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Wreaths Across America
Bismarck's Civil Air Patrol Squadron is once again supporting the Wreaths Across America (WAA) effort in the Bismarck-Mandan area. This year the WAA ceremony will be on December 13th at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, south of Mandan. If you are interested in sponsoring a wreath again this year, please send a check (NO CASH PLEASE) for $15.00 (along with complete name of sponsored veteran) made payable to:
Wreaths Across America
c/o Bismarck's Civil Air Patrol Squadron
P.O. Box 2104
Bismarck, ND 58502-2104
If you prefer to purchase online using PayPal, or would like more information, please go to our website at: www.BismarckCAP.com or call us at (701) 390-9593.
Sponsorships need to be made prior to November 28th, 2014.
Soldiers will arrive at Bismarck Municipal Airport on Sunday November 2nd on two flights.
> o Flight UA 4979 5:00PM - approximately 10 Soldiers
> o Flight DL 2611 9:11PM - one Soldier
Subject:Soldiers returning Sunday.
The NDPG has been asked to stand a Flagline at the Bismarck airport. Some of 814th will be returning to Bismarck ND Sunday November 2nd. They are home from their deployment to Afghanistan. United flight 4979 arrives Bismarck at 5:00 pm ct on Sunday. Due to some flights being early at times we will stage at upper level in the Bismarck airport at 4:00 pm ct. I will contact airport security to arrange bike parking.
Date and time of return to North Dakota has not been established at this time. Stay Posted for our welcome home mission for this group.
FORT HOOD, Texas - About 25 North Dakota National Guard Soldiers with the Bismarck-based 814th Medical Company (Area Support) landed on U.S. soil in Fort Hood, Texas, today after serving a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan. About one-third of the unit returned to North Dakota earlier this year, when two separate groups were welcomed home in August and, later, in September. The early returns were a result of the recent draw downs in U.S. Forces in the Global War on Terrorism.
While deployed, the 814th Medical Company (Area Support) conducted two primary missions: a 911 support team provided patient transport to base treatment facilities in Afghanistan as ambulance drivers. The Soldiers also provided first aid and life-saving care while working at a troop medical clinic and sick-call care for service members and civilian contractors in their area.
The Guard Soldiers now will complete demobilization briefings, healthcare checks and paperwork at Fort Hood before they're expected to return to North Dakota next month. The North Dakota National Guard Public Affairs Office will announce the unit's flight time to North Dakota once it has been established.
Capt.. Coty Sicble, of Bismarck, commands the 814th Medical Company (Area Support), and 1st Sgt. Ken Baer, of Garrison, North Dakota, serves as the senior enlisted leader.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 4,200 Soldiers and nearly 2,600 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. About 70 percent of all members serving today have joined since that time. Currently, about 15 North Dakota Guardsmen are mobilized for overseas and domestic service. With a total force of about 4,400 Guardsmen, the North Dakota National Guard remains ready for stateside response and national defense. For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 65 serve in the North Dakota National Guard, a rate that's more than four times the national average.
The funeral for WWII Veteran Henry Schaffer will be Tuesday Oct. 28th, 10:30 am Ct at Mound City SD. His service will be at St Paul's Lutheran Church, 319 Custer St. Mound City SD. Mound City is a very small town so nothing is hard to find. If coming in on 83 turn east on 2nd St.
We will stage at the church at 9:45 to 10:00 am ct and stand a Flag line until the service starts. After the service we will stand a Flag line while the body is transferred to the hearse. We will then... head to the cemetery a few miles south east of town and form a Flag line at the cemetery. After burial we will be dismissed.
I would recommend caging do to the weather and gravel out to cemetery. Bring Flag line Flags and dress warm.
NDPG RC south central ND.
At the recent fall Leadership meeting of the North Dakota Patriot Guard there was a change of command. Mark Nelson, completed his tenure as State Captain. Thank you Mark for your dedication to the men and women in uniform and their families. Mark also has served as our Web Master and treasurer. It has been an honor to serve with you. At this meeting, I began my two year term as State Captain with the hope of measuring up to the State Captains who came before. We have had strong dedicated leaders who have built the NDPG into an organization that has served North Dakota with pride and dedication. Another change is that I, for better or worse, am taking over the task of Web Master for the NDPG web site. I endeavor to maintain this site with an equal degree of ability as Mark has done. If you have suggestions or comments regarding the Web Site feel free to contact me at; email@example.com.
Thank all of the members of the NDPG for your time and service to our men and women in uniform and their families.
James T. "SGT JIM" Avard
The North Dakota Patriot Guard's policy, regarding political endorsements, is that we do not endorse any candidate or political party in any manner. The recent campaign ads depicting the North Dakota Patriot Guard in campaign ads were not authorized by the leadership of the North Dakota Patriot Guard. The North Dakota Patriot Guard's mission is to Honor and respect our men and women in uniform especially our Fallen Warriors and their families. We take no stand regarding political, religious or commercial endeavors what so ever. The Kevin Cramer ad was not authorized by the NDPG and was not authorized by the NDPG. WE DO NOT ENDORSE POLITICAL CANDIDATES.
"A hero is someone who has given his or her life something bigger than oneself."
Joseph Campbell - Author (1904-1987)
Heroes are all around us: teachers, policemen, firefighters, nurses. However, the greatest of all heroes would have to be the men and women who serve in the American Military to keep our country free. Freedom does not come without a cost. Let's honor and extend our immense gratitude toward those men and women in our Armed Services. Consider embracing a cause or movement that allows for the freedom and respect of individuals.
The day we took Chris's body to it's final resting place was surreal. How do you say goodbye to the body you loved? How do you hold the love of your life, your husband's hand one last time, kiss his face, feel his hair in your hands, lay on... his chest..? I believe we all do it differently,and I can only tell you how I did it. I did it with tears that seemed endless as I tried to absorb every second and feel of him one last time. So absorbed in the minutes I had left with his physical being, I remember seeing people without actually seeing them. As I walked into the funeral home the first time I introduced myself to a police officer standing guard. His look was pained and somber as he gently said, "I know". In that instant, I realized he was a good friend of ours. I apologized as I hugged his neck while he quietly told me, " I'm so sorry." What followed was extraordinarily private...and I am sure there are others who have their own memories not unlike mine.
Sometime later, I took our children to say goodbye to the body God gave their daddy to use on earth. No one knows the "right" thing to do is in this situation. I only knew that if I took them, we could work through their feelings. If I didn't, I wasn't sure about living with any regret of a choice I made for them. They had the best dad in the world. It seemed only right for them to be able to say goodbye to his body.
I took the advice of my dear friend Leanne, and brought a photo album full of pictures of the life they lived with their dad. They were able to pour over the pictures after attempting to say goodbye to his body. My heart broke as they each said their own goodbye differently. I watched them, held their hands and answered questions as my eyes moved over Chris's arms, the arms that held these children since the minute they were born, the legs that ran after them through the house in fits of hysterical laughter, the hands that gently rubbed their backs, tickled them silly, and held their little hands while they prayed. I took in the look of he lips that softly kissed them goodnight on top of their sleeping heads.
Together, we remembered that daddy's body had no more pain. He was with God watching over us, knowing how much we will always love him and knowing he will love us the rest of our lives too. They each handled their goodbye differently. I was glad they could do what felt right to them.
I have learned there are no rules in grief.
The memorial and the procession still leave me almost in shock. The outpouring of love and patriotism was awe-inspiring and nothing Chris would have ever imagined. He would have been in awe as I was. He would have been proud of our country, as was I, because he would have known it was not just for him...it was for love of military and love of the ideals he stood for. He was humble, genuine, courageous, loving, protective, giving it all when there seemed to be nothing left to give. He stood for God, he stood for his country and he stood for his family. You all stood for, and continue to stand for him and for all those who serve. You have my gratitude. You make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who serve and their families when you stand strong for them.
The Boot Campaign's Sherri Reuland and Melanie Luttrell organized an outreach letting people know the time and route the procession would travel. You can see the results of their efforts in this video. Firefighters lined every overpass, for 200 miles, with raised flags to show honor and respect. Cowboy Dave, I couldn't have chosen a better song for this video tribute. Thank you.
As we prepared for the drive to Austin, I held our children and asked if they would be okay riding with family and police while I took one last ride with their dad. I felt an indescribable need to be near him, to be with him. He was my friend, my love and the man who, along with my parents, made me who I am today. We took many road trips together. In some ways, the long drive felt fitting. I couldn't bear him making it alone and I ached to take one last ride with him.
The hearse only held one passenger. Our children were safe and well-cared for by family and friends in a motor home following close behind. The motor home had beds, a refrigerator and bathroom - a perfect blessing for children to make the hours long drive from Dallas to Austin. The bus was donated for the week following Chris's death by Todd Poulson, Billy Aud and Mike Freeland. It was used as a meeting place outside of our home and an overflow area when the house was overflowing with people in need of sleep, a chair or a private conversation. It was a comfortable ride for the kids as they had grown accustomed to it in the days preceding the burial. Our thanks, again, will never be enough.
I am told the procession was the longest in Texas state history. Patriots everywhere and Texans of course, will always have my heart. The procession started as rain drizzled down and grey clouds covered the sky. Helicopters circled overhead with snipers in overwatch position - sitting with rifles on their laps, legs dangling off the edge of the open helo door. I was told the position was less for protection and more a tribute to Chris. Chris was afraid of heights, yet ironically loved to ride in a helo in that overwatch position. It was awe inspiring and started the morning I will never forget. To the snipers, I don't know your names, but I hope you saw me sign my thanks from my heart to yours.
Neighbors, friends, family, police and the patriot guard in all their glory, lined their vehicles up for a procession that would stretch miles. What we saw from our vehicles on the slow trail to Austin State Cemetery brought grown men and women to freely flowing tears.
People lined the streets, in the rain, with flags and hands over their heart to pay their respects. I remember a woman in her bathrobe who walked out of her house with a flag. Whoever you are - I can relate ma'am - I too am often running late - my neighbors can attest to many a morning where I am running out disheveled to take care of one thing or another . It meant the world to us that you would all come just as you were. Children were coming out of their schoolhouse with signs they made. Boy scouts, women, men and children of all ages lined the streets with flags and signs. Traffic on the other side of the interstate stopped. Semi trucks parked in the middle of the freeway. People stood on top of their cars. It was respectful and quiet with only the sound of the rain, the cars and at one point, bagpipes. You can see the bagpiper on an overpass in the video. Chris and I both love bagpipes in a heart wrenching way. There is nothing like them. During the memorial I knew the tribute given by the pipers would have been one of Chris's favorite moments of the send off so many people worked night and day to give him.
Our worst nightmare came alive the day Chris and Chad were taken from us. Thank you to all who were involved in every part of providing a memorable farewell in the darkest moments of our lives. From planning, to protection, to showing up you made it happen. To all veterans... I hope you know this isn't just about Chris and our family. It is about what the best of you stand for and our country's growing appreciation for the sacrifice you and your families have made and continue to make. Chris stood for you. We stand for you. United We All Stand.
God Bless, Taya Kyle
(Turn off the music at the top of the page to watch and listen to the video)
Airmen Arrive Home from Afghanistan
FARGO, N.D. - More than 20 Airmen with the North Dakota Air National Guard spent last night safe in their own beds after returning around 10 p.m. yesterday from Afghanistan. The Airmen, members of the Fargo-based 119th Security Forces Squadron, deployed to Bagram Airfield in March and have been providing security missions at the base.
"North Dakotans are proud of the men and women of our National Guard and of the important contributions they are making here at home and across the globe," said Gov. Jack Dalrymple. "The members of the 119th Security Forces Squadron demonstrated yet again why North Dakota's Guard is the best in the nation. They completed an important mission in Afghanistan and did so with great expertise and success. We are grateful to them and their families for their selfless dedication and distinguished service."
The Airmen helped secure the busiest logistics hub in the Department of Defense, where a plane departs or lands at least once every 2 minutes - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also worked at the nation's busiest vehicle entry control point, which saw record traffic this year, and the nation's busiest pedestrian entry control point. Others helped secure the base's perimeter while additional Airmen served on a Fly-Away Security Team. Known as FASTs, the teams provide protection for air crews, planes and cargo traveling around the country.
"These Airmen had one of the most important missions in Bagram as they served as part of the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron to protect the lives of 36,000 people and secure more than $3.5 billion in assets," said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, North Dakota adjutant general, who - along with Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and other Guard leaders - welcomed the Airmen as they arrived at Hector International Airport in Fargo. "More than half of this group is serving on their first enlistment in the military, but you would never know it based on the competent, experienced way they performed their mission each day."
Among those newer Guardsmen is Senior Airman Michael Bullen, who returned last night.
"We're in a hostile country and we're the sole protectors of a multimillion dollar aircraft," he said recently from Afghanistan as he described his job with the FAST. "We're really the only people protecting the crew, protecting the mission."
Seven more Airmen remain overseas with the unit but are expected home later this month.
"Freedom is not something to be secured at any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
------ Ronald Reagan
"The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war"
To our soldiers.....
May God bless you each and every one
For all you do for us each day
We will keep you in our hearts
And for your safety we will pray.