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It all began with a library book. John Weist was in the fifth grade when he stumbled on the picture book about the Minnesota State Patrol.
On Saturday, as he is laid to rest, the 22-year-old Plymouth man will be honored as the trooper he so badly wanted to become.
“I believe he will be at peace with what he accomplished and I believe his family will be at peace too,” said Trooper Tiffani Nielson, John’s advisor with the State Patrol Explorer program.
Weist’s bone cancer was diagnosed at age 15, just a few weeks after he joined the Explorer program, designed to give teens an opportunity to explore a law enforcement career.
Six months later, in an attempt to stop the cancer, Weist’s right leg was amputated. His mother still recalls, “That was the first thing he said when he knew he was going to lose his leg, ‘Does this mean I can’t be a trooper?’”