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Streets, park dedicated to North Dakota National Guard soldiers

Streets, park dedicated to North Dakota National Guard soldiers

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The streets in a housing development east of Bismarck were dedicated Friday in honor of North Dakota National Guard soldiers who died in the Global War on Terror.

Streets in the Clear Sky Addition will be named after the 14 fallen soldiers, said Matt Geiger of Geiger Construction and Development. The development in the future will be home to Heroes Park, a public facility that will include a monument to the soldiers.

Geiger has been involved in other developments in the past and each has had a theme, he said. He’s a National Guard veteran, and a photo from his days in basic training brought about the inspiration for the Clear Sky theme. His wife and partners liked the idea, as did city and park officials.

“We get to do what we do every day because of the people who served,” Geiger said. “This is one more way to show respect.”

Geiger sought input from the National Guard before putting the idea into action. Army Survivors Outreach Services Coordinator Sara Blazek coordinated communications between Geiger and the families of the soldiers.

“They were very receptive to it,” she said.

The ceremony and dedication of the streets are examples of ways to prevent a soldier's name from "fading off in the distance," said Harriet Goodiron. Her son, Cpl. Nathan Goodiron of Mandaree, died in Afghanistan on Nov. 23, 2006.

"Today is showing us how they are remembered and it means a lot to us," she said.

The street names will live on and remind people of the sacrifices made by the soldiers, said Sheila Richter. Her son, Sgt. Travis Vanzoest of Bismarck, died in Afghanistan June 6, 2006.

"It's so awesome that people are willing to do this for families," Richter said. "Things like this make people remember who they were."

The monument will bear the following names:

Spc. Jon P. Fettig, Dickinson;

Sgt. Keith L. Smette, Makoti;

Spc. Cody L. Wentz, Williston;

Cpl. Nathan J. Goodiron, Mandaree;

Spc. Philip D. Brown, Jamestown;

Spc. Michael L. Hermanson, Fargo;

Cpl. Christopher K. Kleinwachter, Wahpeton;

Spc. James J. Holmes, East Grand Forks;

Sgt. Travis A. Vanzoest, Bismarck;

Sgt. 1st Class Darren M. Linde, Devils Lake;

Staff Sgt. Kenneth W. Hendrickson, Bismarck;

Staff Sgt. Lance J. Koenig, Fargo;

Cpl. Curtis R. Mehrer, Bismarck; and

Spc. Tyler J. Orgaard, Bismarck.

Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann of the North Dakota National Guard and Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., spoke at the ceremony, which was hosted by Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken.

"The best way we can honor these 14 guardsmen and all who died for our freedom is to live as free people and cherish our liberties," Cramer said.

Geiger said he and his partners will build Heroes Park and then donate it to Bismarck Parks and Recreation. The park will be open to the public. The 226-lot development sets on 86 acres east of Bismarck on 52nd Street Southeast between East Main Avenue and Apple Creek Road.

Initially, nine streets in the development will bear the names of soldiers. More streets will be named in honor of the soldiers listed on the monument as the development grows, Geiger said.

Tribune photojournalist Mike McCleary contributed to this story.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or


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