The portrait of Army SGT Blake Harris will be presented by artist Phil Taylor and The American Fallen Soldiers Project to his parents, John and Deborah Harris, during the closing events of the 1st Annual OHT Invitational Golf Tournament.
SGT Harris of Pueblo, Colorado was killed on March 15, 2007 when an IED detonated near his unit in Baqubah, Iraq. He was serving with the 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas. This young 22-year-old American hero left behind a wife, son, and parents, all of whom mourn his loss to this day.
The American Fallen Soldiers Project is a 501c3 non-profit that was formed by Phil and Lisa Taylor to help provide comfort and healing to the mourning families of our fallen military. With the mission to honor, respect and forever memorialize those who have sacrificed their lives while protecting our freedom, this organization makes available to the families at no cost, an original portrait of their fallen loved one that fully captures their appearance and personality.
To learn more about The American Fallen Soldiers Project, visit their website.
Be sure to sign up for the 1st Annual OHT Invitational Golf Tournament here. Help us ensure that SGT Harris and all of those who have served and died for our nation are never forgotten.
Two thirds of the way on his trek across the nation supporting our troops, Mike continues to call attention to veterans and our military. Yesterday Operation Hero Trek was featured on WAAY in Huntsville, Alabama. Watch the video here:
The Highlands Ranch Herald spoke to Deana Mobley, Mike’s better half, in a story in the paper yesterday. Despite having watched their sons make multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, it is never easy for a mom.
As Deana Mobley prepared to watch her husband Mike begin his journey from Highlands Ranch to Camp Lejeune, N.C., on foot earlier this spring her concerns were far from what possible dangers he might encounter along the way.
Instead her concerns lie in Afghanistan, where Sgt. Ryan Mobley, one of her two twin sons enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces, is deployed with the Marine Corps.
“My thoughts are always with my sons when they are deployed,” she said. “Certainly Ryan is the one who is foremost in my thoughts and my concerns right now. My Army son, Matthew, has been back for a couple years and is in college and I can only hope and pray that his unit does not deploy as scheduled next year.”
Ryan and Matthew, who enlisted right after graduation from Highlands Ranch High School in 2004, have put their mother through a total of six deployments between them, but none was worst than their simultaneous tours in 2007.
“It was a nightmare,” Deana Mobley said. “It was the only time they were both gone at the same time and the whole time they were over there was it really tough. It was hard not to be emotional, hard to focus on the things you need to focus on.”
Following a 4 a.m. phone call from Matthew and another call a month later from Ryan it got much harder for Deana.
The people Mike meets as he conducts Operation: Hero Trek are just amazing and very supportive of our troops and veterans. Today Mike got to meet two more uniformed heroes – Tipton County Tennessee Sheriff Deputies Chris Payne and Kira.
Heroes wear all different types of uniforms!
Operation Hero Trek
On March 24th Mike Mobley 58 year old father of twin boys – Purple Heart Recipient, Staff Sargent Matthew Mobley, US Army and Purple Heart Recipient, Sargent Ryan Mobley, US Marines Corps. Sargent Matthew Mobley has served 27 months in Iraq and Sargent Ryan Mobley, has served three tours in Iraq and is on his fourth tour in Afghanistan.
Mike is on a 3 month campaign to walk across the United States. He is raising awareness about the service and sacrifices our troops and their families make. This tour will educate civilians and children as we show our military and their families how much we appreciate and support their service and sacrifices for all of us.
Special events will be staged along the walking route. Americans will be invited to walk with Mike for some or the entire journey. The walk begins at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado and ends at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (over 2,000 miles). The route is dynamic and fluid based on weather, requests for stops, etc.
OHT in the news – From the Dodge City Daily Globe:
DODGE CITY — On March 24, Mike Mobley left his home in Colorado and started walking east. He’s not going to stop until he gets to North Carolina, where he will meet his son, who will be coming home from his fourth tour of duty in Afghanistan at the end of June.
Mobley’s twin sons have seven tours of duty between them. Matthew Mobley has served 27 months in Iraq and is now home, and Ryan Mobley is on his fourth tour of duty.
Mike said he hopes this will be the last one for both of his sons.
Operation: Hero Trek began as Mike’s way to show support not only for what his sons have given to their country, but to the thousands of others who are deployed as well. To honor them, Mobley has decided to walk 2,300 miles across the country. And he plans to do the entire walk while wearing combat boots.
As of last Friday, April 6, Mobley has walked 380 miles of his trek and is actually about 32 miles ahead of schedule.
Mobley is driving, then stopping in certain towns along his trip and walking. So, when he came to Dodge from Garden City he drove here, but then he will walk the equivalent of that distance while here in Dodge.
OHT in the news – From the La Junta Tribune-Democrat:
La Junta, Colo. — Mike Mobley began his trek to North Carolina to meet son Ryan, who is returning from a deployment with the Marine Corps. He is walking across America from Colorado Marine Air Control Squadron 23 to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He left on March 23 and spent three days in La Junta, where he visited the Koshare Kiva, walked the nature trail at Bent’s Old Fort several times and took a short tour of the fort.
His support man from headquarters was a little behind Mobley, as he notified the Tribune-Democrat that Mobley would be here on April 3. On April 3, he was at the Cow Palace in Lamar, where he took some time to send the Tribune some emails. A couple of fellows from Rocky Ford, Ted Torres and his son Eddie, took care of showing him the sights in Rocky Ford, including the cemetery where the Japanese interred here were buried, the Grand Theater and the Rocky Ford High School veterans display.
Word of Operation: Hero Trek and Mike’s walk in support of veterans and our troops continues to spread. On Sunday the Highlands Ranch Herald had a nice story.
Longtime Highlands Ranch resident Mike Mobley, a self-described young 58, is not the first person to decide to hike across America to raise awareness for a cause.
Yet when the man who signs his emails as Forrest — in honor of Tom Hanks’ recognizable character who ran from coast to coast during one stretch of “Forrest Gump” — embarked on a 2,000-mile, three-month quest on foot March 24, he did it in honor of raising awareness for the United States military and military families all over.
“I feel very fortunate to be able to do this,” said Mobley, who is carrying an iPod, his cell phone with a GPS, a laptop, bedroll and some food and clothes with him. “I want people to realize that there are still people overseas fighting for our freedoms and sacrificing everything.”
Please join Mike Mobley as he kicks off his walk across the country for Operation Hero Trek. This first leg will be from Lodo’s Bar and Grill in Highlands Ranch to one of the local Douglas County High Schools.
Individuals, groups and families welcome!
Date: Saturday, March 24, 2012
Time: 10:00am MDT
Location: Lodos Bar and Grill – Highlands Ranch, 8545 S Quebec St, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126 (Click here for a map)