Event to recognize 3 combat veterans

Published 9:32 am Monday, November 9, 2015

The Nation of Patriots volunteers from Albert Lea Harley Owner’s Group will sponsor a recognition program for three combat-wounded veterans on  Veterans Day at American Legion Post 56 in Albert Lea.

This being our sixth year working with the Nation of Patriots, we were able to raise $8,814 to assist combat wounded veterans and their families.  Without the support of our community, we never would have reached this goal.

Through the veterans service office and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, we have identified three soldiers who will be recognized this year for their commitment and sacrifice to our country and our citizens. All are combat-wounded soldiers who received Purple Heart recognition for their duty.

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Scott Heilman of Albert Lea will be recognized by Bob Shellen, HOG chapter director.

Grant Van Ryswyk of Albert Lea will be recognized by  Jodi Dreyling, HOG chapter  treasurer.

Ryan Sabinish of Albert Lea  will be recognized by Tom Klaras, HOG chapter  activities director.

We would like to invite the families and friends, public and all of our donors and volunteers to come to American Legion Post 56 Wednesday evening to meet and congratulate these fine soldiers.

We will offer a supper menu at 6 p.m., consisting of baskets with a burger, pulled pork sandwich or chicken strips — all with french fries. At 7 p.m., we will have introductions and the presentation recognizing and honoring these recipients.

These men join past award recipients we have recognized who include:

• 2014: Adam Hester, New Ulm

• 2013: Miraha Behle,  Glenville

• 2012: Ronnie Moats,  LaCresent

The Nation of Patriots is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. It is composed of 100 percent volunteers, so all of the money raised is returned and distributed to combat wounded soldiers and their families.  Each year the Nation of Patriots Tour begins on Memorial Day in Wisconsin. A United States flag that has been flown in combat is escorted for 100 days throughout the 48 states by volunteer motorcycle riders raising funds for the combat wounded soldiers. On Labor Day, the flag returns home to Wisconsin. For each group who raises over $1,000, the entire amount they raised is returned to that locality for presentation to soldiers from that community area. Albert Lea has traditionally ranked second in the nation behind Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the groups participating. Las Vegas ranks first in the corporate-sponsored division.

We sincerely appreciate the support we have received for our veterans. It has been our privilege to represent Minnesota in the recognition for these national efforts.

In the regional awards, Albert Lea was recognized for the  Upper Midwest Region of the United States. As of Oct. 7, the Nation of Patriots had raised  $136,343,  and donations were still being received.     The Nation of Patriots can be followed at their website:  www.nationofpatriots.org    and through their Nation  of Patriots  Facebook page.

Big thanks to Bergdale Harley-Davidson for the warm welcome and strong support of our nation’s military and the #PatriotTour.


Mark  Harig

Nation of Patriots volunteer