On this Veterans Day, we're honoring all of the men and women who've served and sacrificed to protect our freedom. We may not know them all, but we owe them all. Special shout out to our City of Elk River veteran staff as well, some of them pictured here with service details listed below:
Cal Portner – Elk River City Administrator (1)
U.S. Air Force 1983-1992
Cal served as an Electrical Power Production Specialist/Technician attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. He cut his teeth operating and maintaining backup diesel generators supporting NASA and Space and Missile Test Organization at Vandenberg AFB, California. His second tour was a one-year remote to the tiny Aleutian Island of Shemya, Alaska providing primary power to the island and their mission of Ballistic Missile Early Warning and NORAD communication. Zweibrücken, Germany was his next home for four years serving with a Tactical Reconnaissance Intelligence Support Squadron. With TRISS he deployed briefly in support of Operation Desert Storm and witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. When peace broke in Europe, he was lastly assigned to a survivable low frequency communications site near Silver Creek, Nebraska in support of Strategic Air Command’s nuclear launch code relay.
Ron Nierenhausen – Elk River Police Chief (2)
Minnesota Army National Guard 1983-1990, United States Army Reserves 1990-1998
Ron graduated from Military Police School at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. He served with the 47th MP Company (St. Paul) as a Corporal, Sergeant, and Staff Sergeant. Did tours in Norway and Panama before transferring to the United States Army Reserves. Ron completed his “H” designator becoming a Military Police Instructor for the 5042nd USARF School at Ft. Snelling as a Sergeant First Class. As a faculty member he trained MP students from across the United States. Ron was the recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army National Guard Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (Army), Army NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Training Ribbon, and Army Service Ribbon.
Adam Bebeau – Elk River Police Patrol Sergeant (3,4)
Army Reserve 1992-2000
Adam did a tour in Bosnia from 1998-1999 as a Psychological Operation Specialist (PSYOP). His last rank held was Sergeant (E5).
Matthew Bonebrake – Street Maintenance Operator II (5,6,7)
Minnesota Army National Guard 2006-2014
Matthew served as an enlisted soldier running heavy construction equipment. He deployed to Afghanistan from 2013-2014. Missions primarily focused on keeping main supply routes in eastern Afghanistan open, clear of debris, and repairing routes that had been destroyed by IED blasts. In the U.S. Matthew assisted with the construction of border roads in southern states, helped build a national Boy Scouts of America camp in West Virginia, and assist with flood mitigation efforts in Fargo/Moorhead.
Gary Lore – Building Maintenance Supervisor (8,9)
Army Military Police 1980-1983, Army Reserve 1983-1986
Gary’s first duty station was with the First Infantry Division at Fort Riley Kansas before being deployed to Fort Chaffee Arkansas to guard Cuban refugees. My second duty station was with the Second Infantry Division at Camp Casey in South Korea. There, Lore preformed regular police duties in the local village and did guard duties in demilitarized zones. Following full-time Army service, Gary joined the Army Reserve out of Cambridge, MN where he was an Infantry Scout before his honorable discharge in 1986.
Joe Gacke – ERPD Detective Sergeant (10)
Minnesota Army National Guard 1991-1997
As part of HHC Detachment 1, 1st Battalion, 194th Mechanized Infantry out of Saint Cloud, MN, Joe served as a Sergeant and Heavy Mortar Squad Leader.
Tim Sevcik – Street and Park Superintendent (11)
Minnesota Army National Guard (21 years)
Tim served over two decades in the Army National Guard as a mechanized infantry officer, retiring as a Major. Duties included Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, Company Commander, Battalion Personnel Officer, Battalion Assistant Operations Officer, Battalion Operations Officer, Brigade Personnel Officer, Division Strategic Plans Officer, Director of Public Works (U.S. Army Kuwait). Overseas deployments included Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Kuwait.
Bob Pearson – IT Manager (12)
Air Force 1970-1974
Sergeant, B52-D Maintenance Crew Chief, Vietnam Service Medal recipient, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal recipient.
Kevin Beadles – Wastewater Operator/Locator (13)
U.S. Army Veterinary Corps. 1977-1981
Kevin signed on at age 17 just six weeks out of high school – 38years after his honorable discharge he credits many places he visited and things he did to his time in the service.
Mike Suchy – Elk River Police Detective (14)
Minnesota Army National Guard 1985-1998
During his 13 years in the Minnesota Army National Guard, Matt’s highest rank was Staff Sgt. in charge of the Intelligence section of the Division Headquarter and Headquarters Battalion, 34th Infantry Division, also known as the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division.