Monday, September 26, 2011

Homey Gnome's Bro Perishes in Training Exercise

Gergnome getting ready for a mission - putting on his "Gnome Dome"

It is with great regret that we report a third casualty within the ranks of our combat gnomes. Gergnome was last seen experimenting with explosives as a GIED and practicing his ambush techniques with 2nd Platoon of the Oregon National Guard 1186th MP Company that is under the command of 2nd Lt. Brian Fike.

A spokesperson for the Oregon National Guard would say only that Gergnome will receive posthumous decorations for his valor, 'can-do' attitude and ability to boost the morale of soldiers in his unit. 

The platoon leader's casualty report stated: "A prototype restraint for micro soldiers was being field tested but failed initial live tests and engineering data is being reviewed to prevent further tragedies."

Gergnome was known to friends and family members as a gnome with a tough attitude who readily called people up short (no pun intended) for wrongdoing but was also willing to go the extra mile for those he cared about, although it took him longer than most to get there. His favorite phrase was "moto" and he lived by that creed every day of his undersized life.

According to reports, Gergnome was greatly respected by soldiers within the unit and was expected to deploy to Afghanistan later this year with his human comrades.

Upon learning of Gergnomes death, Homey Gnomes two younger twin brothers have requested reassignment to the 1186 MP Unit to carry on Gergnomes mission of boosting troop morale.

-The following is a  photo tribute of Gergnome's last mission and Memorial Service-

Gergnome training with the 1186 MP Unit - Learning combat techniques.

And more combat techniques.

Gergnomes last mission - He loved watching things get blown up!

Gergnomes Memorial Service

Gergnome receiving honors.

Gergnome, small and mighty as he was - received the largest casket they could find.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Homefront "Homey" Gnome and the 13 other members of the grief-stricken family, who also lost two brothers in Iraq this summer.

Those wishing to send condolences to Homey Gnome and his family can do so at the following address:

Homey Gnome
1767 12th Street #113
Hood River, Oregon 97031

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Welcome Home Oregon National Guard 3-116 CAV

With cheers and tears of joy, families from across the state greeted Oregon National Guard soldiers upon their return home during the past two weeks. The 2,700 members of the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team included more than 500 soldiers from Oregon, with 135 from The Dalles and 35 from Hood River. These units deployed to Iraq in November of 2010 after spending two months of training at Fort Shelby, Miss. They were flown to Fort Lewis, Wash., between late August and early September for medical exams and the processing of paperwork before being bused to the armory nearest their respective homes.

During the past year, GHC provided monthly care packages for 700 heroes, including more than 500 3-116 CAV soldiers from the Gorge, Pendleton, Hermiston, Le Grande, Baker and Redmond.

The Gorge Heroes Club is truly honored to have supported the Guard during their deployment. We would like to thank all the community members from Hood River and Wasco counties who stood on the I-84 overpasses after receiving only a moment's notice to welcome our warriors home as they passed through these communities. We would also like to extend a huge, "THANK YOU" to the First Responders from both counties that met the buses carrying soldiers from the Hood River and The Dalles units and proudly escorted them from the freeway to the cheering crowds of supporters and family members waiting at the armory's.

~The following is a collection of photo's of their WELCOME HOME~

Ah.... first hugs! Spec Chris Haskins of 3-116 CAV, F Co from Hood River gets a hugs welcome home hug!

"Returning the Special Good Luck Coin" - Spc Haskins member of the Oregon National Guard 3-116 CAV, Fox Co from Hood River returns a lucky coin given to him on the day he deployed a year ago from Hood River resident Dyrk Pritchett as friends and family members look on.  Welcome home Spec Haskins!

"Welcome Home Dad" -  By Branden Fletcher

"Soldier Husband Hero" - By Wendy Barge'

"Welcome Home Warrior" -  by McKaley Wafford

"Hugs and Smiles" -  by Angi Landreth

"We are so proud of you" - by Debbie Noland

"My Son. Hoorah!" by Kathy Wells

CSM Brunk Conley welcomes home soldiers as they depart the bus at The Dalles Armory.
Photo courtesy of The Dalles Chronicle

Spec John Winters from Alpha Co, The Dalles receives a welcome home hug from his Dad, Scott Winters. Photo courtesy of The Dalles Chronicle

Little Finnegan Sherburne from The Dalles cheers as he waits to give his Daddy a welcome home hug.
Photo courtest of The Dalles Chronicle

And.... My Daddy's Home!
Photo Courtesy of The Dalles Chronicle

If you have a "Welcome Home" picture you would like to add to this post, please e-mail it to:

Your GHC

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tribute To Hood River County Firefighters - We Salute You

During the Hood River County 9/11 Memorial, the Gorge Heroes Club paid tribute to the Hood River County Firefighters for their dedication and commitment to our safety and also to their continued support of their deployed military Brothers-In-Arm. 

Working with U.S Congressman Greg Walden, each of the county Fire Departments were awarded a certificate that read:

Flag flown over the United States Capitol

This certificate entitles the bearer to one U.S. flag flown over the United States Capitol at the request of
U.S. Congressman Greg Walden.

The flag has been dedicated in your honor because you have stepped forward to protect and serve American citizens in continuance of the tradition of heroism exhibited by firefighters on September 11, 2001, and military personnel in the decade since that tragedy.

The dedicated flags were flown over the United States Capitol on September 11, 2011 for each of the Hood River County Fire Departments.

The following pictures are of the 9/11 Memorial and Tribute to Hood River County Firefighters.

Preparations for the 9/11 Memorial and Tribute get underway at Anderson Tribute Center.  GHC would like to thank Anderson Tribute Center and their staff for their hard work in helping coordinate the event.

Homey arrives to pay tribute to our County Firefighters.

West Side Fire Department arrives with Engine 55.

West Side Crew: (L to R), Chaplain David Hancock, David Stolhand, Greg Clarke, Chuck Walston, Rachal Hansen and Gus Fletcher.

Hood River crews arrive.
Stabilizing Tower 3 - At the controls is Hood River Fire Department member Nathan Smith as Cpt McCrea looks on.

 Hood River City Fire Department Cpt Clay McCrea readies the Tower.

 Side view of Hood River City Fire Department's Tower 3 bucket.  In remembrance of the 343 Firefighters who were lost on 9/11/2001.

 West Side Fire Department member Rachal Hansen stands ready with the flag that will be flown on the bucket of Tower 3 during the service as Hood River Fire Department member Gary Stalling readies the ties.

 Hood River Fire Department member Nathan Smith, left and Gary Stalling right prepare the flag for the tower.

Up she goes! 

Flying PROUD! 

 Tower 1 flying our Nations Colors with PRIDE!

The ceremony began with a "Welcome" for Jim Trammell West Side Fire Marshall.

 West Side Fire Department Chaplain David Hancock leads service members in prayer.

 Posting of Colors by Oregon National Guard SFC Gary Norris and Hood River Fire Department Chief Wells.

 The Emergency Responder Role During Crisis was presented by Chief Devon Wells of the Hood River City Fire Department.

 Oregon National Guard SFC Gary Norris thanked the local Hood River County Fire Fighters for their dedication and commitment to our safety and for their support.  SFC Norris told the crowd, "Our county firefighters are true heroes".

 On behalf of the U.S. Congressman Greg Walden, the Oregon National Guard and the Gorge Heroes Club, SFC Norris presented the above certificates to representatives from each of the Hood River County Fire Departments.

 After the ceremony, Homey greeted those at the service.  Pictured here (L to R) are GHC member Emily Hansen, West Side EMT/Firefighter Rachal Hansen and Oregon National Spec Ryan Young.
 The cake honoring Hood River County's finest!

 Cake, close up and side view.

 The Gorge Heroes Club would like to thank members of the Boy Scout Troop #282 and Troop Master Jeff McCaw, pictured above for serving as Ushers during the event. Here, they had just finished folding the flag after it was taken down from Tower 3.

All men were created equal,
then a few became firemen.......... Anonymous

 At the end of the service the Gorge Heroes Club presented them a gift of the following video:

Saturday, September 10, 2011


The Gorge Heroes Club, in partnership with Anderson’s Tribute Center, will honor firefighters from Hood River County on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the east coast.

“Ten years ago 343 firefighters died trying to save the lives of American citizens after planes flown by terrorists crashed into the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan. We planned this event to pay tribute to their sacrifices and out of recognition that the same level of dedication to public safety exists within our local fire departments,” said RaeLynn Ricarte, GHC president.

She said community members are invited to Anderson’s, 1401 Belmont Ave., at 6 p.m. Sunday for a short program that remembers 9/11 and the acts of heroism that took place on that tragic day. She said those attending will have an opportunity to thank area firefighters from six agencies and honor the 3,000 victims of the attacks and the 6,000 military personnel who have died in the two wars that followed that day.

“All too often our firefighters go without being thanked for stepping forward to risk their own lives to save others and we felt the 10th anniversary of 9/11, when memories resurface of lives lost in the line of duty, is the right time to pay tribute to our emergency responders,” said Jack Trumbull, owner of Anderson’s.

Firefighters will be attending from Pine Grove, Odell, Parkdale, West Side, Hood River and Cascade Locks departments. Refreshments will be served at the event and Oregon National Guard SFC Gary Norris will present, on behalf of military families and GHC, a special award to each agency that recognizes the dedication and professionalism of their respective crews.

The program will open with a welcome by Jim Trammell, fire marshal for West Side, and end with a reading of the emergency responder role during the crisis by Devon Wells, fire chief for Hood River. The National Anthem will be sung by vocalist Jo Herring of Hood River with accompaniment by Perry Cole. The Guard will post the colors and a video depicting the 9/11 timeline will be shown.

“I think it’s important that parents bring their children to this observance because 9/11 was the day that changed America forever and we need to never forget those who died and those who are fighting today to stop terrorists from being able to pull off another attack,” said Terri Hansen, GHC vice-president.