A local veteran commits to sleeping outdoors to bring awareness to the need in Ukraine

The veteran pitched his tent Tuesday afternoon outside the Valley News Live studios.
Published: Dec. 26, 2022 at 10:57 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It’s been dangerously cold and one man has been braving the conditions for a cause.

Air Force veteran Mark Lindquist has been sleeping outside for a week straight. Operation: Sleep Out is a challenge he is taking on to bring awareness to the need in Ukraine.

“I think the mission is very urgent. It’s winter over there,” said Lindquist.

Lindquist visited the war-torn country, earlier this year. Since returning he has been making it his life’s mission to give back to the Ukrainian people.

“When I got to the border in April to do this humanitarian mission, there were people that were dying at the border because it was too cold,” he said.

The veteran pitched his tent Tuesday afternoon outside the Valley News Live studios, as he braced for the frigid temperatures once again.

“It’s a challenge. I had never winter camped before so I had to learn what gear to use,” said Lindquist.

He’s hoping his efforts inspire others to lend a helping hand.

“They need things to keep them warm. They need generators, they need hand warmers they need thermal socks,” said Lindquist.

Some already have. Even some folks traveled from Elbow Lake just to visit with Lindquist, during operation sleep out, and to donate blankets.

“It shows you the spirit of the American giving heart,” he said.

Through it all, he says he doesn’t want people to lose sight of what Ukrainians are fighting for.

“America’s cause is the cause of freedom. We are flag-waving red-blooded Americans who love independence and the freedom of our constitution. That’s what they are fighting for over there,” Lindquist said.

The veteran will be camping outside for a little while longer. Operation: Sleep Out will end on New Year’s Day.

Lindquist will be traveling to Ukraine on January 2.

For more information on how you can help click here.