Fargo National Cemetery comes alive

Veteran’s Corner

Tom Krabbenhoft

Memorial Day was here and gone. The day after Memorial Day my friend, mentor and colleague was laid to rest. I met him in 1986 when he was well into his military career and I was starting mine. As often happens in the military it’s a very small. Chances are if you don’t know someone, someone you know does. I applied to be accepted into a fairly elite unit starting up and suspect Don may have been the tailwind that got me in so quickly.
I knew he retired and years went by. The start of social media I get a friend request from him. Don never gave the moss time to grow. He had moved a bit settling in TX. He got into various jobs and ended up working for Congressman Roger Williams as an aide. He landed his dream as he was the square peg that fit in the round hole perfectly.
It was great to be in touch with him again.
He knew I was hurt in the Mideast and my military career was coming to an end. To have him available for advice and guidance meant a lot. When I was launching the FM Legion Riders to the next level he was there with encouragement and sent an item or two we raffled off.
In spite of being well traveled, established, connected etc. one of his last request was to be buried at the Fargo National Cemetery. His love of ND, The Bison and the countless buddies buried there or will be, was so strong he had to come home for his final rest. I was privileged to play a small part in making it happen.
The Fargo National Cemetery has become that important to not only local Veterans but those nationally.
Here are other stories about the FNC.
Two men born cousins lived in the same neighborhood. They grew up together and both joined the ND Air Guard, one was enlisted the other an officer. They bought homes and lake cabins by each other. They were buried next to each other at the FNC.
My friend Rick a tireless Veterans advocate, despite his own pain succumbed to self-medication caused by his demons. He is buried there.
Steve K., another friend was an Army Ranger. He was in the battle of Grenada in 1983. He and a few others parachuted out of a plane. Usually no big deal; however there was an anti-aircraft gun in the area. He is buried there too.
Someday I hope to be buried there. Its stories like this that are giving the Fargo National Cemetery almost a life of its own and are increasing its importance almost daily.

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