90-year-old North Dakota veteran honors fallen heroes
Lisbon, ND—A 90-year-old veteran is serving our country in a different way — to make sure veterans are taken care of.
Tucked away at the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon, you will find Alfred Steiger hard at work in his workshop.
“It's better than sitting around out there,” said Alfred.
It's been a part of the 90 year-old's daily routine for 15 years.
“Five to six hours a day. Maybe more,” said Alfred.
Making poppies--small, paper flowers, with a big meaning.
“The blood that was shed by all over our veterans who passed in all of our wars,” said North Dakota American Legion Auxiliary Department President Mavis Goodroad.
Alfred - a farm boy from central North Dakota - served his country in the U.S. Army - spending a year and a half overseas during the Korean War.
He read about the poppies in a VFW magazine. They've been his passion every since.
“Figured I would try it.”
And now, he doesn't stop.
“Look what we went through, all the veterans, and many soldiers never come back alive, that's why I do this.”
You'll see them across the state this Memorial Day. And Alfred, made nearly every one of them.
“He is just a superman,” said Mavis.
“I got about 80,000 out this year or maybe more.”
American Legions across North Dakota accept donations for the poppies.
The money is used to support local veterans.
“It's neat that he is still able to do this for his country, he was proud to be in the service, it helps all the other veterans in North Dakota,” said Joan Buske of the ND American Auxiliary.
Alfred says he won't say no to a helping hand...but admits finding help hasn't been easy.....
“I had four people who wanted to try it, just didn't want it, too hard on the hands.”
“When my hands get sore I use lotion, like this,” Alred said, as he applied lotion.
But it's a small sacrifice compared to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
With the poppies out for this Memorial Day - he's already working on next year's batch.
Alfred says at his age - there is no time to rest.
“They say you don't get rested enough," to which Alfred can only laugh.