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TAG Line December 4, 2020

Top photo: Staff Sgt. Louis Hanson's 1965 Chevrolet truck was driven to the N.D. Veterans Cemetery by his family in his honor during his interment on Dec. 3, 2020. Hanson, a member of the N.D. National Guard's famed 164th Infantry Regiment, died on Nov. 29, 2020. A rose from his funeral service rests on the hood. (Photo by Shirley Olgeirson, N.D. National Guard Historian)

MSG Robert Lawson

Statement from the N.D. National Guard Chief of Staff - Army

I am deeply saddened to share with you the loss of one of our own. MSG Robert Lawson, a traditional member of the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB), passed away on Tuesday, Nov 24, 2020. Master Sgt. Lawson served over 30 years with the National Guard units of North Dakota, Alaska and Oklahoma. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II with Company B, 141 Engineer Combat Battalion in 2003-2005. His most recent assignment was as an Operations Sergeant with the 141st MEB in Fargo. I ask that you keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers. - Col. Jon Erickson

Master Sgt. Robert T. Lawson

N.D. National Guard Soldiers stand at attention as Master Sgt. Lawson's casket is wheeled from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in Minot, N.D. after funeral services were concluded on Dec. 2, 2020. (Photos by Staff Sgt. Ashley Johlfs, N.D. National Guard Visual Information)

Members of the N.D. National Guard Funeral Honors, salute as pallbearers carry Master Sgt. Robert Lawson's casket during his interment at the Velva Cemetery, Velva, N.D. on Dec. 2, 2020.

Left: Maj. Moranda Iverson, left, and Staff Sgt. Lucinda Bolyard, members of the N.D. National Guard Funeral Honors, remove the U.S. Flag from Master Sgt. Robert Lawson's casket during his interment at the Velva Cemetery, Velva, N.D. on Dec. 2, 2020. Right: Staff Sgt. Lucinda Bolyard and Spc. Gwendolyn Becker-Johner fold the U.S. Flag in preparation of presentation to Master Sgt. Lawson's family.

Maj. Moranda Iverson salutes after presenting the U.S. Flag to Mrs. Tracy Lynn Ramirez Lawson at the Velva Cemetery, Velva, N.D. on Dec. 2, 2020.

164th Infantry Regiment Veteran Laid to Rest

Louis Hanson, 101, of Bismarck, died in Bismarck on Nov. 29, 2020 and was laid to rest at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery near Mandan, N.D., on Dec. 3, 2020. Hanson served with the N.D. National Guard's 164th Infantry Regiment during World War II fighting in the Pacific theater. He served more than 600 days combat with the unit on the Guadalcanal Islands; Bougainville Island, Leyte, Cebu, Negros and the Philippine Islands. With Hanson's passing, there is only one known surviving 164th Infantry Regiment Veteran in North Dakota. (Story and photos by Shirley Olgeirson, N.D. National Guard Historian)

Louis Hanson's interment ceremony was conducted inside the chapel at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 3, 2020. The honor guard comprised of members from Mandan's Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 707 and American Legion Post 40 is visible through the chapel window.

Pallbearers move Louis Hanson's casket to the chapel at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 3, 2020.

Sgt. Kathryn McLaughlin presents the U.S. Flag that draped Louis Hanson’s casket to his daughter, Diana Herner.

Members of the N.D. National Guard Funeral Honors remove the U.S. Flag from Louis Hanson's casket inside the chapel at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 3, 2020. From left, Sgt. Kathryn McLaughlin and Spc Kelsie Carpenter.
Members of the N.D. National Guard Funeral Honors fold the U.S. Flag inside the chapel at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 3, 2020. From left, Sgt. Kathryn McLaughlin, Spc, Sidney Schaff and Spc Kelsie Carpenter.

Staff Sgt. Samuel Kroll, 188th Army Band, performs Taps during Louis Hanson's interment services at at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 3, 2020.

John Ringland, officer in charge, salutes as members of Louis Hanson's honor guard comprised of members from Mandan's Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 707 and American Legion Post 40 stand at attention at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 3, 2020.

Recognizing Employers

Airman 1st Class Hayley Larson, 119th Wing, sought to recognize her employer for their exceptional support during her enlistment and subsequent military training. She nominated her employer, National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), for the ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve) ‘Above and Beyond Award’. After considering her nomination, ESGR of North Dakota determined that the award should be upgraded to the ‘Pro Patria Award,’ the highest award conferred by an ESGR state committee. Additionally, Larson nominated her manager for an ESGR ‘Patriot Award.’ These awards recognize employers that demonstrate a strong culture of support for military employees and were presented during a virtual ceremony on Dec. 1, 2020.

“Through their support of our military members, employers are vital component of national security,” said Col. Darrin Anderson, 119th Wing commander, during the ceremony. (Story and photos by Chief Master Sgt. Dave Lipp, 119th Wing)

National Information Solutions Cooperative's "Pro Patria" award is displayed during the virtual presentation ceremony on Dec. 1, 2020.

Airman 1st Class Hayley Larson participates in a virtual ESGR award presentation with her employer, National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) and ESGR representatives in Fargo, N.D. on Dec. 1, 2020.

Woman's Suffrage

As we enter the last month at the end of the 2019-2020 centennial celebration of American women's right to vote in federal elections, we pause to reflect on the chain of significant events as indicated by this proclamation.

As indicated on the proclamation, on Dec. 1, 1919, N.D. became the 20th of 36 states (to become part of the U.S. Constitution, an amendment must be ratified by three-fourths of the states) to ratify the 19th Amendment, which became law in August 1920 in time for the 2020 Presidential Election. A North Dakota newspaper published a supplement to celebrate this significant centennial. To learn even more about this historic event, check out 'Persistence', a radio play on Prairie Public Radio sponsored by the N.D. 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial Committee. Click here for more information and air dates.

Gov. Doug Burgum is joined by members of the N.D. 2020 Women’s Suffrage Centennial Committee as he signs the proclamation declaring 2019-2020 as the celebration of women’s suffrage in North Dakota on April 10, 2019. (Photo by Poppy Mills, N.D. Department of Transportation)

BinaxNOW COVID-19 Test Training

The North Dakota Departments of Health, Emergency Services, and Public Instruction in coordination with the N.D. National Guard have partnered in training on administering the BinaxNOW COVID-19 test to participating school districts. The pilot program is focused on supporting K-12 testing on school staff. BinaxNOW test results are known as soon as 15 minutes after the sample is collected. These agencies produced an instructional video at Fraine Barracks on Nov. 30, 2020. (Photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Charles Highland, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Sgt. Elise Crider, 81st Civil Support Team (CST), hands Maj. Preston Schaeffner, also a member of the 81st CST, a BinaxNOW self test kit as Sarah Barreth, N.D. Department of Health, explains how to the registration process works during the filming of an instructional video at Fraine Barracks on Nov 30, 2020.

Sarah Barreth, N.D. Department of Health, explains how the test cards work to Maj. Preston Schaeffner, 81st CST during the filming of an instructional video on Nov 30.

Sgt. Elise Crider, 81st CST, looks to see if the test is properly filled out as Maj. Preston Schaeffner, 81st CST, look on during the filming of an instructional video at Fraine Barracks on Nov 30.

Maj. Preston Schaeffner, 81st CST, places his test swab on the test kit card during the filming of an instructional video at Fraine Barracks on Nov 30.

Supporting the Devils Lake Community

Instructors of the Camp Grafton Training Center – 164th Regiment Regional Training Institute (164th RTI) and their 12B Combat Engineer Advanced Leader Course students, took the initiative to participate in the NDNG Domestic Violence Donation Box Project. Staff Sgt. Henry Valenzuela from the California National Guard led the in-kind collection efforts for his class. Valenzuela’s out-going class challenged the incoming class to continue their efforts to raise awareness of Domestic Violence. The 164th RTI instructors, staff, and students were able collect over 600 items for the Donation Box Project to benefit the Safe Alternatives for Abused Families in Devils Lake.

Left: Soldiers carry donated items into the office of Safe Alternatives for Abused Families in downtown Devils Lake, N.D. Right: Melandie Deplazes, Executive Director for Safe Alternatives for Abused Families accepts the donations from Staff Sgt. David Merkley at her office. (Photos by Staff Sgt. Kerri Johnson, 164th Regiment Regional Training Institute)

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ND National Guard Public Affairs Office
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