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Fallen warriors honored with stones at fairgrounds entrance

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD -  A wreath is laid on a display in honor Hospitalman Riley Gallinger-Long for the Roll Call of the Fallen during the Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans Gateway in Hillsboro.  Nineteen servicemen with Washington County ties have died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001. They were honored last Sunday with the laying of individual memorial stones in a spiral around the American flag at the Veterans Gateway at the Washington County Fairgrounds, where other veterans from other times and conflicts who are honored as well.

Oregon’s 1st Congressional District Rep. Suzanne Bonamici of Beaverton told veterans’ families and others gathered Sunday that the nation should not wait until special occasions “to thank those who served and sacrificed for us.”

“Veteran’s Day is a reminder of what you and your families have accomplished and the debt we owe you and all veterans who have gone before you,” she said.

Among other speakers at the event were Brigadier Gen. Eric C. Bush, commander of the Land Component Command of the Oregon National Guard, also spoke. The majority of the honored servicemen are citizen soldiers in the National Guard.

The ceremony began with the posting of the colors and included a reading of the poem “I Am a Veteran.” There was a display of 19 M-16 rifles with their bayonets in the ground behind a pair of boots in the traditional display honoring the fallen. During the Roll Call of the Fallen, each serviceman was declared to be on “Eternal Patrol” and a wreath was placed at each pair of boots honoring their sacrifice. That was followed by the playing of taps and a 21-gun salute.

Then Dave Troyer spoke about the legacy of his son Lance Corporal Tyler J. Troyer, who died in 2005 near Fallujah, Iraq. Dave said he was against Tyler going to war, but his son convinced him that he had to be allowed to make his own decisions. Tyler enlisted in response to Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and convinced his father that was what he was meant to do. Dave said he is proud of Tyler for for being his own man.

Fallen honored with stones

The ceremony was organized by Hillsboro Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2666; American Legion Post 6; Washington County Disability, Aging and Veterans Services; the Memorial Fund for Veterans of Washington County; the city of Hillsboro; and Washington County.

Doug Lund, VFW Post 2666 commander, praised efforts by Eric Bell and Betty Pomeroy on planning the Veterans Day Ceremony and helping make the Veterans Gateway a reality.

The 19 veterans honored at the ceremony are:

Pvt. First Class Joseph Jefferies. Age: 21. Died: May 29, 2004, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Hometown: Beaverton. Unit: Army Reserve 320th Psychological operations, United States Reserve.

Capt. Aaron Contreras. Age: 31. Died: March 30, 2003, in Southern Iraq. Hometown: Sherwood. Unit: Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, Marine Aircraft Group 39, U.S. Marine Corps.

First Lt. Erik McCrae. Age: 25. Died: June 4, 2004, in Baghdad. Hometown: La Grande. Unit: 2nd Battalion, 162 Infantry Regiment, Oregon National Guard.

Pvt. First Class Ken Liesten. Age: 20. Died: July 28, 2004 in Taji, Iraq. Hometown: Forest Grove. Unit: 2nd Battalion, 162 Infantry Regiment, Oregon National Guard.

 Sgt. Damien Ficek. Age: 26. Died: Dec. 30, 2004, near Baghdad. Hometown: Beaverton. Graduated from Beaverton High School, Class of 1996. Unit: 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment, Washington National Guard.

Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Troyer. Age: Age 21. Died: Nov. 19, 2005, near Fallujah, Iraq. Born: Washington County ties. Unit: U.S. Marine Corps.

Sgt. William Meeuwsen. Age: 24 Died: Nov. 23, 2005. near Baghdad, Iraq. Ties to Hillsboro. Unit: U.S. Army Alpha Company, 2-502nd Infantry, Airborne Division (Air Assault), U.S. Army.

 Petty Officer 3rd Class Marcques J. Nettles. Age: 22. Died: April 2, 2006, near Al Asad in Iraq. Born: Beaverton. Unit: Force Service Regiment 1 Fleet Marine Forces Pacific, U.S. Marine Corps.

Capt. Christopher T. Pate. Age: 29. Died: July 21, 2006, in the Anbar Province of Iraq. Born: Portland. Unit: 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, Command Element, II Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps.

Sgt. Brennan C. Gibson. Age: 26. Died: Dec. 10, 2006. in Karbala, Iraq. Born: Tualatin. Unit: 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

Pvt. Brett Andre Walton. Age: 37. Died: April 9, 2007. in Baghdad. Born: Hillsboro. Unit: 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Wilson. Age: 28. Died: June 20, 2007. in Anbar, Province, Iraq. Born: Beaverton. Unit: Explosive Ordinance Disposal Tech, U.S. Marine Corps.

Sgt. First Class Christopher Henderson. Age: 35. Died: June 17, 2007, in Panjway, Afghanistan. Hometown: Hillsboro. Unit: 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division U.S. Army.

PVT. Tan Q. Ngo. Age: 20. Died: Aug. 27, 2008, in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Hometown: Beaverton. Unit: 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army.

Chief Warrant Officer Joshua M. Tillery. Age: 31. Died: Jan. 26, 2009, in Kirkuk, Iraq. Hometown: Banks. Unit: 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, U.S. Army.

CPl. Matthew R. Lembke. Age: 22. Died: July 10, 2009, of wounds sustained June 24 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Hometown: Tualatin. Unit: 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, U.S. Marine Corps.

Hospitalman Riley Gallinger-Long. Age: 19. Died: Aug. 11, 2011, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Born: Cornelius. Unit: 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 2nd Marine Division, U.S. Navy.

 Master Sgt. Daniel R. Adams. Age: 35. Died: Sept. 13, 2011, in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. Hometown: Hillsboro. Unit: 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), U.S. Army, Stuttgart, Germany.

Pvt. First Class Andrew Keller. Age: 22. Died: Aug. 15, 2012, in Logar Province, Afghanistan. Hometown: Beaverton. Unit: 1st 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy.



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