VIDEO: National 9/11 Flag event honors North Dakota heroes

BISMARCK–One of the best parts of my job is covering stories that recognize North Dakotans for the work they do to make the state a better place.

Yesterday’s event at the state Capitol honored a dozen North Dakotans who have shown dedication to the military and public safety.

You can read the story and see the video here.


Here is the list of those honored:

Steve and Deb Kenner: Bismarck police Officer Steve Kenner was shot and killed last month while responding to a domestic violence call. He is the first Bismarck police officer killed in the line of duty and the first in North Dakota in 15 years.

Brad Jerome, Cody Trom, Jason Bullis and Noah Lindelow: The Bismarck police officers all responded to the same domestic violence call as Kenner that night. They were nominated for the courageous actions they took responding to the call.

Brian Benesh: The Dickinson veteran started a program called “Adopt a Vet” a few years ago and asks that anyone who goes to a cemetery on Memorial Day or Veterans Day puts a flower on a veteran’s grave so that no veteran is forgotten. For the past few years, he has gone to each cemetery in Dickinson to clean each veteran’s grave before Memorial Day. He then puts a flag at each grave.

Rosemary Fleck: The Bismarck woman sends packages to troops, as well as cards and letters. She raises money for postage and supplies, much of which she supplies herself.

Robert Arso: The Bismarck man came to North Dakota via the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Minot Air Force Base. He was a member of the North Dakota National Guard, serving as a battalion command sergeant major and acting brigade commander sergeant major for the 818th Medical Battalion in Operation Desert Storm. He has been teaching electronic technology since 1969 and is a department chairman at Bismarck State College.

Mark Haegele: The Bismarck man was deployed to Afghanistan with the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and was attached to the Eagle 4 snipers. He was clearing the way and stepped on an improvised explosive device in April. Both legs were amputated and his arms severely injured. He has been an inspiration for his determination to meet his platoon on legs when they come back in October.

Brad Volk: The Mandan man was instrumental in establishing the Patriot Guard Riders in the state and served as the first captain. Their mission has been to shield the mourning family and their friends from interruptions created by any protester or group of protesters. He has sent hundreds of care packages to our military overseas.

Major Ben Hinsperger: The Fargo native is a senior flight instructor and evaluator in the U.S. Air Force with more than 3,000 hours of flight time, including combat and combat support missions flown during Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.


We’re interested in hearing about more local heroes across North Dakota. To nominate someone, please send the following:

1. The name and city of your nominee.

2. Why the nominee is a local hero.

3. Your name, your city and a way to contact you.

Send nominations to (subject: Local hero) or write Teri Finneman c/o Forum Communications, Press Room, State Capitol, Bismarck, ND 58505. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 26.

Again, the full story about the National 9/11 Flag event and the video can be found here.