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His experience as an Eagle Scout helped him in his service time, Krauel said.

He recalls that during training, he once nodded off or became distracted during a lesson about different knots. The commanding officer leading the lesson scolded Krauel for not paying attention and began demanding he try to complete different knots taught during the class.

“I tied every knot he asked me to before he had even finished saying the name,” Krauel said. “Then, I got a little cocky, but I said to him, ‘Hey, do you know this one?’ and I tied this really fancy knot with all these loops and things. He left me alone after that.”

After serving in the Pacific for several years aboard the P.T. boats, Krauel returned home for a short period of time. He was called back to help train others in California before the Korean War. He was discharged when his daughter was born.

Krauel has five children in all: Alice, Ruth, Greg, Mike and Jim. He and his wife, Betty, were married for 32 years before she died. They raised their family in a little Lambertville home where Krauel still lives today. All of their children graduated from Bedford High School.

Jim and Mike both went on to serve in the Army.

Mike served during the Vietnam War, although he has since died.

Jim enlisted when he was 22 in 1982. One day, while managing a local McDonald’s, Jim said he decided he wanted to explore better opportunities. He had worked a number of odd jobs up until that point, and the Army felt like the next step. He visited a recruiting office that day during a break and immediately put in his two-week notice when he returned.

“I would always hear my dad and my brother tell stories,” Jim, 53, said as to what influenced him to finally join up. “And I was always looking for a change and always trying to progress.”

Jim, a 1979 graduate of Bedford, worked on tanks for the better part of 20 years while he was in the service.

The Army took him all over the United States. He was deployed as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Macedonia for eight months. The experience, he said, taught him a lot.

“I’ve learned to appreciate the little things,” he said. “You see these people from different cultures and you realize you don’t have it too bad (in the United States) compared to these people in third world countries.”

While on his journey in uniform, Jim said, he lived on countless military bases and did countless jobs, including tanker, instructor and platoon sergeant. He even helped train Marine Corps tank drivers near the conclusion of his career. Each of his children was born on a different Army base and in different states - from California to Kentucky.

Right in the middle is Ryan, Jim’s 20-year-old son who recently was commissioned into the Marine Corps.

Although he retired from military life in 2003, Jim took a civilian mechanics job with the Army. He is still working on tanks while living in Alabama.

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