ALBERT LEA, Minn. - Talk to Richard Thunstedt and he has quite the story to tell after serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945 aboard the USS Salt Lake City. And even though much time has passed between World War II and now, Thunstedt says he still carries those memories from war with him.
"You're so dedicated to what you're doing. I was a ready man aboard ship and you are so dedicated to what you are doing that life just goes on the best you can make of it," Thunstedt said.
His experiences aboard the Pensacola class USS Salt Lake City that took part in more combat engagements than any other ship in the Pacific remain with him 75 years after the war.
"The war was over," Thunstedt said. "I didn't have to run, but it's so ingrained in you when you are out there and life is just a click and then you're gone."
He hopes sharing his story will allow us all to take stock of what an immense privilege it is to be an American.
"There's no country in the whole world that equals America, the freedom we have and the things that we have that other people don't have any place," Thunstedt said.