Some member of the Northern Virginia Carvers (NVC) have been carving
American Eagle heads for canes for presentation to troops wounded in
Iraq and Afghanistan. The Capital Area Woodturners make the shafts,
and the soldier's unit and combat history is burnt onto the cane.
Here is a story by Hank Cloutier, a champion of this project, about a
very special presentation:
EAGLE CANE PROJECT Hank Cloutier
Dave Brog, head of the local chapter of Red river Rats, wrote the
following regarding the Cane presentation to 2nd Lt Harold Noel:
Today was the kind of day of which we need more. I had the pleasure of
being in attendance at a special cane presentation to 2nd Lt Harold
Noel, 94 years old, a WW II B-24 Navigator, who was shot down on his
15th mission and became a POW at Stalag 3 for over a year. He was
freed when Patton drove his tanks into the Stalag.
Hank Cloutier, one of our local River Rats, and his cane carving team,
did one for Harold to honor his service to our country. B/G Jeff
"Tuna" Johnson, CC of the 113th ANG Wing at Andrews, was honored to
host and do the presentation in his Ops Group conference room. The
event took place today. In attendance, beside Tuna, were Colonel Kirk
"Tick" Pierce, the new OG, Harold's daughter Nancy Noel, son and
daughter-in-law Bob and Nancy Noel (Yes. The daughter-in-law is also
Nancy), Hank Cloutier, Pete Ward and me.
After the presentation, Harold told many stories about his POW
The Stalag 3 was the camp about which "The Great Escape" was filmed.
He told of his capture, being held in Vienna, then Nurnberg, then the
march to Bavaria. His targets for the first 14 missions were the big
ones, Ploesti, Wiener Neustadt and other well defended ones. On one
mission the gunners of his plane did shoot down 2 German fighters.
It was an honor for all of us to be present at this ceremony. It was a
well worth the hour and a half to honor this genuine American hero.
Harold had no idea that it was going to be such a ceremony. His
children had just told him that they wanted to take him to Andrews for
lunch. Although Harold is from Solomon, MD, his children live in
Annapolis and are very familiar
with McGarvey's and Mike Ashford.
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE OF THANKS WAS ALSO RECEIVED BY HANK:
Sent: Tue, July 13, 2010 1:42:15 AM
Subject: Eagle Cane Project (UNCLASSIFIED) Classification:
UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: FOUO
Just wanted to express my gratitude for the visit you or one of your
fellow volunteers paid to my wounded hero, PFC Andrew Cleek. He is the
door gunner that suffered two broken legs in the UH-60 crash on 21
June. Hes a great kid and has a positive attitude. It means a great
deal to me as his commander knowing that he is being taken care of at
a world class facility.
But it is also extremely important for his well-being knowing that
America is pulling for him. Visits like the one you paid to him are
what makes our military and country what it is. We remember ~ We
support Thank you for your genuine concern for Andrew.
LTC Scott A. Hasken, CDR, TF No Mercy
1-101st AVN REGT, Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan