January 2016

An Honored Soldier and Ironworker

Howard Poland was born in Luke, Maryland on November 11, 1923. Coincidentally, this date is now celebrated as Veterans Day. He joined the Iron Worker Union in 1941. He was called to military service in 1942 to fight in World War II, earning a place in the U.S. Corps of Engineers due to his skills as an ironworker. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where he built bridges and destroyed roadblocks for the infantry. Howard was frequently on the front lines. He was shipped home after Germany surrendered, but was sent to the Philippines a couple of weeks later to prepare for the invasion of Japan. He was spared further combat when the United States dropped atomic bombs and Japan surrendered. Howard left the military in 1946, returning to the U.S. and continuing his career as an ironworker. 

Howard moved his family to Beloit, Wisconsin in 1954 and joined Rockford Iron Workers Union 498. He retired in 1984, ending a 43-year active career as an ironworker. In 2012, Howard had the privilege of going on an Honor Flight with his son Dale Poland, a chiropractor. The entire trip was very emotional and rewarding for both father and son. Howard now resides at Mason Woods, a Masonic Temple housing complex in Cecil, Wisconsin.