the first Thursday of each month at The American Legion Post located on the corner of South Lake and Main streets in Boyne City, Mich. at 6:15 p.m.