‘Stars and Stripes’ honors son’s service
By JOLENE STEVENS
SIOUIX CENTER – The day was a warm and busy one for Kathy Erickson as she supervised activities on July 13 at the Stars and Stripes food stand at the Sioux County Fair, in Sioux Center.
Erickson, whio lives in Lawton, said the food stand’s responsibilities had special meaning for her and other members of her family.
The stand made its initial appearance in June at Sioux City’s Awesome Bikers event. Kathy and Roger Erickson purchased it in April, for their son, Army Sgt. Justin Erickson
“He’d returned to the states after two military missions in Iraq,” Kathy Erickson said, “and we thought he might enjoy it as something to do.
“He had been looking forward to taking it to various events.”
Such was not to be. Back to the states and stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, Justin Erickson, 27, and a 2005 Le Mars Community High School graduate, died May 29 of injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident in El Paso, Texas.
“We feel we’re carrying on with what Justin had wanted to do,” Kathy Erickson said. “Working with it also gives us a feeling of our still being connected with him despite his death.”
She was preparing to serve up food at another event later in the week in Winnebago, Neb.
“It’s a way, too, to help us make our way through the grief that comes with what has happened,” she said. “We feel the stand as we’ve painted it with the stars and stripes it can also be seen as a tribute to not only Justin, but all who have served and are serving today in the military.”
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