Veteran Serves Community Well After Military Years

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SWISHER, Iowa — Fred Shelton of Swisher served his country for four years in the Navy, starting with training in San Diego. He then was got his assignment in Hawaii.

“They asked me if I would go to Hawaii ‘I said are you kidding of course I’ll go to Hawaii,’” said Shelton, where he worked handling bags of sailors traveling through Hawaii. “I had friends that were shot at and everything else, the most dangerous thing I did was going to the bars too late at night,” he said with a laugh.

Shelton came home to Swisher, and on the GI Bill borrowed money to build a house. Later, after 14 years, he sold the house and used the money to buy a grocery store.

That was in 1969, Shelton’s Grocery celebrated 50 years in 2019.

“It was very good I paid for all the college for the kids wanted to go to college,” said Shelton. “I was so busy I didn’t know if I was coming or going, no kidding, used to run the store from 7 o’clock in the morning till 9 o’clock at night.”

Shelton has continued to work at the store, even though the business is not what it once was.

“So busy you could hardly catch your breath, but nowadays it’s altogether different I go maybe for two hours nobody will even come in,” said Shelton.

Shelton now 88, still puts in 7 day weeks. He said he gets calls from retirement centers, but doesn’t want to go that route, he likes to be in the store and seeing people.

Shelton was asked what he learned in his years in the Navy.

“I learned to keep my mouth shut,” Shelton said with a laugh.

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