Local U.S. Air Force veteran sleeps outside for a cause

He calls the challenge Operation: Sleep Out, and will be spending 17 nights outside to raise money and awareness for Ukrainians in combat.

Lindquist sets up tent.jpg
Mark J. Lindquist sets up his tent at Broadway Square.
Jay Dahl / WDAY News
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FARGO — A local U.S. Air Force veteran is sleeping outside to raise money to help Ukrainians currently in combat.

Mark J. Lindquist, who is also a motivational speaker and a national anthem singer for sporting events like NFL games, recently returned from a nine-month humanitarian mission to Ukraine.

He now wants to make people aware that those fighting there must sleep with little to no shelter in similar conditions to those in the United States Upper Midwest.

"I figured this would be a great message to spread to the Americans here who know what it's like to live through a cold winter. And so they might know what winter weather gear we could donate," Lindquist said.

According to Lindquist, the Donbas region of Ukraine, where he spent time during his humanitarian mission, is the same latitude as International Falls, Minnesota.


This led him to embark on what he calls Operation: Sleep Out; a 17-day challenge where he will sleep outside in Fargo and potentially elsewhere in the Upper Midwest.

The challenge starts Friday, Dec. 16, with two nights at Broadway Square. Then he is moving on to Whale of a Wash on 13th Avenue and Junkyard Brewing Company in Moorhead. Lindquist says where he goes from there will depend on who's interested in supporting his cause.

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"I put a call out to the community for other places to host me. Backyards, parking lots, football fields..... and the response has been incredible," Lindquist said.

Lindquist also emphasizes the connections he has made during his nine months in Ukraine, saying that those who donate can be confident that contributions will go directly to those who need them.

For more information on the challenge, or to donate, visit

Related Topics: UKRAINE
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