Since 1979 the Fort Snelling Memorial Rifle Squad an all-volunteer group has been present at more than 74 000 funerals at Fort Snelling National Cem­etery to offer a final tribute for military veterans at the request of their families. This honor guard consists of three rifle volleys the solemn sound of taps and the folding and presentation of the American flag to a surviving family member. The Rifle Squad has given the final tribute in this manner as many as 17 times each day week after week year after year in stifling heat and humidity and in bone-chilling cold and wind. Its volunteers have demonstrated tirelessly that service to country does not end with the culmination of active duty. It seems only fitting that these dedicated men and women are now honored themselves in the pages of this book.
Jim Hoey was born and raised in Taconite Minnesota and graduated from Greenway High School and St. Mary's University in Winona. He spent 34 years as a secondary social studies teacher (American history political science and geography) in Shakopee and Farmington. He was proud to emphasize civic-minded behavior and the importance of patriotism to his students and vividly recalls his first observation of the Memorial Rifle Squad at Fort Snelling in January of 1982 when a friend's father was buried on a bitterly cold day.
Hoey published his first book Minnesota Twins Trivia in 2010 and has subsequently published Puck Heaven (2011) on the Minnesota state boys high school hockey tournament Minnesota Vikings Trivia (2013) and Ike: Minnesota Hockey Icon (2015) with former Edina hockey coach Willard Ikola. Each book has been published by Nodin Press. Hoey lives in Eagan with his wife Ann who was a pharmacist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center for 30 years and their son Eddie.