Aid worker slain in Afghanistan had Minn. tiesby Tom Robertson, Minnesota Public Radio
Bemidji, Minn. — One of the six American aid workers killed in Afghanistan last week had ties to Minnesota.
Dr. Tom Grams, 51, grew up in Park Rapids and graduated from high school there in 1977. He received his doctorate in dentistry from the University of Minnesota.
Tim Grams is the dentist's twin brother. Grams said his brother loved to help people.
"He loved to travel. He liked to go into other cultures and experience their cultures," Tim Grams said. "He respected the local people and their ways, and he wasn't trying to change anybody, except improve their dental health care."
Tim Grams said his brother was a shrewd businessman who was able to retire before he turned 50.
"He could have done a lot of other things after he retired, but he was spending three, four, five months a year doing dentistry in third world countries," he said. "He was there to help people. He didn't have any political agenda, didn't have any religious agenda."
Tom Grams and nine other members of an international medical aid team were ambushed and killed Thursday. Family members in Park Rapids say they're planning a funeral for later this month.