Minnesota Vietnam Vet Reunites with Vet Who Saved His Life 50 Years Ago
Minnesota Vietnam veteran, Fred Kjorlien, was recently reunited with fellow Vietnam veteran, Dale Edge, who helped save Fred's life during the war in 1968, just over 50 years ago. They hadn't spoken since the day Fred was injured.
53 years ago, according to Boyd Huppert with KARE 11, Fred, who was 19 at the time, "was shooting from behind a tree when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded a few feet away". The explosion took off one of his legs and Fred told Boyd that he doesn't remember what happened after that.
What happened was Dale, who didn't really know Fred super well, was nearby. He was also injured but got over to Fred, made a tourniquet for his leg, and got him on a helicopter to get him to safety. Dale said that after that he had no idea what happened to Fred.
Dale was the one who found Fred. He first looked at the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. for Fred's name. He didn't find him on the wall which made Dale want to find him even more. Thanks to a smartphone Dale's kids got for him, he was able to find Fred and his work phone number, so he reached out to him.
After 53 years, Fred and his wife drove down to Illinois to meet the man who helped save his life in Vietnam. They hugged, shared stories and photos, and Dale gave Fred a scarf with their battalion’s insignia because Fred's had been cut off and gotten rid of when he got to the hospital.