04woundedcop_md

LA HABRA

– Police Sgt. Jason Forgash lies in a hospital bed at the other end of the country. But he feels the love of

La Habra

in his heart.

La Habra

is pulling for one of its own

By ERIC CARPENTER

The Orange

County

Register

LA HABRA

– Police Sgt. Jason Forgash lies in a hospital bed at the other end of the country. But he feels the love of

La Habra

in his heart.

Word has slowly spread via phone trees and over backyard fences in this tightknit community that Forgash, a beloved veteran of

La Habra

‘s police force, was shot and seriously wounded far from home. He is expected to recover.

Forgash, who will turn 37 on Aug. 21, was a chief warrant officer with the Marines in

Iraq

last week when he was shot in the abdomen while on patrol in Ramadi.

A bullet from a sniper’s rifle sliced between body armor plates, ripping into his left side and out his right. Forgash was flown to the Navy hospital in

Maryland

for surgery.

Forgash’s wife, Maria, flew there to be with him. Military officials said he is in serious but stable condition and is expected to have several weeks of treatment.

Back home in

La Habra

, friends and co-workers are flooding Forgash with good wishes – phone calls, cards and letters, and prayers for his quick recovery.

"I’m truly blessed to work for

La Habra

. It’s like my family," Forgash said by phone from his hospital bed Thursday. "They have lifted my spirits incredibly."

La Habra

, whose motto is "The Caring Community," has paid close attention to its troops serving overseas.

The town mourned the loss this year of Marine Lance Cpl. Hugo Lopez, a star on La Habra High’s 2003 championship football team. Lopez died Jan. 27 of injuries caused by a roadside bomb in

Iraq

. More than 1,000 people attended his funeral.

In June,

La Habra

hung 19 banners on light poles around town, honoring residents serving in

Iraq

and

Afghanistan

. The banner honoring Forgash hangs on a pole above the police station.

"We look at Jason and our others serving as part of our extended family," said Jim Gomez, a

La Habra

councilman who learned about Forgash’s injuries when the police chief called during church Sunday. "They are our heroes."

Forgash has served with

La Habra

police since 1994 and earned the confidence of his co-workers, who elected him president of La Habra Police Association in 2000.

"Jason is a strong, positive force," Police Chief Dennis Kies said. "There are a lot of people thinking about him. We’re confident he’ll use that same strength to recover."

Forgash was promoted to patrol sergeant in March, just before the Marines called him back to duty.

This was Forgash’s third overseas deployment. He served in

Afghanistan

, was part of the first wave of fighting in

Iraq

, then was called up again four months ago. He had been scheduled to return home in November.

"I have mixed feelings about being back in the States," Forgash said.

"All the love from back home is great. But it also reminds me of why we are in

Iraq

. I hate to leave my guys behind.

"And I hope people don’t lose faith, because I believe in what we’re doing there."

CONTACT US: 714-704-3769 or ecarpenter@ocregister.com

See write up here

Comments

  1. “And I hope people don’t lose faith, because I believe in what we’re doing there.”
    Amen! God Bless all our Marines, all our Servicemembers and their terrific families!

  2. Having been a bit jealous of you guys and gals near Walter Reed and Bethesda, this is real close and I intend to visit when he is back home. Welcome CWO Jason! Major, if there is anything else I can do, just ask!
    Semper Fi,

  3. Hopefully his hospital room is filling up with cards and well wishes by now. I know I’ve sent off a couple and will continue to do so. The LEAST we can do to show him and his family that we DO care and wish him a speedy recovery!

  4. It is amazing to see the continued kindness and support for the wounded, our awesome troops and our fallen heroes. May God keep watch over them.

  5. Living a fair size city, I know only a few warriors from my own neighborhood. But AnySoldier.com let me connect with sturdy buds from Texas, Arizona, Hawaii, Alaska (yes, really), cities in Mississippi and North Carolina, New Orleans, and all over both northern and southern California; God bless them, every one. Each warrior said: thank you for praying for me, and to each: thank you for keeping us safe. Don’t know La Habra, nor SGT Forgash, but feel familiar and appreciative of their union. Grateful Capt-B/Major-P, you know I am.

  6. Thank you for your service, Sgt. I’m so glad your community has the brains to appreciate you and I wish you the very best possible recovery.

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