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La Crosse, WI
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June 24, 2024 10:28 am

Local News

Honoring Comrades Who Lost their Lives in Afghanistan

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Armand Jackson

Army colonel Chris Kolenda from September 25, 2022 to October 21, 2022 will start the Fallen Hero Ride, a 1,689 mile bicycle benefit ride to visit the graves and honor the six fallen paratroopers in his unit who were killed in action in Afghanistan back in 2007. The trip will start in Spalding, Nebraska; then Carroll, Iowa; Elwood, Illinois; Hall, Indiana; Minersville, Pennsylvania; and end at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. This endeavor is all part of the Saber Six Foundation which honors the memory of the six paratroopers from Colonel Kolenda’s unit by helping the unit’s veterans, families, and descendants achieve their dreams, and supporting a Rotary Club of Milwaukee scholarship endowment for disadvantaged youth who aspire to public service.

The six paratroopers from Chris’s unit are, Pfc. Chris Pfeifer who died on September 25, 2007 and buried in his hometown of Spalding, Nebraska; Sgt. Adrian Hike, died on November 12, 2007, buried in his home state of Iowa; Spc. Jacob Lowell, died on June 2, 2007, buried in his home state of Illinois; SSgt. Ryan Fritsche, died on July 27, 2007, buried in his home state of Indiana; Capt. Dave Boris, died on November 12, 2007, buried in his home state of Pennsylvania; and Maj. Tom Bostick, a man whose hometown was Llano, Texas, died on July 27, 2007, and buried in Virginia. In explaining this tribute, Colonel Chris Kolenda said “They sacrificed everything for us. Their legacies can live forever to help people achieve their dreams” 

If anyone wishes to help with this cause there is a GoFundMe page dedicated to the endeavor and provides details on how someone can offer support. The goal is to raise $400,000 so that the endowments last in perpetuity. Those interested can also designate the Chris Kolenda Saber Six Foundation as their Amazon Smile charity of choice. There is also a Facebook page dedicated to the journey that supporters can follow as well. Something else Wisconsinites can do to help veterans like Army Colonel Kolenda is by supporting organizations like Wisconsin Veterans Network and Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs who focus on providing assistance, resources, programs, and support services to Wisconsin veterans and their families.