Wadena-Deer Creek High School recently announced Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) David J. Goetze will be the keynote speaker for their Veterans Day program at 9:30 a.m., Monday, Nov. 11, in Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School Gymnasium.

Lt. Col. Goetze is a graduate of Roseau High School. He earned his Bachelor's degree from Bemidji State and holds a Master’s degree in Leadership and Management.

He enlisted in the United States Army Reserves and later transferred to the Minnesota National Guard. He has served in multiple leadership and instructor positions throughout his career, including Platoon Leader in Hawaii and Haiti, Company Commander with the First Infantry Division, Observer Controller at Fort Irwin, Calif.; Reserve Officers Training Course instructor at St. John’s and St. Cloud state universities; Advisor for the Saudi Arabian National Guard in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Operations Officer for 2nd Battalion 16th Infantry Battalion for 34 months, including 14 months in Baghdad, Iraq; Operations Officer for Battle Command Training Program at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Commander Security Force Assistance Team 101st Airborne Division Afghanistan; and Tactics Instructor.

Currently, Lt. Col. Goetze is training National Guard brigades before deployment.

Lt. Col. Goetze’s awards include the Valorous Unit Award, two Bronze Stars, five Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Accommodation medals, two Army Achievement medals, two Army Superior Unit Awards, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Medal, four Overseas Ribbons, NATO medal, Air Assault Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Drivers Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Parachute Badge, and Ranger Tab.

Lt. Col. Goetze and his wife, Jane, have a daughter, Sara, who is a junior at Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School. They reside near Hewitt.

WDC’s Veterans Day program will include the Presentation of Colors by the Wadena VFW, student essay speakers, as well as patriotic music by K-4 students, under the direction of Mary Ellenson, and Grades 5-12 choirs, directed by Mike Ortmann. WDC Supt. Lee Westrum will serve as master of ceremonies. The Wadena-Deer Creek Student Council will serve a pancake breakfast for veterans and their families from 8 - 9 a.m. in the High School Commons.

The public is encouraged to attend this Veterans Day ceremony. Any questions, contact Mr. Ortmann at 632-2384.