Dedication Ceremony October 14, 2017

Speech delivered by Tom & Sue Holmquist, parents of Carson Holmquist

Carson was our son who died at the early age of 25. Carson was a 2 year starter in the defensive backfield for the Grantsburg Pirates and played all 4 years of high school. He loved farming and worked on a farm throughout high school which gave him great work ethics. He was an avid fisherman and hunter and enjoyed cars and trucks. He joined the Marine Corps in 2009 and was part of Mike Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Force Reserve and was a diesel mechanic specialist. He served in Okinawa, Japan where he learned of his compassion in helping others in the tsunami, and in Afghanistan in 2013-14. He earned the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Honorable Service award, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, a Global War of Terrorism Service Medal, 2 Sea Service Deployment ribbons and most recent a Purple Heart.

Carson was a motor transport maintenance chief and was one of five service members killed in an attack at the Naval Operation Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 16, 2015. The Marines helped with a very honorable funeral service and protected their brother until he was laid to rest. What everyone needs to know about that day is that those Marines and that sailor died defending our nation and they were taking care of each other as well as trying to protect innocent civilians nearby. Carson was a man’s man who had the work ethic of a mechanic, a good one, he loved to fix things and to help others and he lived that passion through his entire life and made him the great family man he became who loved his country, family and hometown. He made many around him feel better about themselves, because that was his personality and that was how much he cared about the mission whatever it may be. He and his brothers made the ultimate sacrifice that day, and we will never forget that.

Our family has suffered greatly from this tragedy in more ways than one can imagine and the funeral was bigger than all of us and it seems that Carson belongs to everybody. He’s our son, someone’s husband, father, brother, grandson, neighbor and friend. Many don’t know him personally, but he’s no stranger. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of this ceremony showing all that patriotism is real and that we should all be thankful for all of the many sacrifices that so many soldiers give on a daily basis for they are all the true heroes.