Gov Palin to Join MOPH Press Conference to Launch Operation Denali 2009

Anchorage, AK 5/30/2009 02:10 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

The National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Jeff Roy, and Governor Sarah Palin, will hold a press conference at 10:00 am on May 30, 2009 at Mt View VFW Post 10252 located at 3105 Mt View Drive, Anchorage. 

 

The purpose is to launch an extraordinary expedition by America‚Äôs heroes to successfully summit 20,320 ft. Mt. Denali, the highest peak in North America, after more than a year of intensive preparations.  Commander Roy will introduce the members of this team of wounded warriors who symbolize the strength of our Nation and those who defend it. 

 

The team will be departing Anchorage on June 1 for the Denali Base Camp, where they will begin their ascent which is expected to take 3 weeks to complete.  The Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, primary sponsor of Operation Denali, is also providing the team with a satellite telephone for interviews and communications during the climb.

 

Also part of the ceremony will include, Gov. Sarah Palin presenting a Purple Heart Medal to Wayne Stackhouse, an Anchorage resident, for wounds he received in Vietnam on 25 October 1967 when his unit came under attack by the Viet Cong.  Stackhouse, who was assigned to Co C, 4th Bn., 23d Infantry Regiment of the 25th Infantry Division, was on an operation as an infantry radio mechanic near Chu Chi, Vietnam, when he was struck several times by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade.  After receiving medical treatment in Vietnam, he was medically evacuated to Japan and finally to Ft. Knox, Kentucky where he was ultimately discharged from the U.S. Army on 10 May 1968.  At the time of his discharge, his military records did not reflect his receipt of the Purple Heart.

 

Earlier this year, Stackhouse approached Forrest Powell, a National Service Officer with the Military Order of the Purple Heart, whose job it is to assist veterans in receiving their benefits from the Department of Veteran Affairs.  He asked Powell to assist him in correcting his military records to reflect receipt of the Purple Heart, which would automatically entitle Stackhouse to additional benefits.

 

This Saturday, 40 years after being wounded on the battlefield, Wayne Stackhouse will finally receive his Purple Heart Medal.  Governor Palin will pin the decoration on Stackhouse, while Commander Roy will also award him the Vietnam Service Medal with 2 bronze stars, another decoration he earned but never received.

 

This event coincides with the Annual Alaska State Convention of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.  The entire team will be present at the Press Conference and available for questions, including Lieutenant Colonel Marc Hoffmeister, team leader and an active duty Army officer, who lost significant use of his left arm and hand by a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Iraq in 2007; Matt Nyman, who lost his right leg in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2005; David Shebib, who almost died from multiple injuries caused by an IED detonated against his dismounted patrol in Iraq in 2006; and, Jon Kuniholm, who lost his right arm as a result of wounds received in Iraq in 2005.  Also climbing with the team will be Gayle Hoffmeister, a team mentor and wife of the team leader, and Bob Haines, also a team mentor and a retired US Army Infantry NCO who is currently an Anchorage Fire Fighter.

 

The team will be departing Anchorage on June 1 for the Denali Base Camp, where they will begin their ascent which is expected to take 3 weeks to complete.  The Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, primary sponsor of Operation Denali, is also providing the team with a satellite telephone for interviews and communications during the climb.

 

The Military Order of the Purple Service Foundation, the primary sponsor of Operation Denali, raises funds for service, welfare, and rehabilitation work in connection with the members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. (a congressionally chartered veterans organization), those who are eligible for membership therein, or any wounded, disabled and/or handicapped veteran, his widow, orphan or survivors.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America's military history. Most importantly, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance.  MOPH volunteers provide assistance to Hospitalized veterans at VA sites and State Veterans Homes

For information contact:

LTC Marc Hoffmeister, Team Leader, (907) 350-8222

Web: http://www.theveteranscoalition.org/operation_denali/.

 

Ms. Tempie Thompson, MOPH Service Foundation, (703) 635-3531

Email: tthompson@purpleheartfoundation.org

or

 

National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, 352-753-5535

Email: PublicRelations@Purpleheart.org

Web: www.purpleheart.org

 

 

 

 


www.purpleheartfoundation.org

 

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