Remembering Tyler Orgaard | VideoRetha Colclasure | 12/6/2012
Tyler`s family says he was looking forward to coming home, using a real toilet and eating meatballs and mashed potatoes.
"A few weeks ago he called, he said, `Hey, it`s almost Christmas time,` And he said, `It`s all downhill from here.` He said, `I`ll be home soon.` He said, `I miss you guys, I can`t wait to see you.` He said, `But just know there is no place else in the world or nothing I`d rather be doing than what I`m doing right now.` He said, `This is where I want to be, this is what I want to do and I`m perfectly happy being here today,`" said his father, Jesse.
They talked about the man they knew as a fighter, a musician and a protective younger brother.
"Before he left we had the what-if talk. He did say if it happens, those were his exact words. Don`t cry for me," said Tyler`s sister, Kristy.
"What did he say? He said, `Don`t cry for me. After my funeral, go have some fun. For God`s sake, go have a beer for me,`" Jesse said.
They say Tyler knew at age seven that he wanted to be in the military, even though he didn`t have many family members who had chosen that career path. They say even at that age, he knew the dangers.
"He told his mom when he was seven years old he wanted to join the military, and she said, `Well Tyler, you understand that you might have to go to war. You could be killed.` He goes, at seven years old, he goes, `I know that.` But he said, `Mom, at least people will respect me for what I`ve done,`" Jesse said.
"I supported him 100 percent," said Tyler`s mother, Josie.
"She might have been a little bit mad," Kristy said.
"I`ve always said for my kids, as long as they`re happy, I`m happy," Josie said.
They say he wanted to be in a combat unit. He wanted to be on the leading edge, and make a difference. They say he was never afraid to follow his dreams and would want other people to do the same. And now, they`re thinking of the rest of his unit, who had to go back out and keep doing their job.
"I can`t wait to stand at the armory and see the rest of them come home and hear the stories. I pray that nothing happens to the rest of them," Jesse said.
Tyler`s family say they never realized how many hearts he had touched...until people began reaching out to them with stories about Tyler they had never heard. They say Tyler wasn`t a flower person, but to honor him, they`ve established a fund at Gate City Bank. The money will be donated to Bismarck Combat Sports, where Tyler trained in mixed martial arts.