Members of the NCOA Rogue Chapter have been busy making medallion presentations at a variety of venues.
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Members of the NCOA Mountain Post and Mountain Post Auxiliary Chapters were on hand at the Colorado Springs Airport to welcome the Gold Star Families returning home from 2022 Snowball Express.
Snowball Express is a five-day healing retreat that serves the children of fallen military heroes, surviving spouses, and their families. Throughout the annual event, these families have an opportunity to bond with the only people who can truly understand their loss: one another.
Snowball Express was started after the publication of a letter from a soldier to his wife. U.S. Army Private First Class Jesse Givens had left the letter behind when he deployed to Iraq, instructing her in a note on the envelope to only open it if something happened to him. Following his death in Iraq while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom May 3, 2003, his wife opened the letter. It conveyed how much he loved his family and the things that he wanted them to do. Among his requests was that his wife make sure she took their children to Disney Parks.
After the letter was published, readers believed hundreds of other families were in the same situation and took the families to Disneyland Resort in 2006 as most participants lived in California.
Gary Sinise became involved with Snowball Express 2007 and has volunteered his band The Lt. Dan Band to perform every year since. As the event grew larger, it moved to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas in 2009. The program officially became part of the Gary Sinise Foundation in 2017 and moved to Walt Disney World Resort in 2018.
Gary Sinise shared, “While our hearts are heavy at the circumstances that brought these families together, I am grateful we can honor them, remembering their loved ones who are no longer with us, as we wrap our arms around each and every one of them. As we approach the holiday season, I am so glad that for the first time since our amazing event in 2019, we are once again able to bring these deserving families together to create new and wonderful memories at the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World Resort.”
Grand Knight and former NCOA Chairman of the Board Sir Paul Siverson recently presented an NCOA Vietnam War Medallion to former NCOA Chairman of the Board SgtMaj Joseph Houle, USMC (Ret).
NCOA life member and the 7th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Rick Trent recently presented an NCOA WWII Medallion during Veterans Homecoming Week in Branson, MO, to Dale Higgins, a 97 year old Navy WWII veteran that served in the Pacific Theater. Mr. Higgins was also the Grand Marshal of the Branson Veterans Day Parade!
During a recent Honor Flight, NCOA Rogue Chapter Vice Chairman Ken Wilson presented Korean War Medallions at the Korean Memorial in Washington, DC, to Marine Corps veteran Thomas Clark, Navy veterans Dominic LaRosa and Harry Nystrom, Army veteran Dick Traugh, Air Force veteran Bob Cline, and Army veteran Allen Wilkes.
New NCOA Life member Dale Templeman receives Korean War Medallion from NCOA Rogue Chapter trustee David Haines.
Rogue Chapter Vice Chairman Ken Wilson and Treasurer/trustee Ron Kohl present a WW2 Medallion to AAC veteran Larry Wills. Wills was a belly gunner on a B-17 during the war and was here to get a ride on a B-17 that paid southern Oregon a visit. Wills shared that during the war his mother worked in a factory the war that built B-17s.
Two life members of LeRoy’s Spanish Trail Chapter, Dr. Anne Fesler-Butts, M.D., LTC (Ret) and Arthur Fesler-Butts, SFC (Ret) of Apache Junction, AZ, presented a WWII Medallion to Corporal Garland James U.S. Army. Check out James' full story on LeRoy's Spanish Trail Chapter's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/3054706494757954).
Two life members of LeRoy’s Spanish Trail Chapter, Dr. Anne Fesler-Butts, M.D., LTC (Ret) and Arthur Fesler-Butts, SFC (Ret) of Apache Junction, AZ, presented a WWII Medallion to 2nd Lieutenant Jack Holder U.S. Army Air Corps. Check out Holder's full story on LeRoy's Spanish Trail Chapter's Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/3054706494757954).
During a recent ceremony at the Roseburg National Cemetery, two WWII Veterans received Quilts of Valor and NCOA WWII Legacy Medallions. Umpqua Valley Chairman Ron Dukes presents WWII Medallions to Army veteran William Lucky Mullins (center) who was celebrating his 103rd birthday and 104 year old Navy veteran Ralph Schnorr (right).
Chairman Terry Haines assisted by trustee Ken Wilson and member Ralph Groover presented WWII Medallions to 13 veterans at a ceremony at a local retirement facility during a planned event. There were 7 Navy veterans, 2 Air Force, 1 Coast Guard and 3 Army in the first picture. Chapter members then went to the facility's hospital unit and presented a Medallion to Army veteran Orcutt Frost who was unable to attend the public presentation. A Medallion was also provided to honor Navy veteran Gerald Todd who had passed and his daughter was unable to be at the ceremony.
Chairman Terry Haines is joined by Rogue Chapter trustees Ron Kohl and Ken Wilson to present a WWII Medallion to Army veteran Chet Danforth. The presentation took place at a Bi-Monthly veterans' breakfast in Medford.
Rogue Chapter member Fred Crowder provided WWII Medallions to his cousins Carolyn (Crowder) Wright and Sharon (Crowder) Johnson. Carolyn's father was Navy veteran William Crowder and Sharon's mother was Army veteran Altha Searle. Fred also obtained a Medallion in honor of his uncle FC1 Samuel Warwick Crowder who died on the USS Oklahoma BB37 during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Chapter Trustee Barbara Weatherill (left) presents World War II Medallions to the family members of three World War II veterans - Jessie Stober - honoring her uncle George Edward a paratrooper with the rating of TC5, Kathy Walsh - in honor of her father Joseph E. Dalton who served in the South Pacific, and Karen Haltiner - honoring her father SSgt Kenneth K. Kenney who served in the U. S. Army Air Corps.