Retired ND Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Al Palmer dies at 69

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Gov. Doug Burgum (left) visits with retired Brig. Gen. Al Palmer (right) and Command Sgt. Maj. Eric Binstock, the North Dakota National Guard’s Senior Enlisted Leader, before the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery on May 27, 2019. Palmer was the keynote speaker and Binstock served as the emcee for the ceremony. (U.S. National Guard photo by Laura Prokopyk, North Dakota National Guard/Released)

Al Palmer, retired North Dakota Air National Guard brigadier general who served on the governor’s Task Force for Veterans Affairs, died on Tuesday. He was 69.

Palmer enlisted in the Air Force in 1972, serving a tour in Thailand during the Vietnam War, and joined the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1981, eventually serving as chief of staff and assistant adjutant general.

He spent more than 30 years with the University of North Dakota’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, including 10 years as director of flight operations.

He was also a large part in establishing the Grand Forks Veterans Memorial Park.

Gov. Doug Burgum issued a statement on Wednesday on Palmer’s passing, saying he had an “immeasurable and lasting impact” on aviation in North Dakota.

Read his full statement below:

“Al Palmer had an immeasurable and lasting impact on aviation in North Dakota, from his quiet, steady leadership in the Air National Guard to his roles as a flight instructor and director of flight operations at UND, to coming out of retirement to help lead the UAS program at UND in its early stages. Al enjoyed helping others succeed and was a strong advocate for the National Guard. He cared deeply for his fellow veterans, and we are grateful for his service on the Task Force for Veterans Affairs and for his service to his country. Kathryn and I extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to his family and friends.”

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