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Former Fargo VFW commander remembered for helping vets battling PTSD

Fifty-five-year-old Rick Kuhn, of West Fargo, was buried this week at the Fargo National Cemetery. Fellow veterans say his efforts to raise awareness about suicide and veterans will pay off for generations.

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Rick Kuhn of West Fargo was buried at the Fargo National Cemetery, the week of Sept. 19, 2022. He was 55 years old.
Contributed / Kuhn family
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WEST FARGO — A former VFW commander is being remembered for quietly and delicately changing the lives of struggling veterans in the Red River Valley.

"He would show them, take them by the hand if he had to," said Barry Warren, a longtime friend who served in the North Dakota National Guard with Rick Kuhn.

Warren and his friend Jon Darling — another longtime friend of Kuhn's — are sure going to miss their fishing partner and confidant.

"We called ourselves the three amigos. We liked to fish, we liked to hunt and we did a lot of things together," Darling said.

When Kuhn returned from deployments with the National Guard over the years, he not only talked the talk, he walked the walk. Very publicly.

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"We just like to give back to the community; it's just how we're raised and what we do," Kuhn said in a WDAY-TV news clip from 2018.

"A lot of us, we hear about veterans committing suicide over the years and we say, 'Ah geeze, that's too bad. Man, that's tough.' But Rick stepped forward, and he wanted to do something to help those veterans in need," Darling said.

More from WDAY's Kevin Wallevand

Kuhn was often found leading local efforts to help area veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"(Kuhn) seldom talked about his achievements," Warren said.

This week, a huge crowd gathered at the Fargo National Cemetery where Kuhn, at just 55 years old, was laid to rest after battling poor health. It is clear this former VFW commander had made a mark.

"I don't think he'd ever show it, but he was. He knew he was doing something good for others, and he never gloated about what he did," Darling said.

Kuhn will be remembered as a stalwart supporter when it came to veterans and their battles, doing so without ever wanting the accolades and thanks he deserved.

On Thursday, Sept. 22, at 9:22 a.m., as a way to honor Rick's memory and his work, there will be a special 22 Walk to Remember. The walk will begin at the VFW downtown to the Fargo Veteran's Affairs. It is a 2.2 mile walk.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Contact Email: kwallevand@wday.com
Phone Number: (701) 241-5317
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