Hoeven Honors Two Minot Veterans with Military Honors

Senator Presents Purple Heart to Vietnam Veteran James Tofteland, Military Awards Lost in Flooding to Veteran Joseph Swital

MINOT, N.D. – At a ceremony in Minot today, Senator John Hoeven presented two local veterans with military awards to honor their service in the U.S. Army. Hoeven presented Vietnam veteran and former Army Sergeant James A. Tofteland with a host of medals, including the Purple Heart. The senator re-awarded former Army Private First Class Joseph W. Swital with his military awards, which were lost in 2011 during flooding of the Souris River. Senator Hoeven’s office has been working to secure the Purple Heart for Tofteland and to reissue Swital’s lost medals.

“These Army veterans played courageous roles in our state’s long, proud history of service in America’s armed forces, and we thank them for their sacrifices,” said Hoeven. “We are honored to award Former Sergeant Tofteland with a long overdue Purple Heart and the other military honors he earned while serving in Vietnam. We are grateful that Former Private First Class Swital will again have the military awards he earned during his eight years of service to our nation. These awards are just one token of our gratitude for the many sacrifices these veterans made defending our freedoms.”

Former Sergeant James A. Tofteland was drafted into the Army in June 1968 and was deployed to Vietnam in December 1968. He was wounded by shrapnel from a mortar or rocket, but did not receive his Purple Heart at that time. Hoeven’s office has been working since February 2012 to secure the Purple Heart for him. Tofteland and his wife Kathy are the parents of two daughters and have lived in Bismarck and Minot. He was employed by Great Northern Railroad before being drafted and returned there for another 40 years after his discharge from the Army.

Former Sergeant James A. Tofteland Military Honors

  • Purple Heart
  • Sharpshooter Marksmanship Qualification Badge
  • Marksman Marksmanship Qualification Badge
  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross.
  • Army Good Conduct Medal
  • Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Honor Medal First Class Unit

Former Private First Class Joseph Swital enlisted in the North Dakota National Guard in 1994. He trained as a combat engineer and served for eight years before being honorably discharged in 2002. Hoeven’s office worked to reissue Swital’s medals, which were lost in the flood of 2011. Joe and his wife Kari currently reside in Minot with their two sons. He is employed by Ebel Integrators as a regional sales manager.

Former Private First Class Joseph W. Swital Military Honors

  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Army Service Ribbon
  • Expert Badge with Auto Rifle and Grenade Bars