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Episode 911 - Trading Medals for Metals  

Trading Medals for Metals
Trading Medals for Metals
Trading Medals for Metals

When a decorated U.S. Marine, honored three-times for valor and heroism in the line of duty, retires from a long and distinguished military career – it’s safe to say said Marine has earned a break! However, for Retired Lieutenant Colonel John Foldberg of Atascadero, California, military retirement was a green light for a second career as a Farrier.

Melanie Kim meets Foldberg on his ranch in North San Luis Obispo County and sees how this new life suits him as he trades one type of medal for another! We’ll also meet John’s wife and 3 daughters who are all involved in the new family business and thrilled he’s at home instead of in harm’s way. 

We’ll take a peek at his former military career in medals and pictures, tag along to see what a Farrier does and see a unique picture frame Foldberg creates from horse shoes.

Biography for Lt. Col John D Foldberg, USMC (Ret) Military Experience:
After serving in the United States Army enlisted ranks, John D Foldberg attended Western State College in Gunnison Colorado. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps on August 8, 1980.

His first assignment was with the 3d Battalion, 4th Marines Company I, where he served as a Rifle Platoon Commander, Weapons Platoon Commander, Company Executive Officer, and Company Commander. Following this tour he was the Operations Officer for UNITAS deployment to South America and West Africa, and then was assigned to Recruiting Station Denver, Colorado where he was the Operations Officer for three years. After graduation from Amphibious Warfare School in 1988, he served as a United Nations Military Observer in Lebanon and Egypt.  He and the U.N Military Observers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988 for their peacekeeping efforts in the Middle East.

In his assignment to 3d Battalion, 7th Marines in 29 Palms, California he served as Rifle Company Commander for Company I during combat operations in the Gulf War. Upon selection for promotion to Major he became the Operations Officer for the battalion. His next assignment took him to the Marine Corps Institute, Marine Barracks 8th & I in Washington DC, where he served as both the department head for Course Development and Operations/Executive Officer.  While at 8th & I, he was one of the ceremonial Parade Commanders for two seasons.  In 1996 attended the Naval Command and Staff College in Newport, Rhode Island, and graduatied with highest distinction with a MA in Strategic Studies and National Security.

In preparation for a tour overseas, he attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California to learn the Greek Language. Once in Athens, Greece, he became the Chief of the Exercise and Training Division at the Office of Defense Cooperation. While there, he also served as the Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Officer, for which he was awarded the Department of Defense Anti-Terrorism Program Manager of the Year Award in 1998.

Upon returning to the United States, he served as the Executive Officer for the Marine Corps Support Activity in Kansas City, Missouri.

Lt. Col Foldberg is a graduate of the Marine Corps’ Basic School, Infantry Officer Course, Amphibious Warfare School, Naval Command and Staff College, Armed Forces Staff College, Defense Language Institute, U.S. Army Ranger School, and U.S. Army Airborne School.  He also earned Greek jump wings.

Lt. Col Foldberg has been recognized for valor or heroism three times, and his personal awards include the Navy-Marine Corps Medal, the Bronze Star (with combat “V”), the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Navy Commendation Medals, A Navy-Marine Achievement Medal, and a Combat Action Ribbon.

He retired from the Marine Corps on Sept 1, 2001 and is currently self employed as a Certified Farrier working in the northern part of San Louis Obispo County, California.

He has been married to Carrie Machado Foldberg for 23 years and they have three beautiful daughters C.J., Sandy and Jessie.

Additional Info:

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