Mid-Range Honor Guard gets van upgrade thanks to retrofit by Lamppa Manufacturing

TOWER- Lamppa Manufacturing, in Tower, is still building on the tradition of founders Herb and Daryl Lamppa.
“We believe in being good local citizens,” said Lamppa plant manager Dale Horihan.
While the business produces wood-fired furnaces and sauna stoves, they sometime lend their expertise in fabrication to help community projects.
This past month, this has meant helping with the construction of the “Love Lock” memorial being installed at the Tower-Soudan School in memory of long-time teacher Carol Alstrom, as well as helping to retrofit a new van recently donated to an Iron Range organization that provides honor guards at veterans’ funerals and at community events.
“They were very happy we were willing to do something like this as a donation,” said Lamppa CEO Garrett Lamppa. The project included fabricating a new fold-away step for easier entry into the back of their van, which is used to transport equipment to events.
“We want to make sure the van is safe for volunteers, who are older, to use as they load equipment in and out,” said Horihan.
Veterans honoring veterans is the commitment made by the all-volunteer group, Mid-Range Honor Guard. The group which includes about 25 veterans from all branches of the service provides military honors at funerals for honorably discharged veterans as well as active service members, when requested by families. The group also participates in parades, the posting of colors at special events, flag-raising at the county fair, Veterans Day events, and assemblies at area schools.
The group, which volunteered at over 50 funerals and events last year, is funded solely by grants and unsolicited donations from families.
The group now owns a van (purchased with funding from IRRR and United Way), that they use to transport their equipment to and from events. But the van’s design made it somewhat difficult for honor guard members to get their equipment in and out.
Honor guard members told the Timberjay they truly appreciate the work that Lamppa is doing for them.
The group is also seeking donations to help with the replacement of some of their uniforms, weapon repair, fuel, flag replacement, and the costs of maintaining their van. The group is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
“We have traveled as far north as Lake Vermilion…and all over the Iron Range. No little town is exempt from our services,” said Commander Gary Westerberg.
Donations are truly appreciated and can be sent to c/o Gary Westerberg, Commander, Mid-Range Honor Guard, PO Box 383, Keewatin, MN 55753, or call Westerberg at 218-969-1958.
Pictured are honor guard members Fred McDougall, Commander Gary Westerberg, John Munz, Carl Grabau, and Rodney Fiedler. photo by J. Summit