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The Good Life – November-December 2021

On the cover – Assistant United States Attorney, Chris Myers. In the magazine – Local Hero and Veteran, Tom Krabbenhoft, Fargo-Moorhead Adult Hockey, Professional Bagpiper and Instructor, Dan Aird, Dad Life and more!

On the cover – Assistant United States Attorney, Chris Myers. In the magazine – Local Hero and Veteran, Tom Krabbenhoft, Fargo-Moorhead Adult Hockey, Professional Bagpiper and Instructor, Dan Aird, Dad Life and more!

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FATHERS | DAD LIFE<br />

Six Totally Legit<br />

Dad-Approved<br />

Side Hustles<br />

WRITTEN BY: PAUL HANKEL<br />

As the holidays approach many<br />

families find themselves tight<br />

on funds. While this situation is<br />

stressful, it has never been quicker<br />

or easier to pick up a side gig or<br />

side hustle to help supplement your<br />

main income streams.<br />

Below are six seasonal options that<br />

could add some quick holiday cash<br />

to your coffers.<br />

Snag a local seasonal or temporary<br />

position.<br />

<strong>The</strong>re are lots of great temporary<br />

or seasonal gigs available during<br />

the holidays. Many large retailers<br />

and businesses are looking to<br />

supplement their staffing in order<br />

to deal with the increase in business<br />

during the holiday months.<br />

• Retailers such as Target, Scheel's,<br />

and Hobby Lobby are extremely<br />

busy during the holidays and are<br />

always looking to hire for retail,<br />

stocking, and overnight positions.<br />

2 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com<br />

• <strong>The</strong> recently opened Amazon<br />

distribution center is another<br />

great option for those looking for<br />

temporary work. <strong>The</strong>y offer training,<br />

and flexible scheduling.<br />

• UPS/FedEx<br />

<strong>The</strong>se two shipping giants, along<br />

with Amazon, reported shipping<br />

close to 3 billion parcels during the<br />

<strong>2021</strong> holiday season. To accomplish<br />

this feat, they hire thousands of<br />

seasonal workers to help sort,<br />

process, and ship those parcels.<br />

While physically demanding, these<br />

temporary positions pay well and<br />

have a lot of different hours and<br />

shifts available.<br />

Consider starting an e-commerce<br />

site and selling products online.<br />

It has never been quicker or easier<br />

to start an online business. Will you<br />

become an overnight millionaire?<br />

Probably not. However, there are<br />

millions of online entrepreneurs<br />

who make or supplement their living<br />

by operating an online business.<br />

Of all of the suggested side hustles<br />

in this list, an e-commerce store<br />

will undoubtedly be the most timeintensive.<br />

However, if done properly,<br />

it could become a permanent<br />

revenue stream for you and your<br />

family.<br />

While I want to tell you the process<br />

is as simple as finding a product or<br />

service you like and then selling it<br />

online, the real process does take<br />

some research and time to bring<br />

to fruition. That being said, online


sales spike 45% during the holidays, meaning billions of<br />

people are online and spending money. Why not be one<br />

of the online retailers selling them a product?<br />

To find out more about this very viable potential side<br />

hustle, I would recommend beginning by going to<br />

YouTube and watching some general informational<br />

videos on how to best get your e-commerce store going.<br />

I'm not going to lie to you <strong>–</strong> there are a lot of scammy<br />

YouTube videos that are trying to get you to sign up for<br />

their e-commerce training packages that they promise<br />

will lead to millions in sales for your business. Meh,<br />

highly unlikely.<br />

Instead, look for general informational videos that offer<br />

a free overview of dropshipping, e-commerce, and selling<br />

online.<br />

• Uber Eats<br />

If being a standard Uber driver and driving people to their<br />

holiday parties sounds a little too..."COVID-y" for you,<br />

consider delivering Uber Eats as your safer less people-y<br />

option. Drivers report earning up to $12 on average after<br />

gas expenses. While that hourly rate isn't particularly<br />

high, the flexibility of being able to work however much<br />

or little you want and being able to pick when you work<br />

makes food delivery seem like a great option for those<br />

looking to make some quick holiday cash.<br />

• Concert and Event Staff<br />

<strong>The</strong> holidays are prime concert and event season and<br />

those events need staff! Local promoters and event<br />

venues such as Jade Presents and the Fargodome are<br />

always looking to hire motivated staff to help work their<br />

various holiday conc erts and events. You can check with<br />

any local events company or venue to apply.<br />

• Snow Removal<br />

Are you a night owl with a valid driver's license? If so<br />

then an overnight snow removal job may be right up your<br />

alley!<br />

Snow removal jobs are seasonal and typically highpaying<br />

and duties are performed in the early mornings<br />

or late at night. This is especially ideal for those who<br />

work a regular day job.<br />

A quick web search will list all the seasonal snow<br />

removal jobs in your local area.<br />

<strong>The</strong> holidays are filled with lots of potentially stressful<br />

situations. Travel, getting time off, planning or hosting for<br />

family or work parties…it's a lot. <strong>The</strong> last thing you want<br />

on your mind is not having the funds to make ends meet.<br />

While everyone's situation is different, the advancement<br />

of the internet and the gig economy has made it so that<br />

anyone with a pulse, a little bit of motivation, and even<br />

just a few free hours per week can make some serious<br />

supplemental income. Look into it! •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 3


Contents<br />

VOLUME 9 | ISSUE 3<br />

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER <strong>2021</strong><br />

Dad <strong>Life</strong>. 02<br />

Six Totally Legit Dad-Approved Side Hustles<br />

Strapped for cash this holiday season? It’s never been quicker or easier to snag a seasonal or temporary<br />

position to support your holiday spending.<br />

A Heart for the Highlands. 06<br />

Professional bagpiper and instructor, Dan Aird, shares about his love for piping and his unconventional path<br />

in life.<br />

Fargo-Moorhead Adult Hockey. 10<br />

A Club for Everyone<br />

No matter your skill level or gender, the Fargo-Moorhead Adult Hockey Club is the perfect fit for you.<br />

Helping Hands Save Lives. 14<br />

Fargo Rescue Works with Nature's Gentlest Giants<br />

Pride and Joy Rescue, a Fargo nonprofit, is working to create a better life for some of nature's gentlest giants.<br />

On the Cover . 18<br />

Coaching Justice: From the Rink to the Courtroom<br />

Assistant United States Attorney Chris Myers shares his personal story and the lessons he’s learned in life as a<br />

hockey coach and prosecutor.<br />

Having a Beer with Alex and Kevin . 24<br />

Alex Taylor and Kevin Flynn of “<strong>The</strong> Need to Know Morning Show” sit down for a beer with Meghan Feir to<br />

discuss important topics, such as whether dolls or clowns are creepier.<br />

Salute to Blue. 28<br />

D-S Beverages held a "Salute to Blue" event to say "thank you" to our local law enforcement. Area businesses<br />

were happy to sponsor the event and show their appreciation and respect.<br />

Local Hero 30<br />

Tom Krabbenhoft<br />

From Minnesota to Alaska to the Middle East and back again,<br />

Local Hero Tom Krabbenhoft attracts adventure and strives<br />

to serve meaningfully.<br />

4 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


PUBLISHED BY<br />

Urban Toad Media LLP<br />

www.urbantoadmedia.com<br />

OWNER / GRAPHIC DESIGNER<br />

Dawn Siewert<br />

dawn@urbantoadmedia.com<br />

OWNER / PHOTOGRAPHER<br />

Darren Losee<br />

darren@urbantoadmedia.com<br />

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS<br />

Meghan Feir<br />

Paul Hankel<br />

Krissy Ness<br />

Alexis Swenson<br />

Emma Vatnsdal<br />

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES<br />

Dawn Siewert<br />

dawn@urbantoadmedia.com<br />

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<strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong> Men’s Magazine is distributed six times a year by<br />

Urban Toad Media LLP. Material may not be reproduced without<br />

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reader dissatisfaction arising from content in this publication. <strong>The</strong><br />

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writers or advertisers and do not necessarily represent the views or<br />

policies of <strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong> Men’s Magazine.<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 5


hen you meet Dan Aird, the<br />

W<br />

first thing you might notice is<br />

his calm demeanor. But behind<br />

those dark blue eyes and softspoken<br />

voice lies a treasure trove of<br />

unexpected stories.<br />

Aird’s life has been anything but average.<br />

From choosing to play the bagpipes as<br />

his instrument of choice to teaching<br />

students in Scotland how to play their<br />

national instrument, he has made many<br />

captivating choices. He was a member<br />

of the Air Force, studied archeology, and<br />

has been a teacher in various capacities.<br />

Throughout his childhood and teenage<br />

years, Aird and his family moved around<br />

the state of North Dakota. Born in Devils<br />

Lake, Aird moved as a child to Lawton,<br />

where his native Scottish grandfather<br />

built and managed a grain elevator in<br />

1903 after finding gold in the Yukon.<br />

6 / THE GOOD LIFE<br />

WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN FEIR<br />

PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA


Aird and his family also lived in<br />

Dickinson for a short stint before<br />

moving to Medora in 1957. He went<br />

to high school in neighboring Montana<br />

before coming to Fargo to attend North<br />

Dakota State University for a degree<br />

in zoology and a minor in physical<br />

science. Aird eventually joined the Air<br />

Force in 1969.<br />

While serving in the Air Force,<br />

Aird had both of his desired station<br />

requests granted.<br />

“When I was in the service, they had<br />

a wish sheet for where you’d like<br />

to be stationed,” Aird said. “I put in<br />

Spokane, Wash., because it was near<br />

where there was a pipe band, and I<br />

knew some of the people who played.”<br />

After spending two and a half years in<br />

Spokane, Aird had a second request<br />

granted and was next stationed at the<br />

only Air Force base in England at RAF<br />

Lakenheath for over a year.<br />

“When I was leaving the service, they<br />

had a program where if you were<br />

stationed in some other country when<br />

you got out, you could stay there for<br />

awhile and they’d fly you back,” Aird<br />

said, “so I then went up to Scotland<br />

and went to <strong>The</strong> College of Piping in<br />

Glasgow. I taught beginners and gave<br />

lessons there at the college, one year<br />

at Glasgow High School, and one year<br />

at Kelvinside Academy. I got a half-hour<br />

lesson from the head instructor in the<br />

morning and another half hour in the<br />

afternoon.”<br />

Before his feet ever tread on Scottish<br />

soil, Aird was already hooked on the<br />

pipes. Prior to his Fargo and Air Force<br />

days, one of Aird’s friends got him into<br />

piping after high school.<br />

Piper ~ Dan Aird<br />

When i was leaving the service, they<br />

had a program where if you were<br />

stationed in some other country when<br />

you got out, you could stay there for<br />

awhile and they’d fly you back. so i<br />

then went up to scotland and went to<br />

the college of piping in glasgow.<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 7


It is an instrument steeped in history,<br />

embodying a strong vein of Aird’s heritage.<br />

“I had a friend my age who helped<br />

me get started. I had been doing<br />

exercises on the practice chanter<br />

before Doug really got me going and<br />

on to the bagpipe itself. <strong>The</strong>n I went<br />

to his teacher,” Aird said. “<strong>The</strong>re<br />

were no other pipers around, so I<br />

would go up to Canada where my<br />

friend’s teacher was, and sometimes<br />

I’d play in parades with him and his<br />

son.”<br />

A Strong Set of Pipes<br />

With two Gaelic-speaking<br />

grandfathers who had emigrated<br />

from Scotland with wild stories of<br />

their own, it is no wonder Aird’s<br />

rich Scottish heritage is a source<br />

of immense fascination and pride.<br />

Clearly, the independent spirit of<br />

the Scots flows through his veins as<br />

he’s carved out his unconventional<br />

path through life.<br />

Aird’s bagpipes also have a tale<br />

to tell. Decades ago, his friend,<br />

Douglas Bremner, the same man<br />

who got him into piping, ordered<br />

a $28 bagpipe from a shop in<br />

Pakistan.<br />

<strong>The</strong> order didn’t arrive.<br />

Years later, the instrument was<br />

delivered with an extra set of<br />

bagpipes and a note. In the letter,<br />

the sender of the package explained<br />

how his shop had been bombed in<br />

the Indo-Pakistani War. It took him a<br />

few years to start his life’s work over<br />

again.<br />

To honor his word and show remorse<br />

for the delayed order, he’d sent two<br />

instruments. <strong>The</strong> quality of both sets<br />

of pipes was impeccable and has<br />

since been the envy of other pipers.<br />

Aird bought that extra set of pipes<br />

from his friend for only $14, and it’s<br />

proven to be the most worthwhile<br />

$14 he’s ever spent in his life.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Plaid Piper<br />

Years after he serendipitously<br />

acquired his bagpipes, the two<br />

instruments from that little music<br />

shop in Pakistan have been reunited<br />

in song. Aird and his friend Doug’s<br />

daughter play together in the<br />

Heather and Thistle Pipes and<br />

Drums band in Fargo.<br />

He’s been a part of the musical<br />

group since its inception in 1992,<br />

using his passion for the pipes to<br />

teach students, direct and play<br />

for the many events they perform<br />

every year. <strong>The</strong>y most often play for<br />

parades, such as the St. Patrick’s<br />

Day Parade in Fargo, but some of<br />

the events they play for are far less<br />

joyful and lighthearted.<br />

One of the experiences that stand<br />

out the most for Aird was when they<br />

played for a 9-11 memorial service,<br />

along with playing at a service for a<br />

man who had died in that national<br />

tragedy.<br />

Whether for joyful or solemn events,<br />

Aird and other skilled bagpipers<br />

have a distinct way of evoking pride,<br />

excitement and tears from those<br />

who listen to the moving drone and<br />

skirl of the pipes.<br />

It is an instrument steeped in<br />

history, embodying a strong vein<br />

of Aird’s heritage. Thanks to<br />

his interest, dedication and<br />

tutelage, the skills needed to<br />

play the bagpipes have been<br />

passed down to younger<br />

generations, keeping the<br />

traditions alive. •


agpipes 101<br />

<strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>: Does rain hurt bagpipes?<br />

Dan Aird: Not really. In Scotland<br />

it rains all the time. <strong>The</strong> problem<br />

is you can get water run down the<br />

drones and stop the reed, so they<br />

don’t sound. If you hold it at an angle<br />

it doesn’t go in as easily.<br />

GL: How many people in this area<br />

play?<br />

DA: <strong>The</strong>re are around 20 pipers in<br />

our band.<br />

GL: What are five of your favorite<br />

songs to play?<br />

DA: I like “Calum Campbell’s<br />

Caprice,” “Crossing the Minch,”<br />

and “<strong>The</strong> Carnival Reel,” and “Big<br />

John O’Neill’s Hornpipe,” and “<strong>The</strong><br />

Highland Wedding,” but there are so<br />

many other good ones too.<br />

GL: How can someone know they’re<br />

buying a good set of bagpipes?<br />

DA: Usually people order them on<br />

the internet now. Any pipe made in<br />

Scotland is a good pipe, no matter<br />

which maker it is. <strong>The</strong> average<br />

spend is around $1,200, but you can<br />

get them for any price. If you want a<br />

$1 million bagpipe, you can get one.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y’ll encrust it with diamonds if<br />

you want and make it out of solid<br />

gold, if you like.<br />

GL: If you treat pipes well, how long<br />

can your instrument last?<br />

DA: Forever. <strong>The</strong> only thing to<br />

happen is if you’re a really wet<br />

blower, the blowpipe sometimes<br />

cracks, but that can be replaced. All<br />

the good pipes are made of wood. •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 9


FARGO-MOORHEAD ADULT HOCKEY<br />

A CLUB FOR EVERYONE<br />

WRITTEN BY: KRISSY NESS<br />

PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA<br />

When it comes to hockey in<br />

the Fargo-Moorhead area,<br />

there are a few different<br />

options. Still, nothing can compare<br />

to the Fargo-Moorhead Adult Hockey<br />

Club (FMAHC).<br />

Founder and player, Skyler Severns,<br />

moved to Fargo from Seattle,<br />

Washington and wasn't sure what<br />

he would find when he arrived<br />

here. Having no previous skating<br />

experience before his move, where<br />

he needed to start looking was a<br />

challenge. Of course, there are<br />

bar leagues and the Fargo Parks<br />

district leagues, but he was looking<br />

for something more, something<br />

different, so he created it.<br />

<strong>The</strong> FMAHC more closely resembles<br />

a minor league team with all skill<br />

levels instead of a bar league. "We<br />

try not to call it a bar league, largely<br />

because we don't let bars advertise<br />

on an individual team," said Severns.<br />

However, "we do allow bars to<br />

advertise for the whole league."<br />

What is unique about this club is<br />

they run three drop-ins, which are<br />

not officiated games, per week<br />

year-round. Additionally, they have<br />

development sessions for new<br />

players and this is all open to the<br />

public. "We have some players who<br />

have played in the junior leagues<br />

and then some players, like me, who<br />

haven't played very much hockey at<br />

all," stated Severns.<br />

In addition to drop-ins, the perks<br />

of this league include personalized<br />

team jerseys, playing cards with<br />

your picture and stats on them,<br />

pre and post-season gatherings,<br />

and the ability to hit the ice during<br />

any reserved practice times at the<br />

Scheels Arena <strong>–</strong> where the games<br />

take place.<br />

10 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


All games, including playoff<br />

and championship games, are<br />

streamed online via Facebook<br />

live, Vimeo, and YouTube. This<br />

isn't your average run-of-the-mill,<br />

fish-eyed lens camera; FMAHC<br />

really got into production with live<br />

commentary, a score bug, and onair<br />

advertising.<br />

For this club, there are six teams,<br />

10 skaters per team, and one<br />

goalie. Each team plays 15 games,<br />

and if you advance, there are also<br />

playoffs and a championship game.<br />

<strong>The</strong> season goes from January to<br />

April, and you must be 18 years<br />

old to join the drop-in games and<br />

development sessions, but at least<br />

21 to be in the league.<br />

When the roster fills up, or you<br />

are not sure you can commit to an<br />

entire season, you can also jump<br />

on the substitutions and waitlist.<br />

"If we get enough active players on<br />

the reserve list, then we will open<br />

up the reserve line and have 15<br />

skaters and one goalie per team,"<br />

mentioned Severns.<br />

Another bonus of this league is<br />

that it is co-ed. It is exciting to see a<br />

club strictly for adults and not just<br />

for men or women. "<strong>The</strong>re isn't a<br />

lot of opportunities for women to<br />

play hockey once they get out of<br />

college," said Severns. "We have<br />

been trying to reach more of the<br />

women in the community, and with<br />

this club, we have the ability to."<br />

WE HAVE SOME PLAYERS WHO HAVE<br />

PLAYED IN THE JUNIOR LEAGUES AND THEN<br />

SOME PLAYERS, LIKE ME, WHO HAVEN'T<br />

PLAYED VERY MUCH HOCKEY AT ALL."<br />

<strong>–</strong> SKYLER SEVERNS<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 11


Severns' passion for this club goes<br />

much farther than playing the<br />

game and having good production<br />

value for viewing the games. <strong>The</strong><br />

sense of community he has created<br />

within this club is incredible.<br />

"We had a few visitors from<br />

Switzerland join our drop-in and<br />

skated with us three times a week<br />

for the three months they were<br />

visiting family in town. A father<br />

and son playing hockey together<br />

when they normally wouldn't get<br />

to," said Severns.<br />

As I mentioned earlier, Severns<br />

hails from the west coast, and he<br />

brought a little of his home life to<br />

the club. You might notice the team<br />

names are not ones commonly<br />

used in this part of the country,<br />

with names like Mountaineers,<br />

Sea Kraits, and Albatross, to name<br />

a few. <strong>The</strong>se small touches and the<br />

12 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


ambition to create a club that makes<br />

you feel more a part of the community<br />

prove Severns is unique and driven.<br />

I have watched a few of the previously<br />

streamed games on Facebook, and<br />

it was fun and exciting to watch.<br />

Watching sporting events when they<br />

can really have fun and get the crowd<br />

invested is always a treat. Not only<br />

does it make the environment in the<br />

arena more fun, but it also makes<br />

viewing it from home that much more<br />

enjoyable. "It's fun to sit back and<br />

think; I get to be involved in a league<br />

that has hats thrown on the rink<br />

when there is a hat trick," exclaimed<br />

Severns.<br />

<strong>The</strong> FMAHC is an excellent example<br />

of what you can do within your<br />

community. Being passionate about<br />

something doesn't have an expiration<br />

date, and it is never too late to make<br />

it happen. This club is a beautiful<br />

addition to the Fargo-Moorhead area,<br />

and I can't wait to catch a couple of<br />

games when the season starts up in a<br />

couple of months.<br />

Finally, I asked Severns what the<br />

good life means to him. "To me, the<br />

good life is having an opportunity to<br />

play hockey with friends and family.<br />

<strong>The</strong> good life is being able to be a part<br />

of a franchise and experience hockey<br />

as we observe it in the stands or on<br />

television, and to meet my exercise<br />

and health goals without the mundane<br />

life of a gym membership." •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 13


Helping Hands<br />

Save Lives i<br />

X<br />

It started with a little girl, a question and a ton of morals<br />

— and grew into a nonprofit operating on its own ranch<br />

just a few miles northwest of Fargo.<br />

"(Our daughter) asked what a kill truck was," said<br />

Robert Faulkner, owner, operator and director of Pride<br />

and Joy Rescue. "She didn't want them to do it. She<br />

wanted to help as many horses as we possibly could."<br />

Pride and Joy Rescue is a 501c3 nonprofit in Fargo,<br />

N.D., that works to connect the community and horse<br />

rescues.<br />

"Horses have such a healing power to them," said<br />

Connie Faulkner, co-owner, operator and director of<br />

Pride and Joy. "If you save them, they'll save you."<br />

And save them they do.<br />

Connie and Robert have saved more than 10 horses<br />

since their inception in <strong>2021</strong>. Roughly 1-2 percent<br />

of the U.S. equine population is slaughtered<br />

each year, according to the American Veterinary<br />

Medical Association, with their bodies being sold<br />

at livestock auctions for human consumption in<br />

places like Mexico, Japan, China, Germany and<br />

Indonesia, to name a few.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Faulkners, like many other equine rescues,<br />

attend these auctions with the intention of buying<br />

the creatures and providing them a loving home<br />

until they're deemed ready for adoption.<br />

WRITTEN BY: EMMA VATNSDAL<br />

PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA<br />

14 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 15


"It's usually about five of us<br />

against six, seven, eight of the kill<br />

buyers (those who attend livestock<br />

auctions with the intention of<br />

purchasing horses to ship to<br />

countries who will pay for their<br />

meat)," said Connie. "It's legit a<br />

complete bidding war. And if the<br />

kill buyers win (the bid) you'll see<br />

the rescue group following them to<br />

their trucks to buy the horses off<br />

them."<br />

After these gentle giants are taken<br />

off the truck, they're brought to the<br />

rescue to begin their new lives —<br />

with food, medical care and love<br />

waiting for them.<br />

"I grew up around horses, they kept<br />

me out of trouble," said Connie.<br />

"This is me paying them back. So<br />

we're saving them, they're saving<br />

(our daughter Rainey)."<br />

It's a family affair, too. Everyone<br />

has their role within Pride and Joy<br />

— some work as ranch hands, some<br />

help with the business side of the<br />

nonprofit, and Rainey, a spitfire of<br />

an 8-year-old, runs to the beat of<br />

her own drum as a ranch hand in<br />

training.<br />

Pride and Joy currently has 11<br />

horses — 10 of which are at their<br />

ranch, with the other at training in<br />

preparation for her adoption — and<br />

every single one has a story.<br />

Lil' Horse and Corky's, the two that<br />

started it all, original owner was<br />

unable to provide the attention they<br />

needed and they were getting ready<br />

to be sent to the unknown. <strong>The</strong> stars<br />

aligned and the Faulkners were able<br />

to take them in, creating a bond<br />

between the horses and their owners<br />

that is completely unbreakable.<br />

Two more came from an Amish<br />

farm, while a couple of others were<br />

saved from the kill truck, just like<br />

their brothers Corky and Lil' Horse.<br />

But the most incredible story started<br />

just five weeks ago, with a very<br />

underweight guy named Forty. His<br />

original owners tried to keep weight<br />

on him, but ultimately did what they<br />

thought was best: sending him to<br />

Pride and Joy. But the rescue had<br />

their work cut out for them from the<br />

get-go.<br />

"He was extremely, extremely,<br />

extremely underweight when we got<br />

him," Connie said. "He was like 900<br />

pounds."<br />

For context, a healthy horse<br />

generally weighs between 1,800 and<br />

2,000 pounds.<br />

"When we got him he couldn't pick<br />

his feet up," Connie said. "His entire<br />

hips were sticking out and you could<br />

see his ribs and spine. When we got<br />

him, he had absolutely no energy<br />

whatsoever."<br />

However, through a strict diet of<br />

feed, along with many, many other<br />

caloric-rich foods, Forty has started<br />

to gain — weighing in at over 1,100<br />

pounds on the day of this interview.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Faulkners aren't the only ones<br />

getting the chance to love on these<br />

creatures, though.<br />

Pride and Joy hosts groups out to<br />

the ranch to learn from and about<br />

the horses, as well as help out with<br />

the chores and feeding.<br />

16 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


"We've had Project RAI out," Connie said. "That was kind<br />

of fun, we got to tie in the educational part of horse rescue<br />

with that."<br />

Project RAI is a Fargo nonprofit with a mission to reduce<br />

suicide statistics among LGBTQ+ youth by helping them<br />

feel comfortable in their own skin.<br />

"I basically set things up for them to do ahead of timebased<br />

on their ages," she said. "We had them washing<br />

feed buckets, we had them wash a water pail and clean<br />

stalls. And I showed them what the horses looked like<br />

when they come in and what they look like now, and when<br />

they're all done, we do a training demo."<br />

<strong>The</strong>y're hoping to open their rescue to more groups, too.<br />

"My end goal would be to find some way to help sheriffs,<br />

veterans, any type of that entity, work through their<br />

PTSD," Connie said. "That means a lot to us. We've talked<br />

to a couple of sheriff groups already and they know they<br />

have an open invitation out here, but there's such a stigma<br />

around it. We want to break that. I know what (the horses)<br />

can do for PTSD, I know what they can do for depression,<br />

I know what they can do for anxiety. I know what grooming<br />

them can do for people, I've seen it, I've experienced it — if<br />

people need to do that, they just need to reach out."<br />

And through all their work, all the long hours and money<br />

spent, the Faulkners say it's all worth it.<br />

"I think we're living the <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>," Connie said. "We're<br />

giving Rainey a place to play, she has responsibilities, she<br />

has compassion, she's learning something that kids her<br />

age don't get to learn, she gets to take care of these guys.<br />

For us, that's the <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>."<br />

<strong>The</strong> Faulkners are always welcoming volunteers to<br />

help around the rescue. "<strong>The</strong> biggest thing for us is the<br />

community support," Connie said. "We want to support<br />

Fargo with this place. We're trying to do things that help<br />

the community, but we can't do that without the community<br />

helping us." •<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 17


ON THE COVER | CHRIS MYERS<br />

Coaching Justice:<br />

From the Rink to the Courtroom<br />

Chris Myers, assistant United States attorney for<br />

the District of North Dakota, has a job that often<br />

involves high-profile, high-stakes cases. Yet even<br />

with the difficult scenarios he encounters every day,<br />

his high-stress job still feels like the perfect fit.<br />

As a little boy living in Wahpeton, N.D., in the ‘70s,<br />

Myers knew he wanted to go into law enforcement.<br />

He’d been inspired by his father, Earle “Bud” Myers,<br />

who fought for justice as a prosecuting attorney.<br />

Once his college years came around the bend, the<br />

choice was clear; he’d study sociology and criminal<br />

justice at North Dakota State University, followed<br />

up by two degrees in public administration and law<br />

at Drake University in Iowa.<br />

With his fiancée (now wife) still living in the Fargo-<br />

Moorhead area, Myers knew he wanted to move<br />

back home. It was a community he loved and<br />

wanted to be a part of once more.<br />

After moving back to Fargo, he quickly started a<br />

position with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal<br />

Investigation as a special agent before becoming<br />

an assistant state’s attorney for the Cass County<br />

State’s Attorney’s Office the following year.<br />

“It was another opportunity to do what I wanted to<br />

do and be where I wanted to be,” Myers said.<br />

Since those posts in the mid-1990s, Myers has<br />

gone on to hold numerous positions in the North<br />

Dakota, Minnesota and United States’ justice<br />

systems, including his most recent roles for the<br />

United States Department of Justice for the District<br />

of North Dakota as a United States attorney and<br />

his current title as assistant United States attorney.<br />

Whether he’s speaking at a conference in Spain,<br />

taking on larger cases in foreign countries and<br />

around the United States, or keeping it local by<br />

cracking down on crime in the Fargo area, Myers<br />

stressed the importance of remembering your<br />

roots.<br />

“Don’t ever forget where you came from,” Myers<br />

said. “I’ve had cases that span across the United<br />

States and other countries, but I kind of smile<br />

because I’m from Fargo.”<br />

Even with all the traveling he has done for his career,<br />

Myers never doubted where he wanted to live and<br />

grow a family. His roots were already established;<br />

his love for the community already planted.<br />

“To me ‘the good life’ means raising a family in this<br />

community and having excellent schools for your<br />

kids. <strong>The</strong> overall quality of life here doesn’t get<br />

any better, if you ask me,” Myers said. “I’ve been<br />

fortunate to be blessed working with top-notch law<br />

enforcement and staff in our office to make this<br />

community a little bit safer. That sums it up for me.<br />

Fargo is a great place with great people.”<br />

18 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN FEIR<br />

PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 19


ON THE COVER | CHRIS MYERS<br />

FRoM THE RiNK TO THE COURTROOM<br />

Myers’ three constants in life have always been his<br />

love for family, work and hockey.<br />

As a teenager, he and his family packed their bags<br />

and moved from Wahpeton to Fargo. <strong>The</strong> Myers<br />

wanted their son to be able to play hockey at Fargo<br />

North High School. <strong>The</strong> move proved to be worth<br />

it. Myers basked in the joy of playing hockey and<br />

made lifelong memories when he and his team<br />

went on to win a state hockey title in 1986. After<br />

a year of playing junior hockey for the Dubuque<br />

Fighting Saints, Myers returned home for school<br />

and hockey at North Dakota State University.<br />

Thirty years later, Myers is still enthralled with<br />

hockey.<br />

For the past 15 years, Myers has been coaching<br />

girls and boys hockey and has even coached all<br />

three of his children in their favorite sport. It’s<br />

taken a lot of time, dedication and commitment<br />

from their family, and Myers has enjoyed every<br />

minute of it. Winter for their family remains<br />

consumed with the game they love, cheering on<br />

daughters who play Division 1 hockey and a son<br />

who plays high school hockey.<br />

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: CHRIS MYERS<br />

Myers with his dad, Earle “Bud” Myers.<br />

Myers’ father went to all of his<br />

hockey games and would watch his<br />

trials. “This summer was the first big<br />

trial where he wasn’t there,” Myers said.<br />

20 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


Myers coaching his two<br />

daughters in hockey.<br />

On his own, Myers still takes time to hit the rink every<br />

week to keep his skating skills sharp, providing a brisk<br />

mental break from the occasional heaviness of his job.<br />

Whether Myers is giving a pep talk in a locker room, being<br />

a minister of justice in a courtroom, or teaching lessons<br />

to his kids in their living room, the experiences he’s had<br />

as a coach, prosecutor and father have shaped how he<br />

handles every area of his life.<br />

For most of his career as a prosecutor, Myers has worked<br />

to identify, target and dismantle criminal organizations,<br />

prosecuting hundreds of drug trafficking cases and<br />

associated violent crimes. It takes the work of Myers and<br />

a team of law enforcement agents working together to<br />

serve justice for long-term investigations.<br />

In those cases, Myers is the supervisor and manager of<br />

the teams, often using the lessons he’s learned as a coach<br />

to effectively lead the investigations.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>y compliment each other,” Myers said. “You want to<br />

be a good leader, teacher and mentor. As a coach and as<br />

a supervisor in the investigations, I want to put people in<br />

the best roles for the team to allow them to succeed and<br />

flourish. It’s a team endeavor.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> phrase Myers and local law enforcement try to live<br />

by in their daily work is “One team, one voice, one fight.”<br />

“It ties back to the hockey thing with teamwork,” Myers<br />

said. “<strong>The</strong> concept in sports that I’ve heard used is<br />

‘<strong>The</strong> name on the back of the jersey isn’t as important<br />

as the name on the front of the jersey.’ It’s the idea that<br />

we need to put the team first. If you comprise your team<br />

with people who have that mindset and are hardworking,<br />

ethical people, you’ll succeed.”<br />

Over the years, Myers has won innumerable awards<br />

for his work, including the 2020 Attorney General’s<br />

Distinguished Service Award, the 2019 Leadership in<br />

the Prevention of Transnational Crime Award, and the<br />

2018 National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’s<br />

Prosecutor of the Year Award. Myers was also inducted<br />

into the Fargo North Hall of Fame in 2017. But when<br />

Myers working undercover as a<br />

delivery driver in the mid-‘90s.<br />

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: CHRIS MYERS PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: CHRIS MYERS<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 21


ON THE COVER | CHRIS MYERS<br />

these accolades are mentioned, Myers immediately gives<br />

equal credit to his teammates, saying these are team<br />

awards.<br />

“All of those represent a team award because in all those<br />

cases, it’s not just one person, it’s a whole team of people<br />

doing the work,” Myers said. “We have some of the best<br />

law enforcement in the country, and I’ve worked with law<br />

enforcement all over the country and in foreign countries. I<br />

feel very fortunate to work with the people I do, not only with<br />

law enforcement, but our staff and my support staff as well.<br />

I’ve basically had the same support staff my whole career<br />

in the US Attorney’s Office. Lori Daly and Deb Wilson have<br />

been there since I started in ’02, and they’re a huge part of<br />

the success.”<br />

Words Matter<br />

In every role Myers plays, his knowledge, people skills and<br />

speaking abilities are the strengths and tools he uses to<br />

do his jobs effectively. He knows the power words have on<br />

influencing the world around him.<br />

“As a coach, I try to talk to my players during practice.<br />

You might not know what’s going on at school for them or<br />

what’s going on at home, but make your contact with them a<br />

positive one. You might change their whole day, their whole<br />

week or their whole year,” Myers said. “When you think<br />

“<strong>The</strong> overall quality of life here<br />

doesn’t get any better, if you<br />

ask me. I’ve been fortunate to be<br />

blessed working with top-notch<br />

law enforcement and staff<br />

in our office to make this<br />

community a little bit safer.”<br />

- Chris Myers<br />

22 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


about it, that’s true not only in coaching but in regular dayto-day<br />

life. Be kind.”<br />

Many principles Myers tries to follow in life have been<br />

collected from observing the lives of his mentors and other<br />

coaches, his father, “Bud,” being his greatest influencer of<br />

all.<br />

Myers always looked up to his dad in more ways than his<br />

career path. Bud was gregarious and would talk to everyone,<br />

generous with his time, treating people with dignity and<br />

respect.<br />

A year ago, Myers’ father passed away, but the way in which<br />

he touched the lives of others carries on through his son’s<br />

life and work.<br />

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY: CHRIS MYERS<br />

“I don’t know if he said it or if I just learned it from watching<br />

him, but one thing he imparted on me is how important it is<br />

to treat everybody the same, whether they’re the janitor or<br />

the judge,” Myers said. “You don’t know how much impact<br />

you can have in your contact with people, whether it’s a brief<br />

or long-standing relationship. You can be an influence on<br />

them, either positive or negative. What you say matters.” •<br />

Myers talking with Former<br />

United States Attorney General<br />

Jeff Sessions in 2018.<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 23


HAVING A BEER WITH | ALEX & KEVIN<br />

WRITTEN BY: MEGHAN FEIR<br />

PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA<br />

Alex Taylor and Kevin Flynn, the hosts of<br />

“<strong>The</strong> Need to Know Morning Show” on AM<br />

1100 <strong>The</strong> Flag, are two peas in a pod. Flynn<br />

even says Taylor is his “sister from another<br />

mister,” and they often think of what the<br />

other person will say before it’s spoken.<br />

On a rainy autumn day, the two seasoned<br />

radio hosts joined me at Drekker for a beer<br />

or two as we chatted about dolls vs. clowns,<br />

risky life choices and other hot topics.<br />

<strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong>: How do you handle your<br />

unusual working hours?<br />

Kevin Flynn: I get up at 3:20 every<br />

morning, drive about an hour to work, we<br />

do our thing, and then I drive an hour back<br />

to the lake. I’m just loving life in the north<br />

country.<br />

Alex Taylor: I can beat that. I get up at<br />

about 2-2:30 a.m. I get to work at 4 a.m.,<br />

hit the computers and see what I missed<br />

when I was sleeping. I get a nap every day<br />

at 2 o’clock, so that’s a bonus. I’ve been<br />

working at <strong>The</strong> Flag for probably 5 or 6<br />

years, and I love morning radio. I’m done<br />

by 9:30 most days. After that it’s like I<br />

didn’t even work.<br />

KF: I, on the other hand, started morning<br />

radio so I could make a 1 o’clock tee<br />

time. That’s pretty much my motivation. I<br />

started exclusively doing mornings in ’85<br />

in Arizona. Last fall was my 40th year of<br />

24 / THE GOOD LIFE


eing on radio. Talk radio is even better for me<br />

because I don’t have to shut up.<br />

GL: Are dolls or clowns creepier?<br />

AT: Dolls. I’ve seen some scary dolls. Chucky is<br />

probably scarier than Pennywise. I think I could<br />

reason with Pennywise. I don’t think I’d have a<br />

chance with Chucky.<br />

KF: Clowns, no doubt. <strong>The</strong>y’re living and<br />

breathing. <strong>The</strong>y could be anything.<br />

GL: What’s the worst gift you’ve ever been given?<br />

KF: Probably a bottle of liqueur that was the<br />

most rancid, nasty stuff I’ve ever tried in my life.<br />

It was like toxic, rotten licorice.<br />

AT: I’m not a big fan of surprises. I’m the one<br />

who picks out my gift and says, “This is what<br />

you got me!” <strong>The</strong>n he doesn’t have to think and<br />

everybody’s happy. You don’t waste your money<br />

on junk I don’t like, and I get what I want.<br />

GL: When you were a kid, what did you think<br />

would be a bigger problem as you grew up?<br />

I—and every other child of the ’80s and ’90s—<br />

thought hot lava was going to be a way bigger<br />

issue in life than it has been.<br />

KF: Authority.<br />

GL: How did that turn out?<br />

KF: Okay, thank goodness. For a lot of reasons,<br />

I had a certain disdain when I was younger for<br />

authority, but I came out of that. <strong>The</strong> good Lord<br />

said I wouldn’t be that guy.<br />

AT: I was never really scared of anything, but my<br />

dad tried to make me water ski once. He was like,<br />

“Get up. You have a life jacket and you’re going<br />

to waterski.” We must have been out there all<br />

afternoon before he gave up on me. I just didn’t<br />

want to. I didn’t know how to swim, and I didn’t<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 25


HAVING A BEER WITH | ALEX & KEVIN<br />

want to be in water over my head. I don’t like my<br />

hair wet, and I just want to float—nowadays with<br />

a beverage.<br />

GL: What’s one current cultural thing you’d be<br />

happy to see go?<br />

KF: For me, it’s some of the language. “To be<br />

honest,” “Honestly,” “Right?”—it drives me crazy.<br />

I could go down the list.<br />

AT: All this politically incorrect stuff.<br />

KF: Too much freakin’ wokeness.<br />

AT: You can’t say what you think anymore. I’m<br />

sick of people being sensitive and offended. I<br />

think it was better when we could all just say<br />

what we wanted and you got over it. You don’t<br />

have to agree with me, and I don’t have to agree<br />

with you, but we’re all entitled to our opinion.<br />

GL: What’s the riskiest or weirdest thing you’ve<br />

done in life that actually ended up turning out<br />

well?<br />

AT: I went to college as an older student. I was<br />

a hairstylist for a few years. <strong>The</strong>n I had my son<br />

and decided that once he was in 1st grade I’d go<br />

back to school. It was a different experience as<br />

an older student, but I knew why I was there.<br />

KF: Mine was buying a lake lot 25 years ago with<br />

money we didn’t have. It worked out.<br />

GL: What does living the good life mean to you?<br />

AT: Having fun. Making every day the best day<br />

because every day is a gift. If you’re not having<br />

fun, don’t do it. Why waste the time? Just have<br />

fun.<br />

KF: I worked for a guy whose mantra was, “Dare<br />

to be great.” He ended up being the VP of FOX<br />

Sports Radio. I always liked his mantra, but<br />

it seemed long to me. So I just started saying,<br />

“Be great,” and tagged it on everything. Being<br />

anything else is shortchanging yourself. •<br />

26 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 27


“Law enforcement personnel put themselves<br />

in harm’s way every day protecting the City of<br />

Moorhead and its citizens. Preserving public<br />

safety isn’t an easy job, and in today’s world<br />

it can be a thankless, stressful task.<br />

Officers make great personal sacrifices <strong>–</strong><br />

often working long hours away from families<br />

and friends <strong>–</strong> to ensure our communities are<br />

safe.<br />

As the Mayor of Moorhead, it was a privilege<br />

and an honor to be part of the Salute to Blue<br />

and to thank officers everywhere for their<br />

service.” <strong>–</strong> Shelly Carlson, Moorhead Mayor<br />

"We are fortunate to live in the Fargo Moorhead Community as<br />

law enforcement officers because of the support we get from our<br />

citizens and businesses. <strong>The</strong> D-S Beverages "Salute to Blue" is<br />

just another great example of one of our local businesses thinking<br />

of ways they can recognize the efforts of local law enforcement.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Cass County Sheriff’s Office appreciates the partnership<br />

and support of D-S Beverages and wants to thank them for their<br />

hospitality."<strong>–</strong> Jesse Jahner, Cass County Sheriff<br />

28 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com<br />

“This was a great event to be part of and I<br />

would like to thank D-S Beverages for their<br />

continued support of law enforcement in our<br />

communities. <strong>The</strong> members of the Sheriff’s<br />

Office that attended the appreciation were<br />

grateful that D-S Beverages hosted such an<br />

awesome event and went all out to show their<br />

support to law enforcement. We appreciate<br />

the support that our community continues<br />

to show to law enforcement and we are very<br />

lucky to live and work in the area that we<br />

do. Thank you!” <strong>–</strong> Mark Empting, Clay County<br />

Sheriff


<strong>The</strong> “Salute to Blue” event in August was simply D-S Beverages saying “Thank You” to<br />

all our great people in local law enforcement. In light of all that is going on across the<br />

country, we wanted to let law enforcement here know that in this community you are<br />

appreciated and respected. <strong>The</strong> Fargo Air Museum provided the perfect venue to have<br />

up close and personal interaction with the Budweiser Clydesdales while sampling some<br />

great Anheuser-Busch beers. We really appreciate the food provided by Hornbachers, the<br />

ice cream from Cass Clay, games from Games Galore and the photos from Urban Toad<br />

Media. <strong>–</strong> Doug Restemayer, President D-S Beverages<br />

"D-S Beverages of Moorhead hosted an<br />

appreciation event for law enforcement in<br />

August. It was a family event held at the<br />

Fargo Air Museum with food, beverages,<br />

games for the kids, with an appearance<br />

of the Budweiser Clydesdales Hitch Team.<br />

Doug Restemayer and his team went above<br />

and beyond in letting the law enforcement<br />

community know they are supported and<br />

appreciated.<br />

<strong>The</strong> event was well-attended, beautifully<br />

done and our staff thoroughly enjoyed it.<br />

Thank you D-S Beverages for your support!"<br />

<strong>–</strong> Shannon Monroe, Moorhead Police Chief<br />

“It is always great to see our community showing support for its law<br />

enforcement officers. I know the men and women of the Fargo Police<br />

Department never expect it, but still greatly appreciate the gesture.<br />

Careers in law enforcement are difficult but important work, and events<br />

like "Salute to Blue" which display the community’s backing of its<br />

guardians help show the impact each of them has on those they protect.”<br />

<strong>–</strong> Tim Mahoney, Fargo Mayor<br />

“<strong>The</strong> Fargo Police Department was honored to be a part of the Salute to<br />

Law Enforcement event, and appreciate the support and collaboration of<br />

members of our community and service providers who help enable us to<br />

carry out the vision and mission of the department each and every day.”<br />

<strong>–</strong> Jessica Shindeldecker, Fargo Police Dept.


LOCAL HERO | TOM KRABBENHOFT<br />

WRITTEN BY: ALEXIS SWENSON<br />

PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA<br />

At age 17, Tom Krabbenhoft joined the Minnesota<br />

Army National Guard on a part-time basis.<br />

Krabbenhoft was interested in joining in part due<br />

to coming from a military family. Beyond that, the<br />

year was 1984—when teachers were on strike.<br />

Krabbenhoft asked for a challenging role and was<br />

placed in Infantry where he experienced significant<br />

culture shock from the rigid discipline and routine.<br />

"I wasn't going to be the teenager that mapped the<br />

human genome. Sometimes you just gotta be honest<br />

with yourself," said Krabbenhoft. "You're going from<br />

teachers on strike and not really succeeding in<br />

academia to doing things that you read about and<br />

see on TV."<br />

Service <strong>Life</strong><br />

Upon finishing Basic and Advanced Individual<br />

Training, Krabbenhoft returned to Moorhead, MN<br />

where he often volunteered to accompany Army<br />

key personnel utilization program (KPUP) tours.<br />

In 1987, Krabbenhoft became a Forward Observer,<br />

controlling artillery and mortar fire along with<br />

calling in air strikes. Two and half years later, he<br />

pursued Stinger Missile training and became one<br />

of the chief instructors for the weapon in the United<br />

States. Krabbenhoft also joined a newly developed<br />

Air Defense Artillery unit in Grand Forks, ND.<br />

"I was the third enlisted person to join and the<br />

lowest-ranked. It was ground floor of something<br />

unique and different. I was there for the opportunity<br />

and adventure," said Krabbenhoft. "It was an<br />

incredible thing at the time to get in on a fairly new,<br />

proven weapon system."<br />

30 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


Krabbenhoft's unit provided air defense for<br />

the 6th Infantry Division in Alaska, affording<br />

him many trips north. With each trip,<br />

Krabbenhoft's exposure to danger elevated.<br />

First, he and another military member<br />

became stranded in a shack for several<br />

days while protecting air missiles due to<br />

dangerous ice fog. Ice fog occurs when the<br />

temperature is so cold that condensation is<br />

pulled out of the ground resulting in small<br />

ice crystals suspended in the air. <strong>The</strong> pair<br />

rifled through the garbage looking for Meal,<br />

Ready-To-Eat (MRE) scraps during the day<br />

while the wolves sifted through it at night<br />

until the ice fog cleared up.<br />

Another time included enduring a 14-hour<br />

bus ride from Anchorage to Fairbanks where<br />

the external temperature was -50 F and the<br />

temperature on the bus was -30 F. While<br />

the heat was on inside the bus, the heating<br />

system simply could not compete. On<br />

another occasion, a tent fire erupted due to<br />

a combination of Yukon Stoves fired up with<br />

gas and highly flammable old canvas tents.<br />

Most notable for Krabbenhoft was a helicopter<br />

crash in 1992 due to a hydraulic actuator failure.<br />

"Everything you do there is completely<br />

different. You need to eat more calories<br />

because your body generates so many<br />

more calories to keep warm in an<br />

arctic environment. We were given an<br />

extra 2500 calories a day. It was brutal<br />

to do that for extended periods," said<br />

Krabbenhoft.<br />

Most notable for Krabbenhoft was<br />

a helicopter crash in 1992 due to a<br />

hydraulic actuator failure. His mission<br />

in Alaska concluded and he was looking<br />

for a ride back to Anchorage, 160 miles<br />

away. When he had the unexpected<br />

opportunity to tag along on a flight to<br />

Anchorage on a Boeing CH-47 Chinook,<br />

he graciously moved forward with it.<br />

"All of a sudden, it started to rotate really<br />

slowly. I looked behind and the guy<br />

behind me hit the floor. I reached up and<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 31


LOCAL HERO | TOM KRABBENHOFT<br />

<strong>The</strong> only thought<br />

I had was I was going<br />

to get sucked out of<br />

the helicopter. I was<br />

completely sold on the<br />

idea that I was doomed.<br />

grabbed a nylon harness; I was not strapped<br />

into the helicopter," said Krabbenhoft. "I<br />

was thrown forward a couple of feet and hit<br />

a door lined up with a firewall closet where<br />

it's open on the bottom. It was absolutely<br />

terrifying; I could feel the wind rushing and<br />

the helicopter beneath me. It sounded like<br />

I was in the middle of 20 trains. <strong>The</strong> only<br />

thought I had was I was going to get sucked<br />

out of the helicopter. I was completely sold<br />

on the idea that I was doomed."<br />

Of the 19 individuals on the helicopter, all<br />

survived, but sustained injuries ranging<br />

from mild to serious. Krabbenhoft didn't<br />

realize how bad his injuries were until<br />

several weeks later when issues with his<br />

legs and spine showed up. He was unable to<br />

do the things he loved to do in Infantry and<br />

transferred to the Air Guard to serve in a<br />

Logistics role. Despite the fact that none of<br />

his leadership education credits transferred<br />

and the sense of loss for losing the combat<br />

aspect of his work, Krabbenhoft enjoyed the<br />

brotherhood of his new unit.<br />

Serving Post 9/11<br />

Following the events of 9/11 in 2001,<br />

Krabbenhoft took a full-time job at the<br />

Air Guard, managing weapons and war<br />

readiness materials. "Like most people, my<br />

life was forever changed when the second<br />

plane hit. I realized things were never<br />

going to be the way they had been," said<br />

Krabbenhoft.<br />

It was absolutely terrifying;<br />

I could feel the wind rushing and the<br />

helicopter beneath me. It sounded like<br />

I was in the middle of 20 trains.<br />

32 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com<br />

In 2009, he was deployed to the Middle<br />

East. Although Krabbenhoft's deployment<br />

was intended to last six months, a lifethreatening<br />

infection cut his time short in<br />

the most poignant experience of his life. He<br />

was given a verdict of less than 24 hours to<br />

live in a location where advanced medical<br />

care was not available. Krabbenhoft had the<br />

option of either being sent in his uniform<br />

to a high-risk area known for American<br />

kidnappings or to take his chances at the<br />

base. He chose to try his luck on base where<br />

doctors promised to give him all the knockout<br />

punches they had.


With no way of diagnosing the infection,<br />

Krabbenhoft was hooked up to multiple<br />

IVs where several dozen bags of antibiotics<br />

were dispersed over several days. Those<br />

medications, although ultimately saving his<br />

life, left him with major long-term effects<br />

including serious hip, back, shoulder, and<br />

neck issues.<br />

Impact of Serving<br />

A few months after Krabbenhoft was sent<br />

home, he found himself prescribed and<br />

sometimes taking over 20 pills a day to<br />

manage the debilitating pain throughout<br />

his body. He gained 100 lbs, was diagnosed<br />

with heart disease and diabetes, and<br />

experienced intense anxiety.<br />

"It felt like watching yourself from the<br />

outside. I didn't believe in anxiety before<br />

that happened to me. Now, I was having<br />

trouble leaving the house which was mindboggling<br />

for me. I kept taking those pills and<br />

it got so out of hand it was unbelievable,"<br />

said Krabbenhoft. "Within a two-week time<br />

frame, I found out I was getting kicked out<br />

of the military, losing my job, and getting<br />

a divorce. It felt like I was in an unfaithful<br />

world. When you're taking that many pills, it<br />

distorts your reality."<br />

It felt like I was in<br />

an unfaithful world.<br />

When you're taking that<br />

many pills, it distorts<br />

your reality."<br />

Krabbenhoft struggled for three years with<br />

his new reality of pills, distorted reality, and<br />

lost relationships. "When I came back, I<br />

was salvageable, but I didn't have anybody<br />

reach out to me from my unit or help me<br />

through," said Krabbenhoft. "<strong>The</strong>refore,<br />

it was easier to discard me than salvage<br />

me. My situational awareness has always<br />

been above average, so it was easy for me<br />

to know something was wrong, but it wasn't<br />

being fixed. My kids lost their dad."<br />

Turning a Corner<br />

Today, Krabbenhoft's life looks vastly<br />

different and part of that is due to his<br />

motivation to learn how to ride a motorcycle.<br />

To do so, he knew he needed to lose<br />

weight, reduce the number of pills he was<br />

prescribed, and do a lot of physical therapy.<br />

Krabbenhoft hired a personal trainer,<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 33


LOCAL HERO | TOM KRABBENHOFT<br />

began a workout program, and tried various alternative pain<br />

relief methods including chiropractic care, massage, and dry<br />

needling. Over four years, he lost a substantial amount of weight<br />

to walk away pill-free with the exception of over-the-counter pain<br />

medication like ibuprofen. Krabbenhoft credits much of this to his<br />

girlfriend, Shannon, an orthopedic nurse for many years.<br />

"Shannon enlightened me to alternative pain relief which has been<br />

a huge blessing. Her guidance has been immeasurable to me; I am<br />

pretty much indebted to her," said Krabbenhoft.<br />

Current <strong>Life</strong><br />

Currently, Krabbenhoft works as a realtor referral agent for<br />

Coldwell Banker-Element and serves as Director of the FM<br />

Legion Riders, an organization of motorcycle enthusiasts who<br />

are dedicated to supporting veterans and children's charities.<br />

Krabbenhoft is passionate about his work with the group and their<br />

biggest event held in the winter. Every February, the group spends<br />

the night in a tent, outside the Moorhead American Legion to<br />

bring awareness to veteran suicide prevention and homelessness.<br />

He is also abundantly grateful for his children, striving to build<br />

34 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com


ack was lost when he first returned from the Middle<br />

East. "I have a couple of wonderful daughters who<br />

are very creative culinary and musically. I also have<br />

a 15-year-old boy who is very physically fit and<br />

athletically oriented. He's a talented football player<br />

and wrestler. <strong>The</strong>ir lives got affected as well with<br />

everything that happened—losing them was hardest"<br />

said Krabbenhoft.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Good</strong> <strong>Life</strong><br />

For Krabbenhoft, the good life is one filled with<br />

meaning and balance. "Being around for tomorrow<br />

and being able to make a positive difference. It's even<br />

better when you can do that with a good group of<br />

people. Also, a motorcycle ride on a hot day with a<br />

cold beer waiting at the end," said Krabbenhoft. •<br />

Being around for tomorrow<br />

and being able to make a<br />

positive difference. It's even<br />

better when you can do that<br />

with a good group of people.<br />

Also, a motorcycle ride on<br />

a hot day with a cold beer<br />

waiting at the end.<br />

urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 35

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