|10/8/2021 3:22:00 PM|
Veterans monument upgrade; trail run pit stop
You may have noticed a runner and a few friends being followed by a support ATV on the Sunrise Prairie Trail; making their way through Chisago County last Saturday. Downbursts of rain accompanied the entourage on their final leg of an almost non-stop 100 mile run to raise money for a veterans’ program.
Sunrise Prairie Trail provided the north portion of the Freedom Fishing Foundation fundraiser run route October 2. Runner and veteran Caleb Wedger, a Forest Lake native, used the length of the Hardwood Creek Trail in Washington County, from Hugo on the south to the very end of Sunrise Prairie Trail between Harrris and North Branch.
The 100 total miles covered by Wedger, up and back a couple times, was charted to be symbolic of the 100 Minnesota veterans who have reportedly died from suicide.
Wedger, an Air National Guard vet, said in a piece posted on the Foundation website that he was reading a book by David Groggins, “Can’t Hurt Me.”
Groggins is an ultra marathon athlete who runs to raise money for a number of veterans’ causes. Wedger felt moved to try the same, even though he doesn’t even like to run. He partnered with Freedom Fishing Foundation and a host of agencies and organizations with a goal of raising pledges for $10,000. He had well-surpassed that, with more coming in through the Freedom Fishing Foundation website as this newspaper went to press.
Coincidentally, the Sunrise Prairie Trail cuts through Stacy Lions Park, where a new monument honoring local veterans was also being dedicated Saturday morning.
Veterans attending and members of the Color Guard learned that Wedger was being expected at any time, for a rest stop at Lions Park. They cheered him on as he came from the north, into the downtown Stacy park.
The original veterans memorial in Lions Park had become quite deteriorated, Lent Township Supervisor Carolyn Cagle, said. Lent, Stacy and local vets’ groups agreed rehabilitating the site was called for and hired local cement professional Mike Mudrick to build a new monument and reset the plaque dedicating the site to veterans of World War I and II. (Veterans Albert Peterson and Glenn Waller and Post 312 are embossed on the memorial, originally installed sometime in the 1940’s.)
Veterans helping to dedicate the new monument were: Jim Johnson, Jim Krogstad, Penny Foster, Larry Lattimore, Carl Anderson, Dean Phillips, Roger Nelson, Don Waller, Steve Peterson, Kevin Swenson variously representing Legion Post 85 and 312 and VFW 6424.