by Jim Boyle
As a teenager, Josh Stoll played “Taps” on Memorial Day for the Becker American Legion.
It was an opportunity to do his part to recognize those who sacrificed for the freedoms he enjoyed.
This year, Spc. Josh Stoll will deliver the Memorial Day address at Lions Park in Elk River. He’ll also talk about what the community can do to help veterans re-integrate. The event starts at 10 a.m.
“Part of the reason I enlisted was in remembrance of all those who sacrificed before us for the freedoms we enjoy,” Stoll said. “To be able to help in any way family members who might be grieving that day or honor those who sacrificed — whether it’s with any of my words or just being there — that’s important to me.”
Stoll is the son of Denice Freih of Faith in Action. He graduated from Becker High School in 2001 and after high school went to North Dakota State University. He later joined the Army National Guard and eventually transferred to the Florida National Guard. He deployed from Florida to Afghanistan in the summer of 2008 and returned in July of 2009, four days earlier than he was supposed to when his grandmother died.
“I had a good family to come back to,” he said. “I had 35 to 40 people greet me. We spent a lot of time together. That helped put me back into a routine.”
Not all soldiers come back to a strong support system. Not all soldiers come back.