His roots are deep
Marshall High School graduate Jes Mellenthin reports for service to his community
Editor’s Note: This story is the sixth in a series that reflect the contributions made by Marshall High School graduates when they returned to the community.
LYND – Jes Mellenthin of rural Lynd has earned distinction for himself and made his alma mater, Marshall High School, proud through service in the military as well as returning to Marshall to live and work.
Mellenthin currently works for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration as a veteran service representative. He has been in this position for three years but has 15 years with the federal government.
He is a 1997 graduate of Marshall High School with degrees from four post-secondary institutions, including: Minnesota West Community and Technical College: associate’s degree in diesel technology, Oklahoma Community and Technical College: associate’s degree in administrative leadership, Barstow College California: degree in business management, University of Oklahoma: B.A. administrative leadership, and University of Oklahoma, working on an M.A. in administrative leadership.
Before coming back to Marshall, Mellenthin served his country 1998-2003, rising to the rank of sergeant in the U.S. Marines. He worked as a Quality Assurance Collateral Duty Inspector on CH-53E Super Stallion Helicopters.
“I served in Afghanistan 2001-2002 immediately after 9/11 as the first American forces to enter Afghanistan in response to 9/11 with special forces, FBI and CIA,” he said.
Like many alumni, Mellenthin is finding the Marshall/Lynd area a great place to raise a family.
“I’ve served my country for my entire adult life, mostly because of the people I grew up with here in Marshall,” he said. “The values as a community and family have always been a large influence on my wife, Andrea, and me, and deciding that we wanted that for our children.
“I’ve lived in many places during my time in the military and nothing compares to the quality, safety, education and community we have right here,” he added. “My family has farmed here for over 130 years. We have owned and operated a local family business here for over 40 years between family members, and I can’t fathom a better way to raise my kids than near their great grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and extended family. In short, we have a great family and community.”
Jes and Andrea have two children, a son named Lincoln, 11, and a daughter named Piper, 10. Andrea is a 1998 graduate of Marshall High School and works at Avera Health.
“Raising my children around their cousins and them having the opportunity to know and learn from their family and this community in addition seeing how the town has really done well in providing the best for our families,” Mellenthin said, “is the most satisfying thing about returning to this community.”
There are a few accomplishments that Mellenthin said he is “extremely proud of. I was a United States postman for nine years at the Marshall Post Office. I served on the Marshall Fire Department for six years. I’ve been the VFW Post 742 Commander for four years. I was able to be a part of the Memorial Park dedication, which as an OEF/OIF veteran meant a great deal to me. I’ve enjoyed volunteering for Prairie Home Hospice when I can. (I) coached in different roles for the Marshall Area Hockey Association for many years and enjoyed its growth.”