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Saying goodbye to the final 164th infantry soldier

Burtell was three weeks shy of his 97th Birthday when he passed away at a nursing home in Bowman.
Burtell was three weeks shy of his 97th Birthday when he passed away at a nursing home in Bowman.(KFYR)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 7:20 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Thursday afternoon, family and friends, of Doug Burtell; North Dakota remaining 164th regiment, laid him to rest at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan.

Burtell was three weeks shy of his 97th Birthday when he passed away at a nursing home in Bowman.

“I’m just grateful that his story is being told one last time. because there are few left like him,” said Bard Burtell, Doug’s daughter.

Burtell served in the 164th infantry regiment, one of North Dakota’s most recognized units, as an artist.

He documented North Dakota hero’s as they invaded the Guadalcanal and went to war with the Japanese.

Thursday, family remembered him for all the sacrifices he made.

“Like any solider, someone who gave all, and his generation is so special and dear and we’ll never really understand all they sacrificed. Sometimes you wonder if your life made an impact on others, but a solider never has to wonder if there’s did or not,” said Jill Vallego, Burtell’s granddaughter.

In March, Major General Alan Dohrmann presented Burtell with a commander coin that had been made in his honor and with his artwork.

Burtell’s sketches can be seen around North Dakota and on the 164th Infantry wall at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.

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