Showing posts with label Utah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Utah. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Marine veteran "ain't heavy" for his brother Marine

Veteran carries fellow Marine to Utah mountain summit: 'We're all a band of brothers'

FOX News
By David Montanaro
August 27, 2019
Phil Casper wrote, "They sought no special attention. The disabled vet said he weighed 135 lbs. They were committed to reach the summit. Having just exhausted myself to reach the summit with less than 5 lbs on my back, it was hard to fathom the drive that the pair possessed to achieve their goal. To have arrived where I met them was already an incredible accomplishment. It was a powerful and inspiring experience to see them on their way."
When it comes to the U.S. Marines, one of their core beliefs is to leave no man behind.

That motto was on full display last week when retired Marine Sgt. John Nelson was caught on video carrying his friend and fellow Marine, Staff Sgt. Jonathon Blank, to the summit of Utah's Mount Timpanogos.

Blank lost his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2010, with Nelson nearby when the blast occurred. The two, who served together on long-range reconnaissance missions, joined "Fox & Friends" Tuesday to detail the inspirational journey, which spanned 14 miles and 4,500 feet of elevation.

The sight of Nelson carrying Blank, who weighs about 135 pounds, on his back left two fellow hikers in awe and one shared the video on Facebook.
read it here

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Ex-POW Vietnam veteran Richard Burgess remembered for how he loved

Vietnam vet remembered as a hero and friend to all that knew him

Deseret News
Jasen Lee
July 28, 2019
"He could tap into (the sixth sense) of what connected us," Clemmons explained. "He taught me how to pay attention and it's amazing how many times it saved my life."
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Chambers and Sgt. Mark Maxfield fold the flag during services for Vietnam War veteran Richard Burgess during services at Camp Williams in Bluffdale on Friday, July 26, 2019.

BLUFFDALE – A onetime prisoner of war, Richard Burgess was a man who spent much of his life looking out for others' interests above his own.

To a person, speakers at his memorial service Friday at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery all noted how selfless and caring a man he was to them and just about everyone he came in contact with.

"I knew he was special all our lives and I thought about him every day almost," said fellow Marine Gary Clemmons, who served with Burgess in Vietnam. "When I think I would have it bad, I would think of Richard (in the POW camp)."

So impactful to some was Burgess' connection with them, they came from miles away to pay their respects during a ceremony conducted with full military honors in Bluffdale. Burgess spent over six years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict, but didn't allow it the extinguish the kind, generous spirit that ingratiated him to so many people during his 72 years, speakers noted. read it here

Monday, July 1, 2019

Green Beret from Utah died in Afghanistan

Utah soldier dies in Afghanistan

Deseret News Utah
Jasen Lee
Published: July 1, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY — A decorated soldier from Ogden has died while serving in the Middle East.

Sgt. 1st Class Elliott Robbins, 31, died Sunday in a noncombat incident in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, while serving in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, according to a Pentagon report. The incident is under investigation.
A Green Beret, Robbins was assigned to D Company, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Airborne Group in Fort Carson, Colorado.

His parents said he was deployed in January — his third tour in the Middle East — and was set to return to Utah any day. Robbins leaves behind a wife and an infant son.

His father, Freeman Robbins, was a career Army man himself and said some of that military dedication may have rubbed off on his son. He said his son was proud of his country and proud to serve it.

"What can a parent say? I mean, they're proud that their child does well in what he does," Freeman Robbins said. "He was an Army medic and saved a lot of lives. How can you not be proud of something like that?"

Freeman Robbins says his son served with valor, earning multiple awards. He admitted that at times it was difficult to read about why he Sgt. Robbins received the awards — knowing he was put into some very dangerous situations.
read more here

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

VA caused empty beds at homeless veterans shelter?

SLC Housing Authority sends demand letter to VA, saying building to house homeless veterans had vacant beds for years

FOX 13 News
Taylor Hartman
January 1, 2019
SALT LAKE CITY — The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City issued a demand letter to the local Veteran Affairs office Monday, stating that the department needed to change policies that left beds at a property built for homeless veterans vacant for years.
The housing authority said in their letter that the VA should replace their staff with the non-profit First Step House, an organization based in Salt Lake City that specializes in addiction recovery.
In the letter, the housing authority said the high vacancy at Valor House caused extreme cuts in funding for the facility:
“The mix of regulatory barriers to tenancy put in place by the local VA caused this property to average over 30% vacancy for the past several years—a total of approximately 11,000 empty bed nights at a time when many veterans are struggling on the street or in substandard living conditions. This high vacancy rate led to extreme cuts in HASLC’s federal grant funding for the facility, causing a deficit of over $100,000 per year and almost $1 million to date.  Until now, this loss has been covered by HASLC using funds taken from other housing programs in order to prevent the veterans who did manage to get placed at Valor House from becoming homeless again.”
The housing authority said local VA staff controlled all tenant screenings and selection decisions, and routinely screened out applicants.
“For the applicants that did get housed, the local VA staff were rewarded with bonuses in pay for each veteran quickly relocated out from the property to other types of housing, a policy that incentivized rejection of veteran applicants stigmatized from past drug or alcohol addiction, and other conditions that could make rapid placement in other housing more difficult,” the letter said.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

USMC veteran lived in New Zealand as homeless veteran and died there

Homeless man found dead in Auckland was 'humble' US Army veteran New Zealand
Harrison Christian
Nov 24 2018
"Miller was a humble man, a US veteran with an honorable discharge from the US Marine Corps," she said.

Miller Patane, 58, was a US army veteran who once appeared on the front page of the NZ Herald receiving a slice of wedding cake from generous newlyweds.
Workers at an Auckland local board arrived at their office last Wednesday morning to find a rough sleeper bundled up in a blanket on the front steps of their office.

The bundle didn't move, and it was soon apparent the man inside was dead.

Morning commuters streamed past the dismal scene on Dominion Rd as police arrived and the body was taken away in an ambulance. Staff and elected members of the Albert-Eden local board were offered counselling.

The man was 58 year old Miller Patane, a US Army veteran who grew up in Ōtara and had been homeless for decades.
His large Mormon family, many of whom live in the US, came to New Zealand this week to farewell him. His younger sister, Moana Patane Gasu, received word of his death from the NZ police at her home in Utah.
read more here

Yes you saw that right. The article was not corrected even though his sister said he was in the Marine Corps. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Utah Mayor on 4th deployment, killed in Afghanistan

Mayor of Utah city killed in 'insider attack' in Afghanistan

Nov 4th 2018
Taylor was deployed to Afghanistan in January with the Utah National Guard for what was expected to be a 12-month tour of duty. Taylor, an officer in the National Guard, previously served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.

NORTH OGDEN, Utah (AP) — The mayor of a Utah city was killed during an attack in Afghanistan while he was serving with the state's National Guard, the Salt Lake Tribune and other media reported.

North Ogden Mayor Brent Taylor died Saturday in an apparent "insider attack" in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, the Tribune reported. Another U.S. service member is being treated for wounds sustained in the attack, American military officials said.

The Utah National Guard has identified the service member killed as a member of the Guard. The Guard member's name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
read more here

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Escorted Veteran's Cremated Remains Stolen

Veteran's remains stolen from vehicle in Wendover
By Jacob Klopfenstein
Posted Jun 11th, 2018

WENDOVER — Authorities are searching for the ashes and remains of a combat veteran that were stolen from a business vehicle at a Wendover motel on Monday.

The remains were stolen from a black Mercedes Benz ECO van belonging to Legacy Estate Management, Wendover Police Department officials said on Facebook. The vehicle was parked at the Quality Inn Motel at 245 E. Wendover Blvd.

Legacy Estate Management helps U.S. veterans and their families after their deaths, police said. The stolen remains were being escorted to the California coast, according to police. Also stolen from the vehicle were some clothing and electronics.

Wendover police are asking for anyone with information about the stolen items to contact them at 435-665-7771.
go here for more
On 06/11/2018, the Wendover Police Department investigated a vehicle burglary at the Quality Inn Motel in Wendover, Utah. The vehicle burglarized was a black Mercedes Benz ecovan with a business logo representing "Legacy Estate Management." 

Items stolen from the vehicle included electronics and clothing. Legacy Estates Management serves veterans and their families after the passing of U.S. War Veterans. A specific item that was stolen from the vehicle was the ashes and remains of a combat veteran who was being escorted to the California coast. 

The victim of this case would like to recover the remains of the deceased. Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of stolen remains are asked to contact the Wendover Police Department. Please share.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Armed home invasion left Mom feeling guilty?

Husband of wife who survived attack: 'She was the hero that night'
By: Marcos Ortiz
Posted: Jun 08, 2018

PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Hayley Peterson fought to stay alive. She didn’t want her children to be motherless.
Peterson spoke publicly for the first time after surviving a brutal attack during a home invasion at their Orem home last year. Her 4-year-old daughter was also physically attacked that night.

Rodolfo Villalobos pleaded guilty to the crime and Friday was sentenced to prison.

Prior to sentencing, Peterson addressed the court, telling the judge that she and her daughter are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the events that night.

“I am grateful to be alive,” she told the judge. “While he was attacking me I thought I was going to be murdered. I fought like hell for my life. I had to live to protect my children.”

Her children were in the home but their father was not. He was on duty. Steve Peterson is an officer with Unified Police Department. He said it was the hardest call he ever had to take. His neighbor called him with the news.

“She was hysterical,” Peterson said. “I didn’t even recognize who she was.”

He eventually learned his wife and daughter were brutally attacked in their Orem home.
Afterward, Steve Peterson who also requested the maximum sentence said his family did achieve justice. But he also walked away knowing that his wife still regrets not being able to protect her children.

“It was extremely heartbreaking to hear that,” Peterson said. “That was probably the hardest thing today is to hear that. But by no means did she fail to protect anybody. She was truly the hero that night."
read more here

Friday, June 1, 2018

Couple heads to jail...after charity helped them?

I am not posting this whole thing...but it goes with the unintended theme of the day. YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!
Utah military couple who won $10K in free groceries sent to jail for theft

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret NewsRetired U.S. Army Cpl. Nicholas Mannino and his wife, Stephanie, shop at the WinCo grocery store in South Salt Lake on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Mannino was given $10,000 for a year's worth of groceries at the store. They two were sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years' probation in connection with a theft at Kohl's.
 "Days before the couple was due in court in November for the charges, a group that helps military families who are struggling financially awarded the couple the grocery prize. The charity, Operation Homefront, said later it was saddened by the case and would consider the resolution in deciding whether to award the entire $10,000. Background checks weren't typically required when the parents of six were selected, the group has said."

Sunday, April 29, 2018

VA Clinics not always what you think they are

First question should be, is this a VA run clinic or is it a contractor run clinic? You know, like maybe something like this...
VA officials say the possible expiration of a contract with a medical clinic in Ely would not cause a hardship for veterans there, but two members of Nevada’s congressional delegation want to be sure.
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., both expressed concerns last week that the possible decision by the Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System not to renew the contract with the William Bee Ririe Hospital and Rural Health Clinic in Ely could adversely impact the 230 veterans who receive care there.

VA hospital launches inquiry after tweets from veteran's dad about 'unsanitary' room
Deseret News
Ben Lockhart
Published: April 28, 2018
Christopher Wilson said he was in the room for an appointment on April 5 to get 18 injections in his ankle and surrounding area, and worried about the appearance of the room, which he said "felt unsanitary." The ankle was being treated in relation to a service injury he suffered while serving in Iraq, according to his father.
Pictured is a patient room at the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City that Army veteran Christopher Wilson says he encountered during a visit on April 5, 2018.
SALT LAKE CITY — After the father of a U.S. Army veteran tweeted photos of an unkempt patient room at a Veterans Affairs clinic in Salt Lake, igniting angry reactions on social media, a top administrator there said the facility is investigating why the space was in poor condition.

The tweeted photos showed some medical supplies strewn out on a counter, a bowl containing water and a plaster-like substance sitting mostly full in a sink, and an overflowing garbage can.

"I figured they would say, 'Oh, this room's not clean' and take me somewhere else, but they just kind of blew past it, didn't acknowledge it," said Christopher Wilson, who spent six years in the Army and was deployed to Iraq twice. "They're doctors, right? So I figure one of them was going to say 'Let's go somewhere else' or 'Give us a minute to clean it,' but nothing."
read more here

Saturday, January 20, 2018

North Ogden Utah without Mayor...he got deployed

Hundreds say goodbye to North Ogden mayor ahead of Afghanistan deployment
Rosie Nguyen
January 19, 2018

NORTH OGDEN (News4Utah) - Hundreds of residents lined the streets of North Ogden to show their appreciation and wave goodbye to Mayor Brent Taylor Friday morning.

North Ogden Police escorted Mayor Taylor and his family around town before he headed to the airport. The schools he stopped by included Bates Elementary, North Ogden Elementary, Green Acres Elementary, North Ogden Junior High, and Majestic Elementary.
Madilyn Erekson, a 5th grader at Bates Elementary got the chance to meet the mayor for a school project. She calls him a hero.

"I was happy for him, but I was kind of upset because we won't be able to see him for a year," said Madilyn.

One week after he was sworn into office for a second term, Mayor Taylor announced on Facebook Live that he would be training the Afghan Commando Battalion. City officials said this is the first known time in Utah history that a mayor deploys for wartime service.
read more here

Friday, January 19, 2018

Salt Lake VA therapist got veteran to jump from perfectly good plane

VA therapist helps dying Veteran complete bucket list
VAntage Point US Department of Veterans Affairs
Jill Atwood
January 18, 2018

The sky is the limit
With help from VA Recreation Therapist Lili Sotolong, left, Veteran Kenneth Augustus was able to scratch skydiving from his bucket list.

Army Veteran Kenneth Augustus loved adventure. He loved to rock climb, and scuba dive, and always had a longing for falling hundreds of feet per second from an airplane.

VA Salt Lake City Recreation Therapist Lili Sotolong knew skydiving was a lofty goal considering his condition, but she was determined to make that dream come true.

“I got a call out of the blue to come work with this Veteran,” Lili said. “I was told he only had a few months to live but when I got there he was beyond positive, and so easy to work with. He had made peace with what was happening to him and was really preparing himself for the inevitable; he just had some things he wanted to experience first.”

Lili made several calls and finally arranged the jump through two very generous community partners: Skydive Utah and the Elks Lodge. It was go time!

“He got to jump with his brother and his son, and they wanted me to do it with them! We had a group hug and were all fist-pumping in the plane prior to the jump. It really was an extraordinary experience.”
read more here

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Veteran Marine-Ex-Police Officer Going Through Veterans Court

Former officer, ex-Marine pleads guilty to domestic violence 
by Associated Press 
June 21st 2017
XXXXXXX pleaded guilty June 12 to aggravated assault, a second-degree felony, as he was admitted into Veteran's Court in Provo.
PROVO, Utah (AP) — A former police officer and ex-Marine has pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges and was admitted to a specialty treatment program for veterans. 

Deseret News reports the prosecutor says the resolution will prevent 30-year-old former West Jordan Police officer XXXXXXXX from ever again wearing a uniform and will ensure he gets help for his post-traumatic stress disorder. read more here

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Utah Veteran Created A Flag Out of Metal...And the Flag Tool

Military veteran making steel US flags shows his mettle
Alicia Acuna
March 29, 2017
That was more than 18 months ago. Today, his company, Iron Mountain Designs, has an 8,000-square-foot production facility in Salt Lake City, where he has a team, and an expanded business, making custom ironwork and furniture for other businesses.
Military veterans can have a tough time re-entering the workforce after serving in war. The special skills honed on the battlefield don't always translate to the civilian world.

Such was the case for retired Air Force pararescueman Josh Vandenbrink. After 14 years of service and 21 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, his life back home came with some readjusting.

The Utah man tried multiple jobs in a variety of industries, when one day he, somewhat accidentally, launched his own business. A fellow veteran in the Salt Lake City area who owned a coffee company called Black Rifle Coffee let him set up a work room in the back of his warehouse.

The first thing he did was buy a flag.
On each flag, he puts a reminder from the past. A quote by President George Washington is engraved on a wood plaque, hidden on the back. It reads: "I hope I shall possess the firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles. The character of an honest man."
read more here

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Marine Gets Back Stolen Items and Idenity

Man accused of posing as Marine, stealing veteran’s ID caught in Montana
FOX 13 News Salt Lake City
Dora Scheidell
JULY 11, 2016

“My medals are intact, my service record is there, thank goodness. Pictures of my buddies who aren’t with us anymore. The whole time I had spent in the Marine Corps has been restored," Kurt Harris.
SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah veteran may finally get justice after a man claiming to be a fellow serviceman allegedly stole his military uniforms and medals last month.

“Just an expert con man,” said Marine Kurt Harris of Michael Manning, who he met at a Salt Lake City gym.

Aside from Harris’ military uniforms and medals, Manning is also accused of stealing Harris’ car and laptop.

Manning was arrested in Montana over the weekend.

“I received a phone call from the Missoula Police Department,” Harris said.

Harris learned that Manning had been staying with a girl in Montana that he had met online, but when his demeanor started changing, she Googled his name.
read more here

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Vietnam Veteran Killed In Utah Had PTSD

Knife-wielding suspect in SSL shooting suffered from PTSD, family says
FOX 13 Salt Lake City
POSTED 5:45 PM, MARCH 14, 2016

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- A man shot by a South Salt Lake resident last week suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, a family member confirmed.
David Trujillo, 68, was found dead in the backyard of a home in the area of 3700 South and 200 East on March 12, according to South Salt Lake police. At about 8:30 p.m., officers were called to the home where the homeowner said he shot Trujillo because he was wielding a knife.

While the 68-year-old man has a criminal history of burglary, theft and trespassing – Trujillo’s niece, Kristin Martinez, thinks his behavior was a result of his PTSD.

She said Trujillo suffered from the mental illness because of his service in the Vietnam War.

“I hope he knows that we loved him,” Martinez said. “It's so heartbreaking what happened.”
read more here

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Vietnam Veteran's Ashes Shot At Funeral

Deceased veteran's ashes get shotgun salute sendoff
The Spectrum
Kevin Jenkins
January 10, 2016
LaVerkin resident Walter “Jim” Hosey went out with a bang.

Several of them, actually.

The Vietnam War Army veteran, who died Jan. 2, received a sendoff from family members and friends Saturday at the Southern Utah Shooting Sports Park in Hurricane where he had spent so much of his life.

In addition to an American Legion rifle salute, Taps and honorary presentation of the American flag to Hosey’s son Clint and daughters Emerald and Heidi, the deceased veteran received a special kind of tribute in keeping with his personality – Clint loaded 50, 12-gauge shotgun shells with his father's ashes and fired them off with the help of relatives and friends.

“I think he got a kick out of that,” Clint said, acknowledging that he was holding up well, but eventually realization of the family’s loss “gets real.”
read more here

Friday, January 8, 2016

Utah National Guardsmen Battle in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan battle, Utah soldiers were shot at on the ground, in the sky
The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Jan 07 2016

One Utah National Guard soldier suffered minor injuries during a Tuesday battle in which Beehive State soldiers were under fire on both the ground and in the air.

A few new details of the battle in city of Marjah in Afghanistan's Helmand province describe a 20-hour fight ­that has become the most public to involve Utah National Guard soldiers in years. Troops from Utah's Company A, 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group were on the ground.

Fighting was so intense, a helicopter crew that included the Utah National Guard's 1-159th Medevac was fired upon and had to make an early landing.

One soldier from the 19th Special Forces, Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock, was killed. McClintock belonged to the Washington National Guard.
read more here

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oldest Living Sergeant Major "Providence Guided" Him

Inside the legacy of the oldest living sergeant major of the Marine Corps 
Military Times
By Gidget Fuentes, Special to Military Times
November 15, 2015

As Marines gather to celebrate the Corps' 240th birthday, chants of "oorah!" are likely to be heard around the world.

That iconic battle cry is just one mark of the long-lasting legacy left by the oldest living sergeant major of the Marine Corps. When retired Sgt. Maj. John Massaro left his hometown of Cleveland to enlist in the Marines in 1948, he didn't think it would turn into a career.

About 29 years later — after combat tours in Korea and Vietnam and high-profile assignments in Washington — the career infantryman was named the eighth sergeant major of the Marine Corps before retiring in 1979.

As another Marine Corps birthday week comes to a close, Massaro, now 85, spent it the same way many Marines do: reminiscing and reconnecting with old friends and battle buddies.

“I was blessed,” he said, speaking by phone from Utah. “I try to sit back and look. The hand of Providence guided me where I went.” read more here

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Utah National Guardsmen Blackhawks Deploy to Afghanistan

Families say goodbye to loved ones deployed to Afghanistan
KSL News
By Alex Cabrero
Posted Oct 17th, 2015
"We train to take care of soldiers on their worst day," William Grimshaw
(Photo: Mike DeBernardo, KSL-TV)
WEST JORDAN — Brittany Grimshaw's husband is with the Utah National Guard's 159th Aviation Regiment, so she has said goodbye to her husband before.

"The first three months you just sit there curled up in a ball crying," Brittany Grimshaw said.

Saturday, she had to say goodbye to her husband, 1st Lt. William Grimshaw.

"The fact he's away from us for a year and putting his life on the line to go help people over there, if people don't even know why he's doing it, it's a waste," Brittany Grimshaw said.

Seventeen soldiers on this team are going to Afghanistan. Their mission is to fly Blackhawk helicopters to where injured soldiers are, load them in, then fly to a hospital as quickly as possible.
read more here