Let the memory of Spc. Jon be with us forever
  • 30 years old
  • Born on January 3, 1973 .
  • Passed away on July 22, 2003 .
30, of Dickinson,N.D.; assigned to the 957th Engineer Company (V Corps), Bismarck, N.D.; died when the Heavy Expanded-Mobility Tactical Truck he was in was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade July 22 outside of Ramadi, Iraq. Hometown, comrades remember fallen soldier Associated Press DICKINSON, N.D. — Hundreds of family members, friends and soldiers packed a church here to praise Jon Fettig as a hero who gave his life for his country. Fettig, 30, an Army National Guard specialist, died in Iraq when attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades at a truck he was driving. Guard officials said Fettig was the first North Dakota Army National Guard soldier killed in battle since the Korean War. Two rows of solemn-faced soldiers and military officers stood at attention on July 31 as Fettig’s weeping family followed his casket into the Queen of Peace Catholic Church. Officials estimated more than 1,000 people were at the service. Gov. John Hoeven and Maj. Gen. Mike Haugen, the commander of the North Dakota Army National Guard, presented awards to Fettig’s family. “There’s no question Jon Fettig is a hero,” Hoeven said before giving Cody Fettig her husband’s North Dakota Legion of Merit award. Fettig was part of a Dickinson-based engineering unit but volunteered to fill a vacancy in Bismarck’s 957th Multi-Role Bridge Company. The Bismarck unit left for Kuwait in late April, the moved into Iraq. “He made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom,” Hoeven said. “We are very, very proud and grateful to him.” Haugen presented Fettig’s Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals to Cody Fettig and to Jon Fettig’s parents, Larry and Shirley Fettig. He recalled meeting Fettig last summer when he visited Guard soldiers training in Canada. “I’ve got to tell you, there was no more enthusiastic soldier, no one who loved what he was doing with the Army better than Jon,” Haugen said. He began to weep as he read a Bible verse dedicated to Fettig. “Jon was a great soldier,” he said. A display of school portraits, wedding photos and candid shots from Fettig’s life greeted mourners Thursday. The images were joined by photos of a helmeted Fettig peeking out of an armored personnel carrier, and pictures of soldiers loading his casket onto a plane. An armored personnel carrier led the funeral procession as it approached St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery. The crowd pushed close to watch six uniformed soldiers carry Fettig’s flag-draped casket to the shady grave site. Larry, Shirley and Cody Fettig, wearing yellow ribbons and American flag pins, held hands as Guard soldiers fired a 21-gun salute. A bugler played taps before the flag from Fettig’s casket was folded and handed to Haugen, who presented it to Cody Fettig. After the service, she and Jon Fettig’s parents stood quietly for a few moments over the vault, where a few people laid small American flags. Haugen also spoke to a few members of the Dickinson unit in which Fettig served. “I just told them they had some very good comrades-in-arms from this state,” he said. DICKINSON, N.D. — Photographs inside the National Guard Armory gym entrance here celebrate Jon Fettig’s life. North Dakota Army National Guard colleagues, family and friends gathered on July 29 for a prayer service for Fettig, 30, a Guard specialist from Dickinson who was killed in a rocket grenade attack in Iraq last week. “I was given his dog tags,” Fettig’s wife, Cody, said. “They were given to me today. Makes me feel like I am closer to him. He sits right next to my heart, and he will stay there.” Fettig’s father, Larry, said his son’s death became more real when his body arrived home on the night of July 28. “It was always a thought — maybe someone had made a mistake — a hope,” he said. “When he’s gone, it feels like you can still write a letter and he’s going to get it,” said Fettig’s sister, Tenille. “So having him here made it easier, but yet harder.” Jon Fettig was remembered as a hero with a “marvelous smile.” Sgt. Wade Kadrmas said Fettig’s smile was always there for friends and fellow soldiers. Fettig’s funeral was scheduled for July 31 at the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Dickinson. — Associated Press

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