Veterans Voices: Davenport Veteran uses his passion for music to honor his love for veterans

Local News

Local 4 News is celebrating all that local veterans have done for ourcountry. 

In this Veterans Voices we’re looking at Steven Stoltenberg, a veteran who served in the Iowa National Guard.

He also takes pride in his Davenport Music Store where he spends most of his time now.

“Well at the time it was either be drafted or join something,” says Stoltenberg.

Steven Stoltenberg laughs as he tells how he got his start in the Iowa Army National Guard.

“Right out of high school. It’s like I signed on the dotted line before I got my diploma even,” says Stoltenberg.  

He recalls his job during his six years of service. 

“I basically did my job as far as working on the trucks. We never got called up much because we’re reserved force. Our biggest thing was to fight the floods when they had floods here in Davenport,” says Stoltenberg. “One time we were activated to control the people in Iowa City when they had all the riots up there because of the Vietnam war.”

He says he proudly served his country, and said the National Guard grew him up in a hurry. 

“It’s one of those patriotic things that everybody should do, and I respect the services a lot,” says Stoltenberg. 

He says so much has changed since that time.

Stoltenberg says, “The other thing is they also get benefits now, which we had no benefits when I was in the guard. I didn’t think it was right, but that’s the way it was back then. You didn’t have any say.”

Despite that as the decades, and years have passed Stoltenberg will tell anyone who will listen how much he loved serving the country. 

“It’s just I’ve done my little part for the country, and I appreciate being there,” says Stoltenberg. 

Now Stoltenberg spends most of his time here at his store, The Northwest Music Shop. 

“I’ve had this store for so many years it’s my life. This is actually the last family run full lane music store the others are all corporate,” says Stoltenberg. 

He says his love for music began when he was just in grade school. 

Stoltenberg says, “I started playing clarinet way back in 4th grade in school.”

He now uses his passion for music to honor his passion for veterans. 

“I play for a lot of Memorial Day, and veteran day services. So, it means a lot.”

He says looking back at his life, there’s not a thing he would change because he loves the great country he served.

“As far as I am concerned, we are the best country in the world,” Stoltenberg.

The Northwest Music Shop is located on Washington Street in Davenport.

They repair, sell, and rent almost any type of instrument.

Stoltenberg started the business almost 50 years ago while in the National Guard.

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