Friday, May 25, 2012
Beginning his life in an orphanage, Hank Rice was adopted at just over a year old. Growing up with parents and a sister who was also adopted, Hank spent his childhood living in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. After graduating from high school, Hank enrolled in the U.S. Army for 8.5 years. Three of those years were spent in Vietnam. Hank was a part of the 1st Air Cavalry's, 9th Regiment "Hunter Killer Teams," an elite, highly decorated unit that flew Cobra helicopters and had a 60-70% casualty rate. Quietly, Hank states that this was a life changing experience. "Apocalypse Now" is a well known movie that actually portrayed his unit. (Hank was personally shot down on three separate occasions) Among the various awards Hank has received, are the Distinguished Flying Cross on four occasions, the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal of Valour, and two Purple Hearts. In 1972 Hank left the Army and headed to Southern Rhodesia, where he got a commission in the Air Force to fly helicopters, but then, he was recruited as part of the Selous Scouts, an elite special forces unit. Returning to CA. after two years, Hank enrolled at Cal. State Univ. to get a bachelor's degree in International Relations and a minor in Economics. Later he went to work in the insurance industry as an investigator in the Arson and Fraud Division. The father of five children, Hank is currently married to Carol (Love) Rice, a Texas native. Hank moved from Portland to Corbett in 1996. It is here that he is able to be retired and enjoy a relaxed home and lifestyle. At age 40 Hank was able to find both of his birth parents (it took over a year) and is at peace that it was a positive experience for everyone, including seven half siblings. One of these days, there may even be a book that comes out of Hank's many life experiences. It is a thought that has crossed his mind more than once.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
It all began at Sunnyside Hospital 20 years ago. Andrew Elwood made his first appearance and has never looked back. Having two older sisters, Jennifer and Tara, Andrew was born to Rachel and Matthew Elwood. Through much of his early years Andrew moved around quite a bit with his mother and oldest sister, Jennifer. His parents divorced and he lived in Corbett off and on. Once in 5th grade, he moved to Corbett permanently. Andrew's mother died when he was just 11 years old. After living in a short term care home, he lived with Corbett residents Sonny and Carnetta Boyd before moving in permanently with Great Aunt Sarah Stewart and (soon-to-be) Uncle Scott in Corbett. Andrew played football for Corbett throughout middle and early high school. He also took private lessons to earn his Black Belt in Brazilian Jujitsu and a Tier 2 Qualification in Muay Thai. Andrew also worked during the summer time period at the local View Point Inn Restaurant. He teamed up throughout high school with Jacy Clare to represent Corbett High's Robotics Team three consecutive years at the MATE International Aquatic Robotics Competition. Up against 5 and 6A schools, the two man team managed to place 3rd at regionals! Once graduated from Corbett High, Andrew headed to Oregon State University to pursue mechanical engineering. Because of his current struggle with his unique and aggressive cancer, Andrew has taken a step back from school but will go back to pursue pre-med with a focus on chiropractic medicine next fall (2013). His goal is to eventually pursue his doctorate in medicine. Andrew has been diagnosed six different times with melanoma and suffers from constant physical pains, even while medicated. Andrew is not depressed or discouraged, although he has been down those paths. Having childhood friends JR Renner and Cierra Williams as well as key "extended family" such as the parents of his best and closest friends and many Corbett teachers, has made a HUGE impact and difference in his life. Andrew said Corbett is a place of comfort and security for him, knowing he truly is cared about here. In a recent friendship with Aubrey Woodard, Andrew took on a new faith in God and has a new outlook on life. In December of 2011, after facing an occipital cranionomy, Andrew said he had thought the most powerful feeling was pain, but realized soon after that it was instead, love. Andrew's greatest desire at this point is to help others. He has taken the initiative in life to live by striving to incorporate all levels of health and medicine, whether is be Western or Eastern Medicines, nutrition, fitness; whatever he can find, to find a cure for his disease. Andrew has begun tattooing what matters most to him and what he lives by, on his body. Currently he honors his grandfather and hero, Albert Smith with "Maxime Honorem", latin for "Honor Above All Else" across shoulders. A vendetta to his mother tattooed on his right shoulder reads "Superstes" Latin for "Survive," and the Roman numerals "MMIII" which represent the year his mother passed away from pancreatic cancer. Andrew lives each day believeing that there is always more positive than negative in the world, and that there is always hope. If you wish to support Andrew, please go to: www.corbettoregon.com/community/support-drew.