Immigrants serve in the military


In response to ‘Immigrants and the Military’:

My dad, Emil John Kallio, was a Finnish/Russian immigrant. My grandfather John Kallio, came over from Finland, first. He got a job as a lumberjack in Chatham, Mich. He sent for his wife, Justina, and their three sons Emil (7 years), Walter (5 years), and Matthew (3 years).

Grandma could not speak English — and how in the world she managed, I cannot imagine!

Grandma and Grandpa had five more children and she never spoke English.

My dad enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War I at the age of 17. He served in the northern area (Archangel) of Russia, near Finland.

My parents, Emil and Edith Kallo, married and opened a restaurant in Champion, Mich. When they moved to Escanaba, they started a little drive-in restaurant After that they opened the Coney Island in downtown Escanaba. When they retired, they couldn’t stand not working so they built The Family Inn in Wells.

Going through my dad’s papers, I found his citizenship papers, dated 1945. In those days, they obviously received men in the army, even though they were not yet citizens.

And so it goes.

Joyce Kasemodel