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Northern Wisconsin Marine Among Tennessee Shooting Victims

Grantsburg Residents Say Town Is Mourning Sgt. Carson Holmquist


One of the victims of Thursday’s shooting rampage in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a marine who grew up in the small northern Wisconsin town of Grantsburg. Community members there are in shock and flags are being flown at half-staff, according to village officials.

Twenty-five-year-old Marine Sgt. Carson Holmquist had returned home from a deployment in Afghanistan last July. The Pentagon has said that Holmquist enlisted in 2009. Grantsburg Village President Glenn Rolloff said they lived next door to the Holmquist family for many years and held their breath when he went overseas.

“I think that’s why it’s so shocking for all of us because when we heard the news his dad was pretty excited about the fact – his dad and his mom – were excited that he was stateside now,” he said.

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Rolloff said the shooting is a senseless tragedy that has generated feelings of anger and frustration.

“We don’t feel as though we are the Americans that any other country needs to hate,” he said. “We’re the good, hard-working people that shouldn’t be involved in this type of hatred.”

Rolloff said the Holmquist family is known in the community for their work ethic and generosity. He said Carson Holmquist wanted to become an automotive maintenance technician in the military because his father, Tom, is an automotive maintenance technician.

“They loved working on cars … both of them loved to get their hands dirty and helping other people out,” he said. “They were the type of folks if you needed your car worked on, maybe you could pay, maybe you couldn’t. They’d fix your car and worry about that later. Both of them had that same attitude to take care of your friends and family first.”

According to Rolloff, people knew the Grantsburg marine as the kind of young person who was going to make a name for himself. Grantsburg High School Principal Josh Watt said the community is mourning his loss.

“The best memory that I have of him is that I remember when he came back to school to visit when he completed boot camp and he was wearing his blues and just had that sharp uniform on and you could tell that he was so proud of his accomplishment,” said Watt. “That is something I will always remember. He was so proud of becoming a marine.”

Holmquist was a 2008 graduate of Grantsburg High School, according to Watt who coached him in football. He said remembers the slain marine as a hard-working young man that was an avid outdoorsman with a love for hunting and fishing.

Grantsburg native Becky Crocker said her family is close friends with Holmquist’s father. Crocker said the community is devastated.

“You always figure that they’re going to do their tour and that they will make it home safe and sound. You always hope for the best and you’re very proud of them,” said Crocker. “When it hits this close to home, it’s real.”

All said their thoughts and prayers are with the Holmquist family. Rolloff said the village will recognize Holmquist and hold a moment of silence during its annual Snowmobile Watercross festival being held this weekend.

Holmquist leaves behind a wife and son.

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