Ken Lindblad’s retirement not only marks the end of a twenty year career as the Beadle and Sanborn County Veterans Service Officer, but it also means that for the first time in many years the office will not be occupied by someone whose last name is Lindblad.
Ken’s father, Robert ‘Lindy’ Lindblad, had served the area’s veterans in the same capacity for fifteen years, before his son took over the office in 1995.
“My father was ready to retire and my own career took a turn. I was approached by the Beadle County Commissioners about taking over the office. My father joked that he when he left the office he didn’t have to pack up any of his family photos.”
Prior to helping military veterans and their families file claims and secure benefits and services, Lindblad was a familiar voice to listeners of KIJV, where he wore many hats.
“I was the station program director, sports director, custodian, you name it, for about seventeen years. Surprisingly, there were a lot of similarities between radio and working with veterans . I used to love putting together promotion’s when I worked at KIJV. When you put a promotion together, you have to have all your bases covered and have everything in order. I always tackled the task of submitting veterans claims to the VA with the same attention to detail.”
Lindblad says helping veterans has been rewarding work.
“The Veterans Service Office is the first point of contact between veterans, or their survivors, and the VA. Seeing someone come into the office who may not know what benefits they are eligible for, maybe they are a little scared, and being able to help that person is incredibly fulfilling.”
When Ken’s father retired, he expressed to his son how relieved he was knowing that the office was being assumed by someone who was committed to veterans and their families and who wouldn’t undo everything he had worked for during his career. Lindblad feels the same way about his successor, Michael Lueck.
“Michael was the perfect choice. He has a passion for this work, it pours out of him when he talks about the veterans. The office is in good hands. I would encourage any Beadle or Sanborn county veterans or survivors who need assistance or have questions to contact Michael at 353-8415.”
While many area military men and women and their loved ones are appreciative of Lindblad’s efforts on their behalf over the years, he is equally grateful for their support.
“I want to thank all of our area veterans for allowing me and my father to serve them for for the past 35 years.”
Even though he is stepping down from his high profile post, Lindblad still plans to remain involved in both Dakota State Fair Speedway and the annual Christmas Basket Program which he has emceed for decades.
“You’ll still see me around. I may not be as visible in Huron as I have been for most of my life, but I won’t drop off the face of the earth,” Lindblad promises.