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Veterans participate in military covenant signing

Dale Ronning of the West Fargo VFW Post 7564, with Rich Mattern presiding, signs a Community Military Covenant during the West Fargo City Commission meeting. Carrie Snyder/The Forum

In a formal show of support acknowledging support for veterans, service members and their families, four members of West Fargo VFW Post 7564 - Jim Hapala, Bill Tuff, Dale Ronning and Bert Hanson - joined in a Community Military Covenant signing during Monday night's West Fargo City Commission meeting advocating "standing strong together." The covenant was initially signed by Gov. John Hoeven during a special ceremony at the Capitol in Bismarck on April 24.

At that time, Hoeven said "North Dakota's service members are being called on more and more to serve their state and country, whether defending freedom in foreign lands or protecting communities from rising flood waters. This covenant exemplifies our gratitude for their service and sacrifice and strengthens our commitment to support them and their families. We sign this covenant in honor of the patriots who have dedicated their lives to defending this great nation and the ideals on which it was founded."

The signing Monday night in West Fargo was in response to Hoeven's request during the April event that all tribal governments, cities and counties host their own signing by August 1, acknowledging the incredible commitments made.

City Administrator Jim Brownlee stated that the outcome of the signing endeavors will ultimately be forwarded to respective officials in Washington, D.C.

City Commissioner Lou Bennett said that "as a retired member of the U.S. Air Force he would heartily approve" the signing of the community military covenant, making the motion accordingly with unanimous approval.

City Commissioners Bennett, Mark Simmons, Bryan Schulz, Mike Thorstad and Mayor Rich Mattern took their respective turns signing the document, along with Hapala, Tuff, Ronning and Hanson.