Saturday, August 29, 2009

Special Thanks To: Columbia Gorge Press and Attorney Will Carey

A special thanks to Columbia Gorge Press for giving us a drastic discount on hundreds of dollars worth of printing for flyers, thank you cards, letterhead, envelopes and business cards. We are now completely outfitted to write to local businesses and national corporations to request the contributions that will keep our care packages filled. Also, our deepest appreciation to Hood River attorney Will Carey for writing up our articles of incorporation and bylaws, GHC is now an Oregon public benefit corporation and we hope to soon have 501c3 status from the federal government.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hero Weekly News

Pics From Army Pilot Lacy Smith
Thanks for the pics!
Dear Terri,
Thanks so much for the cards and letters. I really do miss home. This may sound strange, but when I see the US Flag on the postage stamp from the cards and letters you send, I feel at ease, and I know that someone back home cares about us. I have been sharing your letters with everyone in the unit. They are much appreciated. They really help us pass the time and give us support to keep doing what we are doing. It helps boost our morale.

You have asked what we need and I have a couple of females in my unit that would love some lip gloss and facial moisturizer if possible.

My buddy was recently injured and would appreciate it if you keep him in your prayers. Thank you again for all your support. I appreciate your time that you take in writing me your e-mails. It is good to hear from home.

Your Friend,

SSGT, Don - Iraq

Hero Weekly News August 24, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August Heroes Deployment Update

We want to welcome Army Specialist Adam VandenBos, Air Force Major Ken Ebi, Army Spec. Anthony Mayner, Army Specialist Brandon Fisher and Army Pvt. Nikolas Salas home safe and sound from their respective tours of duty in Iraq. Family members, please pass on our well wishes and thanks!!!!

Airman Mathew Knowles and Airman Michelle Knowles (yes, they are siblings) have returned to the states from Japan and Germany, respectively, so we also want to welcome them home and let them know that we appreciate their service.

Army Pvt. Austin Grimm graduates from boot camp on Sept. 11 and will join the ranks of our Heroes. I'm sure that he is having all kinds of fun in training right now :)

Army Dr. Mary Deighton will be deploying to the Middle East soon to take care of wounded and ill military personnel. What a relief her service is to all of the families who have loved ones in harm's way.

We welcome these new Heroes aboard this month: Army Pvt. Shawn Chance, and these soldiers tied to our Hood River National Guard unit who deployed with the 41st Brigade in June: Ssg. Enid Hernandez and SFC. Roger Rouleau. Also, we are now supporting Army Spec. Jason Lamb, the adorable new father who was recently featured in the Hood River News.

Also, the National Guard are very excited about having their first family picnic in several years, thanks to those of you who were durable enough to help raise money for the cause at a Middle School dance. The picnic will be on the 12th and all of our local soldiers and their families should have a very good time!

Thanks to you all for your hard work and dedication! It is GREATLY appreciated.


Your GHC

Friday, August 14, 2009

Veteran's Extend Special Thanks!

Dear Heroes,

I was asked to extend many thanks for your efforts and dedication today from a wonderful group of Vietnam Veterans that reside in and around The Dalles, Oregon area. My family and I often visit the homeless Veteran's in the area throughout the year and they wanted me to extend their utmost gratitude to you for putting your lives on the line for the freedoms we all enjoy today. You truly are all our Heroes!

Your GHC Member,

Terri Hansen


The Gorge Heroes Club would like to thank Operation Worship for their generous donation of bibles. The free bibles have been donated by Americans from all over the nation. Each has a personalized hand written note of encouragement inside the cover written by fellow Americans across this great nation. There are four Operation Worship Bibles to choose from: U.S. AIR FORCE, U.S. MARINE CORPS, U.S. NAVY and U.S. ARMY.

If you would like to receive one of these bibles, please drop us a line at: and we will make sure to include it in your next care package.

Thanks again Operation Worship for your kind donation to our Heroes.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Marine Speaks Out

GHC received this e-mail and was asked to share it with all of you. This is one Marines take on an article that accused the military of deliberately targeting Muslims in the name of Christianity.

This is his perspective of someone on the front lines of combat with the people who are supporting the troops..............

"This kind of propaganda is unfortunate. Far from being horribly cruel to Muslims, the average soldier or Marine actually goes out of their way to show respect for the people and culture. We have the potential to do much more damage then we do, and the reality is the people here faced alot worse before we came. Most of the Iraqi officers I work with on this team are all Old Army officers who fought the Iranians, and in the Gulf War, then against us in 2003. They all think that things are better now, and talked about during the time of Saddam there wasn't any TV stations except state-controlled media (like in Iran). They also talk all the time about the violence and brutality, and say that Americans are soft by comparison and they wonder why we don't do more violence to terrorists when we catch them, instead of leaving them in the Iraqi court system where they are often let go.

Just the other day we had 18 detainees we rolled up with the Iraqi Army, and they wanted to kill them all, but every one of them got set free because they didn't have the warrants they needed for arrest. More civilians will die because of it, but as long as the Iraqi law system is being impartial then its what has to happen for rule of law to occur.

They also talk about the multiple assassination attempts against Saddam, and how when they ended in failure entire villages would be razed to the ground. Every one of the officers has lost multiple family members, but they aren't angry at us, they're angry at Al Qaeda, at Iran and Syria. They understand that war makes casualties, and that they did not want to fight us, believed it was impossible to defeat us but Saddam was an idiot with a death wish.

I've exchanged oaths with Iraqi soldiers, policemen, border patrol agents, and multiple others who said that they believe we are here to help and they will fight and die beside us to rid Iraq of the insurgency. And I've returned the oath, because I believe their desire to be free is real and earnest and worthy of that sacrifice. Many of them don't want us to leave, because life is better now than it was and they see us as being part of it. Religion rarely is an issue. They see us as a Christian nation, whether any of us believe in God or not, but consider us brothers as People of the Book.

I talk politics and religion alot with the soldiers and officers both, and while they believe Islam is the true faith they aren't any more fundamentalist than anyone else. They smoke, they drink, they talk about women. They're just like us. Sadly most of the people that promote propaganda are distanced from the conflict. If you travel to the villages and cities where the average person lives a life of constant danger, they want peace. They want jobs, a strong economy, security and schools for their children. They lived in utter fear during Saddam's time. But it's like back home, where Sept 11 was 8 years ago and there's people now graduating high school that will never remember what that was like.

Similarly most of the Middle Eastern people that Americans come in contact with have absolutely no reference to what life was really like under Saddam. Many of these people suffer from the same Ivory Tower syndrome that people back home do--all the knowledge without experience that continues to breed politicians and policies based more on randomly-acquired ideologies than actual knowledge from the ground.

I remember two women at Oregon State that were "refugees" from the war, but when I asked them about their family background they were rich and sheltered. Obviously, since they had enough money to flee the country and get visas. But everyone else at school was eating up everything they said as if they spoke for the entire nation. It's nothing bad against people who stand up for their beliefs, but I think uncompromising belief without the salt of experience is inherently disastrous and has probably caused more conflicts than it solves. I'm certainly open to the fact that atrocities have occurred, because they have.

Unfortunately people fail to realize that good has been done here too, and that Iraq suffers from the same birthing pains that our own nation did during it's striving for freedom. I believe most of the people against the war today would have been dedicated English loyalists during that era. But history wasn't written by the loyalists, was it? It was written by the farmers, woodsman and crafters, guided by the hand of educated men who would not be subjugated. It is the same here, my company commander's friend was killed last year in a suicide bombing that also got the battalion commander, and 14 sheiks from the Sahawa al-Anbar (Anbar Awakening) movement.

These people are bleeding for their country, and people back home aren't doing any favors to the Iraqis by trying to lose the war. Many people in America are slaves to an ideology. You can't blame them for the education they've received, or for following the cadre of classmates that don't really know why we're fighting, don't really sacrifice anything in the face of war, but somehow feel justified to speak with authority about it. Likewise anything in the media is often slanted, and that goes both ways. I'm as frustrated listening to Rush Limbaugh as I am with Keith Olbermann.

Political dialogue is necessary, but requires both respect, and more importantly--a willingness to listen. Which flaming liberals or conservatives don't have. They spend so much time reinforcing their own points of view that their ears are closed to the truth, especially if it's not what they believe. Anyway, you can pass on this email if you want. I'm not angered by events back home, I'm more disappointed that people allow themselves to be such sheep. I cordially invite anyone who wants an opinion to spend some quality time here before passing judgment on the conduct of a counterinsurgency. If it didn't break their souls in half they would walk away changed, as I have."

Our Marines - Thanks for the pics....


This just in from an Air Force Pilot: "To my friends at the Heroes Club, I was so surprised to find a box of goodies waiting for me in the mailbox! I actually just got home from a Guard trip in support the Ohio F-16 Guard unit -- and it was so cool to find it waiting for me! I hope you all know just how appreciated YOU are. You show our NW soldiers that it's not just family and close friends who are thinking of them when they are deployed -- or even when we are here at home! I know and have personally experienced the joy you feel to receive a package from the Heroes Club. Plus, I have become a devoted fan of whatever these "all fruit cranberry-pear bars" are for life!!!!! Thank you again for thinking of me, my sisters and all the other members of the armed forces that you support."
Dear Terri,
Thank you so much for the colored pictures from your kids. They are really nice to get from home. We put them up above the table we put all your goodies on that we share. There are a couple of guys in my unit that were foster kids and don't get much mail, if any. So, I shared the cards you sent with them. I can't tell you how much appreciation I saw in their eyes. Some of the guys in my unit have been here for 9 months or more and have never received anything, so we are all grateful for the cards, letters and care packages. Thank you again.

Your friend,

Mike, Iraq
Dear Ms Hansen,

Your package arrived today and it was a very welcome surprise. Our unit has been out on manouvers for just about three weeks now. Your package was the first thing I saw sitting on my bunk. Thanks! I really appreciated the oatmeal cookies and the M&M candies. They didn't last long at all. I was able to hand out all the suckers you sent to us and some of the stuffed animals. They pack really well for us.

Things have been pretty quiet here. We have had a couple IED's but nothing serious. Time is passing quicker than I thought it would.

I want to thank you again for your care packages. The kid's drawings and cards are very special. It helps pass the time and it really helps knowing we are supported back home.

Take care,

SSGT, Don - Iraq
PS - Can you please send some more marshmellows for the marshmellow shooter? We are having so much fun!

Friday, August 7, 2009

For Our Heroes - A Note Of Thanks!

Today, the GHC received a donation in the mail with a note from a Mother that we wanted to share with you.... it reads, "This donation is from our 13-year-old son. He puts aside 10 Percent of his allowance to donate to charity and after getting a (Gorge Heroes Club) flyer at the Fourth of July parade, he chose to donate it to the veterans."

How awesome is that? Thank you for your donation... It is greatly appreciated!

Monday, August 3, 2009

GHC Is On The Move!

Hot off the press! Two great events! First off, GHC is proud to introduce our new "Sponsor A Care Package" brochure. They have been so popular, we are on our second printing! Special thanks to Columbia Gorge Press for printing these up for us.

Secondly, check out the great ad that appeared in this past Wednesday's edition of Hood River News. GHC has started a new campaign to widen community support for our program because two detachments of Soldiers with the Hood River Armory will be deploying next year to Iraq and we will be adding 45-60 boxes per month to our shipment list. Our commitment is to let all of the troops from this area know that they matter to the folks back at home! We can use all of the help -- goodies and money -- that we can get!!!!

If you are interested in helping sponsor a care package, helping with supplies or distribution of GHC brochures, please send us an e-mail at:


Good Afternoon, or I should say Morning your time, I just received another package from Heroes at Home, so I figured I would write a personal letter to thank you all for everything you have been sending. I have received I think 4 packages so far over these past 3 months, and every time I get one it lets me know that people back
home are still thinking about me, and I have not been forgotten.

My fellow Sailors here at Naval Hospital Naples always ask where all these boxes come from, and I tell them about the program you have set up back home to help out all the Military members. The response is always appropriate, being that they too, even though they are not receiving the packages themselves know that back home people "support our troops / sailors / soldiers / marines / airmen." So I thank you for everything you have been sending, and for the future packages I will be receiving.

As you know, I have been stationed at the Naval Hospital in Naples Italy, on the Support Site Base. What we do at the hospital is what most hospitals do back home at the civilian hospitals, but for thousands of active duty members from each branch, their dependents being that wives and children, local Italian nationals that work on the base, and even the Italian military branches.

I have been assigned to work in the Emergency Department, which is my dream come true. Ever since middle school I have had a goal to become a Nurse, and work in the ER, and although I am not a nurse, I am a Corpsman, but I can do most everything Nurses are allowed to do. It is the most rewarding profession, being able to help people with the practice of medicine, seeing a transition from sick to healthy, and just knowing that you have made a difference for all the patients you treat. I wouldn't give it up for anything, besides getting my Nursing Degree of course =)

Being in Italy also has its perks, and you would probably imagine. Traveling throughout Europe these next 2 years is going to be amazing, and something that I thought I would never do when I signed the contract to join the armed forces on October 8th 2008. Already being here I have visited the towns of Gaeta, Rome, Sicily, Capri, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast all in Italy. In the future I hope to travel to every part of Italy, such as Florence and Tuscany and experience the Italian/Neapolitan cultures. Not to mention the rest of Europe. I would like to see Prague. I will attend Oktoberfest next September in Germany, I will travel to Ireland next St. Patricks Day to really celebrate like an Irishman. I will travel to Egypt to see the Pyramids, and so many other experiences I cant wait to enjoy. And periodically I will send you photos of these beautiful places to keep you updated, and always to say thanks.

Again, I thank you ALL from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done throughout my "A" School, and my tour here in Naples, Italy. I hope you enjoy the photos that I have attached.


USN, Naples
Dear Heroes Club,

Thank you so much for the wonderful care packages. We are deploying in the next few months and I have been saving up the great hygeine items that were included. I was so excited about the cherry and apple items as they remind me of Hood River. Plus, cherry chapstick is the the bomb :)

Life at Ft.Carson is great, much better than Ft.Bragg! The climate is much better here and it is nice to have so many outdoor activities available. Luckily we have had time to get our family settled before I go away for a year. Work is extremely busy. I am putting on a Back to School Physical marathon tomorrow for all the kids in our Brigade. I think I will need a long soak in the tub after that! I am enjoying the new job and getting used to working with the heavy armor guys, cavalry, artillery, infantry, etc. Very different world than the hospital environment I just left!

I should have some great opportunities to teach the medics and PA's in this job. We are doing a lot of trauma training which is always interesting. I haven't delivered any babies for awhile though which I miss.

Thanks again for your generous gifts. I will send along some pictures soon!

Dr. Mary Deighton