Last Minnesotan Bataan Death March Survivor Remembered As a Hero
Brainerd’s own Walter Straka was the last known Bataan Death March survivor in Minnesota. He passed away at the age of 101 on July 4.
In his life, Straka lived for more than 37,000 days, but roughly 1,300 of them were spent in captivity as a prisoner of war, not knowing if he’d make it out alive. Not only did he survive, but he’d make an everlasting impression on those who knew his story.
Last year, before he passed, Straka was honored with a Congressional Gold Medal. Just 167 have been awarded since 1776.