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World War II veteran Melvin Smith was among the former service members who were recognized during Monday's Veterans Day ceremony at Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School. Photo by Dain Sullivan

The 'lucky' one; WWII veteran still in the game after brush with death

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Melvin Smith doesn't dwell much on the fact he nearly died from malaria in a tent hospital bed during World War II. He also doesn't seem to mind the partial deafness he suffers from because of his days spent feeding heavy ammunition into screaming guns used to take down war planes.

These days, the 93-year-old Wadena man is much quicker to chat about golf, card games or the 1,200 mint baseball caps he has collected throughout the years and stored in his daughter's garage.

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