Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Members of the Oregon National Guard 3-116 CAV Unit will be receiving a special "Thanks" written inside the homemade cards included in this month's care packages. The Gorge Heroes Club was honored to be able to have our monthly support cards displayed at the Oregon Veteran's Home in The Dalles, Oregon for residents to sign. GHC would like to thank our Veteran's for your support!
Monday, February 21, 2011
The Gorge Heroes Club would like to thank the New Heights Church of Vancouver Washington for delivering care package items to the Oregon National Guard 3-116 CAV - Alpha Company of The Dalles, Oregon. The care package items are now on their way to selected heroes who do not receive any support from home. We thank you and our troops thank you!
Monday, February 14, 2011
Marine MSGT Carla Perez receives USMC Meritorious Service Medal
The Gorge Heroes Club received word today that one of our Hometown Heroes, MSGT Carla Perez has been awarded the USMC Meritorious Service Medal. Congratulations MSGT Perez - we appreciate all your hard work and dedication to our freedoms.
The medal reads:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the
MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL to
MASTER SERGEANT CARLA A. PEREZ,
UNITEDSTATES MARINE CORPS for service as set forth in the following citation:
MASTER SERGEANT CARLA A. PEREZ,
UNITEDSTATES MARINE CORPS for service as set forth in the following citation:
For outstanding meritorious service while serving as the Supply Chief, for 1st Marine Division (Forward), from March 2010 to March 2011 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. During this period, Master Sergeant Perez distinguished herself through her unsurpassed proficiency, professionalism, versatility, and leadership. As a member of the Division's Expeditionary Supply and Maintenance Assistance Team, she relentlessly set out to improve supply readiness throughout the division by way of on-site inspections, innovative training, and regular follow-up to ensure sound procedures were implemented and executed. She provided exceptionally well prepared supply readiness briefs to commanders, along with insightful recommendations that improved accountability and ultimately ensured that the Marine Corps can sustain long-term operations. She orchestrated the redistribution of more than 700 combat equipment items and the issue of no less than 13,000 equipment items to support subordinate unit mission requirements. She also coordinated the receipt and distribution of 4,750 items of personal protective equipment for coalition forces and supervised the refinement of coalition equipment requirements. Finally, she supervised the procurement of more than 132 million dollars in contracts providing critical material and equipment, which enabled Marines to conduct successful counterinsurgency operations throughout the unforgiving terrain and climate of Afghanistan's Helmand Province. The exceptional professional ability, steadfast initiative and selfless dedication to duty exhibited by Master Sergeant Perez reflected great credit upon her and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and The United States Naval Service.
JOSEPH L OSTERMAN
BRIGADIER GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS
COMMANDING GENERAL, 1ST MARINE DIVISION (FORWARD)
------------------------------------For the President
Sunday, February 13, 2011
The Gorge Heroes Club would like to thank it's members and community members for donating enough hygiene items to fill 17 boxes that are headed to the Oregon National Guard 3-116 CAV Headquarters in Iraq for distribution.
Some of the items shipped were: razors, hygiene wipes, hand sanitiser, tooth brushes, tooth paste, gel shave cream, shower gel, dental floss, face wash, foot powder and foot creams.
If you would like to help supply items for care packages, you are welcome to drop them off at the following locations:
WAAAM - The Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum - Airport Road, Hood River, Or
Windermere Glenn Taylor Realtors - Bingen, Wa
Oregon National Guard Armory - The Dalles, Or
GHC is a non-profit organization, so your contributions are tax deductible. If you have any questions, please e-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Moving Day for the Bagges
By RaeLynn Ricarte
The Dalles Chronicle
“Without further ado, welcome home soldier,” said Spec. Kevin Pannell as he handed the keys of the 4025 Nastasi Drive home in Parkdale to Ssgt. Christian Bagge.
Pannell, 33, and Bagge, 29, are both double amputees who had residences built to accommodate their wheelchairs by Homes for Our Troops, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization.
Pannell lost both legs in an enemy grenade ambush during a 2004 deployment to Iraq and he and his wife moved into their new Sandy home in December. He met Bagge in 2005 when the combat veteran was undergoing medical treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the loss of both legs.
Bagge, who grew up in Mosier, deployed to Iraq in 2004 with other Oregon National Guard soldiers from The Dalles Armory. He lost his legs following the June 3, 2005, explosion of two bombs while on a routine road-clearing mission about 100 miles north of Baghdad.
He said being visited by Pannell, who walked into his hospital room on prosthetic legs, gave him hope for the future. If mobility were again possible, then Bagge, an avid outdoorsman, knew that some normalcy could be restored to his life. Just three months before the tragedy occurred, Christian and Melissa (Eagy), a native of The Dalles, had married and he wanted their plans for the future to continue as unimpeded as possible.
“Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are people who understand sacrifice and what it means to move on; I’m always impressed by people who have served,” said Bagge.
He thanked the many veterans in the crowd of more than 200 people who had come to the key ceremony organized by Homes and Advantis Credit Union of Milwaukie, which raised $150,000 for the project. The volunteer labor force that began working on the home last August was supervised by Kase Construction of The Dalles. The Gorge Heroes Club assisted with meals and other support for the Build Brigade in August and the Feb. 5 key ceremony.
Also present at Saturday’s event were 15 soldiers from Alpha Company assigned to The Dalles Armory. Three of these infantrymen had been with Bagge when the explosion occurred and struggled to keep him alive while awaiting the arrival of a medevac helicopter to transport him off the battlefield.
“I would not be here today if these men from my platoon -- Nick Mendez, Jeremy Kitchen and Adam Campbell – had not worked so hard to save my life,” said Bagge.
He delivered a strong rebuke of a reader board message at The Dalles Wahtonka High School that told students “You are your own hero.” Bagge said heroism was defined by courageous acts that people did on behalf of others and was a title that had to be earned.
“Everyday, when they (Mendez, Kitchen and Campbell) wake up they remember what happened and these guys suffer. I love you all and I’m proud that you are here today,” he said. “I will always be proud of the almost eight years that I served my country.”
He then thanked all of the community members and contractors that had volunteered time to help build the single-story house that provides him with easy access to every room. He and Melissa are now raising two young children, Noah and Brynne, so a home environment that allows him to be easily mobile is even more appreciated.
“It’s just so amazing that so many people I’ve never met are here supporting me and that’s a testament to our country,” said Bagge.
He asked those in attendance to remember as the ceremony took place, and for a moment every day, there were military personnel fighting for America’s freedoms and their lives on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Oregon Rep. Mark Johnson, the father of a deployed Army officer, and Sen. Chuck Thomsen, welcomed the Bagges to Hood River County, where they both reside, and invited him to visit Salem.
“I’d be honored to have you as my guest of honor on the floor of the House,” said Johnson after commenting that the Bagge house stood as a legacy to American generosity and patriotism.
John Gonsalves, founder and president of Homes for Our Troops, said there were a growing number of triple and quadruple amputees at Walter Reed and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., in recent months. He said these injuries were a result of the enemy adapting to America’s armoring vehicles for better troop protection by building bigger bombs.
“Although we should be grateful for their survival, we also have to look into the mirror as Americans and ask, ‘What do we owe them?’” said Gonsalves. “We need to be in a position where every community is doing what we did here.”
He said more than 1,000 homes were needed across the nation for soldiers and Marines with severe disabilities brought by service on the front lines.
The Dalles soldiers had helped the Bagges load the furniture from their The Dalles home into a U-Haul truck on Friday. They stayed after the ceremony to move the family’s belongings into the new 2,600 square foot residence.
"Helping Christian get moved in and being there to honor his family at the key ceremony can't make up for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of this country but will help provide them with an opportunity to re-establish themselves,” said 2nd Lt. Brian Fike, commander of The Dalles unit. “We are his brothers in arms and this is just the right thing to do."
Also pitching in to help the Bagges move in were emergency responders from the Parkdale, West Side, Hood River, Odell Fire and Pine Grove fire departments. They had escorted the family to their new home via fire engine in a Highway 35 processional that was also joined by a vehicle from the Oregon State Police.
The Patriot Guard Riders, under the direction of captain Rod Runyon, a The Dalles resident, had formed a flag line at the entrance to the private road and outside the Bagge house.
Safeway employees from Hood River delivered more than $500 of goods – everything from diapers to cooking spices – and handed the Bagges $300 in gift certificates after the ceremony. Prior to his military service, Christian had worked for the store and Linda Hutson, head clerk, said the employees are honored to have them in Hood River County and plan to continue their support.
“We have adopted them; they are part of the family now,” she said.
The Gorge Heroes Club has posted over 70 pictures of this event on our Facebook page: Gorge Heroes-Club
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
GHC would like to share the following e-mails and pictures we have received from our deployed Hometown Heroes. As always, GHC has withheld the names due to the security of our heroes:
"Dear GHC, I greatly appreciate your support and I am glad you do what you do!" - Received from a front line Marine in Afghanistan.
"Dear GHC, I would like to thank you for your support of myself and my unit. Your Christmas package came on the perfect day that we were missing being home and needed the support of knowing someone back home cares about us. You are in my prayers." - Received from a front line Marine in Afghanistan.
GHC learned this morning that our Yahoo e-mail account has been hacked by someone requesting funds sent via telephone to London. Please rest assured that this message is a scam and was not sent by GHC, we do not make requests for funds through mass emails.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused to those on our mailing list and we have alerted the appropriate US Fraud authorities of this discovery. To avoid future problems, we have closed the email@example.com address and will be receiving email now only at GHC@gorge.net.
Again, we apologize for any inconvenience that this problem has caused our members and followers.