TRAVERSE CITY — Veteran’s Day has a little different meaning to Pete Moller.
Moller, a Vietnam-era veteran, until April hadn’t set foot in the country where his brother, Glenn, was killed 45 years ago. Still, he didn’t harbor hatred toward the Vietnamese people, it wasn’t in his nature.
Instead, the forestry expert went on to lead a life where he clung to peace and strode to try to encourage peaceful interactions between people. It’s something from his upbringing that was reinforced when news came that his brother was killed while on patrol in a small village near the Cambodian border.
It was just thee weeks after he arrived in Vietnam.
“I have somewhat of a different outlook on military service than a lot of folks do,” Moller said. “We didn’t believe in the war and what we were doing there. But he just wanted to get on with it and get back to his life. Peace making had a high priority in our life.”
Both Moller and his younger brother were drafted in 1967, but Glenn went through training quicker and was soon after deployed, he said.
After his brother’s death, the former Peace Corps worker took an opportunity to be stationed in Texas, away from the war. His parents made pleas to family friends with connections in Washington, D.C., to help him avoid a war-zone deployment. Those pleas led to someone presenting Moller a few options, including heading to war.
“I knew that going to Vietnam wasn’t going to do me or my family any good,” he said. “Had I gone to Vietnam, it would have torn me apart and had I survived, I would have come back a wreck.”
Moller completed his service and went on to a successful career both overseas and at home working in forestry. He believed strongly in peace stopping wars, but never was particular active in his opposition until about two years ago when he moved to Travese City.