CLEAR LAKE | Darrold Mohr of Clear Lake left Buena Vista College during his final semester to enlist in the Army during the Korean War.
It was early 1951 and the news from Korea "didn't sound good," said Mohr, now 86.
After basic training and specialized training as an engineer, the Ayshire native was sent to an Army administrative school in Japan to learn about Army procedure. He also taught there.
Mohr, who would later become a math teacher and a principal, said that's when he became interested in education as a career.
"I thoroughly enjoyed teaching," he said.
In late 1951, Mohr received orders to go to Korea, where he would remain for the next 12 months.
He was assigned to 10th Corps Headquarters Co., which he described as being "in the middle of nowhere."
His assignment was in the orders section. He typed many orders for personnel coming to Korea for assignment and for those rotating home.
The compound was "a beehive of activity," Mohr said, noting he met a lot of different people from generals to enlisted personnel.
Everyone worked seven days a week, with an occasional Sunday off.
The most difficult part about the war was being so far from home for the first time, he said. Letters were the only form of communication he had with his family.
The winters were extremely cold and the summers were hot, he said.
The compound was about 20 miles from the front line, so they could hear the artillery.
Morh said he was glad to return home after 18 months overseas.
He finished his college education and got married.
Mohr's career in education lasted 37 years. He taught junior and senior high school math in Ringsted, Estherville, Fort Dodge, Humboldt, Jefferson and finally Ventura.
Mohr, who received a master's degree from the University of Northern Iowa, also served as a school principal in Humboldt and Jefferson.
Mohr and his wife, Joyce, moved to Clear Lake in 1977 so he could accept the teaching job at Ventura. He retired from teaching after 16 years there.
Joyce opened the Mohr for Her store in Clear Lake after she retired from her own career as an elementary teacher. She ran the store for the next 20 years.
Joyce died in 2009.
Mohr, who was raised on a farm, said going to Korea was "a real awakening for me."
"I was very happy to be a part of this," he said. "I never regretted my time in the service."