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Mandaree woman is ND's Gold Star Mother of the Year

MANDAREE, N.D. -- Harriet Goodiron has been a Gold Star Mother since 2006 when her son, Army Cpl. Nathan Goodiron, died while on active duty in Afghanistan.

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Harriet Goodiron, center, who lost her son in Afghanistan in 2006, takes part in a ceremony at the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge, New Town, N.D., for the opening of the traveling North Dakota Vietnam Memorial Wall in August 2017. The white shawl she is wearing represents a Gold Star Mother. At the left is Melanie Johnson-Luger with her daughter Ellie Luger and at right, Sharol K. Johnson, whose husband, Myron B. Johnson, died in Vietnam just before he was to return home. Eloise Ogden / Minot Daily News
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MANDAREE, N.D. - Harriet Goodiron has been a Gold Star Mother since 2006 when her son, Army Cpl. Nathan Goodiron, died while on active duty in Afghanistan.

When an active duty service member dies, his or her mother becomes a Gold Star Mother. The designation dates back to 1928 to a mother who lost her son in World War I and was instrumental in founding the Gold Star Mothers, a support organization.

Goodiron, of Mandaree, will be honored Sept. 10 as the 2018 Gold Star Mother of the Year at the 2nd annual Gold Star Mothers and Family Day hosted by the Minot American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 26.

The event will be held from 1-3 p.m. in the Grand Hotel's Skien Room.

The American Legion Post No. 26 Color Guard will post the colors and give a flag-folding presentation at the end of the ceremony. Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma will read the Gold Star Mothers and Family Day proclamation and present it to Goodiron. Jeannie Roman, Minot, president of the North Dakota Department Auxiliary, will be guest speaker. Steve Veikley will play "Taps" and "To The Colors."

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Mark Fox, chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes and business council representatives have also been invited to participate in the ceremony.

A USO-type talent show with veterans is also being planned. The top three winners of the talent show will receive trophies.

Arlene Berdahl, Minot, whose son, David, died in Vietnam in 1972 and remains missing, was the event's 2017 Gold Star Mother of the Year.

Flower Central of Minot is providing corsages for the 2017 and 2018 Gold Star Mothers of the Year.

"It's a place where I don't want to be but it's an honor and I need to carry on my son's legacy. He left a hard path for me to follow," said Goodiron of being selected 2018 Gold Star Mother of the Year.

Goodiron's son, Army Cpl. Nathan J. Goodiron, died in a combat firefight at Qarabaugh, Afghanistan, on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, 2006. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery, North Dakota National Guard in Grand Forks.

Harriet Goodiron is active with the Myron B. Johnson-Nathan J. Goodiron American Legion Post 271 of Mandaree. Myron B. Johnson, also of Mandaree, died in Vietnam. Nathan Goodiron's name was added to the post's name in 2006, joining his uncle's name.

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