Iraq War Veterans Celebrated Last Christmas...

     This photo was sent as a Christmas card last year from Balad Air Base in Iraq. The "tree" is made from an aircraft drop tank. Men and women in the military have always found ways to brighten their days at Christmas. Left to right: Maj. Bruce Willett, Lt. Col. Greg Parsons, Lt. Col. Don Fitzgerald, Lt. Col. Mark Burns, Maj. Dan Whannell, Maj. Ron Burgess, and Maj. Keith Peloquin.
       Major Dan Whannell is back in America and recently married Tammy, another Air Force officer. For a wedding photo, photos of Dan's parents cranberry bog harvest and the story behind the above "card" see bottom of page.

Veterans Marry...
Photos and Story by Edwinna Van Eaton

     Major Daniel Whannell and Captain Tammy Whannell were married October 16, 2004, in Seaside, Oregon. They met each other in March 2001 when Tammy was stationed at the Royal Air Force Base, and Dan stationed at  NATO headquarters in Belgium. Tammy is a nurse manager and Dan an intelligence flight commander.
    Dan met Tammy's brother for the first time when he was stationed in Iraq for six months. His brother-in-law to be walked into the " intelligence shop"  dressed in his full army combat uniform. His appearance in a classified area gave Dan a moment of concern. The visit was planned by Tammy, and friends, so Dan could meet her brother, Sergeant 1st Class Roger Clark, who served twelve months in Iraq, just 20 miles from Dan.
    Dan and Tammy are both stationed at Dover, Delaware Air Force Base and are glad the military has joint spouse assignment so they can be together. As far as they know there is no future plans for either of them to go to Iraq.
    Dan has thirteen years military service, and Tammy has been in the service for eighteen years. Their future is to finish out 20 years and plan on settling near Bend, Oregon.
    The Whannell family met the Van Eaton family many, many years ago when they were business people in Morton. 


Newlyweds on Their First Day of Marriage

     The newlyweds spent their first day of marriage at Dan Dan's parent's cranberry farm in Warrenton, Oregon/ The harvest was beginning at Whannell Cranberry Farm.


Bob Whannell has Some Fun

     This is Bob Whannell, Dan's Dad, trying to recruit harvesters. It was a fun thing to do with so many military people there. The business is Whannell Cranberry Farm.


Harvesting the Bog Berries

     Ever wonder where your Thanksgiving and Christmas cranberries come from? Possibly from a place like this. There are also cranberries which are grown on dry land.


A Truckload of Berries

Loading the berries onto dump truck


Dan's Berry Proud Parents

Bob and Sally Whannell, parents of Dan Whannell, live on their cranberry farm in Warrenton, Oregon.


"Person of the Year"

     From left to right: Maj. Bruce Willett, Lt. Col. Greg Parsons, Lt. Col. Don Fitzgerald, Lt. Col. Mark Burns, Maj. Dan Whannell, Maj. Ron Burgess, and Maj. Keith Peloquin.

      by Dixie A. Walter
       January 3, 2004

       This Christmas card was sent to Edwinna and Pat Van Eaton from their friends Bob and Sally Whannell parents of son Major  Dan Whannell. The families became friends many years ago when the both lived in Morton. The major's parents now live in Portland, Oregon. The decorated "tree" proves the "American Soldier" named "Person of the Year" by Time Magazine will find a way to have some fun and celebrate Christmas even while in harm's way. 
       Air Force Captain Monica M.  Bland, public affairs officer at Balad Air Base in Iraq, sent ENN
the following information about the men and their "tree."  
The individuals are deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to Balad Air Base, Iraq, which is located about 50 km south of Baghdad.  Their deployed unit is Detachment 1 of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing. 
   "Most of the personnel are here on temporary duty for 120 days.  Lt. Col. Burns is the only one on a one year rotation. Most of the officers featured in the picture arrived here in mid to late November and will depart some time in March, and live in the same tent in Silver City (the name of our Air Force tent city/village). 
     "Our primary mission here at Balad AB is to build up the air field in order to better assist the Army with the transport of cargo and personnel.  Every aircraft that comes in and out of Balad keeps Army convoy trucks and associated personnel off of the dangerous driving routes between Kuwait and Balad.
     "One final note:  the "tree" was constructed using a drop tank  found on base.  Aircraft drop tanks are used to store the aircraft's fuel.  The "tree" came about as part of the Air Force contingent's tree decorating contest celebrating Christmas." No word on who won the contest.
      Major Dan's mom, Sally, explained a bit more about drop tanks and her son. "The drop tank allows a fighter to carry more gas for longer missions, then he jettisons it on his way home.  I didn't know that.  Anyway, the picture was taken at the airbase in Balad, Iraq, where Dan is stationed. Dan is a Major in the Air Force, he is an intel officer, his home base is  Dover Delaware. He was a ROTC graduate out of the University of Portland."
      Remember to say a prayer for the safety of these men and all of our men and women in uniform. 

                                                                                                                                                                  Back to Top

                                                                                                                   Back to Front Page
















  2002 We Care!