This is the third time I started this article. As I sat and watched the Medal of Honor presentation to the PFC Floyd K Lindstrom VA Clinic, I had so many feelings running through my heart and brain. Seeing what a humble old buck sergeant from the Army could do. My backing is like a lot of people who believe that hard work will pay off in the end.
Ten years ago, it started with a simple phone call. As adjutant of American Legion Post 5, it was my job to reply to messages in letter form or return calls to Post 5. A man called to say that a man named Floyd Lindstrom who grew up in Colorado Springs was a Medal of Honor recipient and there was nothing in town for him. I thought it was a mistake because I grew up in The Springs and never heard of him. I did a simple search and I was proven wrong. PFC Floyd Kenneth Lindstrom of Colorado Springs, Colo., born in Holdridge, NB, was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions on Nov. 11, 1943, in Italy. So after that I was hooked on trying to find out everything I could about this forgotten hero. It is impossible to know just how many hours of researching I did at the Peaks Pike Library in the downtown of Colorado Springs in their microfilm area and the city directories. The internet searches and researching with an added word to change things.
There are a couple of the events that made this mission worth it. The first event was just me and a person from the Myron Stratton Home, when she placed into my hands a couple of items that had to deal with Floyd Lindstrom that was given to the home by Floyd’s mother Anna. Some type written about an event that Floyd’s unit did to honor him back in 1944, a comic strip showing the event that allowed Floyd to receive the Medal of Honor, and the thinnest piece of paper I have ever seen or held, that made me feel it was worth more than gold. The paper that felt it was going to fall apart as I held it was the original orders from the US Army giving the Medal of Honor to PFC Floyd K. Lindstrom, dated April 20, 1944.
The next time was after finding out that Floyd’s medals were donated to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum by Floyd’s sister Pauline Rohe. I set up a time to view the items that Pauline donated to the museum. I was taken to the basement and given gloves so I would not damage anything by the oils on my hands. There were a couple of plastic bins that the woman unloaded, and before me were a few items that Floyd had and then came out the shadow box frame with all the medals Floyd was awarded. I was able to take photos, and then I wanted proof that I had really been with those medals that Floyd for the most part never was. Floyd was only given the Silver Star while he was alive. The 2 Italian Crosses, Purple Heart and Medal of Honor were all awarded after his death at Anzio.
The third thing that made all this work memorable was being able to find Floyd’s girlfriend, who he asked to be his wife after he got his little ranch. Mary Jane Wackenhut died in January 1942. Being able to place flowers on her grave for Floyd on Easter and Memorial Day is humbling; to know that his mother did the same thing for Floyd while he was off to war.
The fourth thing was finding out another post working on honoring Floyd. I have worked for the US Postal Service for 31 years. But this guy is not in the US - he is in Italy. A group of people there decided to honor the men and woman who fought to give them freedom. With Floyd receiving the Medal of Honor on a hillside there, they have decided to honor him and others like him by learning about these heroes placing monuments. Luigi Settimi and I have become friends because of the respect for this man who so willingly fought for freedom.
While I have been involved in unveiling a few things to honor Floyd Lindstrom at this event, all I did was ask Maj. Drew Dix if we could start the ball rolling to honor Colorado Springs' hometown hero. I talked to Matt Albright about what would be the best date to make this happen and the day that Drew Dix could be there. Feb. 3 marked the 75th anniversary of Floyd being killed in action at Anzio. The 3rd being Sunday, and not to make it hard for the veterans trying to make their appointments, the clinic went with the 2nd.
Now as I sat there just trying to film this event of placing the Medal of Honor in the clinic which bears the name of Floyd Lindstrom - I thank Congressman Doug Lamborn for his effort in getting this done - I had thoughts of the last 10 years, thinking, this was it. When I was recognized for being the advocate for Floyd Lindstrom, the response from the crowd made me feel very humble because we were there to honor a man who should have never been forgotten in Colorado Springs. Now I believe I can say the mission is done to honor Floyd Kenneth Lindstrom.