Veteran resident Arlo Sletten, then and now
Arlo Sletten enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 at Fort Snelling, MN, and received his basic training at a base near New Orleans, Louisiana. It was here that Arlo volunteered for a new unit being formed that trained in cold weather tactics. This was the famed 10th Mountain Division, and it was being formed near Leadville, CO. They trained at an altitude above 10,000 feet at a place called Tennessee Pass. The training was worse than the actual combat they faced later in the war. For 3 weeks they had to sleep outside in sleeping bags in below zero weather. In 1943, the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands, hence the forming of this special unit which was to transfer to Alaska to prevent the anticipated invasion of the mainland. By the time they got trained, the threat from the Japanese was over. They packed up their skis and cold weather equipment and headed for Italy by way of Camp Swift Texas, landing in Naples and joined in the fighting in the mountains of northern Italy near Laverno where he drove a truck delivering supplies to the front. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal for his actions in Italy. While passing through the Straights of Gibraltar, en route back to the USA to retrain for the invasion of Japan, they received word of the A-bomb and surrender of Japan. He was discharged from active duty at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin on December 5, 1945.
by Kim Grogan
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