Post 518 April Veteran of the Month – Army Staff Sergeant Robert J. Pruden
NORTH MANKATO, MINN. — The North Mankato American Legion Post 518 will hold their monthly Veteran of the Month Ceremony on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 at west end of Wheeler Park in North Mankato at 10:00 am. The public is invited to this brief but moving ceremony.
During the ceremony the Legion guard will retire the colors for The Sullivan Brothers and then honor Medal of Honor recipient Army Staff Sergeant Robert Pruden by raising colors in their honor for the month as our new Veteran of the Month honoree.
Robert Joseph Pruden, was born on September 9, 1949 to Lawrence and Marlys Pruden in St. Paul, Minnesota as part of a family of 13 children. He enjoyed sports and played baseball, football and hockey. He graduated from Harding High School in 1967.
Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army and said he aspired “to make a difference in Vietnam.” Robert completed the Non-Commissioned Officer Indoctrination Course and then completed Ranger training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. In November 1969 at the age of 20, Staff Sergeant Pruden was on a reconnaissance mission with the 75th Ranger Infantry Regiment (Airborne), American Division. His 6 man team was inserted by helicopter in enemy territory to collect information on the enemy to set up an ambush position. When they came under fire from 2 enemy positions, he left his concealed position to divert attention from his five team members. Suffering several gunshot wounds, Pruden still directed his team to an evacuation helicopter before he died from his injuries.
For his actions, Staff Sergeant Robert Pruden was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously by President Richard Nixon to Roberts family. His father, mother, 5 brothers and 7 sisters were present at the ceremony.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Staff Sergeant Pruden was awarded a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He was an inaugural inductee to the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, GA; the Army Rangers award the Pruden Trophy to the winner of its annual fitness challenge. Pruden Hall at Kelly Barracks, a U.S. military installation in Germany, is also named after him. Staff Sergeant Robert J. Pruden is buried in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Do you or someone you know have a family member that you would like honored as “Veteran of the Month”?
Please feel free to “forward” this e-mail to anyone you feel may be interested in honoring a deceased Veteran.
At the request of the family, a veteran’s coffin flag is raised & flown for one month. A short tribute of the veteran is read and then placed in a display stand in front of the flagpole.
At the next month’s ceremony, the flag is lowered, folded and presented back to the family. The new honoree’s coffin flag will then be received from the new family, unfolded and raised for the next month.
Families of deceased, honorably discharged veterans or POW/MIA’s who desire these honors should call Mark Conrad (507-380-8405) or Post 518 (507-625-1264)
The Veteran does not need to have been a member of any service club or to have lived in our area – Only the requirements listed above.
(NOTE: The coffin flag is removed after the ceremony and replaced by an all-weather flag, to ensure that no damage is done to the coffin flag. The coffin flag is raised prior to the next ceremony. If the family does not want to use the coffin flag, we will have a flag available to present for the ceremony.)