By Valerie Layman
On Saturday, Nov. 3, the Troy VFW Post and Auxiliary 5514 hosted Bert Cole’s 90th birthday party.
Herbert (Bert) Cole was born on Nov. 1, 1928. He was drafted into the Army in 1951 and served until 1953. He attended basic training in Sacrament, Calif., and after WWII he served in Germany for 18 months as Special Police.
Cole told The Montanian that the best and worst part of his service was just being there.
Cole was married in 1952 to Caroline while he was stationed in Germany and remains with his wife to this day. He has an adopted daughter and a son.
Cole said that he started working on his family’s homestead at six years old and that he is still doing some work there even now. He farmed 40 acres, his share of the family homestead that was established in 1919. He now has 53 acres.
Cole got his driver’s license for $0.50 when he was 15 and started to drive truck for a lumber company. Later, in 1982 started his own logging business. He drove a flatbed over the road for awhile, he worked on the Libby dike, and recalls building the wooden tube to keep electricity going in Troy until Bonners Ferry took over. Cole worked different construction jobs and also at the treatment plant in Libby, he said.
Cole became a life member of the VFW in Libby after leaving the service, he said. A good friend paid for the membership, and he kept it when he transplanted to Troy.
According to Cole, the VFW does a lot for the community with scholarships for veterans kids, and numerous events, but most importantly, the VFW helps vets adjust to life at home after ward. They help vets to learn what benefits they are entitled to and how to process those benefits.
Happy 90th Birthday Bert, and thank you for your service.
Bert Cole (left) poses for a photo with friends and family during his 90th birthday party held at the Troy VFW Auxiliary last weekend. Photo courtesy of Barb Pence