FORT KNOX, Ky. — Fort Knox alum Walter Mondale served as Vice President of the United States from 1977 to 1981 under the presidency of Jimmy Carter after serving several terms as a U.S. senator.
Missing World War II by just a year, the Minnesota native showed a desire for politics early in life after enrolling at Macalester College in 1946. By 1951, Mondale found himself in need of G.I. Bill funds to attend law school and, with war raging in Korea, decided to enlist in the U.S. Army.
The Army sent him to Fort Knox for two years, where he served with a Troop Information and Education section of 3rd Armored Division Artillery, at some point taking on the associate editor role at a regimental bulletin called Tanker’s Dust.
In what appears to be one of only two mentions of Mondale in the post newspaper Inside the Turret, the July 11, 1952 edition featured his section as well as others in 3rd Armored Division who were looking for ways to encourage Soldiers to vote in upcoming elections.
“Industrious TI&E members following a plan established by the Department of Army and working largely on their own initiative and on their own time, were selling the importance of exercising the right to vote,” stated the authorless article.
Later in the story, he and other members of his section are praised for their creativity.
“One of the finest efforts to encourage voting is being made by Divarty’s T&E unit, headed by Lt. James J. Mason….,” stated the article. “In their regimental bulletin … TI&E composed a special voting issue devoted solely to an explanation of the theory and practical history of voting in this country.”
Mondale’s next and final mention appeared in the Oct. 2, 1953 edition in a frame listing significant happenings in Division Artillery.
“… Able instructor, Cpl. Fritz Mondale, soon to be discharged …”
Mondale left the Army shortly after serving honorably and eventually earned his law degree while again taking up the mantle of politics.
According to the Bemidji Pioneer newspaper printed in his Minnesota hometown, the widower Mondale died April 19 at the age of 93. His wife Joan preceded him, dying in 2014, as well as their daughter Eleanor, who died in 2011.