Name:  David Brunsvold

 

Hometown:  Moorhead, MN

 

Current Residence:  Fargo, ND​

Board Position:  Treasurer

 

Military Career:  I enlisted in the US Army in February 1968, did my Basic Training at Fort Lewis, Washington and my AIT at Fort Ord, California getting trained as a Personnel Specialist 71H.  My first Duty Station was with HHC, 2nd Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas in the G3 Operations from September 1968 until     October 1969.  I received my orders for Vietnam in October 1969 and arrived in South Vietnam November 1969.  I was assigned to HHC, 101st Airborne Division, Camp Eagle, served as the Company Clerk from November 1969 until October 25, 1970 at which time I returned to the United States and was released  from Active Duty.

 

Education/Certifications/Advance Training:  I have 2 years of college and On-the-Job Training using the GI Bill with Hornbachers as a Produce Specialist as I had no knowledge of the Grocery/Produce Business.

 

History with Honor Flight:  I started with the Honor Flight in the Spring of 2015 as a Committee member but was moved to the Board of Directors as the Treasurer when the original Treasurer asked to be released from his duties.  I have gone on every Honor Flight, 7 Flights so far,  since October 2015 and look forward to going on many more.  I am on the Board of Directors as the Treasurer, plus on the last 6 trips I have been a Bus Captain for the Orange Bus.  I am also at the Check In Table for the Banquet and Breakfast while in Washington DC to make sure ALL Veterans get down for the meals.

 

Why I am passionate about HF:  As a Vietnam Veteran, I consider these Veterans my brothers/family.  It is a Honor to take these Veterans to Washington DC to let them see the Memorials dedicated to their service, plus many other memorials.

 

Favorite Memories:  I think the first time I saw the Police Escort on Monday morning going into Washington DC was amazing,  but the true highlight is the Homecoming when we return Monday evening and watching the Veterans expressions.  It warms your heart.

 

Phone Number:  701-261-2049

 

Other:  I am totally amazed by the dedication of the Board of Directors and all the Volunteers that serve on our Fundraising Committee.   The generosity of the people and their donations is truly eye opening as we could not do it without their support.

Name: David Rice

Hometown: Mayville, ND

Current Residence: Fargo, ND

Board Position:  Board Member

Military Career:  I enlisted in the United States Navy right after High School and went on Active Duty when I was 17 years old.  I attended Boot Camp in San Diego, CA and then advanced training in electronics. My orders were to meet my Ship home-ported in Yokosuka, Japan for duty off the coast of Vietnam conducting Naval Gunfire Support Operations. I spent the next three plus years on the USS Oklahoma City (CLG-5), a light cruiser with a three-barrel 6-inch 47 caliber turret and a two-barrel 5-inch 38 caliber turret and a Talos Missile Launcher. The Sailors aboard the USS Oklahoma City received several citations during this period including the: Combat Action Ribbon; Navy Unit Commendation; Meritorious Unit Citation; Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals and several others. After my return home I served over 37 years in the Naval Reserve.  I retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8) with 42 years of service in 2011.

Education/Certifications/Advanced Training:  I received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from North Dakota State University utilizing the GI Bill. After graduation I taught a sophomore level economics class at NDSU for one year then moved into a research position. My career continued in the NDSU Extension Service for another 30 years as a Computer Specialist and retired in 2008.

History with Honor Flight:  Tracy Briggs, WDAY, called a meeting with leaders of area Veterans Organizations in 2007 introducing Honor Flight and stating that she/WDAY would not proceed without the support of area Veterans, we were all in, the rest is History.  I have served on the Honor Flight Board of Directors and as a Bus Captain since 2007 conducting twelve trips with about 1,400 Veterans traveling to Washington, DC to see the Memorials Created in their Honor. (Includes the May 2019 trip.)

Why I am passionate about HF:  I came home from Vietnam alive, over 58.000 of my brothers and sisters didn’t. The more I learn about other war conflicts the more grateful I am for their service.  I have lived a great life, I want to give back to my fellow Veterans and our Patriotic Community. The dedication of our volunteers is contagious.

Favorite Memories:  Watching and thanking a four-year-old for dropping 22 cents in the donation jar; seeing Senator Bob Dole visit and take pictures with our Veterans at the WWII Memorial; witnessing a WWII Veteran being hugged and thanked for saving the World – and seeing tears roll down his cheeks; taking two of our trips on a 747; working with some of the most amazing people I have ever met; seeing a couple hundred Patriotic Americans at the Fargo Airport to Welcome Home our Honor Flight Heroes.

Phone Number: 701-866-9085

Other:  Can a bunch of Very Dedicated Volunteers and an Extremely Generous Community raise a couple million dollars to Honor our Veterans?  You Betcha!

Name: Susan Schroeder   

Hometown: Moorhead, MN

Current Residence: Moorhead, MN

Board Position:  Board Member

Military Career/Career:  I enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1983 when I was 18 years old.  I followed in my fathers, and my sister’s footsteps. I attended basic training at Lackland AFB, TX and graduated as a Law Enforcement Specialist, and was a guardsman in that career field for 6 years.  In 1989 I was hired full time as a Financial Accountant.  I worked in the Finance Office for 12 years. In 2001 I moved to the Communications Flight.   I was able to move up the ranks and am currently a Senior Master Sergeant and the Cyber Systems Superintendent at the Communications Flight. In July of 2017 I deployed to Kuwait as the Cyber Operations Superintendent in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.  I managed 65 airmen, and a multi-million-dollar network.

Education/Certifications/Advanced Training:  I graduated from Moorhead High in 1982.  I have Community College of the Air Force degrees in Law Enforcement, Financial Management, and Information Systems.  I also hold a Security + Certification.

History with Honor Flight:  I started with the Honor Flight in the spring of 2015 as a volunteer, and was responsible for tracking and maintaining the master database of the applications.  I was lucky enough to move from a volunteer to a board member.

Why I am passionate about HF:  Being a member of the Armed Forces with these ladies and gentlemen is an honor.  I would not be able to enjoy my life the way it is if it wasn’t for them.  All the Armed Forces before me gave so much, risked so much and lost so much so I could be free.  It is the least I can do for them.

Favorite Memories:  Was my first flight to go on in 2015.  It opened my eyes so much to this generation and the wounds that were healed after two days.

Phone Number:  701-238-3160

Other: I am a current member of the American Legion Post 21 of Moorhead, and life member of the AmVets Fargo.

Name: Lori Ishaug

Hometown: Moorhead, MN

Current Residence: Moorhead, MN

Board Position:  Vice President

Career:  In 1978 I was hired by the K-mart Corporation, and worked at the Dilworth store for 15 years.  I worked the customer service desk for 5 years before moving into the main office.  After leaving K-mart, I started at Moorhead High School as the administrative assistant for the Food Service Department.  I worked for Moorhead schools for 10 years.  Currently I am employed by Clay County and work at the Department of Motor Vehicle Office in Moorhead, and have been there for the last 10 years.

Education/Certifications/Advanced Training:  I was born and raised in Moorhead, MN.  I graduated from Moorhead High School in 1977, and went on to Moorhead Technical College and received a degree in Fashion Merchandising.

History with Honor Flight:  I started with the Honor Flight in the spring of 2015 as a volunteer, and was responsible for a large majority of the fundraising portion. Eventually I was lucky enough to move from a volunteer to a board member.

Why I am passionate about HF:  Being a member of the Armed Forces with these ladies and gentlemen is an honor.  I would not be able to enjoy my life the way it is if it wasn’t for them.  All the Armed Forces before me gave so much, risked so much and lost so much so I could be free.  It is the least I can do for them.

Favorite Memories:  Was my first flight to go on in 2015.  It opened my eyes so much to this generation and the wounds that were healed after two days.

Phone Number:  701-361-6972

Other: I am the Second Vice with Auxiliary at the American Legion Post 21 of Moorhead, and life member of the Auxiliary with the Am Vets of Fargo.

Name: Tod Ganje   

Hometown: Devils Lake, ND

Current Residence: Fargo, ND

Board Position:  Board Member

Education/Certifications/Advanced Training:  I graduated from MSUM (Moorhead State at the time) with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. Since then I have worked with group travel and served as Manager at Travel Incorporated in Moorhead. 

History with Honor Flight: I was lucky enough to be a part of Honor Flight from the near beginning locally and nationally. We as a group figured out how to start with our first flight back in 2007.  And twice have had trips with as many as 420 travelers (using a 747 plane and 8 buses).  Years and a number of flights later, it continues to be my pleasure to support such a great organization.  

Why I am passionate about HF:  As a civilian all of my life, I respect and thank those have served our great nation. This is my way to give back to those that gave of themselves to protect us all.  Through my years as part of this organization my respect continues to grow.  I just want all our Veterans to know how much they are appreciated.

Favorite Memories:  Each time on a trip, when I see a random group of teenagers come up to a Veteran and treat them like the “Superstars” they are. Having the Capitol Police in DC Stop traffic on Constitution Avenue during rush hour, so our Veterans’ Motorcade can get to their destination uninterrupted.  Getting to personally thank our Veterans at the end of each trip.

Phone Number: 701-306-1244

Other:  Thank you to everyone that supports our organization.  These Veterans are so grateful.

Name: Diane Moderow

Hometown: Moorhead, MN

Current Residence: Casselton, ND

Board Position:  Secretary

Military Career: I enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard at 17 years old during my junior year of high school. I graduated from high school early my senior year and left for basic training at Lackland AFB, San Antonio Texas. After basic training I attended technical training for the Air Force as a Medic at Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX. Within a few hours of my arrival to Wichita Falls Texas an F4 tornado; 1.5 miles wide destroyed part of the town, but did not touch the Air Force Base.  It was here I earned my first Humanitarian Service Medal for helping clean up the town. I spent 7 years enlisted prior to getting a commission as a registered nurse. While I was never deployed during my military career I traveled all over the world on active duty working in hospitals in preparation if needed. I was deployed to Ghana Africa, England, Dominica, Hawaii, Alaska and many of the US states. I retired as the Chief Nurse of the North Dakota Air National Guard with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after serving for 30 years.

Education/Certifications/Advanced Training: I received a bachelor of science in nursing and a bachelor of arts in speech communication from Minnesota State University Moorhead. I am a Registered Nurse with a Certification in Ambulatory Nursing. I spent my first 30 years of Nursing at St. Lukes Hospital/MeritCare/Sanford until I took a job at the VA hospital in Fargo in 2014. It is while employed at the VA I was asked to join the Honor Flight Board.

History with Honor Flight: While employed at the VA I was approached by Jane, our current honor flight president who I work with and asked if I would like to join/help her restart the Honor Flight. She explained she was involved with the original inception in 2007 and many Korean War veterans had been asking her at work “when is our turn to go to the memorial”. It was at this time she was pulling back together key players to restart the Honor Flight, and I have the pleasure to join them. I am currently the Secretary on the Honor Flight Board.

Why I am passionate about HF: Having served in the military there is a comradery that exists among all service members. I have a huge respect for all those who served our country to protect this great nation for the freedoms we have.  There is no greater way to give back to the men and women that stepped up when called to defend our country.

Favorite Memories: Arrival into Washington DC airport when everyone stops and starts clapping as we exist the airplane, most of the Veterans and escorts are emotional with tears when they see this.  Also when we have been at the Korean Memorial and the Veterans have their Korean hats on, they are stopped by many Koreans/Asians who thank them for defending them in Korea and helping with their freedom. There is nothing greater than the Red River Veterans Band and the 3-400 people of our community that show up for the welcome home at the Fargo Airport for each and every flight. I am so proud of our Veteran supported community!!

Phone Number: 701-261-9887

Other: I am a life member of the Moorhead American Legion Post 21, a life member of the Fargo AMVETS Post, and a life member of the auxiliary of the Vietnam Veterans Association.

Name: LuAnn McDonald

Hometown: Detroit Lakes, MN

Current Residence: Fargo, ND

Board Position:  Board Member

Career:  October 1980 I moved to Minneapolis to start my career at the VA Hospital.  In in 1984 I transferred to the Fargo VA and stayed until the birth of our 2nd child in May 1992.  I was a stay-at-home mom for 18 years (almost to the day) returning to the VA in May 2010.  During my time as a full-time mom.  I was also a community volunteer, home room mom, confirmation leader, bookkeeper for our business, served on the Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm for 6 years. I opened up a boutique in North Fargo in 2002 until 2010 when I returned to work at the Fargo VA.

History with Honor Flight:  I started volunteering with the Honor Flight in the spring of 2015 and in 2016 became a board member.

Why I am passionate about HF:  Working with Veterans since I was 20 and having my father, brother and son-in-law all in the service and knowing that these men and women all served and were willing to give their lives for our freedom.  I am so blessed and grateful to be part of their extraordinary trip of a lifetime. 

Favorite Memories:  Where do I begin…There is so many since my first trip in 2015. I have been blessed to go on 9 trips. From the welcoming in Washington – to family members surprising their loved ones in Washington – to people stopping to sincerely thank everyone for their service – to having our Veterans who are wheelchair bound stand up during the Changing of the Guard at Arlington.  Each Veteran who goes on the Honor Flight receives a biography book.  We take 90-95 Veterans on each flight and each one of them fills out a biography.   When they have just a snippet of information, I will call them and retrieve more and many times they left out many things.  One particular Veteran when I called mentioned that the 1st time, he served in WWII he was a paratrooper.  He was actually in the service 3 times (WWII, Reserves and Korean).  I typed up biographies for 4 trips.  Several times we had changes the day before the flight running off 200 copies before the flight the next day.  Looking up the areas they served in- ensuring the spelling was correct – is a history lesson on its own.    Mail Call – to see all the cards, letters and photos their loved ones have sent.  Veterans escorts who a mostly family members will comment that their loved one has never spoken about their time in the service

When we arrive back to Fargo and before we let them return to their loved ones, the board members, volunteers and medical staff say goodbye to our Heroes that we have spent the last 48 hours and each one has changed our lives. There is never a dry eye.

Other: Since 2019 Veterans Honor Flight has been part of Giving Hearts Day raising $32,000 and in 2020 when we raised $68,000 in 1 day!  To see the generosity of our community, volunteers and board members honor our heroes.

Phone Number: 701-306-4699

Name:  Jane Matejcek                                                              

 

Hometown:  Fairmount, ND

 

Current Residence:  Hunter, ND

Board Position:  President

 

Education/Certifications/Advanced Training:  I graduated from Hankinson High School many years ago then ventured off to college for an LPN nursing degree from “Science School” (NDSCS) in Wahpeton, a Bachelors’ of Science (RN) nursing degree from UND (Grand Forks) and a Doctorate of Nursing (DNP) degree from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities).  I worked as an LPN in nursing homes in Rock Springs, WY and Mayville, ND prior to joining the VA as an RN in 1991 where I’ve been since.

 

History with Honor Flight:  I was privileged to be a part of the medical team for the 3rd and 4th WWII Honor Flights led by Tracy Briggs in 2007 – 2008.   I was a committee member and medical team member for the Northern Valley Honor Flight (Grand Forks) for two trips in 2009.  I have been with Veterans Honor Flight of ND/MN serving as the president since its re-inception in 2015 (9 flights).  I also do a majority of the logistics for the flights and review each application for medical needs / durable medical equipment.

 

I was honored to receive the Director’s Commendation Award from the Center Director of the Fargo VA Health Care System in 2015 for my involvement with the honor flight.  I was nominated for the YWCA Woman of the Year award in 2017 (by Tracy Briggs) and was the recipient of the North Dakota Center for Nursing Legacy Nurse Award for Leadership in 2019.

 

Why I am passionate about honor flight: How do I tell someone how indebted I am to them for risking their life to save mine?  Words aren’t enough.  Honor Flight allows me (and entire communities) to express heartfelt gratitude to those who don’t believe they did anything extraordinary because they were “just doing my job”.   If I can help these unsung heroes to say goodbye, to close a chapter, to grieve a loss, to ease survival guilt or to tell a story for the first time, then my heart is full.  I have never worked with a more committed group of volunteers as the honor flight family (board members and Event Committee/volunteers). Their dedication and passion is infectious and contagious.  I’m honored and humbled to be a part of something so much greater than any of us could have ever imagined.

 

Favorite Memories:   Every memory I have of the honor flight is a favorite one.  There is one memory though that was life-changing for me.  When we first restarted honor flight in 2015, one Veteran received more than 30 letters from his family and friends for the (surprise) Mail Call Program.  At breakfast the next morning I asked him if he was able to read through all of them.  He placed his fork down and with trembling lip and tears welling up in his eyes, looked me directly in the eye and said “I didn’t know anyone still cared”.  At that moment, the tears rolled down his face (and mine) and he thanked me for giving him this once-in-a-lifetime trip.  I will never forget his words or how the honor flight made him feel.    

 

Phone Number: 701-238-7749

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Veterans Application

Tel: (218)28HONOR 

       (701)238-7749 
 

Email: veteranshonorflightofndmn@gmail.com

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Honor Flight

PO Box 644

West Fargo, ND 58078

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