Tryggva’s Saga

Updated: 4 days ago

In 2010, a fabulous artist, Tryggvi Thorlief Larum, came to Fargo-Moorhead for the Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival.

Tryggvi Larum Hjemkomst Festival 2010

In 2012, I met him again along with another Icelandic artist, Jón Adólf Steinólfsson, at the Norsk Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota.

In this photo, they are presenting the artwork of Tryggvi Thorlief Larum and Jón Adólf Steinófsson (they wanted me in the photo because of the Icelandic National Costume).

Icelanders presenting the artwork of Jon Adolf and Tryggvi Thorlief

Tryggvi has written a story about his life serving in the US Army Airborne Infantry unit and he wants me to share it with you. Congratulations to Tryggvi for his award of the National Infantry Association CIVIS

Order of Saint Maurice.

Trggva's Saga By Tryggvi Thorlief Larum:

It is part of the Icelandic historical record of its Viking age of its native sons traveling abroad to leave the protection of its home shores, to travel to a new land to serve in harm’s way as part of a foreign Army under the leadership of its also foreign lords to them.

Modern examples of these isolated rare individual stories of these native born sons of Iceland doing this or choosing this path are far more extremely rare today, as they were of Iceland's mists of time Viking warrior age but one story may share elements of its example, and this may be that of what might be called today as Tryggva's saga. Given the ancient Icelandic and Norwegian names both of Tryggvi Thorlief Larum at birth in 1956 Hafnarfjordur, Iceland, by his native Icelandic mother and Norwegian-American father, Tryggvi was born a citizen of Iceland, and also became a naturalized U.S. citizen emigrant to the U.S. in 1957. Raised on the stories of the Icelandic sagas by his beloved Icelandic mother and a reverence for his American WWII U.S. Army European campaign veteran father, who had once played a part in freeing Europe from Nazi tyranny, Tryggvi proudly followed in his father’s footsteps, at age 18 to Europe to the keep peace and freedom there from the threat of Soviet aggression.

In 1975 he become a required triple volunteer, first to serve in the U.S. Army next on hazardous duty status then to also serve oversees joining the only forward deployed elite U.S. Army Airborne Infantry unit in the world at that time, of America's only Cold War airborne unit then based in Europe. This journey lead him first from the safety of his then home in the mountains of Northern California and then into the sweltering hot waist deep forbidding swamps of Louisiana at night, and then later onto the forbidding frozen slopes of the European Italian/Swiss Alps in training. While also performing multiple day and night low altitude parachute jumps throughout what was then free Western Europe, often with up to 200 pounds of combat equipment strapped to him while also earning and being personally awarded the presentation their of the elite military badges of three separate NATO nations of both the U.S. Great Britain and France. As both the only known Icelander to ever serve in the history of this unit which was originally formed in 1942.

Tryggvi later managed even more firsts by years later being elected the Vice President of the American 509th Parachute Infantry Association (PIA). This Association represents the most legendary unit of America's very small select elite U.S. Airborne community and in 2013 he was nomination to the American National Infantry Association. Tryggvi became the first known man born in Iceland to be inducted as the 6003rd recipient since the 1900's into the prestigious CIVIS Order of Saint Maurice. Other recipients of this elite U.S. infantry order have included Colin Powell.

In the 1980's following his military service Tryggvi sought to reclaim and embrace his birthright of Icelandic heritage by traveling back to Iceland to work and live in his native homeland for a year. He found employment as a deck hand on Iceland's fishing trawler fleet spending 85 days at sea, learning the inherent hazards of this profession on the beautiful yet still cold and unforgiving gray waste of Iceland's arctic North Sea. Learning to admire the brave precarious journeys his ancestors the pioneering settlers of Iceland had made in close to the waterline fully exposed open wooden boats from Norway to Iceland and from Iceland to North America, in the mists of the Viking age, which would later become the catalyst spark of his later lifetime study of his Viking age ancestry.

Tryggvi Viking Festival