News: North Dakota Army National Guard Soldier Deployed to Kosovo Dies
CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo - Sgt. Terry L. Rishling, a North Dakota Army National Guard Soldier from Fargo, N.D., died at 6:04 p.m., Feb. 10, (1:04 a.m. Feb. 11, Kosovo time) while deployed to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, with Multi-National Battle Group - East, Kosovo Forces 12, on a NATO peacekeeping mission.
Rishling, 38, a team leader for Third Squad, Third Platoon, was assigned to Alpha Company, 231st Maneuver Task Force, a unit based in Valley City, N.D. He did not die as a result of combat-related injuries or as a result of any accident. Rishling had not been feeling well and, earlier in the evening, went to the hospital, where he later died of apparent natural causes.
"Mikey and I are joined by all North Dakotans in mourning the loss of Sgt. Terry Rishling, a true patriot who dedicated his life to the cause of defending our homeland and preserving peace around the world," said North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven. "Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and friends in their time of grieving. We extend to them our deepest sympathy for their loss and our heartfelt gratitude for Sgt. Rishling's distinguished service to our state and nation."
A special ceremony will be held for Rishling Feb. 12 in Pristina, Kosovo. The event will be attended by Brig. Gen Al Dohrmann, MNBG-E commander, Col. Bob Fode, MNBG-E maneuver commander, Lt. Col. Lee Nordin, commander of the 231st MTF, Chaplain (Maj.) Maurice Millican, MNBG-E command chaplain, Command Sgt. Maj. Jack Cripe, MNBG-E senior enlisted Soldier, senior leaders of the 231st MTF and many other Soldiers serving in Kosovo.
A ramp ceremony is an opportunity for fellow service members to honor and show respect prior to the deceased Soldier taking his final flight home.
"Our entire National Guard family is deeply saddened by the loss of Sgt. Terry Rishling," said Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk, adjutant general for the North Dakota National Guard. "Terry was a professional Soldier serving his state and nation and the people of Kosovo during this peacekeeping mission. He remains foremost in our thoughts and prayers; our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends in this time of grief."
The Soldiers of MNBG-E will pay special tribute to Rishling with a memorial ceremony scheduled for Monday at Camp Bondsteel.
"We are deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Sgt. Rishling, a member of our Multi-National Battle Group-East family," Dohrmann said. "Our hearts grieve along with his Family and friends and our thoughts and prayers go out to them in hopes that they might provide comfort during these difficult days. The loss of Terry is felt across our NATO force. His selfless service to his state and nation, as well as his place in our family, will not be forgotten."
Rishling enlisted with Charlie Company, 141st Engineer Combat Battalion, Bismarck, N.D., of the North Dakota Army National Guard, on July 13, 2001. On Sept. 1, 2005, he joined Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 141st Engineer Combat Battalion in Valley City, and then transferred to Alpha Company, 231st Brigade Support Battalion on Sept. 26, 2006.
"Yesterday we lost one of our own," said Lt. Col. Lee Nordin. "Every Soldier in Task Force Defender will grieve this profound loss in their own way and together as a unit. Terry was a member of our team, our family, and we will honor his memory together, both at the ramp ceremony and at a memorial service planned by his unit Monday. He will not be forgotten and his Family and friends are in our thoughts."
Rishling is survived by his wife, Nancy A. (Gailfus) Rishling; daughters, Sophie E. Rishling, 8, and Courtney M. Rishling, 20, Fargo; and his parents, John and Gloria Rishling, Belcourt, N.D.
Rishling was employed at Jet-Way in Fargo for about three years. The company specializes in industrial cleaning of agricultural facilities.