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Mar-09-2008 21:09printcomments

Oregonians Support War Coverage at Eola Hills Winery's Tim King is heading for Iraq to cover Oregon Guard combat troops.

Group photo by Q. Madp,

(RICKREALL, Ore.) - A sometimes emotional and extremely beneficial fundraiser was held today at Eola Hills Winery in Rickreall, Oregon, to support our upcoming coverage of Oregon Guard soldiers deployed in Iraq.

Sun warmed the sparking fountains at this beautiful setting across from the Polk County Fairgrounds, where a similar event was held in late 2006 to raise funds to send's Tim King to Afghanistan where he covered the war while embedded with Oregon Guard troops.

They dedicated a room section of the winery to the event that was adorned in red, white and blue table settings.

The gracious support of Eola Hills came in more ways than one, as the winery's Eric Rogers and his family donated $500 toward our war coverage expenses, in addition to hosting the event. Two Polk County area Windermere Realty firms on hand pledged an additional $400.

Ticket raffles and straight donations topped $200, and that means that even without other proceeds factored in, the donations easily topped $1,100.

On hand were many veterans, ranging from's Dr. Phillip Leveque of Molalla, Oregon, a WWII combat vet, (see: Medical Marijuana Doctor Q&A ) to Master Sergeant Don Weber, (see: Soviet Tank Graveyard in Afghanistan) and Major Arnold Strong, (see: Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan Opens with Many Needs) Oregon Guard soldiers that our Tim King spent time with while covering the war in Afghanistan last year.

A few things Tim brought back after covering the war
in Afghanistan, along with some of the items he took, like
the police SWAT vest, which the company is hoping to
upgrade through fundraising. Photo by: Q Madp

Tim had not seen "Top" Don Weber since leaving Afghanistan January of last year. Another person in attendance was Patty Louisiana, the mother of two soldiers Tim covered while in Afghanistan who are brother and sister, together in a combat zone. (see: Oregon Siblings Work Side By Side in Afghanistan - VIDEO)

Q. Madp of attended the event, snapping great pictures throughout the duration, and our Kevin Montgomery was there to grab more photos. Family members on hand included Bonnie King's parents, Alan and Marge Ehry of Dundee, Oregon. Longtime friend of the Kings, Tina Miller, was also there to help and was an organizer of the event along with Bonnie King. Margaret Strong also helped out and her problem solving skills helped time and again.

Austin King and Sean King, sons of Tim, also worked as organizers and helped with the raffle and other duties.

Another group on hand represented Adam's Rib Smoke House which is located just east of the Oregon state capitol. The family won half the raffle amount, and donated it back to our fundraising efforts to cover the war, thanks Mike and Katrina Adams, you are wonderful!

That was an extremely kind offer, and represented the spirit of this coverage that places politics aside, and concentrates on the fact that our countrymen are at war, and receiving almost no coverage from the national media, even less from local and regional media groups.

In this particular case we are talking about Oregon Guard soldiers, normally civilians we share the workplace with except for one weekend a month and two weeks every summer. Times have really changed.

We greatly appreciate the help that was provided for out efforts to get Tim King into Iraq if all goes according to plan, by the end of this month.

He will be embedded with Oregon Guard units that are serving as combat engineers, infantry security forces, a C-23 Sherpa aviation squadron, and he will also spend time with the Army's 10th Mountain Division in Kirkuk, Iraq.

One of the nicest parts about today's event beyond the gorgeous setting at Eola Hills Winery in Rickreall and the kind generosity in support of our troops, was surely the music. Two guitarists played many favorites that gave the event a special ambiance. Raw video clips from the war in Afghanistan were played on the winery's big screen TV's.

All of those who help will be credited in our war reports.

There are a number of items mentioned below that will greatly affect the success of our work in Iraq. Tim's experience of two months over the winter of 2006/07 covering the Oregon Guard in Afghanistan allows to have a much clearer idea about what it takes to cover war.

Here are some of the items that will greatly assist this project:

Need: Cellular phone and calling plan (International)

X Blackberry phone(We would still need a calling plan, but one party has contacted us to say they have a first generation Blackberry, we will let you know more about this, sounds like it is covered!)

Need: Good quality digital still camera

X Helmet mounted video cameras (This need is met by the owner of a Michigan company, V.I.O.-P.O.V., that contacted with a goal of providing the two required cameras. THANK YOU.)

Need: Dual core laptop computer

Need: External hard drives, flash drives and SD cards (Kevin's Driftboats is providing a 128 MB SD card)

Need: Improved body armor (Tim currently has a Salem Police SWAT vest but it does not stop the AK-47 round as the soldier's body armor does) (Rec'd: $50 toward vest)

Need: Clothing items: other things such as thermals, hiking socks, military style pants (Kevin's Driftboats is providing some clothing items and a waterproof pack)

Need: Travel Expenses: Tim will travel from New York to Kuwait with Evergreen Aviation, but round trip travel, food and lodging costs still exist from Oregon to New York

You can make a PayPal donation with your credit card at the bottom of the page

If any groups, individuals or companies would particularly like to raise Tim's safety level while in Iraq, please consider providing an upgraded ballistic type vest.
We have already received our first $50 PayPal donation for that specific goal.

Contact Bonnie King at: and tell her what you would like to do to help. Tim is the father of several boys ranging from 8 to 24 and they all appreciate the community's support in making this a safe and effective project.

To Help, donate via PayPal:

To send a check:
Attn: Iraq Trip
P.O. Box 5137
Salem, Oregon 97304


Other stories on Tim's upcoming war coverage in Iraq:

Also, Tim wants to thank all of the people who helped with his work in Afghanistan. Even if Tim can not upgrade his ballistic vest, he has one he can use in the meanwhile thanks to the Salem, Oregon Police SWAT team. He has a combat helmet from Nopp's Jewelers in Salem. They are only part of the help we received, and we have not forgotten that generosity. We hope you feel it was put to good use.


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Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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jim June 17, 2008 7:42 am (Pacific time)

by sur[orting you im afraid i will be suporting terrorisim. i mean killing is killing it doesnt matter who the victim is.if osama is a terrorist which i agree then bush is the father of terror network in the world. all need akind justice....burn them a live..this includes any body who supports the war. lets be human and urge this bogus pple including the arabs and the jews to stop the heniouse kiilings.

If you think denying Americans a video report on what is going on over there is important, then you must think it is better to keep people in the dark and that helps nobody here or there, American or Iraqi.  If you read my material you would know that my work in these areas is very level and regardless of your anti-war sentiments or mine, I still love my brother Americans who serve in the National Guard.  Dude, if you were stranded on a mountain or lost while hiking nature trails, these are the people who would save your life.  Most of the Oregon Guardsmen and women are outstanding examples of humanity and I am proud to cover their activities, it does not equate to supporting Bush's policies.  There are Americans working over there to strictly help the people, make up for the problems we have caused, etc.  Not supporting me and not supporting them makes little sense to me, but that is your call.

Tim King 

Becky Lowmaster March 15, 2008 10:27 pm (Pacific time)

I am interested to hear what Tim sees and does in Iraq. Am interested since my cousin is with the 224 EN BN that he will be visiting. I will have to stay tuned to his reports. Thanks, Tim, for what you are doing!!!

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