BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — He has served our country for more than twenty years, but nowadays, you can find him serving others the same way.
In Wednesday’s edition of Veterans Voices, KX spoke to Josh Entzel: a military man with a passion for helping our country in more ways than one.
“As a kid, I always played army and stuff like that,” Entzel recalled. “My older sister, she started dating a guy who had just gotten back from Desert Storm in Iraq. Being a young kid and listening to him talk about it and stuff, made it seem interesting, and it a good way to make some extra money, or possibly have a career.”
Entzel enlisted right after high school and would begin by serving in a military police unit. He would then transfer into an air defense unit until his enlistment was up nine years later. However, less than three years after his duties ended, he would find himself called to serve once again.
“In 2005, the unit I was in got activated to go to Afghanistan,” Entzel stated. “I told my buddies that if they would go, I would re-enlist and go with them. I got called up and, being true to my word, I re-enlisted so I could go to Afghanistan.”
Since being deployed to Afghanistan, Entzel has been deployed three more times — once to Kosovo, and twice to Washington D.C.
Nowadays, however, you can find Entzel serving his country in another way at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, where he’s worked for quite some time.
“Out here,” he explained, “it’s very rewarding — preparing that final resting place and taking care of all of the veterans that are here, and seeing it grow over the last 17 years.”
As the cemetery’s maintenance supervisor, he takes care of all the buildings, maintenance, equipment, and burials. Most importantly, he takes care of our deceased veterans and their families.
“The number of people I run into on a daily basis out here that you know or have some type of connection to can be daunting,” Entzel stated. “George and his wife from George’s Bakery.., I remember going there as a kid in high school and getting doughnuts. Burying them, I tried to remember the good times- — going into their store and buying their doughnuts, and the time they made the wedding cake for my wife and I’s wedding. Laying them to rest, and trying my best to take care of them, is very rewarding for me.”
Through taking care of the cemetery, Entzel ensures that our veterans and their families will be honored for many generations to come.
“I think I take a little more special care in taking care of the veterans out here being a veteran myself,” he stated. “And not that I’m planning on being here any time soon, but eventually I’ll be here too, so I want to have a nice place to rest for me and my family someday.”
Entzel and the rest of the maintenance team provide burials for veterans year-round — even when the ground is frozen in the winter.
To learn more about the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetary, visit this page on the ND National Guard’s website.