Update to Mervin's military information...
Some really interesting documents, a few of which I have not seen before.

I always find unique and first ever type documents that I've never seen before in Veteran's military collections, and why I prefer to go through the papers myself. I will find something that is historically unique and important and may use it in the Veterans' book.
This first document is really unique. I wonder if today's military goes through "marriage counseling" like occurred with Mervin?
I'm sure some would consider it invasion of privacy but with the degradation of family life today, I wonder if this wasn't a good idea after all.


Interview with Chaplain for marriage


Clearance upgrade


Training for transfer


Training phases


Volunteer for Korea


Service record

In 2011, Mervin Christensen was interviewed by his family. Below is the rough draft of that interview about his military service.
I also received several pictures to scan and have now asked for military and discharge papers and any other photos they may have to help finalize Mervin's story.
Mervin passed away in 2012, so we are fortunate to get these memories and notes, first-hand from him.

Anyone connected to Manning and is a Veteran, I encourage to contact me so we can work on your military write-up. All of these stories takes a lot of time to work on and photos need to also be scanned and edited, so please do not delay.


Mervin in Korea
Mervin Volunteered for military service and enlisted on January 27, 1953, for a period of four years.
He attended boot camp in California where he trained for three months…at the time he held the rank of Airman 3rd class.
The Air Force wouldn't let men drop out after boot camp.
Next he was sent to Amarillo, Texas for six months, and then to El Paso, Texas, and after fourteen days he joined 9000 troops of all branches and headed on a transport ship to Japan.
For three months he worked as a jet mechanic in a hangar, overhauling planes coming from Korean combat. He worked seven days a week at this job. During his off-time he went to bars in Japan and drank Saki…"Ugh" was Mervin's memories to the taste.
He repaired a lot of holes from bullets during battles in Korea. He also spent some time working on planes on the flight deck of a ship.
A horrible memory was when Mervin saw a worker sucked into a jet engine "bloody mess" was his response, but apparently the worker was still alive after the incident and Mervin did not know if he survived or not.
Most of the time the weather was hot and muggy.
Next he spent one month on Formosa.
Occasionally he would send some pictures to his wife, Sondra.
While overseas, his wife, Sondra, lived in Atlantic.
He returned home on a ship which took ten days to reach San Francisco…"Good to see the Golden Gate Bridge - what a relief."
He took a bus to Omaha where he met his wife. It was too expensive to fly at that time and why he took the bus.
He spent 18 months in Rapid City, South Dakota, before his discharge.
Mervin lived off-base and achieved the final rank of Airman 1st Class.


Mervin in front of his barracks - unknown location

Fortunately, Mervin wrote on the backs of several of his pictures, which helps figure out where they were taken...this is why all living Veterans need to go through their photos and scrapbooks and (not write on the backs) start a notebook to write down captions and memories for the pictures.


Mervin in full gear


F-86 that Merv worked on




Mervin - high school graduate

While my database is quite extensive, I don't always have individual pictures of all family members I feature in these web page stories...missing below are Mervin's wife, Sondra, and their son Mike.
I can usually find other pictures of the person being featured which shows how they participated in the community...here are a few more pictures of the Christensen family.

Mervin and Sondra owned and operated the Dairy Sweet which was originally located along 141 across the highway north of Puck Implement Company. This is the same building but was moved west and just north across the highway from the city ball park...at the time the Wiskus family ran it.
The business eventually shut down and the building was razed a few years ago.


Starre Christensen MHS 1972


Renee Christensen MHS 1975


1974 Good Ole Days - Mervin Christensen operating a belt driven buzz saw, assisted by Barry Kusel.


Back: Levi, Bill, Courtney, Patrick, Mike, Shari, Dale, Nate
Front: Breann, Starre, Sondra, Martin, Mervin, Renee, Nicki, Stacy, Benjamin.

From the 2006 Manning Quasqui history book
Mervin and Sondra Christensen, along with their children, Starre, Renee, and Michael moved from Denison, Iowa, to Manning in the fall of 1965.
They owned and operated Chris's Dairy Sweet for eighteen years. Mervin served as president of the Manning Chamber of Commerce. He also was active in the Manning VFW and the Manning American Legion. Mervin worked for the Manning Ag Center, M&I Dehy, and Rasmussen Lumber. He drove school bus and did lawn maintenance for the Manning School District until his complete retirement in 2002. During this time Sondra worked as a CNA at the Manning Plaza. She also volunteered with the Manning ambulance as an EMT for thirteen years, volunteered with the local AFS Chapter as President and later as Regional Coordinator.
They are members of the Zion Lutheran Church.
Starre (MHS 1972) graduated from Nebraska Methodist School of Nursing in 1975. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Briar Cliff College in Sioux City in 1986 and a Master of Science from Arizona State University's College of Nursing in 1996. She married William F. Haney of Columbus, Nebraska, in 1976. They lived in Overland, Kansas, for three years and then moved to Sioux City where their three children were born. In 1989 they moved to Mesa, Arizona, where they continue to live. William works for the City of Mesa as the Director of Water and Waste Water. Starre is the Disaster Supervisor for the Scottsdale Healthcare System and coordinates their military partnership program. Their son Patrick, born in 1979, graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering, and works for a private consulting firm in Phoenix, Arizona. While attending UNL, Patrick played on the university water polo team and was a member of Phi Psi Fraternity. Their daughter Breann, born in 1981, graduated in 2005 from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a Bachelor's degree in physical education with a coaching endorsement. Breann also swam for two years with the UNO Mavericks women's swim and diving team, setting many distance records. She is married to Levi Oman from Callway, Nebraska. They reside in Omaha where she coaches for the Brownell-Talbott Raiders Swim team, and Levi works as a foreman in construction. Their daughter Courtney was born in 1986 and attends the University of Connecticut where she is a member of the Husky Women's swimming and diving team. While at Mountain View High School in Mesa, Courtney was an Arizona 5A State Champion in the 100 breast stroke, All American in the 100 breast stroke and 400 free style relay, and All American Consideration in the 200 IM and 200 Free Relay. The Haney family hosted an AFS student Anna Vinnars, from Sweden, during the 2003-2004 school year.
Renee married Dale Stangl in 1975. They have two children: Nathan and Nicole.
Michael (MHS 1979) graduated from Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in 1981, where he played football his freshman year. He then went on to Morningside College in Sioux City, graduating in 1983 with a BS degree in Ag Business and Economics. He is married to Shari O'Bannon of Storm Lake, Iowa. He has one son, Martin and two step-sons, Doug and Steve O'Bannon. Currently Mike works for Tyson Fresh Meats as a Hog Buyer in Prinsburg, Minnesota. Shari is the Buena Vista County Recorder in Storm Lake.
The Mervin and Sondra Christensen family hosted four AFS students: Johannes Plessing, Austria, 1974-1975; Hans Kristian Hegland, Norway, 1977-1978; Taryn Glasson, Australia, 1984-1985; Mikkel Nordvig, Denmark-Greenland, 1992-1993.


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