Someone You Should Know: Veteran spent life reporting and teaching

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 4:51 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Douglas Starr is a World War II and Korean War veteran who spent most of his life reporting and teaching journalism.

“I spent 14 months in the Korean War, came home and told my wife, ‘I want to get a master’s degree,’ and she says, ‘Boy, you’re 25 years old. You haven’t done anything but fight wars and go to school. Don’t you think you should get a job?’” Douglas said.

At 97, he has a sunny disposition and is curious about life.

“Here, this is the rank I was in the Navy — a second class petty officer. You start off as an apprentice seaman. Then you become a seaman second class. Then you get petty officer second class,” Douglas said.

After his years of service, he devoted his life to reporting and teaching journalism throughout the country.

“Think about it now. During WWII, we’re in the destroyer, the shells and beaches, 29 islands, and we’d go in and shoot up the place and they would shoot back, and the troops would go ashore, and they wouldn’t need us anymore. We’d go to the next island and do the same there. There’d be air raids and things like that,” Douglas said.

He is passionate about finding and telling the truth no matter what.

“In the beginning, I was a news reporter. I was a reporter for a paper in Baton Rouge,” Douglas said.

He shared his advice to young people.

“I think when you are old enough, you should join the military. Because being in the military, you are protecting what we have. We have what everyone in the world wants.”

Nowadays, Douglas still edits and helps those who seek his guidance in the literary world.

“I started editing manuscripts for novels, and I edited 14 books that were published, and my fee was one signed book,” Douglas said.

Douglas still drives, attends meetings at the VFW and the Alliance and is part of his community in Sioux Falls.