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Wertish honored today at military funeral in Bird Island
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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

BIRD ISLAND -- Army National Guard Spc. James Wertish of Olivia was remembered at his funeral Monday morning as a young man who "raised a little hell now and then" but was willing to lay down his life for others.


Wertish, 20, a specialist with the Minnesota National Guard 34th Infantry Division, was killed July 16 in a missile attack at his base near Basra, Iraq.

"We are no longer isolated from the effects of war," the Rev. George Schmit said during the funeral at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Bird Island. "It has touched our lives in the deepest way."

Schmit urged Wertish's parents to hang on to the faith that has been a large part of their fam-ily's life.

"Dave and Kim, you raised a good son," he said. "Sure he raised a little hell now and then, tried your patience, ... but deep down in his heart were the values and virtues that guided his life."

Read more on this story Tuesday in the West Central Tribune.