Finish The Mission Veteran Relief Fund
PO Box 2302
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
PO Box 2302
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
Before the Honor Ride, we hold our annual Ceremony for the Fallen. Each year families, patriots, veterans, members of the military, first responders, and community leaders gather to pay special tribute to all those who served, and especially to those who gave their lives for our freedom. During the ceremony, a custom portrait is unveiled for the first time to memorialize a West Michigan Gold Star family’s fallen hero. With smiles and tears, we reverently tell the story of the fallen so that the family knows we will always remember their loved one.
Honorees’ portraits are displayed at Brann’s Steakhouse & Grill on Leonard Street, a Grand Rapids restaurant known for the owners’ commitment to supporting local police, first responders, and military. FTM plans to install another portrait of each honoree in their specific community, in a location chosen by their family.
The Honor Ride is a free, 30-mile motorcycle, classic car, sports car, and patriotic community celebration. Car and motorcycle enthusiasts gather to honor our military men and women by parading in a wave of red, white, and blue by cheering crowds. The procession is led by the honorees of the FTM Ceremony for the Fallen.
Nicholas H. Blodgett, 21, of Wyoming, Mich.; assigned to the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, Schweinfurt, Germany; killed July 21 when his patrol vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in Abdalluyah, Iraq.
When the deli where Nicholas Blodgett worked went out of business, he looked for a job in security. “But they wanted people with military experience,” said Paula Blodgett, his step-grandmother. “He’d always wanted to either be in the military or a cop, so he joined the Army.” Blodgett, 21, of Wyoming, Mich., was killed July 21 in Abdalluyah, Iraq, when his patrol vehicle hit an improvised explosive device. Six other soldiers were injured in the blast. Blodgett was a quiet leader at his high school, playing in the school band and taking tae kwon do lessons with his parents, Rita and Robert Blodgett Jr., and his brother, Matthew, 20. “What I remember about him is that he returned the year after graduation to help out with the color guard,” said school principal Steve Passinault. “He wanted to find a way to stay involved.” Blodgett, who was stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany, had been home for a visit in November and was excited about going overseas. His family had been looking forward to another visit in August.
— Associated Press
Jim Tostrud is a nationally recognized wildlife artist and professional outdoorsman for Kenosha, WI. Jim created Wildlife Visions Ventures LLC and has built a great brand and reputation in the outdoor industry for all the he does. Jim was also the host of Wildlife Visions Outdoors TV Show and has been producer of the program for over 20 years.
Jim’s love and passion for the outdoors shows through in everything he does, be it his wildlife art, guiding or his video production. He has built a very successful business as a hunting and fishing guide, and, with that he has countless opportunities to witness so much of God’s Great outdoors. Jim is an accomplished photographer and videographer and can take visions from his own personal experiences in the field and bring them back to life through his art.
Jim has been creating art in the outdoors industry for over 30 years. He has won numerous awards for his art and has done work for a number of organizations such as WTU, DU, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the NWTF. Jim has helped several companies build great brands, having created iconic brand logos and packaging designs for companies in the industry. He has also worked with a number of companies in the video field as well—creating cutting edge commercials and infomercials for companies to fire up sales to their target market.
He has also made a name for himself in the outdoors garment industry and has marketed his wearable art for years. Jim has been a trend setter with creating garments that any outdoorsman wants to wear. He is the real deal, a true outdoorsman creating items for the outdoorsman from his own outdoors experiences.
Jim thanks God for all that he does and for creating a way that he can make people smile for a living—either through his art or sharing an experience in the woods or on the water with others.
All gave some, and some gave all so that those of us left behind could live freely. FTM honors and remembers veterans and their sacrifices through various activities, ceremonies, and events. We thank and appreciate them for risking their lives, for the family sacrifices they make, for providing our security, and for their willingness to fight and die for us. We will never forget them.