BISMARCK (AP) - A North Dakota National Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan was laid to rest on Tuesday, while the family of a second soldier who died prepared for his burial.
Services for Sgt. 1st Class Darren Linde, 41, of Devils Lake, were held Tuesday afternoon in Sidney, Mont., where he grew up. The funeral for Spc. Tyler Orgaard, 20, of Bismarck, is Thursday in that city. Linde will be buried in the Sidney Cemetery and Orgaard in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery south of Mandan. Gov. Jack Dalrymple asked that flags be flown at half-staff on Tuesday and Thursday in honor of the fallen soldiers.
The Sidney (Montana) Herald reported that Linde was eulogized as someone who was proud to wear the uniform.
"He believed his efforts made a difference," said Lt. Col. David Johnson, who served as chaplain at Linde's funeral.
The two members of the Williston-based 818th Engineer Company died in a roadside bomb blast in southern Afghanistan on Dec. 3. A third soldier, Spc. Ian Placek, 23, of Bismarck, was wounded but is recovering.
Linde's widow, Adrienne Linde, said in a recent statement that she and their four children, Celina, Kayla, Alexis and Eric, "are all devastated by the loss of such an incredible husband and father."
"Though saddened and shocked, we are thankful to have wonderful memories and funny stories that will last a lifetime," she said. "I have always been Darren's number one cheerleader and I am enormously proud of him for his sacrifice and service to our nation. Darren gave his life so that others could pass through safely."
Linde originally enlisted in the North Dakota Guard in 1990. He served in the U.S. Army and Montana Army National Guard before returning to the North Dakota Guard in 2006. He deployed to Iraq with the Guard's 164th Engineer Battalion from August 2007 to April 2008. Since 2009, he served as a full-time instructor with the Guard's 164th Regional Training Institute at the Camp Grafton Training Center near Devils Lake.
Linde and Orgaard were among about 100 members of the 818th who deployed in April for a year of duty overseas. The unit arrived in Afghanistan in June after undergoing final training at Fort Bliss in Texas. The unit handles combat engineer missions including route clearance, which the soldiers were doing when the attack occurred.
Orgaard's body was flown from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to Bismarck on Monday and turned over to family.