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Check out the below for a kickbutt story where one loss of an outstanding Marine, leads to greatness. I had worked with the "Red Lions" many times and I can tell you, all of them are true professionals. Only in America can we do things like the below. Only in America do we have such great men willing to sacrifice all. Time for a C-Gar


 

 

My name is Thomas M. Logan. My wife Debi and I are the parents of
U.S.Marine Corporal Joseph Daniel Logan. Joey and his crewmembers,
Captain Daniel B. Bartle, Captain Nathan R. McHone, Master Sergeant
Travis W. Riddick, Corporal Kevin J. Reinhard and Corporal Jesse W.
Stites lost their lives when their Helicopter crashed into the mountains
of Afghanistan. They were flying their second combat mission that
night. These brave men were professional soldiers and highly decorated
veterans. They went into battle for our country without hesitation; they
loved this nation and the Marine Corps. My son’s death has caused great
grief in our family and the families of his fellow Marines. They were
honored by their unit, The 363 Red Lions and are called the “ FALLEN
SIX”.

Let me tell you what we are going to do to honor our Marines. We have
purchased 164 acres of land in Montana to build six cabins, one to be
dedicated to each of our Fallen Hero’s. This was Joey’s dream that
started four years ago. It was paid for with all the money he had saved
from two deployments to Afghanistan and his life insurance policy. Joey
bought this piece of Heaven with his life’s blood. He wanted to build a
cabin so that we could hunt and fish in the mountains and invite all his
Marine Hero’s to enjoy what he loved. The kid had a big heart and love
what he was doing.

This all started the summer after Joey graduated from Willis High
School. I asked him if he wanted to go fishing this summer and he Said, “
let’ s do it!” He had no idea what an adventure he was in for. I knew
he had made up his mind to go into the Marines and there was no turning
back. This trip was a lifelong dream of mine and what better kid to
share it with. I was called a fishing fool by my dear wife. A fishing
rod was glued to my hand. I had planned this trip and told Debi what I
had in mind. I remember her saying, “ go for it”. Joey and I even went
and got passports. He asked why we needed them and I told him everyone
needed one.

Old-man-river-sunriseThe
plan was to fish every Rocky Mountain state that had trout in it. And
we did. It started in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon,
Washington, we crossed into Idaho and then Montana. He loved Montana and
told me when he got out of the Marines he was going to live there. What
a dream for a young man just starting out. From Montana we crossed over
into British Columbia, Canada and over into Sakatchewan. We fished a
river called the Old Man River and no picture could do it justice. We
camped in our tent, slept in the truck and occasionally get a motel room
to take a bath. What a way to spend the entire summer with a son I
loved so much. Who would have known that there would be no more fishing
trips for us. We soaked up some of the most beautiful places in the
world. Joey had a smile on his face the entire time.

Oldman RiverJoey
asked me if we could go back into Montana from Canada to fish some
more. He was hooked on the place. It was all that he could talk about.
Even after his death all his Marine buddies told me that was all he told
them about, the fishing trip with dad and how they were going to go
there with him. His dream will come true and they will visit his memory
there.

We probably caught over a million fish that summer, drove over 16,000
miles and only Debi knows how much money I spent. The adventure was not
yet over. On the return trip home we stopped in the Wyoming Fish and
Game Dept. in Sheridan. We spoke to the game warden, asking where to go
fishing around the area. He asked if we liked to hunt and Joey replied,
“hell ya”. The man told us that antelope season had just opened and
there was plenty of public land open. Joey said, “ dad lets go to Wall
Mart and buy a rifle and go hunting.” I got all the information we
needed and read it. I told him we had been gone for three months and we
were about broke. He was heartbroken but understood.

sunsetThe
last stretch of our trip was the long ride home talking about what we
had just done and plans for the future. We finally returned home and mom
was there to greet us with a smile. She said, “ did you all have a good
time”, and Joey was grinning from ear to ear. You could not slap that
smile off his face. We did not even unpack the truck. I spoke to Debi
about the information on the antelope hunt and she said, “ GO”. I was
not going to argue with that!! I yelled for Joey to come out side and
told him to pack the rifles, we’re going antelope hunting. He replied,
“for real “. I never saw him move so fast! With an hour we were back on
the road heading for Wyoming.

1400 miles later we pulled into the gate of the ranch we were going
to hunt. There were antelope grazing all over the place. What a dream
come true for this young man. We went to the ranch house, met Mary
Shultzman, the owner and she told us where to hunt. What a beautiful
place, rolling plains stretching for miles. We drove to the area and
started to glass for the prong horns. In the distance were standing
several animals with two good bucks in the group. I told Joey he had the
first shot. I looked at the terrain and noticed a gully we could slip
into for a better shot. He could not control his excitement and almost
ran down the raven. I was right behind him. Joey got into position as I
handed him the shooting sticks to steady the rifle. Without hesitation
he fired the shot and the buck was down. His first antelope trophy!

What a way to spend a summer with my son. It was a dream of a life
time. I was hoping for many more. By the time we got home it was late
October and Joey was off to basic training in the Marine Corps. What
memories he had to take with him on another journey.

HMH-363_insigniaDebi
and I followed him during his military career. We attended every school
graduation he completed. He finished first in class, we were so proud
of him. The next thing we knew was Joey was selected to join the Marine
Air Wing and become a crewmember flying in a CH-53 Super Stallion
helicopter. Soon after that his training intensified and we were not
allowed to know about what he was doing. The next phone call from Joey
was him saying “ I’m going to Afghanistan to fight the War on
Terrorism.” Our hearts sunk with the thought of him going off to war.

He made it through the first deployment and came home on leave. It
was great to see him and how he had matured. What a young man he had
become. Time passed and he called again with a tone in his voice that
told us he was going back. His second tour ended in tragedy when his
helo crashed on a combat mission. All his hopes and dreams died that
night. It has been very hard for us dealing with our loss. After several
months Debi and I agreed to go on a trip following the same route Joey
and I made when we went fishing. We had two reasons for the journey; one
was to spread some of his ashes in places that he loved, and to look
for a final resting place in Montana where we would build a cabin. We
found both.

20121129 property 072Joey
had saved all of his deployment pay checks so we could buy his Montana
dream property. We looked all over the state and on the next to the last
day a realtor called us and said he had found a piece of heaven. Debi
and I went to look at the tract of land. Once we walked out the property
we both looked at each other and said,” this is it.”

We could not let his dream die. As I sat in the wood gazing at the
mountain tops I dreamed of what could have been. I realized that this
place could be put to great use for returning Marines and Soldiers who
loved the outdoors as much as Joey did. I have kept in touch with
several of his Marine friends and they all said the same thing. All Joey
could talk about is all the hunting and fishing trips we went on and
building a cabin in the mountains so they all could come and visit. Debi
and I have decided to extend Joey’s invitation to our military family.

campfireThe
following is a description of the property we purchased. Joey paid for
it with his life and we would like to see his memory live on. The
property is 164 acres completely surrounded by LoLo National Forest. The
forest boundary covers 3150 square miles of wilderness and forest
access roads. It is located in Mineral county, Montana. The town of
Superior is located 8 miles away with a population of 900. The town was
founded when gold was first discovered in Montana. You can still pan for
gold in the mountain streams. We have found gold and blue sapphires in
our secret place. The town has a hotel and stores for supplies. The city
of Missoula is located 60 miles east on interstate 90. There is a major
airport there as well as a county air strip near Superior.

If you love fishing as much as we do the Clark Fork River is located
only 3 miles from the property. The Trout fishing is very good and there
are several mountain streams and lakes in the area to explore. The
Idaho border is close by with three times the national forest to make
use of. Hunting is an option for the outdoorsmen with elk, deer, moose,
big horn sheep, mountain goat, wolves and mountain lions available to
hunt with the proper license. The outdoor experiences are endless. If
you just want to relax in the beautiful mountains it’s all there for the
asking. That’s what we plan to do and with the help of others, Joey’s
dream will come true. Joey’s memories and the Warrior Spirit will always
be there.

marine-corps-emblem 3Semper Fi to all you Marines!!!

Thank you for allowing us to envision and share Joey’s Dream.

Tom Logan

 

Check out their website: http://www.redlionusmcproject.com/

Comments

  1. Beautiful story with both sadness and joy… However, to Mom and Dad… Debi and Tom…. Joey will always have that special place in our hearts and the hearts of his fellow Marines.. Joey will forever be alive and his love for this Montana land will be felt by all who walk on it..
    Thank you for sharing the love of a Mom and Dad and their special son with all of us… Let’s support the Red Lion Project!

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