West Fargo, ND – People came together at the Harley Davidson of Fargo to acknowledge veterans of past and present for their sacrifices as part of the Patriot Tour.
The tour goes across 48 states in 100 days carrying a US flag all the way to a final destination in Milwaukee, WI.
However, that wasn’t always what veterans could expect after their service.
“When I landed in Washington, people were people were cussing, swearing at us, spitting on us” says Francis Hebret, a Vietnam veteran.
“They did not get the recognition for putting their lives on the line and doing their duty for their country. And I don’t ever want that to happen to any other veteran” says Kat Froslie, an event organizer who was stateside during the Vietnam war.
Francis came back to that hostility. However, when he arrived in Fargo, things were different
“When I landed in Fargo it wasn’t that way because there’s been a lot of people from this area that didn’t make it back from Vietnam” says Francis.
And in their memory and to honor soldiers serving now, he carries the flag that’ll be passed from person to person crossing the country.
“We believe in our soldiers out there; signing their lives away on a blank check is basically what it is. There’s no guarantee that they’re coming back…walking anyway. What are the odds of war?” continues Francis.
But this tour isn’t just about recognizing sacrifice; it’s also to raise awareness of mental anguishes like PTSD.
“You come back with wounds that are seen. You come back with wounds that aren’t seen” saId Froslie.
“A soldier coming back, they’re too proud to seek help. They’re self-centered egotistical. They figure they can do it on their own but they can’t” says Francis.
In the end, Francis can’t save them all, but he can carry that flag hoping that his message is heard.
Francis will leave for Watertown, bringing along the flag, Monday morning.