SOAR Story: Roger Holmstrom, President SOAR Chapter 33-5, Grand Rapids, Minnesota

After graduating from high school in 1961, I joined the Navy and became a “Seabee” (Construction Battalion). I was sent to Alaska and later to Okinawa with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 9 (MCB-9) and was there when President Kennedy was assassinated; discharged in 1966.

In 1967, I hired in at Butler Taconite as a truck driver, where I worked for 36 years. Retiring in 2003 from Keewatin Taconite, I find that I am an active and proud USW retiree. For nearly a year now I have been the President of the West Range SOAR Retirees Chapter 33-5, having chapter meetings in Marble, Minnesota.

SOAR has made a positive difference in my life; allowing me to keep in touch with some of my Brothers and Sisters from the mines and to help our retirees and our union whenever and however I can.

We try to have interesting, informative speakers at our chapter meetings and we stand ready to help our union, when needed, on the picket line. However, we all agreed that picketing, when it is 65 degrees below zero, is where we draw the line!

Like any group of retirees, the number of members attending the monthly meetings has decreased. Many have passed away, dwindling our meeting participation from about twenty to eight members. I have set as one of my goals to increase meeting attendance and will be looking for ways to do just that.

Tell Us Your SOAR Story

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