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GFAFB hosts bench dedication for the late Marijo Shide

Col. Jeremy Thiel, 319th Air Base Wing vice commander, stands beside the Grand Forks Air Force Base Ambassadors at a bench dedication ceremony April 20, 2018, on Grand Forks AFB, N.D. The ceremony honored of the late Marijo Shide, a fellow ambassador who passionately served her community. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elora J. Martinez)

Col. Jeremy Thiel, 319th Air Base Wing vice commander, stands beside the Grand Forks Air Force Base Ambassadors at a bench dedication ceremony April 20, 2018, on Grand Forks AFB, N.D. The ceremony honored of the late Marijo Shide, a fellow ambassador who passionately served her community. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elora J. Martinez)

Members of Marijo Shide’s family pose for a photo behind a memorial in her honor, following the ceremony attended by more than 50 Airmen, ambassadors, friends and family members April 20, 2018, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. The dedicated bench stands near the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action Memorial Park, near the front gate of the base, and is open to the public. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elora J. Martinez)

Members of Marijo Shide’s family pose for a photo behind a memorial in her honor, following the ceremony attended by more than 50 Airmen, ambassadors, friends and family members April 20, 2018, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. The dedicated bench stands near the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action Memorial Park, near the front gate of the base, and is open to the public. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elora J. Martinez)

A friend of the late Marijo Shide, Grand Forks Air Force Base Ambassador, admires the new dedicated bench on behalf of Shide, April 20, 2018, on Grand Forks AFB, N.D. More than 50 Airmen, ambassadors, friends and family members gathered in honor of Shide, who lived as an example of her motto, “Volunteer service is the rent we pay for the privileges we enjoy.” (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elora J. Martinez)

A friend of the late Marijo Shide, Grand Forks Air Force Base Ambassador, admires the new dedicated bench on behalf of Shide, April 20, 2018, on Grand Forks AFB, N.D. More than 50 Airmen, ambassadors, friends and family members gathered in honor of Shide, who lived as an example of her motto, “Volunteer service is the rent we pay for the privileges we enjoy.” (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elora J. Martinez)

GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The Grand Forks Air Force Base Ambassadors held a bench dedication ceremony for the late Marijo Shide, April 20, 2018, at Grand Forks AFB, N.D.
 

More than 50 Airmen, ambassadors, friends and family members from the local community attended the dedication ceremony to honor Shide, a Grand Forks AFB Ambassador herself, who passed May 22, 2017.

“Marijo loved the Air Force. She always served the city of Grand Forks as someone who is the embodiment of North Dakota hospitality and spirit,” said Jim Bradshaw, GFAFB ambassador. 

The bench engraved with Shide’s name and date of death stands near the front gate of the base, beside other memorials dedicated to the men and women of Grand Forks AFB who were prisoners of war or missing in action. 

“Nobody could doubt Marijo was a strategic figure and someone with an eye on the future, as Grand Forks Air Force Base was concerned,” said Bradshaw.

Shide had many accomplishments during her life, thanks to the time and dedication she invested into servicing her community. She lived as an example of her motto, “Volunteer service is the rent we pay for the privileges we enjoy.”

“One look at the list of her accomplishments and contributions to her community and this base, it is clear she paid more rent than most,” said Col. Jeremy Thiel, 319th Air Base Wing vice commander.   

Shide was a constant supporter of Grand Forks AFB, and in 2006 was selected for the Air Force Chief of Staff Civic Leader group. She also received the National Service Award Medal of the United States Air Force in 2009, the highest award the Air Force can give a civilian. 

“She personified her father’s patriotism, bettering the Air Force with every action she took on our behalf,” Thiel remarked.   

The dedicated bench is available for viewing to the public in the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action Memorial Park, near the front gate of the base.