Duty to Country, God Brings Army Vet Chaplain to Colorado


Luther Bergeland is one of the veterans honored at the Memorial Day tribute at Folsom Field at the end of 2022 BOLDERBrocher.

BROOMFIELD, Colorado – Walk through the Broomfield Veterans Museum with Luther Bergeland, it’s like entering a history book with the author. Written just months after he graduated from high school, the story shared in the museum is the story of Luther.

“The Army was a vacation for us farm-raised guys,” the Minnesota native jokes.

A member of the Army’s 547th Field Infantry Battalion, Bergeland served on the front lines in Europe during World War II. It was during a battle that he made a decision that would define the rest of his life.

“The Lord found me in a burrow, I guess,” he recalled. “I kind of came back to my faith and then decided at that point that I had to do something else with my life other than farming.”

That something became a pastor. He went to college and seminary at his home in Minnesota before joining the military, this time as a chaplain, during the Korean War.

“I loved doing service in the field and being with the guys in the trenches,” he said at the time.

Bergeland did not hesitate to fight. In fact, he earned a Bronze Star, the Army’s honor for his heroic accomplishments, while serving as a chaplain in Korea.

“A number of Chinese divisions were moving against us,” Bergeland said of the night he won the Bronze Star. “It got a bit chaotic, and South Korean troops were retreating into our ranks. A bit chaotic. I directed traffic and got things done.”

It was after his stay in Korea that Bergeland and his growing family moved to Boulder, where he continued to serve his church. He also continued to serve his country as a member of the Army Reserves.

One night a week during the Vietnam War, Luther went to Fitzsimons Army Hospital. While tending to the soldiers being treated there, what he remembers most is sharing the news with families in the area that they had lost a loved one during the war.

“We went to the addresses we were given and told them they had lost their child or their husband. It’s very difficult,” he said.

Luther Bergeland spent 40 years serving his country in three different wars. Despite the trauma of war and the heartbreak of sharing bad news with families in Colorado, he said he didn’t want it any other way.

“I have always loved the army very much because it has given me a lot. I hope I have done a lot for that.


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