Opinion: Sisseton-Wahpeton vet deserved honor

"North Dakota’s most decorated soldier, who had more than 30 citations, was from Wahpeton.

Woody Keeble saw extensive action in World War II and the Korean conflict, and his extraordinary bravery should soon be reflected with a Medal of Honor, even though he died in 1982.

Woodrow Wilson Keeble was born May 16, 1917, near Waubay in northeastern South Dakota. His parents, Isaac and Nancy Keeble, were members of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (Sioux) tribe.

Keeble was a good student and an outstanding athlete. He enjoyed writing poetry and reading, and also played football, basketball and baseball. As the star hurler for the Wahpeton amateur baseball team, he reportedly could throw a fastball 100 mph and was scouted by the Chicago White Sox.

When the U.S. entered World War II, Keeble enlisted and in 1942 was assigned to the 164th Infantry, which was sent to the South Pacific. He saw his first action at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. The enemy shelled Keeble’s position, killing many soldiers, and then continued their assault by rushing toward his unit. Keeble jumped up with his machine gun and began firing back. He was shot in the shoulder, but refused to leave until the fight was over and the enemy had been repulsed. For his action, he was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart."

Get the Story:
Curtis Eriksmoen: Most decorated N.D. soldier deserves honor (The Fargo Forum 3/11)

Related Stories:
Viewpoint: Overdue honor for Sisseton-Wahpeton vet (3/2)
Interview: Woody Keeble, a hero of two wars (2/26)
Editorial: Medal of Honor for Sioux veteran (06/14)
Native veteran recommended for Medal of Honor (06/01)
Native veteran to receive replacement medals (5/29)
Sen. Johnson: Long overdue honor for Native soldier (04/28)
Medal of Honor sought for Sisseton-Wahpeton vet (02/28)

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