North Dakota Stories

Brian Benesh, Bismarck

(Nominated by Brianne Skachenko)
State Capitol Building in Bismarck
August 12, 2011

My father served as a medic in the army and is a disabled Vietnam Veteran. He has suffered greatly from the cost of war and continues to struggle with it to this day. My father started a program called “Adopt a Vet” a few years back.  He asks that anyone who goes to the cemetery on Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day put a flower on a Veteran’s grave so that no Veteran is forgotten. For the past few years, my father goes to each Cemetery in Dickinson, ND and cleans each Veteran’s grave before Memorial Day. He gets on his hands and knees and pulls all weeds around the grave stone and replaces any that are damaged.  He then puts a flag at each Veteran’s grave.  He purchases these flags with his own money and asks nothing in return.  He just wants to make sure that no Veteran is forgotten. My father has been asked to come to the local high school and talk to the students about the price of war and how we need to continue to support our military.  He has been the guest speaker at several Memorial Day services and proudly talks about the POW flag and the meaning behind it and how no Veteran should ever be forgotten. My father truly knows the price of freedom and truly knows what the flag stands for.  This opportunity would be a huge honor for my father.