Veterans take to the road in honor of Memorial Day

Published: May. 23, 2020 at 11:24 PM CDT
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With the coronavirus canceling events a group of veterans from the FM area decided to still honor the Memorial Day Holiday in a unique and socially distanced way.

“What could be more germ-free than motorcycle riding so we decided to take it upon ourselves to honor veterans and everyone who’s come before us," said Tom Krabbenhoft, director of the FM Legion Riders.

A report from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs found nearly 17 veterans a day died by suicide when the report was published in 2017. Five years earlier, the number was at 22.

“I don't think any day of the year should go by that shouldn't be recognized for not only veterans suicide, but all of society's suicides combined," Krabbenhoft said.

The number 22 is special to this group of vets. They took to the road, riding 22 miles from Moorhead to Georgetown, Minnesota, culminating in 22 seconds of silence, with an additional 8 for all those who passed this year.

“We want to remember our brothers and sisters that served and those that came home but never really came home and just couldn't deal with it,” said veteran Paul Ziegler.

Many in the group said they have felt the hurt of losing fellow service members to suicide and they want other veterans to know that there is help and hope.

“Reach out to the veteran community because they’re going to help get you to where you need to go," said Corey Malko, Disabled Veterans Outreach Specialist at the North Dakota Job Service. "It’s my job to get you the help you need. So just reach out for help and someone's going to be there.”

To contact the Veterans Employment Team at the North Dakota Jobs Service, call 701-239-7305.

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