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NADRA Minnesota Chapter Builds New Deck for Local Soldier
6 years, 1 month ago Posted in: Industry News 0

Staff Seargent Todd Everson Receives Free Deck from NADRA  MN Members

SOURCE: 05/31/2011

Todd Everson during depolyment in Iraq

A brand new deck built for local soldier, Todd Everson by the Minnesota chapter of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) for the Deck for a Soldier® campaign was unveiled over Memorial Day Weekend.


According to the NADRA news release, Everson was selected through an application process to receive a professionally designed and built deck by members of the NADRA MN Chapter. All materials and labor were donated by the association’s members.

“Our members were very excited about participating in the Deck for a Soldier campaign,” Noonan says. “It’s an honor to come together and pay tribute to this brave service men and women who made sacrifices on our behalf.”

NADRA launched its Deck For a Soldier program in 2007; this is a community effort that expresses our appreciation for the service and dedication of the men and women of our armed forces. The project will be completed with strictly donated materials, time and labor.

About Staff Seargent Todd Everson
On December 2, 2006, SSG John Kriesel, vehicle commander of a fully armored Humvee, was the second vehicle of a two vehicle convoy traveling 2 miles southwest of Fallujah, Iraq. The lead vehicle was a Bradley Fighting Vehicle (tank) with Sergeants Adam Gallant and Todd Everson on board. As their convoy turned south, a roadside bomb caused the vehicle to roll off the road. The crew of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle immediately came to their rescue.  Sergeant Everson called for a medivac, then he and Sergeant Gallant performed first aid while another Specialist took over the main gun in the Bradley turret to provide security and prevent any follow-on attack on the disabled convoy.

Todd Everson (L) alongside MN Rep John Kriesel (R) whom he saved in Fallujah, Iraq

“My injuries were very severe and unfortunately, we also sustained some casualties that day,” said Kriesel. “I had extensive injuries to my legs and arm. Sergeant Gallant was the first to come to my aid.  He applied a tourniquet to my right leg which was bleeding profusely. Sergeant Everson then took over.  During this time, they were both also providing aid to other injured soldiers. Sergeant Everson then put a tourniquet on my left leg, treated me for shock, and then applied dressings to my wounds to keep them clean. Throughout this traumatic experience, not only did they treat my wounds, but they comforted me, kept me calm and kept me talking.  The medivac helicopter arrived and we were loaded on and transferred to Taquaddum Surgical for further medical treatment.

Sergeant’s Everson and Gallant acted selflessly and heroically that day in order to save the lives of others. “A calmness actually came over me and in the midst of all the destruction, my thought was that if I freak out and give these soldiers substandard care, John (Kriesel) and the rest won’t make it,” said Sergeant Everson.  “I had to provide the best care I could until a higher level of medical aid could take over. If it wasn’t for Sergeant Gallant and I working together, there could have been a much worse outcome.  I know if the roles were reversed, they would have done the same for me.”

They both agree that the training they received in the military helped them react quickly and responsively.  “The military trains all its personnel to react in situations such as ours that day,” said Sergeant Gallant.  “You hope that you never have to be in such a situation but when you do, the process teaches you not to panic and make it worse, but to do things  properly – step by step – and do the best you can until those with advanced training arrive. There are some things you just can’t train for though and nothing prepares you to see your friends lying severely injured or worse.”

SSG Kriesel said he owes his life to these soldiers. “Despite my severe injuries and extensive blood loss, I survived because of the first aid performed by Sergeants Gallant and Everson.  Although we had no medics with us on this convoy, these men performed flawlessly with no room for error in a hostile area without regard for their own well being. I am alive today and able to raise my family because of these fine soldiers.

SSG Kriesel lost both of his legs in that roadside bomb explosion, and no one expected him to survive. He died three times on the operating table. Miracles, a lot of miracles, starting with SSF Gallant and Everson who refused to let him die in Iraq, ripped the young warrior from the grip of death and sent him on to four hospitals, thirty-five surgeries, and months of recovery and rehabilitation.  Upon returning from Iraq, SSG Kriesel, successfully ran for the Minnesota State House of Representatives.  On the day in which his first bill pass the legislature, Kriesel was joined by Everson, the man who saved him five years earlier.  Todd Everson was there on John Kriesel’s worst day, so it was only appropriate that he sat behind the freshmen legislator on one of his best days.

The North American Deck and Railing Association, NADRA is the voice of the deck & railing industry promoting national Deck Safety Month, helping guide code writing and regulations with ICC and sponsoring DECK EXPO, the premiere trade event for the deck, dock, and railing industry.

The Mission of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) is to provide a unified source for the professional development, promotion, growth, and sustenance of the Deck and Railing building industry in North America so that members can exceed the expectations of their customers.

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