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WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 06, 2013, 10:30 AM

Military Ovation Program sending North Dakota veteran on tropical vacation

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - This time tomorrow, one of North Dakota's most decorated veterans will be fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Sam Floberg, now a student at MSUM, is headed to sunny Cabo San Lucas as part of an outreach program for veterans who are amputees because of the war.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - This time tomorrow, one of North Dakota's most decorated veterans will be fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Sam Floberg, now a student at MSUM, is headed to sunny Cabo San Lucas as part of an outreach program for veterans who are amputees because of the war.

The memories of Thanksgiving 2006 are still vivid. Sam Floberg, serving in Afghanistan with the North Dakota guard, enjoying a holiday meal, and minutes later would be on patrol.

Sam Floberg – Served with ND National Guard: “The 4th round came in and blew up on the vehicle, but the core of the RPG went through and took my leg out, and then it continued and took out Nathan Goodiron.”

A series of rockets attacked his team, the last one striking his truck killing his friend Nathan Goodiron, and severing Sam Floberg's right leg.

Sam Floberg: “I was in shock, like I remember coming to and at that time did not have an idea what was going on with my right leg. So, I just climbed back up in the turret and started returning fire, but then I guess I was blacking out and coming to…”

Sam would spend the next several months in hospital and rehab, meeting and talking with other amputees from the war.

Sam Floberg: “If you’re down one day, you look next to you and there’s a guy- a double amputee - and you think, ‘OK, I don’t have it that bad. I could be worse.’”

So, this recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with Valor is headed to Cabo Sabo Lucas for fishing and golf sponsored by the state's Military Ovation program, a nonprofit group that helps military vets and families.

Sam Floberg: “Well, they want to show the vets, like the amputee vets, that there is still a quality of life even though your life is different and changed; I used to be an electrician.”

Floberg will be deep sea fishing with other amputees, a chance to prove to himself what he already knows - He is a survivor, and losing a limb in a war will not define who he is, or what he can accomplish.

Military Ovation is planning a reception for Floberg at Hector Airport when he returns March 11th.

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