Duane Friese was born on July 2, 1931, in Lake Andes, South Dakota. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on November 7, 1950, and completed basic training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, in January 1951. PFC Friese then deployed to Korea as a Heavy Vehicle Operator with the Combat Engineers in the 2nd Infantry Division, where he served from January 1951 until returning to the United States in July 1952. He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army on August 6, 1952, at Fort Custer, Michigan, after which he worked his Dad's farm until he took a job as a butcher at the Armour Star meat packing plant in Huron, South Dakota, from where he retired in 1971. For the past several decades, Duane has enjoyed living in the Black Hills area of South Dakota. Significant among his contributions to this world, Duane Friese raised fourteen children in his mid-life years. He has served as a skillful and talented maintenance and management person both at a number of apartment complexes and at the South Dakota Veterans Home in Hot Springs, South Dakota. His can-do attitude and upbeat approach to problems is consistently refreshing and motivating among all who have the pleasure of interacting with him. Duane Friese's service to his country upholds the finest traditions of the Nation and the United States Army. He and his wife Georgia reside in Hot Springs, South Dakota where they share the belief that for those who fight and nearly die, freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
His Letter from the President of the Republic of Korea on the 50th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Korean War to accompany the award of the Republic of Korea War Service Medal reads:
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, I would like to offer you my deepest gratitude for your noble contribution to the efforts to safeguard the Republic of Korea and uphold liberal democracy around the world. At the same time, I remember with endless respect and affection those who sacrificed their lives for that cause. We Koreans hold dear in our hearts the conviction, courage and spirit of sacrifice shown to us by such selfless friends as you, who enabled us to remain a free democratic nation. The ideals of democracy, for which you were willing to sacrifice your all 50 years ago, have become universal values in this new century and millennium. Half a century after the Korean War, we honor you and reaffirm our friendship, which helped to forge the blood alliance between our two countries. And we resolve once again to work with all friendly nations for the good of humankind and peace in the world. I thank you once again for your noble sacrifice, and pray for your health and happiness.