As the Fourth of July approaches, Edward Kutnik, a resident at Hammond-Whiting Care Center in Whiting, Indiana, has a lot to be proud of as he reflects on his time serving his country.
Kutnik is a World War II veteran who served in Europe from 1943-1945.
“I enlisted in 1942 and was two months shy of three years in the infantry,” Kutnik remembered.
Kutnik, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio, went through Army basic training in Camp McCain, Mississippi. He became part of the 346th Infantry in the 87th Division, part of General George S. Patton’s Third U.S. Army. He remembers being in England for one month and then heading to France.
“We were trying to displace the enemy,” Kutnik said. “My main assignment was to get ammo to the front lines. I had eight men who were working with me to bring ammunition.”
There were times when Kutnik took an active part in the fighting, however, using his rifle. Kutnik took part in three major battles, including the Battle of the Bulge. Thankfully, he was never injured.
“I was fortunate,” he said.
As the war wound down in Europe in 1945, orders came that the 87th was to return to the States to be sent to the Pacific.
“I was with General Patton and we were going to Japan, which was frightful because we never had any training for landing aircraft,” Kutnik remembered. “That’s what we were supposed to do. We were assigned to land in the bottom part of Japan. We were happy when President Truman dropped the atom bomb and shortly after that we were discharged.”
After the war, Kutnik returned to the States and earned a business degree from Ohio State University on the GI Bill.
“The bill certainly was helpful for me,” Kutnik said. “I wound up being a manager in a foundry for close to 20 years.”
In addition to being a soldier and a worker, Kutnik became a family man, marrying his wife, Barbara, in 1978.
“I met Barbara in a bar,” Kutnik said. “They were playing music. I asked her to dance, and we danced, and I took a liking to her, and after that I called her on the phone several days later, and we got acquainted that way.”
Kutnik married Barbara and has been blessed with her love and three stepchildren.
He has been a resident at Hammond-Whiting Care Center since May 2017, and his family visits often.
“I’m proud of what we did in the service,” Kutnik said.
Hammond-Whiting is proud of him too.