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Remembering those who served -- Five brothers from Callaway answered call during WW II

Answering the call to serve their country, five brothers served in World War II together.

This Memorial Day is a day to honor the Martin brothers and other servicemen and women who have served or are serving in the military.

Jeanne Teiken, Detroit Lakes, said her father, Bernard, and four uncles from Callaway all dealt with their time in the war differently, but it affected all of them.

All five gone now, she said her father used to tell stories of his time in the war, but her uncle Lloyd (Gene) never talked about it. He was at Pearl Harbor when the bombing occurred.

Her dad worked various duties in the service, including as a medic. He served in the South Pacific and he would talk about some of the things he did and had to deal with. He also drove ambulance.

"He dealt with a lot of things. He kind of tried to minimize the emotional impact by joking or whatever, but my uncle Gene just didn't talk about it at all," she said.

"It was very traumatic in a lot ways, but they expressed totally different ways of dealing with it."

Her uncle Isaac (Ike) and dad were both older and didn't have to serve in World War II, but volunteered to serve their country anyway.

"That's just what they felt they were supposed to do," she said.

The brothers also had a half brother who served in World War I, and an uncle who was a part of the Grand Army of the Republic during the Civil War.

"They, along with a lot of other Native Americans, served, and continue to serve, our country," Teiken said.

Of the Martin brothers, Martin Clyde (Cyke), William (Bill) and Lloyd (Rabbit) served in the Navy, and Bernard (Budge) and Isaac (Ike) served in the Army. None of them served together in the same location though.

After the five Sullivan brothers of Iowa were killed in the war, the U.S. War Department adopted the Sole Survivor Policy, a regulation in the military designed to protect a family from the draft or combat duty if they have already lost family members in military service.

Teiken said her grandmother, Elizabeth Martin, never talked much about her sons serving in the war.

"They were pretty faithful about writing her and trying to keep in touch with her, maybe once in a while sending a telegraph," she said. "Back in those days, they had those silk pillow covers they would send from various places as remembrances of where they were. I know she treasured those and kept them all over her life."

While her sons were away, Elizabeth was helping to raise four grandchildren in Callaway. She was also a widow, her husband having died in 1939.

She stayed busy with her grandchildren and keeping her own home rather than thinking too much about her sons.

She also had a son die shortly after birth, and had four daughters as well.

The five boys, who were all members of the White Earth Reservation, would send money back to their mother to help support her financially, and her Catholic faith and the Callaway community supported her emotionally.

"They just didn't do a lot of talking about situations, except my dad about some of his situations. He would try to kind of minimize the scariness of the situation with humor," Teiken said.

"The sad part of it was they, especially my uncle Gene, carried it with them the rest of their lives and it really impacted their lives -- sometimes not in the best ways.

Budge, Ike and Cyke are buried in Callaway, Gene in Staples and Bill in Philadelphia.

"I'm very proud of the fact that they served," Teiken said.

"Like I said, my dad and uncle Ike were older so they didn't really have to but they just felt that that was their duty to serve and went forth and did."