On Memorial Day, a remembrance of fallen Minnesotans
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Across the country today, Americans are taking time out to remember those who have given their lives for the country.
Since Memorial Day last year, seven members of the military with ties to Minnesota have died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. On this Memorial Day 2012, we remember them.
June 6, 2011: Sgt. Emilio Campo, 20, an Army medic from Madelia, died in a rocket attack while deployed in Iraq. His cousin says the 2009 graduate of Madelia High School wanted to pursue a career in medicine, and thought the Army gave him the best shot at reaching his goal. In high school, Campo played football and basketball, ran track and sang in the choir.
June 30, 2011: Sgt. Chad Frokjer, 27, served with the 1st Battalion and 5th Regiment of the First Marine Division. He died while on combat operations in Afghanistan. Frokjer graduated from North high School in North St. Paul, and served two tours in Iraq before he was sent to Afghanistan.
July 12, 2011: Lance Cpl. Robert Greniger, 21, a combat engineer with the Marine 2nd Division, was killed while on combat operations in Afghanistan. He was from Greenfield, Minn. His mother said Greniger was "very proud" to be a Marine, and had switched units so he could serve in Afghanistan.
Aug. 6, 2011: Petty Officer John Faas, 31, of Minneapolis was among 22 Americans who died when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. Faas, a Navy SEAL, was valedictorian of the class of 1998 at Minnehaha Academy, and quarterback on the football team.
Aug. 6, 2011: Killed in the same helicopter crash was Nick Spehar, 24, a Navy SEAL who graduated from Chisago Lakes High School in 2005. Spehar was described as a star in the classroom, and on the playing field.
Aug. 14, 2011: Sgt. Matthew Harmon, 29, of Lengby, Minn., joined the National Guard while still a student at Fosston High School. He graduated in 2000, and transferred to the Army in 2004. Harmon was serving in Afghanistan. He was helping to recover a disabled vehicle when he was killed by an improvised explosive device. Harmon had served two deployments in Iraq before going to Afghanistan. He is survived by his wife and three children.
April 29, 2012: Sgt. Nicholas Dickhut, 23, was a forward observer with an Army unit based in Fort Lewis, Washington. He was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan when he was killed in action. Dickhut, of Stewartville, had requested had requested the second deployment, having already served in Iraq, according to his mother.