Last night another Bike Night was held at Sickies Garage Burgers and Brews - This is my second season co-hosting this event, and I still am amazed by it. The spectacle of the bikes that people ride in is incredible, but it's the people that really make this weekly event so special. When I come across someone with a unique story, I love to try and pick their brain. Take Kurt Holzer for instance. He is a Bismarck native with 28 years of serving our country in the military. I noticed the shirt he was wearing, grabbed my attention right away.

                             Portland Marathon 2009 Iraq

I ran marathons a long time ago, so the caption on his shirt intrigued me. After introducing myself, Kurt went on to tell me that he was living on the Victory Base Complex, Baghdad, Iraq. In conjunction with the Portland Marathon, Kurt and hundreds of other military men and women ran a race on base. Kurt chose the half marathon (13.1 miles) - to feel more like they were close to home - The United States of America of course. I can only imagine what that must have felt like, so far away, trying to maintain a normal life.

                           A Special run for a fallen hero.

Without a doubt, what Kurt told me next will stay with me for quite some time - while he and many others were in Iraq, the men and women paid their respects to a fallen hero - a Sargeant that had passed away - a receiver of a Purple Heart, this man stood tall with respect - so when he died, Kurt was a part of a huge gathering on base, for a special run - in the Sargeant's honor - an American flag was signed by all the men and women, and sent to his family - where they too will never forget. I have tremendous respect for anyone, past or present that wears a uniform and puts their life on the line. Thank you Kurt for your story, and your service.

 

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