Hallett Family Releases Statement

August 31, 2009 at 4:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Lisa Hallett and Family sent a statement and photos to the Fort Lewis PAO for release to the media.   Our thoughts and prayers are with these families.

HALLETT FAMILY RELEASES STATEMENT

Hallett1---Michelle-Ocampo

 

FORT LEWIS, Wash. — Lisa A. Hallett, wife of Cpt. John L. Hallett III, releases the following statement and photos on behalf of herself and their children – Jackson, Bryce, and Heidi – for news media use.

“Captain John Louis Hallett, III, was an amazing father, devoted and joyful husband, thoughtful son, loving brother, and inspiring friend. John possessed incredible work ethic and inspirational integrity. He would always put the needs of others before his own. He was a patient teacher to our children. John loved to organize; he always left the house with pen and paper, ready to make a list. He had an intelligent, balanced, and fair perspective.

“He had the warmest and most genuine smile. John would always make people laugh by his clever ways and kind humor. He was the support system for his family. From his years at West Point through his military career, John loved the challenge of being in the army and knowing that he had the opportunity to serve his country and help others through leadership, example, and duty. John felt a strong commitment to serve the country he loved.
“Words fail to begin to describe John’s true spirit. John’s amazing example and memories will live in and guide his three young children.”

— Lisa A. Hallett

 

Hallett2-Tacoma---Baby-Phot

Top photo: Cpt. John L. Hallett III (center), with sons Bryce (left), and Jackson (left). Undated courtesy photo, provided by the Hallett family for news media use (Photo by Michelle Ocampo, for Lisa Hallett. All other rights reserved).

Bottom photo: Lisa and Cpt. John L. Hallett III, with their children Bryce (far left) and Jackson (far right). Undated courtesy photo, provided by the Hallett family for news media use (Photo by Tacoma Baby Photo, for Lisa Hallett. All other rights reserved).

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DOD identifies Ft. Lewis Army Casualties

August 29, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Posted in General Troop Support, Veteran Support | Leave a comment
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Prayers go out to the family and friends of the  1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Washington for the loss of 

Capt. John L. Hallett III, 30, of California.


Capt. Cory J. Jenkins, 30, of Arizona.

Cpt. Cory J. Jenkins


 Sgt. 1st Class Ronald W. Sawyer, 38, of Trenton, Mo.

20090827 SFC Sawyer Cropped Redactedzope.jpg


 Pfc. Dennis M. Williams, 24, of Federal Way, Wash.

Federal Way High School grad killed in Afghanistan

RIP Brave Warriors. 


Ft. Lewis getting a $24.2 million Operations facility

August 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Posted in General Troop Support | Leave a comment
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Advertisement
US_Army_Rangers_in Iraq

US Army Rangers in Iraq
(click to view full)

The Korte Co. in St. Louis, MO won a $24.2 million firm-fixed-price construction contract for the construction of a 2-story standard design company operations facility for the US Army Ranger Support Company and Headquarters and Headquarters Company at Fort Lewis in Washington state. The estimated construction cost could reach $100 million.

Read more here

Living Legends Team – Angels of Comfort

August 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Posted in Fisher Houses, General Troop Support, Veteran Support | Leave a comment
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Soldiers’ Angel Cynthia is a part of theLiving Legends team, which provides condolences and comfort to families of the fallen through letters, cards, and very special gifts of comfort and remembrance.  Cynthia is personally responsible for contacting families and offering them a tree or wreath in memory of their loved one.  She also makes sure any young children involved receive a Patches teddy bear, which is specially crafted to help them express their emotions amid the tragedy of losing a parent.

Angels of Comfort

The last two months have seen a high rate of casualties, especially in Afghanistan, and the Living Legends team has been very busy.  Cynthia recently shared with the rest of the team:

…After talking with family after family the last few days, I thought it was time to make sure each and every one of you understands how very important you are and what a special thing it is you are doing. Mother after mother, wife after wife, father after father, and husband after husband have told me how much those cards mean to them.

Not once in the two years I have been doing this have I ever had to explain Soldiers Angels to any of our families–each and every person knew, and the appreciation is so enormous. One Grandfather told me this weekend that we have done so much for them that they hated to impose anymore by taking a tree. I’m told over and over how amazed they are that people all over the country–people they don’t know–would be so kind, go to such trouble for them.

Each of you, when you send a card, is a wonderful ambassador for Soldiers Angels and you make my job at little easier. Some families have told me that at especially rough times, they go back to their box of Angel cards and read them again for comfort. It doesn’t matter that none of us have the perfect words–when I call, I certainly don’t because there simply are none–but the fact that you reach out to them means so much, they are so grateful that people care; you just can’t imagine.

So, if ever you feel that your one card doesn’t matter, that you can’t possibly say anything that will make a difference, don’t you dare stop! You are a lifeline to so many, and those cards and letters will carry into the future. Sadly, many of our heroes have children they never met or who are too young to remember who Mom or Dad was.  Your cards are being kept to give to those children and hopefully your words will help these children fill that empty place with the understanding that Mom or Dad was very special–so special, so appreciated, that people from all over the States wrote to say so.

So, thank you again.  I, too, appreciate the caring and thoughtful way you pave the road for me. The bios [on each fallen hero, researched and assembled by Living Legend team members] are so helpful to me because I can read each one, and when I talk to one of our families I know something about them, which makes me a little more like a long-lost friend that a stranger. Plus, I see the photos and sometimes it helps me know what to say. I know putting those bios together is not an easy job, reading them isn’t easy either and you know what?–It really shouldn’t be.

Soldiers’ Angels proudly gives its most respectful salute to the amazing Angels of the Living Legends team.  They willingly step into the most painful of situations, honoring America’s heroes and comforting their grieving families during the most difficult time. They are truly Angels of a most special breed.

“He has no personal effects”

August 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Fisher Houses, General Troop Support, Veteran Support | Leave a comment
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A must read Blog post from ” My position on the Way”

“He has no personal effects. The only things that came with him from downrange[to Germany] were an envelope with a couple of [military challenge] coins and his Soldiers’ Angels backpack.”

That, in and of itself is a powerful statement.

About 10 last night, a friend of mine from college called to tell my Mrs. her husband (also another friend from college) was wounded in Iraq. His leg was badly injured, and he was in Germany, but would be transported to WRAMC soon.

The Mrs., who has walked many miles in those shoes.

Then I did something that I absolutely hate having to do: I shot a red-star cluster (a flare we use in the army that shoots a rocket up to about 250 feet and then shoots a shower of bright red sparks. In training, it is used to alert everyone on the battlefield that a serious real-world injury has happened, and mark the location for pickup.

In war, it is used to tell the helicopter where to land to pick up the casualties.

My figurative red star was fired out into the community of milbloggers and more importantly, Soldier’s Angels. Between the time I found out (actually before) a Soldier’s Angel in Germany was present, holding his hand, making sure he was comforted and taken care of, contacting his spouse, who was back in the states trying to wrangle arrangements for their two kids. (Sound familiar so far?) and the time I woke up this morning, SA-stateside had energized their wounded team, making sure that he (and the other critically wounded patients flying in today) would have someone waiting on them.

They’d contacted his spouse again, making sure that anything she needed was also getting taken care of. Did she need someone to watch the kids? The dog? Did she need someone to run errands so she could take a nap? Was there anything at all she needed? Not to mention getting her information–gleaned from thousands of patients and families Soldiers Angels has cared for–to help her ask and answer the questions she had yet to think of. Other Angels were securing a beach head for her–making sure she was taken care of logistically at Walter Reed. Everything they could possibly do to pave the way, allow her to focus on her soldier, is being taken care of. (How many of you know there is a dunkin’ donuts and a subway in the lobby at WRAMC, or would even think that she might want some gift cards for them?) SA already purchased them!

As a leader, one of the scariest places to be is when you don’t know what it is that you don’t know. You can’t be sure if you’ve planned for the most likely possibilities if the battlefield is too uncertain, or if you are entering an area that you never dreamed you’d be entering. You are planning in a vacuum of information, on unfamiliar terrain, and have no idea what you need to do to make progress. Soldiers Angels tries to fill that information void–to help those spouses figure out what they need to do, to prioritize what needs to be done, to provide that much-needed information and prioritization to a spouse who is on an emotional precipice. Moreover, they make sure that no soldier goes unloved–whether it’s holding hands in the ICU in Germany, or in Walter Reed, or Brooke Amy Medical Center, or Bethesda, or Balboa, or anywhere a wounded soldier finds himself.

Read more here >MY POSITION ON THE WAY

Soldiers’ Angels & Dr. Bridget Cantrell PTS/PTSD workshop

August 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Fisher Houses, General Troop Support, Veteran Support | 2 Comments
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Please see our    Soldiers’ Angels Washington Event page for Registration details and please spread the word about this free workshop, to all of your friends and families in the Armed Forces, Veterans and people you know who work in support.  This is an amazing opportunity that is important for all.  Dr. Cantrell is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker with a hearfelt passion for our Military and Veterans.    I highly recommend this opportunity.

Secretary Shinseki Announces $8.8 Million for Washington Cemetery

August 21, 2009 at 3:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This is great news. Thanks Toby for sharing this Department of Veteran’s Affairs News Release.

“Secretary Shinseki Announces $8.8 Million for Washington Cemetery

Facility Would Be First of its Kind in State

WASHINGTON Ensuring that military Veterans living in eastern Washington have a final resting place that honors their service to the nation, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced the award of $8.8 million to establish the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake.

“This is our first opportunity to partner with the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a state Veterans cemetery,” Secretary Shinseki said.  “We are proud to work with them to commemorate the service and sacrifice of Washington’s Veterans.”

The project will provide construction of the main entrance, a committal shelter, pre-placed crypts, standard burial areas, columbarium, in-ground cremains burial areas, roads, a maintenance facility, an assembly area and supporting infrastructure.  Interment areas and facilities will include 1,280 standard burial plots; 2,000 pre-placed crypts; 1,370 in-ground cremain sites and 2,240 columbarium niches.

The cemetery will serve approximately 90,000 Washington Veterans and their families.  The nearest national cemetery is VA’s Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Wash., approximately 250 miles away.

The 80-acre site is located northwest of Medical Lake just off West Espanola Road and about 15 miles southwest of Spokane.  The first phase of the project will develop approximately 15-20 acres.

– More –


Washington State Veterans Cemetery Grant 2/2/2/2

VA’s State Cemetery Grants Program is designed to complement VA’s 130 national cemeteries across the country.  Since 1980, the program has awarded grants totaling more than $349 million to establish, expand or improve 74 Veterans cemeteries in 38 states or territories including Guam and Saipan.  These state cemeteries provided nearly 25,000 burials in 2008.

Residents of Washington who are Veterans with a discharge issued under conditions other than dishonorable, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake.

For more information about the Washington state Veterans cemetery at Medical Lake, visit the Web site at www.dva.wa.gov/eastern_wa_vet_cemetery.html or call (509) 496-0796.

Information about VA burial benefits can be obtained from national cemetery offices, from the Internet at www.cem.va.gov or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000.”

Two Lewis Soldiers killed in Afghanistan

August 20, 2009 at 4:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our hearts and prayers go out to the friends, families and fellow Stryker Soldiers of Spc. Troy Orion Tom, 21, of Shiprock, N.M., and Pfc. Jonathan C. Yanney, 20, of Litchfield, Minn.   We are incredibly grateful for your service and ultimate sacrifice.  RIP Warriors. 

 

From Ft. Lewis Blog MICHAEL SWAN: TWO STRYKER SOLDIERS KILLED TUESDAY >>>

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.  They died Aug. 18 in Arghandab, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their unit.  The soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, at Fort Lewis.

The Fort Lewis PAO released a statement:

FORT LEWIS, Wash. — According to the Dept. of Defense, Spc. Troy Orion Tom, 21, of Shiprock, N.M., and Pfc. Jonathan C. Yanney, 20, of Litchfield, Minn., died Aug. 18, of wounds suffered when their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device in Arghandab, Afghanistan.  Both Soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

A must read- Michael Yon’s latest dispatch

August 19, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Posted in Fisher Houses, General Troop Support | Leave a comment
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The entire article is a must read.

From Michael Yon’s Michael Yon: Do Americans Care about British Soldiers? – [19 August 2009 Helmand Province, Afghanistan]

A gunshot ripped through the darkness and a young British soldier fell dying on FOB Jackson.  I was just nearby talking on the satellite phone and saw the commotion.  The soldier was taken to the medical tent and a helicopter lifted him to the excellent trauma center at Camp Bastion.  That he made it to Camp Bastion alive dramatically improved his chances.  But his life teetered and was in danger of slipping away.  Making matters worse, the British medical system back in the United Kingdom did not possess the specialized gear needed to save his life.  Americans had the right gear in Germany, and so the British soldier was put into the American system.

British officers in his unit, 2 Rifles, wanted to track their man every step of the way, and to ensure that his family was informed and supported in this time of high stress.  Yet having their soldier suddenly in the American system caused a temporary glitch in communications with folks in Germany.  The British leadership in Sangin could have worked through the glitch within some hours, but that would have been hours wasted, and they wanted to know the status of their soldier now.  So a British officer in Sangin – thinking creatively –asked if I knew any shortcuts to open communications.  The right people were only an email away: Soldiers Angels.  And so within about two minutes, these fingers typed an email with this subject heading: CALLING ALL ANGELS.

Soldiers’ Angels Shelle Michaels and MaryAnn Phillips moved into action.  Day by day British officers mentioned how Soldiers Angels were proving to be incredibly helpful.  The soldiers expressed deep and sincere appreciation.  Yet again, the Angels arrived during a time of need.

Don’t miss the rest of this story Here : MICHAEL YON including an amazing blog post from Mary Ann from Soldiers’ Angels Germany.

Christmas in July at the Ft. Lewis Fisher House

August 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Posted in Fisher Houses, General Troop Support | 2 Comments
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What an absolute honor to be asked to help out with the Christmas in July event at the Ft. Lewis Fisher House. Thank you to the incredible staff and families of the Fisher House, for allowing us to share in this special day.

I’m always amazed and appreciative of the ingenuity and dedication of our network of angels! Bravo to you all!

Tony starts bringing in the goodies!

Tony starts bringing in the goodies!

A few of the Christmas baskets our Angels provided

A few of the Christmas baskets our Angels provided

Present time

Present time

Thank you Megan at Ride the Ducks for the quackers and the Gift Certificates!

Thank you Megan at Ride the Ducks for the quackers and the Gift Certificates!

Another quacker in the house!

Another quacker in the house!

Two little beauties!

Two little beauties!

Sammi Morelli talking cheesecake with Mr Berry. Tough choices!

Sammi Morelli talking cheesecake with Mr Berry. Tough choices!

Jessica and Amy hard at work with the clean up!

Jessica and Amy hard at work with the clean up!

Some of the beautiful flowers donated by Jello Mold Farms in Mt. Vernon Washington.

Some of the beautiful flowers donated by Jello Mold Farms in Mt. Vernon Washington.

Thank you also to Otion soapmaking in Bellingham Washington for donating all the soapmaking activities that the                                                                               families will be sure to enjoy in the future!

Sammi,Amy,Wanda,Julie, & Jewell say a Thank you to those who serve

Sammi,Amy,Wanda,Julie, & Jewell say a Thank you to those who serve

Amy, Jodi, & Nikki of the Fisher House & Angel Tracy say thank you to those who serve.

Amy, Jodi, & Nikki of the Fisher House & Angel Tracy say thank you to those who serve.

A yummy masterpiece made by angel Tracy Patterson. Thanks Tracy!

A yummy masterpiece made by angel Tracy Patterson. Thanks Tracy!

Thanks Tony and the Cheesecake factory for this little gem!

Thanks Tony and the Cheesecake factory for this little gem!

Wanda Motonaga...you make good cookies!! Thanks Wanda!

Wanda Motonaga...you make good cookies!! Thanks Wanda!

Nothing like a little B-Ball after a big Christmas Dinner!

Nothing like a little B-Ball after a big Christmas Dinner!

A special thank you from a grateful Fisher House Family

A special thank you from a grateful Fisher House Family

A special thank you from a grateful Fisher House Family

A special thank you from a grateful Fisher House Family

We are so grateful for YOU Fisher House families. Thank you for your service . Thank you  for allowing us to spend the day with you.  We hope you enjoyed all of the “Uniquely Washington”  gifts in the baskets and the Christmas Dinner!  All the best to each of you as you journey through to the brighter days ahead.

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