YRF to Co-Host Breakfast for Unit 3/67

Reunion of Army Unit 3/67

That Lost 9 Members in Action in Iraq and 13 to Suicide

Organized by Yellow Ribbon Fund

20 Soldiers from Unit to Gather and Take Spartan Pledge Not to Take Their Own Lives;

Folsom Community Rallies Around Troops to Host Events in Support

FOLSOM, Ca. (Oct 19)  Twenty soldiers from the 3d Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment Operation Iraqi Freedom from 05-07 self-named the "Hounds of Hell" are gathering at the home of one of its members, Sgt. Danny O'Neel, USA (Ret.) for a reunion organized by his wife and caregiver Faun O'Neel. The 3/67 AR was part of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and were deployed to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Rustamiyah and FOB Hope, near Sadr City, Iraq. The all-male unit was mostly made up of young men ages 18-22 and for most it was their first deployment. The unit suffered nine losses during that deployment, including one suicide and many nearly fatal casualties, but as Danny O'Neel notes, "the war at home has raged on.' Danny, who suffered injuries from the tour including retained shrapnel in his spine and a traumatic brain injury, has been trying to heal these past ten years but is alarmed by the number of soldiers in his unit who have committed suicide.

After the one of their snipers, Sgt. Adam Smith, took his own life at the end of August, Danny thought the unit's suicide count had risen to 11. He and his wife, Faun, who is a Caregiver Coordinator for the Yellow Ribbon Fund, decided enough was enough and began planning a reunion in their home in Folsom, California. Twenty members of the unit will gather this weekend and will be given the chance to take the Spartan Pledge,  promising "I will not take my own life by my own hand until I talk to my battle buddy first. My mission is to find a mission to help my warfighter family." One member is coming all the way from Germany to reunite with his brothers-in-arms. Faun posted on Facebook asking friends if they had any cots she could borrow. When her friends, neighbors and even strangers in Folsom heard about the reunion, they sprang into action. A woman sent Faun a private message on Facebook, telling her she ordered eight pizzas to be delivered to the O'Neel home Friday and is having "Thank you for your service" written in each box. It was also through Facebook sadly that Faun and Danny learned that that 11 was not the correct count, there were at least two other members of the unit who died by suicide.

Danny wrote a letter about the Unit and resolved, "We can no longer stand by as our brothers, who have sacrificed so much of themselves for this country, suffer. We need our communities to know that while we are changed forever by what we experienced over there, we need them. Sharing our stories is excruciating, but not nearly as excruciating as continuing to bury our brothers. We are a family forged in the hell of Sadr city and we miss our brothers fiercely. We hope to be accepted as we are, forever changed by a year spent at war in Iraq. Always, The Sadr City Boys."

A full weekend is planned leading up to the "Hounds of Hell" breakfast on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. The unit members' wives who are attending the reunion also have events this weekend: a local business (which wishes to remain anonymous) is treating the wives to brunch Saturday morning, Yellow Ribbon Fund is hosting a paint and sip for them Saturday afternoon, and The Cellar Wine Bar is donating a dinner Saturday night

List of businesses participating in weekend's events:

Fraternal Order of the Eagles, Folsom (farewell event/breakfast Sunday)

Sutter Street Taqueria (breakfast Saturday)

The Cellar Wine Bar (Hosting wives for dinner Saturday)

Buffalo Wild Wings (lunch Saturday)

Abbie Shepard, Keller Williams Real Estate

Julian's Patisserie

MEDIA EVENT

Who: Members of the "Hounds of Hell" 3/67 Unit also known as "The Sadr City Boys" will gather for a reunion a decade after their deployment to remember those they lost and will have the opportunity to take the Spartan Pledge. Members of the Folsom community including veterans from previous wars will attend in support.

What: Hounds of Hell Reunion Breakfast co-hosted by the Folsom Fraternal Order of the Eagles #929 and the Yellow Ribbon Fund

When: Sunday, October 22nd, 2017, 9:30am.

Where: Folsom Fraternal Order of the Eagles #929 (215 Scott Street, Folsom, CA 95630)

 Contact: Kate Schulz  cell 240-760-9183 kate@yellowribbonfund.org

 

Posted by Kate on 10/20/2017 6:52:43 PM