KX News celebrates men and women who served and currently serve in the U.S military. In today’s Veteran’s Voices segment, we spoke with a man who joined the military because he believed in something bigger than himself.
Joseph “Dutch” Bialke is all about heritage, tradition and leaving a legacy. But he says the years of travel and service are all worth the great adventure.
“We have lived the life of a gypsy.. it was always on the move.. and as a result
we’ve lived an exceedingly adventurous life,” Dutch Bialke/Assistant Attorney General.
Dutch comes from a long line of military men. His grandfather and father served before him
Even his father in law served.
“The ability and responsibility that I have to follow in their footsteps
makes me unspeakably proud,” said Bialke.
Dutch told me when he started ROTC at age 18, he planned on serving a short time. That short time turned into over 29 years of honorable service in both the North Dakota National Guard, and the U.S. Air Force.
“It’s living a life that you know you’re contributing to something larger than yourself. I served 29 years, one month, and 19 days in uniform…but who’s counting,” said Bialke.
Dutch says serving in the military involves sacrifice and that sacrifice led him to Iraq. His office was in Sadam Hussein’s palace bedroom where he managed operations in matters of international law and the international red cross. What he didn’t expect were the pests that came along with the palace.
“I would ask people to send me care packages and they’d say, do you want cookies? You want this? You want that? I said yea can you send me some rat poison? So I was able to do my part to try to keep the rat infestation of Al Faw palace as low as possible,” said Bialke.
Specializing in Military Law he never saw combat, but his skills led him to where he is today. After years of traveling to places like Iraq, Germany, and Australia he and his wife Katie bought their first house when he retired from the military at age 55, settling down in the Bismarck-Mandan area.
“I was never a hero… but I had the distinct honor and privilege of serving along many, many heroes.
and serving alongside those heroes makes me distinctly privileged and honored to know I knew such honorable men and women,” said Bialke.
And now his daughter Jessalyn Kate Bryant and her husband are both actively serving in the Air Force keeping the family military tradition going.