Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Veteran honored at Target Field

 

August 1, 2019

Provided Photo

Adrian Filipiak and his family hold the flag before the ceremony at Target Field.

Adrian Filipiak, 83, a Split Rock Township native, was honored at Target Field during the flag-raising ceremony on Sunday, July 21, as a veteran of the United States Navy. Right after the ceremony, the Minnesota Twins played against the Oakland Athletics. (The Twins won, 7-6.)

The Minnesota Twins have several military recognitions, including the Flag Raiser Program.

"At every Twins game, a veteran is honored before the singing of the National Anthem," it is stated on the Major League Baseball website. "The veteran is graciously thanked for their service, receives a rousing ovation and raises the American flag during the Star Spangled Banner with family and friends by their sides."

In a telephone interview with Filipiak on Tuesday, he said that his parents were Tony and Stella Filipiak. Filipiak graduated from Moose Lake High School in 1954 and enlisted in the Navy. He went to boot camp and then on to radio school.

He said that he served on the U.S.S. Whitehurst Display Escort 634, just after the ship had left Korea.

"It left Korea in January 1955 and I got on the ship in April," he said. "I served until 1958. I am still listed as a Korean War veteran but I wasn't in any conflict."

According to the nomination form, sent in by his oldest son, Allen, Flipiak's active duties included tours in Korea, Japan, Guam, Pearl Harbor, and San Diego.

"Adrian was involved in special communications training in Seoul, South Korea, during Operation Team Spirit," it was stated on the nomination form. "Adrian, his shipmates, and the U. S. S. Whitehurst were used as extras in the movie, The Enemy Below."

Filipiak served in the Navy on active duty for four years. He later enlisted in the reserves.

"I joined the Navy Reserves in 1965 and served until 1994," he said. "We had to go one weekend a month and on active duty for two or three weeks every year."

Filipiak had attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer by the time he retired from the reserves, he said.

Filipiak hasn't forgotten his shipmates.

"We still have a reunion once a year," he said. "All of the old shipmates get together someplace. We have lost a lot of them. We are getting up in age. One good friend was killed in an auto accident."

During his working career, Filipiak said that he was in the transportation industry and worked in an office.

Filipiak and his wife, Anastasia, raised two sons, Allen and Donald, and a daughter, Jean. The family has lived in Brooklyn Center since 1973.

"To be honest with you, I didn't feel like I deserved anything," he said. "I didn't want to do it."

Filipiak said that he was nervous before the ceremony.

"I was scared and nervous but a gal by the name of Amy took us under her wing and explained everything," he said.

Now Filipiak is grateful for the honor.

"I'm glad that I went through with the ceremony," he said. "I am real proud. It surely was an honor. All of my family and girlfriends and boyfriends were there. We held the flag before it was raised."

 

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