Jon Hovde lost his life twice in Vietnam in 1968. When the armored personnel carrier he was driving hit an antitank mine, the first medic to reach him couldn’t detect a pulse in his left wrist and told the squad leader Hovde was dead. But Hovde’s arm--which was still in his sleeve--had been severed in the blast along with his left leg. When the squad leader saw him move moments later, Hovde was rushed to a field hospital by helicopter. No one expected him to survive. A few days later, doctors operated to try to stop an infection that had raised Hovde’s body temperature to 108. During the surgery his heart stopped and he was declared dead a second time. Then suddenly, his heart started beating again.

It was time to make a deal with God, Hovde decided. If he survived, he would do three things. Have the fastest car in Polk County, Minnesota, not depend on the government to take care of him, and make a difference with his life.

Hovde is retired from 3M and former president of the Minnesota School Boards Association who served 16 years on the Fertile-Beltrami, Minnesota, school board. He’s now a motivational speaker who entertains and inspires with stories of how he’s kept those three vows.

Hovde is married with two children and three beautiful grandchildren. He travels from his home in northwestern Minnesota.

Hovde is also the coauthor, with Maureen Anderson, of Left for Dead: A Second Life after Vietnam (University of Minnesota Press, 2005).

If you would like to book Jon as a speaker, please call Jon at 218-945-6781.  If you would like a personalized copy of Left for Dead, please go to:


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Jon D. Hovde | 10863 410 St., SW, Fertile, MN 56540
Ph: (218) 945-6781
| Fax: (218) 945-3513 | Email:


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