The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

November 10, 2013

Family trip honors patriarch hero

Hodapps pass on tradition of military service


Hodapp, who survived injuries suffered when three German bullets struck his cartridge belt, eventually returned home. After his military service, Hodapp operated a clothing store on Madelia’s main street. He died in 1971.

The Great War — World War I — officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed June 28, 1919. However, fighting had ceased seven months earlier when a temporary cessation of hostilities between the Germans and Allies went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of The War to End All Wars.

In 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day. In 1954, the observance was renamed Veterans Day.

Several of Hodapp's descendants — including some of the attendees at today's ceremonies — also are military veterans. Philip H. Hodapp was the patriarch in Minnesota’s first four-war American Legion family. A news brief about the Hodapps was published in The Madelia Times-Messenger soon after the veterans organization’s eligibility period was expanded to include Vietnam era soldiers. Three of the World War I veteran’s four sons had served in the military — Jim served in World War II, Phil Jr. served in the Korean War, and Steve served in Vietnam and was the family’s newest Legionnaire.

Tim Hodapp, Phil Jr.’s grandson, represents the latest generation in the family’s tradition of military service. He is a U.S. Marine stationed in Iraq.

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