U.S. Army recognizes local veteran-artist
On Friday, Aug. 16, the Army’s 3D Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Battalion observed its return from Afghanistan with a traditional homecoming banquet.
The mission of the battalion, which is home based at Ft. Lewis, is to disarm conventional and unconventional (biological, chemical, and improvised) explosive devices.
Obviously, this is extremely dangerous work, and the battalion suffered numerous casualties during its most recent deployment.
The banquet was hosted by Lt. Col. Frank Davis, Battalion Commander, and the keynote speaker for the event was Mike Reagan, a member of VFW Post #8870.
Reagan, who is a Marine combat Vietnam veteran, lives in Edmonds. Several years ago he and his wife, Cheryl, founded the Fallen Heroes Project.
Since then, he has drawn more than 3,300 portraits of our men and women who were killed while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan while engaging in our nation’s War Against Terrorism.
Each portrait, which is Reagan’s gift to our Gold Star Families, is intended to demonstrate his love and respect for our nation’s Fallen Heroes.
In addition to having the opportunity to be reunited with Gold Star family members for whom he had drawn portraits in the past, Reagan had the opportunity to meet, for the first time, parents, brothers, and sisters of the Fallen Heroes from 3D EOD Battalion.
When Reagan concluded his remarks, Lt. Col. Davis presented him with a plaque to express the grateful appreciation of the battalion for the numerous portraits Reagan had drawn for its deceased members.
In addition, Lt. Col. Davis surprised Reagan when he read the following proclamation: “From the Department of the Army, Mr. Michael Reagan is presented with the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for his meritorious volunteer service as the Fallen Heroes Project artist.
“His dedication to duty and commitment to the soldiers proved essential to honoring our Fallen Heroes. Mr. Reagan’s actions reflect great credit upon himself, the 3D Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, the 71st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group, and the United States Army.”
Among some of the awards and recognition Reagan has earned in the past was the VFW Commander in Chief’s Gold Medal of Merit and recognition by the State of Washington.
Those who would like to know more about the Fallen Heroes Project or who would like to make a donation to this wonderful work should contact Reagan at his web site www.fallenheroesproject.org.