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'Lend a Hand' benefit for Little Falls veteran hurt in farm accident

LITTLE FALLS — A benefit for Little Falls resident Jamie Houdek, who lost his right hand in a farm accident, is scheduled at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Little Falls Ballroom.

The “Lend a Hand to Jamie Houdek” benefit is hosted by Houdek’s co-workers at Camp Ripley. The benefit will help financially support Houdek’s medical needs. Houdek went through four surgeries and has made multiple trips to the doctor for physical therapy. Houdek had a prosthetic arm fitted for his right arm from the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. His left arm also was injured and he is working on regaining full use of his left arm.

Houdek is a diesel mechanic at Camp Ripley and has been in the Minnesota National Guard for almost 15 years. Houdek is in the Alpha Company 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion. He was deployed in Iraq in 2005, where he was a chief warrant officer for the unmanned aerial vehicles.

Kris Ambuehl is coordinating the event with a group of 35 people who work at Camp Ripley. He said everyone wanted to help Houdek and his family who have been down a long, hard road. At the benefit there will be about 550 items that will be auctioned off at the benefit to support the family, including 14 guns, an all-terrain vehicle, a custom built trailer, furniture and various gift cards and gift baskets.

Ambuehl said there has been a great outpouring of support, not only in the community, but statewide and nationwide. Ambuehl said Houdek is a veteran and a farm accident victim and his story attracts many people who want to help.

Houdek and his wife, Lisa, said they were humbled and grateful for the support they have received since the accident. They said neighbors and community members have helped them by bringing food, helping them watch the children when they go to doctor appointments, helping with gas money, and much more.

“It’s been overwhelming, the support from the community,” said Houdek. “It’s been pretty remarkable.”

JENNIFER STOCKINGER, staff writer, may be reached at or 855-5851. Follow on Twitter at