Ernie Lamson, a St. Paul native and World War II veteran has been a long-time friend of Tee It Up for The Troops. Ernie plays 18 holes of golf at least twice a week with the “younger fellas,” as Ernie describes them, who are in their 70s and 80s. “I started using a cart for the first time about two years ago after they kept yelling at me to keep up with them,” he says.
Along with golf, Ernie enjoys playing duplicate bridge, doing pushups every morning, and even took part in a tandem skydive jump a few years ago. “I wanted to go solo, but they had rules,” he says of his skydiving adventure. Although Ernie likes to test the limits in the sky, he has taken care of his body claiming he has never smoked a cigarette or drank, quite a feat for a soldier in WWII.
Upon high school graduation, Ernie became a member of A Company, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division. He completed jump school in 1943, but badly broke his femur during a jump that August. To add to his injury, a handle of the stretcher he was on broke and punctured one of his lungs, and had to spend seven months in the hospital. Due to his injury he missed D-Day, a fact he has bittersweet thoughts about, “the injury probably saved my life.” He was honored and written up in local French newspapers during the 70th anniversary D-Day celebrations in Normandy last year. As a former regiment president and treasurer, he displays his uniform proudly with his military jacket, belt buckle, and parachute graduate bracelet. His 82d Airborne cap serves as a display for a shiny mosaic of gold, silver, and brass-plated military pins. After the war Ernie became an accountant and worked with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. He credits working there for motiving him to donate blood and platelets, which is often needed by cancer patients.
Ernie has been to many of our events, including our Reunion event in Florida last year. He continues to play golf and live his life to the fullest, a great example of an American veteran. We appreciate his support and service!