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A fallen soldier is laid to rest

MANDAREE, N.D. ñ An entire community and much of a state gathered in person or in spirit to lay the body of a young soldier from the Fort Berthold Reservation to rest.

Army National Guard Cpl. Nathan Goodiron, 25, Hidatsa, died of wounds suffered on Thanksgiving Day in Afghanistan.

An estimated 1,500 people from the Fort Berthold Reservation and from across the region filled two school gymnasiums and hallways during the funeral, and the final procession by the open casket.

Goodiron is survived by a wife, Eileen; a son and two stepchildren; his parents, Paul and Harriet Goodiron; a brother and grandmothers.

ìThere are no words that can express the support for my family,î said Harriet Goodiron.

ìMy grandfather always said be good to people, you will need them. I think thatís what he meant when we were growing up,î she said.

Harriet Goodiron raised her two boys to be good to people, and that is how Nathan will be remembered by most people. ìNathan was my oldest. Everyone mentioned how well mannered Nathan was. He loved people and he loved life, he was an adventurer and surrounded himself with people when he was growing up,î she said.

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven attended the funeral and referred to Nathan Goodiron as a ìtrue warrior and a true North Dakota hero; he didnít set out to be a hero, but his

principles and his character made him one.î

Military personnel and veteransí organizations from North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana provided the military presence, and veterans and active duty members stopped at the casket as they led the procession to offer a final salute.

Harriet Goodiron said the day the family brought Nathanís body from the airport was cold and that there were some blizzard conditions, but that did not hamper a stream of people lined up to honor Nathan and support the family.

ìPeople were standing along the way; the cold didnít bother them,î she said.

ìI appreciate that, and we [the family] will always cherish that in our hearts.

ìItís hard to accept how he died. When kids are growing up I never knew I was raising my son to go into war and be killed. You read it in the papers and see it on TV, but you never know it could be you,î she said.

Harriet Goodiron said she tried to talk her son out of going into the military when he was a junior in high school. But in 2001, two years after he graduated, he finally convinced her and enlisted.

ìMy regret is I should have held him back, but I let him fulfill the dream he always wanted to do,î she said.

ìI appreciate the things everyone is doing, but I would much rather have my son here, but Iím still thankful for what they are doing. Itís a greater loss than everyone could ever think. I never thought this would happen,î she said.

Nathan Goodironís cousin, C.J. OíBerry, was in Afghanistan with Nathan when he died. OíBerry attended the funeral and is scheduled to return to duty.

ìI prayed and knelt down every night, and prayed and prayed for them to come home. Sometimes things are beyond our control; itís the Creatorís way, itís something we canít help,î she said.

As Harriet Goodiron mourns the loss of her first-born, Nathanís younger brother is scheduled to attend basic training soon.

ìWe have talked to the military, we donít want him going and heís agreeable. We will see what we can do,î she said.

She said the family is advising young men to stay out of the military; and as for family members, ìone loss is enough.î

Nathanís father, Paul Goodiron, is a Vietnam veteran and said that he had done his part for the family.

ìI donít feel like I will recover. People say in time it heals, but right now I donít feel like it,î Harriet Goodiron said. ìHe took a big piece of my heart. The love you have for a child Ö

each death is different. I lost my grandma and grandpa, my dad and a brother; those were hard, but itís different to lose your own child, someone you carry for nine months. I wanted him to be healthy when he grew up, I wanted him to have a good life and I did everything to make that life good for him.î

Threats of a protest at the funeral came from the religious group at Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, which has protested other military funerals.

The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation Business Council passed a resolution to prohibit any demonstrations during any funeral on Fort Berthold.

ìThe Tribal Business Council believes it is in our best interest, as the elected leaders, to protect the honor of our tribal soldiers and the honor of all tribal members by prohibiting any protesters, Indian or non-Indian, access to the Fort Berthold Reservation,î said Chairman Marcus Wells Jr.

Jeff White, acting chief of police at Fort Berthold, said that no protesters had been observed attempting to enter, or being on, the reservation.

MANDAREE, N.D. ñ An entire community and much of a state gathered in person or in spirit to lay the body of a young soldier from the Fort Berthold Reservation to rest.Army National Guard Cpl. Nathan Goodiron, 25, Hidatsa, died of wounds suffered on Thanksgiving Day in Afghanistan.An estimated 1,500 people from the Fort Berthold Reservation and from across the region filled two school gymnasiums and hallways during the funeral, and the final procession by the open casket.Goodiron is survived by a wife, Eileen; a son and two stepchildren; his parents, Paul and Harriet Goodiron; a brother and grandmothers. ìThere are no words that can express the support for my family,î said Harriet Goodiron.ìMy grandfather always said be good to people, you will need them. I think thatís what he meant when we were growing up,î she said.Harriet Goodiron raised her two boys to be good to people, and that is how Nathan will be remembered by most people. ìNathan was my oldest. Everyone mentioned how well mannered Nathan was. He loved people and he loved life, he was an adventurer and surrounded himself with people when he was growing up,î she said.North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven attended the funeral and referred to Nathan Goodiron as a ìtrue warrior and a true North Dakota hero; he didnít set out to be a hero, but his principles and his character made him one.îMilitary personnel and veteransí organizations from North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana provided the military presence, and veterans and active duty members stopped at the casket as they led the procession to offer a final salute. Harriet Goodiron said the day the family brought Nathanís body from the airport was cold and that there were some blizzard conditions, but that did not hamper a stream of people lined up to honor Nathan and support the family.ìPeople were standing along the way; the cold didnít bother them,î she said.ìI appreciate that, and we [the family] will always cherish that in our hearts.ìItís hard to accept how he died. When kids are growing up I never knew I was raising my son to go into war and be killed. You read it in the papers and see it on TV, but you never know it could be you,î she said.Harriet Goodiron said she tried to talk her son out of going into the military when he was a junior in high school. But in 2001, two years after he graduated, he finally convinced her and enlisted.ìMy regret is I should have held him back, but I let him fulfill the dream he always wanted to do,î she said.ìI appreciate the things everyone is doing, but I would much rather have my son here, but Iím still thankful for what they are doing. Itís a greater loss than everyone could ever think. I never thought this would happen,î she said.Nathan Goodironís cousin, C.J. OíBerry, was in Afghanistan with Nathan when he died. OíBerry attended the funeral and is scheduled to return to duty. ìI prayed and knelt down every night, and prayed and prayed for them to come home. Sometimes things are beyond our control; itís the Creatorís way, itís something we canít help,î she said.As Harriet Goodiron mourns the loss of her first-born, Nathanís younger brother is scheduled to attend basic training soon. ìWe have talked to the military, we donít want him going and heís agreeable. We will see what we can do,î she said.She said the family is advising young men to stay out of the military; and as for family members, ìone loss is enough.îNathanís father, Paul Goodiron, is a Vietnam veteran and said that he had done his part for the family.ìI donít feel like I will recover. People say in time it heals, but right now I donít feel like it,î Harriet Goodiron said. ìHe took a big piece of my heart. The love you have for a child Ö each death is different. I lost my grandma and grandpa, my dad and a brother; those were hard, but itís different to lose your own child, someone you carry for nine months. I wanted him to be healthy when he grew up, I wanted him to have a good life and I did everything to make that life good for him.îThreats of a protest at the funeral came from the religious group at Westboro Baptist Church of Kansas, which has protested other military funerals.The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation Business Council passed a resolution to prohibit any demonstrations during any funeral on Fort Berthold.ìThe Tribal Business Council believes it is in our best interest, as the elected leaders, to protect the honor of our tribal soldiers and the honor of all tribal members by prohibiting any protesters, Indian or non-Indian, access to the Fort Berthold Reservation,î said Chairman Marcus Wells Jr.Jeff White, acting chief of police at Fort Berthold, said that no protesters had been observed attempting to enter, or being on, the reservation.