Thursday, December 27, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
At first glance, they appear to be fishermen and women eagerly anticipating a day full of fly fishing and wondering what luck they'll have.
The people here are all part of a program called Project Healing Waters. It's a national non-profit, but locally has been coordinated in the Portland-Vancouver area for six years. The program is geared for disabled veterans and active duty military personnel who rehabilitate both emotionally and physically through fly-tying and fly fishing.
These veterans say what they get out of it varies just as much as their service records and injuries.
George Lonnee is a Marine who served in the Vietnam War in 1965-66 and 1968-69.
Lonnee suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and he attends counseling every Wednesday. Out on the water, he still thinks about the past.
Lonnee said Project Healing Waters has helped him tremendously, and even his family has noticed a big difference. He said he's benefited from the program and his connection with another veteran on one boat has helped him personally.
"They're not just sitting there sewing leather wallets. It's really therapy in the sense that they get to be out in the community," said local Project Healing Waters coordinator Jerry Lorang.
Lorang said the program has benefited countless veterans, in so many ways.
Theresa Chinn says the social experience specifically with other veterans is a huge part of why she enjoys the program.
While they only caught a few fish, Chinn says it's not about the fight for the fish, which they'd release anyways. It's not even about casting the perfect line.
Out on the river, the veterans get to be themselves. Although they're paired up with one other person, they're also surrounded by support, camaraderie and in a pressure free environment.
"We're all brothers. I don't care if they're Marine, Air Force, Army or whatever. We're all there for each other. Trust is the biggest thing, it's not about war stories, it's about making you feel good," said Lonnee.
For many of these veterans, Project Healing Waters might not take away all of the pain, but it is making a big difference for the folks who are dealing with very real problems in their lives.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
Story by Staff Sgt. Brandon Boyd, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs.
PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Portland, Ore.— Oregon Air National Guard Col. Richard W. Wedan, former 142nd Fighter Wing vice commander, assumed command of the 142nd Fighter wing from Col. Michael E. Stencel during a change of command ceremony Dec. 2.
The wing’s colors were passed to Wedan during the ceremony, heavy with the responsibility and significance of leading the storied group called the Redhawks.
In his previous role as the vice wing commander, Wedan assisted in leading over 1,000 personnel in the execution of the F-15 aerospace control alert mission defending the Pacific Northwest, worldwide deployments, and domestic operations. The supporting role now becomes the leading role.
The outgoing commander thanked his family for their support during his tenure and the distinguished guests for attending the ceremony. Stencel also addressed the members of the 142nd in attendance, thanking them for their contributions, leadership and sacrifices that helped the wing achieve each mission.
During the ceremony, Wedan thanked Stencel in turn, for his leadership and tireless work ethic.
“Mike, you are truly a great man of tremendous character,” said Wedan.
As wing commander, Wedan will oversee the 142nd Fighter Wing just as Airmen prepare for an upcoming Combined Unit Exercise (CUE) scheduled for July, 2012.
During the ceremony, Wedan laid out a four-point leadership plan for the future of the 142nd Fighter Wing focusing on the homeland defense mission, base facilities, community engagement, recruitment and retention.
“I challenge you to embrace the endeavor through your whole-hearted contribution and best efforts,” said Wedan.
Wedan enlisted in the Minnesota Air National Guard in 1988 as a command post controller with the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn., attended undergraduate pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, and received his initial F-16 training at Kingsley Field, in Klamath Falls, Ore., in 1991.
In 1997, Wedan returned to Oregon as an instructor pilot with the 173rd Fighter Wing at Kingsley Field, where he served for 12 years prior to being assigned to Oregon’s Joint Force Headquarters for three years as the director of operations.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Posted by Master Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Oregon's Assistant Adjutant General joins local leaders for Veterans Day ceremony at Vancouver Barracks
Oregon Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Bruce W. Prunk, Assistant Adjutant Gen. Air; U.S. Army Col. Peter Norseth; Ann Rivers, State Senator for the 18th district; Vancouver Mayor Timothy D. Levitt; and Dan Tarbell, event Co-Chairman, render honors during a wreath laying ceremony at the Veterans Day event held at the Fort Vancouver Barracks post cemetery in Vancouver, Wash., Nov. 11. (Oregon Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)
A Cadet Honor Guard from the University of Portland presents the colors during the Praying Hands Memorial at the University of Portland campus in Portland, Ore., Nov. 11. Air Force and Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadets participated in the ceremony, following a 24-hour vigil held at the campus to honor veterans of all branches of the military. Oregon Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Steven D. Gregg, Commander, Oregon Air National Guard, was the featured speaker at the event. (Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs).
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Senior Airman Brittany Corr (right), Oregon Air National Guard Category I Airman of the Year, Spc. Ryan Johnson (center), Oregon Army National Guard Soldier of the Year, and State Command Sgt. Maj. Shane Lake (left), watch from the reviewing stand during the Veterans Day Parade, Nov. 10, in Albany, Ore. It is customary for the Oregon National Guard to host Airmen and Soldiers of the year in the reviewing stand at the annual event. (Photo by Staff Sgt. April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)
Friday, November 9, 2012
The medals, which were stolen during a home burglary, were bestowed to LaBonte's family following numerous inquiries by Funk as he worked through various government agencies to have the medals reinstated.
LaBonte's brother, Sgt. Eli A. DuMonte, who was a member of the Oregon Army National Guard's 41st Infantry Division during WWII, was killed during the battle of Biak in 1944. He was posthumously awarded the medals.
"This was the right thing to do, and I wasn't going to take no for an answer," Funk said, speaking about the government bureaucracy he faced trying to get the medals reinstated.
Funk also faced the challenge presented by archived military records in St. Louis, Mo., which had been destroyed in a fire in 1973. Undaunted, Funk queried several government agencies, and tracked down a fellow Soldier of DuMonte in order to obtain sworn statements supporting the original awarding of the medals.
"This is for my brother, but it's really for my mother and my family," LaBonte said following the ceremony in the second floor auditorium.
The 41st Infantry Division's deployment during WWII was the longest on record, and involved the largest number of Oregon Soldiers. Personnel were primarily assigned to the Pacific Theater of Operations, fighting in several key battles, including Biak and New Guinea.
The ceremony was attended by about 100 local business leaders, Oregon National Guard leadership, and well-wishers.
The Camp Withycombe open house also brought together several groups, including Native American Tribal members, Oregon National Guard Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen, veterans groups, and area residents.
A portion of the ceremony included a presentation of donations by local businesses for the renovation of the Oregon Military Museum, located at Camp Withycombe. Three companies each donated $50,000 at the event.
For more information on the 41st Inf. Div. Association, go here. For more information on the Oregon Historical Outreach Foundation, and the capital campaign to raise funds for the renovation of the Oregon Military Museum, visit their website here.
Photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Saturday, October 27, 2012
The unit recently returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, where they provided force protection, personal security for high profile visitors, and trained the Afghan National Police.
The event also included a 30-day Yellow Ribbon Reintegration event that ensures returning service members and their families are aware of health, employment and education benefits and resources. This is Porter's third deployment (Oregon Military Department Photo by Sgt. Cory Grogan)
To see the rest of the photos from this event visit our Flickr page here.
Posted Oct. 27, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Posted by Master Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Posted Oct. 23, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Oregon Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major assumes highest position in the Army National Guard
Army Lt. Gen. William E. Ingram Jr., director of the Army National Guard, ceremoniously transfers responsibility from Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Burch, the ninth command sergeant major of the Army National Guard, to Command Sgt. Maj. Brunk Conley, the incoming 10th command sergeant major of the Army National Guard, during a ceremony at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in Arlington, Va., Sept. 26, 2012. (Photo by Sgt. Darron Salzer, National Guard Bureau Public Affairs)
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
Citizen-Soldiers with the 2-218 Field Artillery, Oregon Army National Guard, demonstrate the abilities and features of their howitzers at the Oregon Symphony Waterfront Park Concert, Aug. 30, in Portland, Ore.
The howitzers have become a tradition at the concert, firing during the playing of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture.
Photo by Sgt. Jason van Mourik, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the director of the Air National Guard, and Chief Master Sgt.
Christopher E. Muncy, the command chief master sergeant to the director of the ANG, present Senior Master Sgt. Luke W. Thompson, 125th Special Tactics Squadron, Oregon ANG, with the Outstanding Airman Ribbon during the 2012 ANG Outstanding Airmen of the Year awards ceremony at the Air National Guard Readiness Center, Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 22.
The ANG Outstanding Airmen of the Year ceremony recognizes the ANGs six top performers for superior leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements.
National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Marvin Preston.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
A boy looks through the sights of a Howitzer, part of the display put on by the Oregon Army National Guard at the 2012 Salute the Troops 125 race event at the Portland International Raceway, in Portland, Ore., Aug. 25-26. This is the fourth year that the Oregon Army National Guard has participated in this event. Photo by Sgt. Jason Van Mourik, 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Oregon Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopters stage at the Lakeview Helibase to assist with the Barry Point fire in south central Oregon, Aug. 18. So far the fire, which has scortched nearly 94,000 acres, is almost 50 percent contained. Photo courtesy of Charlie 7-158 Aviation, Oregon Army National Guard.
Friday, August 17, 2012
In the event that the Coast Guard VBST discovers high levels of radiation or unfamiliar chemicals aboard a vessel, the CST would be called upon to identify the material, and decontaminate the vessel and any members of the team with whom it had come into contact.
The teams worked together in a real world scenario April 8, 2011, when the freight vessel Pan Pac Spirit was cleared to enter the Columbia River. Both teams boarded the vessel, which had recently transited through potentially contaminated waters in the vicinity of Fukushima, Japan. The VBST provided security and basic radiation detection while the CST offered more technologically advanced radiological and chemical detecting capabilities.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The interview is available on the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System website:
The 1186 MP Co., consisting of approximately 180 Oregon Citizen-Soldiers from throughout the state, deployed to Afghanistan in October 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit provides force protection, personal security for high profile visitors, and trains the Afghan National Police in their area. The unit is scheduled to return to Oregon in fall 2012.
The 115 MPAD, consisting of approximately 18 Oregon Citizen-Soldiers, arrived in Afghanistan in July. The unit provides theater-level public affairs support with print and broadcast media operations.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Friday, August 10, 2012
Above: Spc. Corey Buoy and Spc. Franklin Dominguez, with the 3670th Maintenance Company ground support platoon, conduct preventive care and maintenance work on a military generator used by the City of Seaside as a back up power source in their Water Works section, Aug. 10. The 3670th Maintenance Company provides basic care and preventative maintenance to generators in several coastal cities. Along with maintaining the generators, Citizen-Soldiers also train the local employees on the proper care of older military generators. (Photo by Sgt. Jason van Mourik, 115 Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Oregon Army National Guard)
SEASIDE, Ore. - Citizen-Soldiers with the 3670th Maintenance Company ground support platoon, 82 Brigade, Oregon Army National Guard, assisted Oregon coastal communities with equipment repair and maintenance in preparation for natural disasters and emergencies, Aug. 10, in Seaside, Ore.
Soldiers trained City Water Works employees in Seaside the proper preventative care and maintenance for older military generators used as back up systems in case of emergencies and disasters.
"We've had nothing but positive feedback from the groups we support," said Chief Warrant Officer 3, Tim Coronado, a ground support maintenance equipment engineer with the 3670th. "My soldiers love going out and working in the local communities, it helps build relationships across the board."
There are approximately six different communities that request maintenance and training support throughout the year.
"We send out our contact teams during our annual training," said Maj.
Richard Ybarra, 3670th company commander. "The communities understand that it provides training to our Soldiers and the local employees. It's a win-win situation."
Cities like Seaside may not always be able to purchase brand new back up generators, and that's where the local relationships with the Oregon Army National Guard and 3670th Maintenance Company help out.
"This is a key partnership that we have with the communities," said Brig. Gen. Eric Bush, 82 Brigade Commander. "It dovetails nicely with the concept of military support to civilian authorities and building relationships at the local level."
Repairing generators and building community relationships, Soldiers of the 3670th hope to continue on with the program as long as they are needed.
"It's not about getting recognition for what we do," said Coronado. "It's about training our Soldiers and lending a hand to our neighbors."
To see the rest of the photos from this set, visit our official Flickr page.
Story by Sgt. Jason Van Mourik,
Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office
The event, organized by the Oregon Chapter of Operation Homefront, gave school supplies and backpacks to children of Oregon National Guard members at no cost. Mead helped participants pick out school supplies and backpacks donated by Dollar Tree.
Oregon National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs.
To see the rest of the photos from this event, visit our official Flickr page, where you can also download the high resolution images.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.-The 270th Air Traffic Control Squadron (ATCS) of the Oregon Air National Guard received the 2011 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award presented by Brig. Gen. Steven D. Gregg, the Commander of the Oregon Air National Guard, at Kingsley Field, Klamath Falls, Oregon, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012.
The award cited a range of accomplishments by the 270th ATCS, "from providing fixed base Air Traffic Control (ATC) facilities for the only F-15 training site, to training and deploying air traffic controllers and maintenance personnel to every Area of Responsibility (AOR)."
The award also stated that, "The unit deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, serving as Ground Radar Systems Craftsman and significantly contributed to over 2,600 hours of successful operational surveillance, tracking more than 155,000 aircraft ... with zero mishaps."
This the seventh consecutive year the 270th has earned the AF Outstanding Unit Award.
"It is an honor to add another award to your list of accomplishments," Gregg said. "We are proud you are a part of the Oregon Guard team."
Lieutenant General Harry M. Wyatt III, Director, Air National Guard, passed along his personal congratulations writing, "The selection for this prestigious award reflects great credit upon the 270th ATCS, the State of Oregon, and the Air National Guard."
Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon, also extended his personal congratulations for a job well done.