Ely veteran Westlin honored at Twins game

FLAG RAISING AT TARGET FIELD - Before the Twins faced the Houston Astros, Ely veteran Dennis Westlin, his three daughters Rachel, Jennifer, Ehrin, his wife Kathy Westlin, friend Albert Dietz and granddaughter Imogen raised the flag.

Ely veteran Dennis Westlin was honored at Wednesday’s Minnesota Twins game during the pre-game flag raising ceremony.
“I was proud and honored to have my family with me and some friends from Ely made it special to me,” said Westlin.
Westlin, 72, a Corporal E4 in the U.S. Marine Corps from October 1965 to October 1969 was joined by family and friends at Target Field in Minneapolis.
In 1965, Westlin was in boot camp training at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego.
He would go on to serve his country in Vietnam, a member of the HMM362 Ugly Angel helicopter squadron (1966-67). He was a Crew Chief and Gunner on a UH34D Helicopter.
Westlin was one of the “lucky” ones - he came home - unlike 28 of his comrades, the Fallen Angels, who made the ultimate sacrifice.
In the spring of 2017, now in his seventies and an avid bicycle rider, Westlin, accompanied by his wife, Kathy, made a cross-country bicycle trip with his Ugly Angel banner in tow.
The Westlins started their trip in San Diego and biked all the way to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
When the Westlins arrived at the Vietnam Memorial on May 22, 2017, 66 days after they set out on their journey, Dennis had biked a total of 3,380 miles in honor of his fallen comrades.
Dennis worked for the USDA Forest Service on the Superior National Forest for 24 years. The bulk of his career was devoted to Wildland Firefighting nation-wide and in Canada. He married Kathy in 1985 and has five children and seven grandchildren.
Along with his wife, Kathy, his three daughters, and four grandchildren was at Target Field with him.
His youngest daughter, Rachel (Technical Sergeant E6 in the US Air Force stationed in Fargo, ND for the past eight years) proudly wore her uniform to support her father in the flag raising.
Also attending were several extended family members and friends.
Westlin’s medals/achievements: Combat Aircrew Insigna with 3 Stars; 17 Navy and Marine Corps Air Medals; Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing “V” for Valour; Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation; Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnamese Campaign Medal.