Gold Star Mom Continues Work To Bring Memorial To Montpelier

TRIBUTE TOWERS … Tarry Fikel stands with family in front of a memorial table for her son at a benefit to raise funds for the Remembering Our Fallen memorial. Pictured are: Kimberly Sharp, Thomas Hodshire, Tarry Fikel, Garrett Nelson, Kammie Nelson, Peyton Nelson. (PHOTO BY RIC ARMENTROUT, STAFF)

By: Ric Armentrout

On September 7 thru the 14th the Remembering Our Fallen memorial will be featured at the Williams County Fair. Remembering Our Fallen is a photographic war memorial that honors our country’s military Fallen from The War on Terror (9/11/2001 – Present).

After receiving a request from Patriotic Productions to have her son, SGT Michael Paul Hodshire, added to the memorial, Tarry Eicher Fikel, started planning and raising funds to have the memorial this year at the fairgrounds.

“When I first started in November, Suzy Miller came into the pizza shop (Eicher Subs) and I told her what I was doing. She asked what I needed. I was in awe when she came back with a check for $2500 to have the date saved.” “She’s my rock, I couldn’t ask for a better person to help me do this”.

To help raise the other funds needed to host the memorial, Tarry held a Patriotic Benefit and Lunch Saturday June 29th. Pies were donated for the event, food was provided and music kept people entertained. More than 80 riders showed up for the Poker Run and items were donated for a silent auction and 50/50 raffle.

Tarry first tried to attend the memorial back in 2017 when it was in Michigan, that event was cancelled due to a rainout. She has made sure this won’t happen by holding the traveling memorial indoors.

The Remember Our Fallen Memorial will be escorted in on September 6th by a Gold Star Mom and (weather permitting) the Budweiser Clydesdales. There will be a ceremony with The National Anthem and a prayer, then it will be open to the public on September 7th.

Tarry lost her son, SGT. Michael Paul Hodshire in Iraq in 2005, she now donates $1 from the sale of SGT. Hodshire’s favorite sandwich, the Full Pizza Surprise, to the local veterans services at each county fair she attends.

Tarry was overwhelmed by the response of the community to help bring her dream of having the memorial in town this year. She hopes everyone can attend the event the week of The Williams County Fair. A Gold Star family’s greatest fear is that their Fallen will be forgotten.

Ric can be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com


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