Thank you to our many volunteers —past and present who have given of their time and talents for the betterment of others and love for our community.
OUR 2012 DISTINGUISHED ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY SERVICE AWARD
WAS PRESENTED TO CAPTAIN DREW DORNSTADTER FROM SHERMAN
AND SERGEANT RICHARD FIELDS FROM GORE, OKLAHOMA ON WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR SACRIFICES THROUGH SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY.
ON BEHALF OF OUR COMMUNITY, WE THANK THE 1ST CAVALRY DIVISION, HORSE CAVALRY DETACHMENT FOR
JOINING US FOR THE CEREMONY AND DEMONSTRATING THE TRADITIONS OF THE U.S. CAVALRY!
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR FRIENDS AND PARTNERS WHO HELPED TO COVER THE COST OF BRINGING OUR TWO SOLDIERS
BACK HOME AND MAKING OUR CEREMONY POSSIBLE!
BEST WESTERN– DENISON
KENT & KAREN BLACK
TOM & PEGGY JOHNSON
J.P. MORGAN CHASE
TEXOMA MEDICAL CENTER
STAN & KAREN ALFORD, AMERICAN BANK OF TEXAS, ANDREWS DISTRIBUTING, ANGELA’S CAFÉ, RON & PAT BALLOU, THE DAVID BAYLESS FAMILY, DRUE AND NORA BYNUM, GOD’S HOUSE OF WORSHIP, GRAHAM TRUCK & TIRE CENTER, GUARDIAN HOSPICE-JOHN BULLARD, GREG GUYMON, HEMPKINS INSURANCE, HORACE GROFF, LARRY’S LIQUOR, THE LEMMING FAMILY, LOOSE WHEELS TEXAS, MORRIS INK ADVERTISING AGENCY, BEN & PETER MUNSON, RICHARD & MIA MUNSON, MYERS RENTAL CENTER, ONE VISION, PRAYER BEAR
MINISTRIES, REAR ADMIRAL BILL & JULIA RETZ, JULIA AND HERMAN RINGLER, RAMEY CHEVROLET, RHODEN CONSTRUCTION, SHAWNDA RAINES-SHEARER, DON & KAY SKELTON, STARSTRUCK ENTERTAINMENT AND UNITED RENTALS
THANK YOU TO THE BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS WHO DONATIED GIFT CARDS PRESENTED BY THE COMMUNITY TO OUR TWO
HONOREES TO ASSIST WITH LIVING COSTS OVER THE NEXT YEAR.
ALBERTSONS-DENISON, APPLEBEE’S, SHERMAN, BELLA FONTANA SPA, JOHN BRENNAN, KAY AND JERRY BYNUM, STEVE & LINDA COOK, ROBERT & LISA CRAWLEY, DIANA CAITLIN, CHIC-FIL-A, SHERMAN, COTTON PATCH-DENISON, EDWARD JONES INVESTMENTS-TERESA
ADAMS, HINCO PRINTING, GENE & DEBBIE JACKSON, KROGER-DENISON, LOOSE WHEELS TEXAS, MCDONALDS-DENISON, MY TEK, NORTH RIG GRILL,RUSSELL.CELLUAR VERIZON, RHODEN CONSTRUCTION, HELEN SCHOECK, GERRY TEMPLETON, WAL-MART-DENISON AND DONNA WINTERS.
Thank you to our Adopt-a-Day Donors!
Denison Mayor Jared Johnson presents wreaths to Capt. Drew Dornstadter, center, and Sgt. Richard “Kelly” Fields at the Texoma Health Foundation’s Military Service Award presentation on Wednesday.
The feeling of community, patriotism and fellowship filled the air of the field next to Reba’s Ranch House on Wednesday as hundreds gathered to recognize two active-duty soldiers from the region.
“Reba’s Ranch House and the Foundation have an almost two-decade history of promoting patriotism with a series of events on Memorial Day,” said Texoma Health Foundation Board President Kay Skelton. “This year it was determined that we would celebrate in a very special way, honoring those who have given so much, who have sacrificed so much, to allow us to enjoy the freedoms that we have.”
The route that was chosen was to select two active-duty soldiers — one from southern Oklahoma and one from North Texas — for recognition. County Judge Drue Bynum lead the selection committee that chose the men. Among the criteria was a requirement that the soldiers have at least two combat tours and service that has been recognized by the military.
“We are recognizing some great soldiers today,” Bynum said.
Capt. Drew Dornstadter is a 2000 graduate of Sherman High School and a 2004 graduate of the United States Military Academy. He is a combat engineer and earned the Brig. Gen. Wilson Leadership Award. Dornstadter has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently stationed in the Washington, D.C., area for language training. He and his wife, Katie, have a one-year-old daughter, Charlotte.
Sgt. Richard “Kelly” Fields grew up in Gore, Okla. He completed Airborne School and Ranger training and has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Fields has earned his Parachutist Badge, Combat Action Badge and Ranger Tab. He is married to Kristin.
Both men have served on four combat tours. “When we talk about selfless service, I think we have a new standard,” Bynum said.
At Wednesday’s ceremony, each were recognized with a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol, a wreath with $700 in gift cards and a signed photograph from Reba McEntire thanking them for their services.
“It’s just amazing. It really floors us,” said Dornstadter.
Both men expressed their gratitude for the generosity and hospitality of the region.
“Being on active duty we don’t see this very often at all,” Fields said.
“It’s out of the ordinary to be recognized when your active duty, and even more so when you come to your hometown community,” echoed Dornstadter.
In addition to recognizing the soldiers, organizers also lauded their families. “It’s not just these two fine soldiers who have made a sacrifice, but it’s your entire families,” said Denison Mayor Jared Johnson.
“As good as these guys are, I’ll tell you who is really the backbone of what these guys do, and that’s their wives,” Bynum said.
Katie Dornstadter and Kristin Fields were presented yellow roses, a tradition of the U.S. Cavalry. The roses were presented by members of the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division, Horse Cavalry Detachment, which provided a demonstration of techniques dating back to the Indian Wars.
Denison, Tx. —–The Texoma Health Foundation and Reba’s Ranch House have announced the recipients of the Military Service Award to be presented the morning of June 27 on the grounds of Reba’s Ranch House.
The two honorees were selected by an Award Committee chaired by Judge Drue Bynum (USMA ’91). The Committee had the responsibility of identifying one distinguished active-duty soldier who grew up in Southern Oklahoma and one who grew up here in North Texas, representing the THF’s “Texoma service area”. Criteria for selection included, but was not limited to, service in at least two combat tours and distinguished service recognized by the military.
With the help of friends of the Texoma Health Foundation, the soldiers and their families will have all expenses paid to fly home for the ceremony. “Reba’s Ranch House has a long history of promoting patriotism through years of MemorialDay celebrations. As the Foundation continues to grow, we desired to commemorate 20 years of service through the Reba’s Ranch House in a very special way. This event is a reflection of our culture. It represents the pride of this community in our nation, as well as our gratitude to those military families from our community who make sacrifices daily in service to our country. They protect and defend the freedoms we enjoy”, said Board Chairman, Kay Skelton.
“I am honored to be associated with this group and proud of these two men. We hope that the community will come out and welcome them on the 27 th. This is a small way for us to say thank you and recognize their dedication and service”, said Judge Bynum.
This year’s recipients will be:
Sergeant Richard Kelly Fields – Oklahoma Honoree
Kelly Fields has lived in Oklahoma his entire life. He is the youngest of three brothers, and grew up and attended school in Gore, Oklahoma. Following his high school graduation, he attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. After graduating from NSU in May of 2008, he enlisted in the Army. He attended Basic Combat Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Following AIT, he attended the US Army Airborne School.
After completing Airborne, he began the Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP). While in RIP, he met the love of his life, Kristin Garner from Muskogee, Oklahoma- the woman he would eventually marry. After graduating in December of 2008 from the program, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Shortly after arriving, he was deployed to Afghanistan.
When he returned, he attended the US Army Ranger Course, which he completed in March of 2010. Shortly after graduation, he was again deployed, only this time to Iraq. While still in Iraq, he was redeployed to Afghanistan, postponing his and Kristine’s wedding briefly.
Upon his return home, he was married to Kristin before his next deployment back to Afghanistan. While deployed, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
He returned to Afghanistan for his fourth tour in the winter of 2011 and currently serves as the Head Quarters Team Leader and Joint Fires Observer for a Ranger platoon at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Through his service he has earned his Parachutist Badge, Combat Action Badge, and Ranger Tab.
Captain Drew Dornstadter, Combat Engineer – Texas Honoree
Drew Dornstadter is the son of John and Donna Dornstadter of Sherman, Texas. He is a 2000 graduate of Sherman High School and a 2004 graduate of the United States Military Academy. After receiving his commission, Drew attended the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He then was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas where he was deployed to Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq as a platoon leader for Bravo Company, 20th Engineer Battalion in late 2004.
Drew was then the battalion engineer fro 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry and a company executive officer for E Co, 2-8 Cav and accompanied the unit on a deployment to Taji, Iraq from late 2006 to early 2008. In 2008, he attended the Engineer Captain’s Career Course where he earned the Brigadier General Wilson Leadership Award upon completion.
In 2009, he graduated from the Missouri University of Science and Technology with a master’s degree in Engineering Management. That same year, he was assigned to Wiesbaden, Germany as the Division Engineer Operations Officer for the 1st Armored Division (1 AD). He deployed with 1AD to Baghdad, Iraq in late 2009.
Upon his return to Germany in 2010, Drew was then assigned to the 9th Engineer Battalion in Schweinfurt, Germany and took command of Bravo Company, 9th Engineer Battalion in January 2011. In July 2011, the unit deployed to Paktika Province, Afghanistan.
Drew returned from Afghanistan in late March 2012 and is currently stationed in the Washington, DC area for language training. He has been married to the former Katie Youngblood of Sherman since December 2005, and the couple has a daughter, Charlotte, age 1.