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Thursday, December 17, 2009

OIF/OEF memorial project raising funds


From the USS Alabama folks:

On Dec. 17, 2009, members of the Gear Jammers Car Club and the Alabama State Defense Force made a check presentation to the Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom Memorial Fund for $1,600. The funds will go to build a Fallen Heroes memorial that will be erected at Battleship Memorial park to remember those who have given all in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This memorial project was started by Nathan Cox, a former Marine Infantry Officer and Iraqi veteran, who has, all too painfully, had to deal with the loss of Marines and friends. He has also witnessed firsthand the toll it takes on their families and loved ones as they have to deal with the fact they’ll never see them again. Nathan has made the commitment to make sure our fallen warriors have their names etched into eternity as a reminder what makes our country what it is and who has sacrificed to keep it that way.

On Veterans Day, Nov. 11th, Gear Jammers Car Club, in partnership with members of the Alabama State Defense Force 302nd Battalion Fairhope, AL, raised $1600, to go towards the memorial fund. That day, Chick-fil-A of Daphne and Bob Baumhower’s Wings of Daphne donated a percentage of their total sales, along with having donation boxes in their restaurants. COL Phillip Tipp, Corporal James Johnson, and Major Tom Morrow, all members of the 302nd, were at the Chick-fil-A in Daphne asking for donations and Linda Tipp with Gear Jammers was present at Wings in Daphne.

Efforts such as these will help Cox reach his ultimate goal of $125,000 and build an Operation Iraqi/Enduring Freedom Memorial at USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park.

The Gear Jammers Car Club of Baldwin County has been hosting fundraising events in support of this memorial over the past year. To date they have raised just over $11,000. Frankie Kucera, President of the Gear Jammers said, “We have a number of veterans in our club and wanted to support and give back to a very worthy cause. It’s so important to show our respect and honor those who have served and/or are serving.”

Photo from left to right: Linda Tipp, Gear Jammers; Dale Elks, Baumhower’s Wings of Daphne; COL Phillip Tipp, 302nd Battalion Fairhope; Nathan Cox; James Waldon, Gear Jammers; Bill Tunnell, Battleship Park; Frankie Kucera, Gear Jammers; and Steve Long, Gear Jammers

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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