Sunday, December 06, 2009

JD and Titus

My little goober guys!!!

Thanksgiving 2009

I'm a little behind so I'm just going to post these really quick and not try to make them look all pretty and stuff....

This was our 4th Thanksgiving dinner. We had one with my family, one with Jesse's family, one at my Aunt and Uncle's, and one at Steve and Moe's. All on different days of course...

Monique's China

J.D. and Moe



Lots of food!!!

The guys said they could eat everything on their plates,
they sat there forever trying to stuff it all in.

Justin's Purple Heart Ceremony

In 2005 my brother Justin was wounded while on a convoy in Iraq. He received a Purple Heart November 6th of this year. It is such an honor to be able to say that MY brother spilled his blood for our beloved country. We are so proud of him. His story and how it happened was in the local paper the next day. I added the story at the end of this post.

Here is my dad and JD.

My 3 handsome brothers
Micah, Justin & Javan

Spc. Justin Hendricks
Brig. Gen. Charles L. Yriarte

Right after the general pined on the Purple Heart.

We had a chance to get the family together and take some pictures.
My family is growing up so fast!

Local soldier honored for service
Former Guardsman hurt in ambush

Brig. Gen. Charles Yriarte (left) Oregon Army National Guard, pins the Purple Heart medal on Spc. Justin Hendricks during a ceremony at the Ontario Armory Friday.
Ontario — A local soldier who was wounded in an improvised explosive device ambush in Iraq more than five years ago while serving with the region’s Guard unit received the Purple Heart medal Friday.

Spc. Justin Hendricks, 25, received the medal from Brig. Gen. Charles L. Yriarte at a ceremony at the Ontario Armory.

In front of a crowd of family and friends, Hendricks was honored for his service during an IED ambush while serving with Eastern Oregon’s 3rd Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team near Kirkuk, Iraq. Hendricks was a member of the 3rd Battalion’s Alpha Company. Alpha Company hailed from Ontario but also consisted of soldiers from The Dalles and other states while deployed to Iraq.

“Hendricks is just one example of a 19-year-old kid that did extraordinary things under adverse conditions,” Maj. Nick Kotz said.

Kotz commanded Ontario’s Alpha Company in Iraq and said Hendricks — who was born in Ontario but grew up in Vale and Harper — illustrated the professionalism and pride prevalent in the 3rd Battalion.

“We had several examples of soldiers having to make decisions that were well above their years of knowledge,” Kotz said. Hendricks was a member of Alpha Company’s 3rd Platoon when it was ambushed in June 2004 during what is known as a “route-clearing” operation. Two Humvees were destroyed in the ambush, and two citizen-soldiers — 1st Lt. Tim Bomke, Portland, and Sgt. Johan Bagge, Eugene — were seriously injured while a number of other Guardsmen were wounded.

The IED ambush occurred before dawn and would eventually trigger a major operation by the 3rd Battalion to shut down the guerrilla movement near Kirkuk.

Hendricks was riding in Lt. Bomke’s Humvee, the first vehicle to be hit.

He was not seriously injured in the first blast but, after he exited Bomke’s Humvee, received shrapnel when the guerrillas set off the second IED.

“It knocked me unconscious. All I remember was it (the second IED) going off and I was in a field,” Hendricks said.

Once he regained consciousness, Hendricks helped his platoon secure the area while they waited for Bomke and Bagge to be evacuated.

“I didn’t realize I was hurt until it got daylight,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks said his wounds were treated at the hospital.

“They were not life-threatening. Got bandaged up, and they took some of the shrapnel out,” he said.

Hendricks served out the rest of his tour with the 3rd Battalion, and, when the unit redeployed back to the United States, he decided to go into the regular Army.

Hendricks just returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq with the Army’s 1st Infantry Division.

He said there is a clear difference between the two tours.

“This time, every time we did something we were basically working with the Iraqi Army. It was good to see that change,” Hendricks said.

When the 3rd Battalion was deployed, Hendricks said, he and his fellow Guardsmen encountered far more violence — in terms of IEDs — then he did on his second stint with the 1st Infantry Division.

“I still think it’s a good thing we are there to help them. They still need help,” he said.

Progress has been made, Hendricks said.

“The Iraqi Army is pretty much operating on their own. I think you can see a positive difference,” he said.

Pat Caldwell is the editor of the Argus Observer. He can be contacted at

Sunday, November 22, 2009

JD's 6 month pics

My best friend Stefanie took some pics of JD for me. Here are a few. I put a lot more up on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

David and Rita's wedding 10-11-09

David and Rita's Wedding
October 11, 2009

JD thought is would be fun to rip apart Aunt Marlene's boutonniere.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jiannas 10th Birthday!

Jianna's 10th Birthday!

YUMM!! Ice cream cake!!

Our little JD, and the salt shaker.


Mimicking the cake

Anticipating the ice cream cake

O000. Something to play with.

That was a good candle!