Minnesota Patriot Guard's mission now complete after 95 gravesite visitsRed Lake Falls, Minn. (WDAY TV) - The Minnesota Patriot Guard's mission is now complete! The group has visited all 95 gravesites of fallen Minnesota soldiers.
By: Amy Unrau, WDAZ
Red Lake Falls, Minn. (WDAY TV) - The Minnesota Patriot Guard's mission is now complete! The group has visited all 95 gravesites of fallen Minnesota soldiers.
Today, the group gathered to honor the service of Sergeant Bryan Opskar. Opskar was killed in 2005 during a tour of duty in Iraq. His family says they appreciate the Patriot Guard making trips like this to remember soldiers like Bryan. They say they're proud of Bryan for giving his life for our freedom.
"It’s just one of those things that you don't want to happen, but you do. And most people don't understand that all the military people have died, to make it free here."
"He was a great son. He loved being a marine, and I think that would have been his life."
The Opskars say tributes like this help heal the hurt of losing Bryan.
In their ninety-fifth and final stop on their tour to honor fallen soldiers, the Minnesota Patriot Guard stopped to remember Sergeant Corey Rystad (rih-stad) of Red Lake Falls Minnesota; Amy Unrau has our story.
“Immediately automatically knew what it was. I just knew.”
Jim Rystad will never forget December of 2006. That was the month when his son Corey was killed while serving in Iraq.
“When I received the information it was like some one stuck a bullet in and ripped my heart out and there's still a part missing.
Today, Corey's family and friends were out to honor him once again with salutes and a military parade. Corey's friend Kurt Philion has even taken up running marathons in his honor.
“When it feels like my day is bad or when it starts to hurt my legs or back or anything like that, I think about what he went through, what his family had to go through.”
While the fanfare continues and flags are flown, for Corey's family, this is a humbling tribute.
“The people that are honoring these people; that gives you a good feeling.”
The sound of the trumpets fades. The Patriot Guard's ceremony closes and the running shoes are off, but Corey's family says his memory will live on, where ever they go.
Jim Rystad says he is thankful for all of the support his community and the Patriot Guard has given his family.