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Colonel John P. "Spyder" Rydland, USAF
Colonel John P. "Spyder" Rydland, USAF
JoAnn Orpen
Thursday, October 31, 2019

The community is invited to attend the Battle Lake Veterans Day Program which will be held on Monday, November 11th at 10:00 a.m. in the Battle Lake School Gym.   The Band and Choir will be performing, awards will be presented to the winners of the Patriot's Pen and Voice of Democracy essay contests, and we have a very special speaker this year!   Colonel John P. "Spyder" Rydland, USAF (Ret) will be speaking about his career in the Air Force.   Colonel Rydland was commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1991.  He has served as an instructor pilot in the F-16 and an evaluator pilot in the T-38.  He served in various missions as Chief of Plans, Chief of Training, Flight Commander, and Director of Operations. He retired from active duty in the spring of 2016 as the Chief of Air Combat Command's Advanced Combat Concept Division and was charged with developing and planning for future air combat requirements.  After his retirement from active duty, Colonel Rydland was a civilian contract A-29 Super Tucano Instructor Pilot, assisting the 81st Fighter Squadron, Moody AFB, GA, teaching Afghan and Lebanese partner nation fighter pilots to fly and employ this light attack aircraft in the defense of their nations. He is currently a pilot for Delta Air Lines out of Colorado Springs.Colonel Rydland has lots of connections to Battle Lake!   His parents are Battle Lake residents, John and Bev Rydland.  He grew up in the St. Cloud area, but spent a lot of time on Otter Tail Lake at the cabin of his Grandparents, Ray and Grace Mann.   He and his brothers spent a lot of time on the Balmoral Driving Range, which is now directed by his cousin Karen and her husband John Young.   His Aunt Rita Buntje lives in Battle Lake.  The BLHS athletic fields were given the name The Dick Buntje Athletic Complex after her late husband, who was the baseball coach for 30 years and athletic director for 27 years.  His Aunt Anita Boyum and her husband Earl farmed south of Battle Lake.  Their son Al and his wife Jean took over that farm and Al served on the Battle Lake School Board before his passing.  His brother Mitch married Tina Grewe, BLHS '86, and they have a cabin on Ottertail Lake.   Colonel Rydland is no stranger to Battle Lake.  

The Veterans in our community are invited to gather at 9:00 for a continental breakfast in the cafeteria.   The front rows of seating in the gym will also be reserved for the Veterans.  

Please come and join with the students of the Battle Lake School in honoring our Veterans!