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Wertish honored today at military funeral in Bird Island


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.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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