Wednesday, November 2, 2005
A former Hood River resident was killed this week in Iraq.
Jacob Simpson, a 24-year-old U.S. Army sergeant who was born and raised in Hood River, was hit by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade.
According to the Associated Press, Simpson was killed Monday while he was on foot on a reconnaissance patrol, clearing a building near the northern city of Tikrit. He was a member of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Carson, Colo.
Simpson’s grandmother, Donna Layman, who lives in Hood River, said that her grandson grew up here and went to Hood River Valley High School for a year or two before moving to Ashland. She said he played football here.
“He was very tall and very handsome,” she said. “And so good and kind. This just shouldn’t have happened.”
Simpson’s mother, Roberta Simpson, and brother, Carey, live in Lake Oswego. He also has two sisters: Rebekah Simpson, who lives in Glenwood, Wash., and Kimberly Bemiss of Banks, Ore.
Layman said that Jacob still has family living in Hood River, including his aunt and uncle, Janet and John Schmidt, cousins Jim and John, Jr., and an uncle, Gary Simpson.
Layman said that this was her grandson’s second tour in Iraq, and that he had been there since the end of March. She last saw him at Christmas.
“He was the first family member to hold his niece, Becki’s daughter Madison,” she said. “He also walked his sister Kim down the aisle at her wedding in October.”
Governor Ted Kulongoski asked that all flags at public institutions be flown at half-staff on Friday, May 20, “in memory and honor of Army Sergeant Jacob M. Simpson of Ashland, Ore.” He praised Simpson’s bravery and sought to comfort his family.
“Oregon will remember him as a hero who stood for the values of our country and fought valiantly to protect them,” he said in a news release. “We send our sincerest condolences to his family and friends and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all families who have loved ones away at war.”
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge