Thursday, April 16, 2009

WAR HERO to Promote AQHAs Quarterfest Extravaganza

Gee, I wonder if he knows "the darker side of the AQHA," and if he did would he still help to promote them? Maybe we should petition him and give him an education about the AQHA Pro-slaughter position?


The CNN report read like this: "Seventeen U.S. soldiers were killed, five were injured and one was missing after two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters crashed Saturday in a residential neighborhood in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Military officials believe one helicopter may have climbed to avoid gunfire and collided with a second Black Hawk, causing them both to crash."

Army Staff Sgt. Josh Forbess, a then-27-year-old Decatur, Illinois, native didn’t wake up from the November 16, 2003, incident until eight weeks later, and he still tears up when he discusses the 17 of his fellow 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldiers who died in the crash, many of them his friends. Forbess lost an ear and half of his nose and suffered broken bones, extensive burns and smoke inhalation injuries.

While he continues to recover from his injuries, a process that, including reconstruction surgery, could take two or three years, he’s back working at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and committed to returning to full duty with his unit, the 320th Field Artillery Regiment’s 1st Battalion.

“As long as you have heart, there’s nothing to stop you,” he said in an October 2004 American Forces Press Service article. The driving force behind his efforts to recover fully from his injuries and to return to full duty in the military is “all in here,” Forbess said, tapping his chest.

“I love my job. I love training soldiers,” said Forbess. “There’s nothing else I could do that I would enjoy as much as that.”

Forbess said he barely notices the curious looks he receives when he goes out in public, revealing his facial injuries to the world. “I don't notice people staring,” he said. “There’s no shame. I'm still the same person inside.”

During Forbess’ recovery, his wife lived at the Brooke Army Medical Center Fisher House, which is part of a program that provides special housing at each of the Army's major medical centers for the families of soldiers who are receiving medical treatment, often from being wounded on duty.

Staff Sgt. Forbess now works as a volunteer at the Fisher House, serving as a mentor to combat-injured veterans and leading Wounded Warrior meetings. He is also the current noncommissioned officer in charge of the Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Campbell and volunteers with numerous veteran organizations and children's charities. Forbess also heads the Fort Campbell Fisher House Equine Therapy Program.

In November 2008, Forbess was recognized by President George W. Bush for his volunteer efforts. Bush presented the President’s Volunteer Service award to Forbess, praising him for serving his nation in uniform, and going the extra measure to serve others in need.

The American Quarter Horse Association is proud to announce that Staff Sgt. Forbess will take part in the QuarterFest Extravaganza the evenings of May 1 and 2 in the Tennessee Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This two-hour riveting production is designed to reinforce your bond with the world’s favorite horse – the American Quarter Horse. We’ll cap the event with an all-American tribute to the nation’s wounded warriors and those who have given their lives for our country.

Purchase your tickets for QuarterFest and the Extravaganza at

QuarterFest is a three-day, education-packed celebration of the American Quarter Horse Association’s 68th anniversary where AQHA members and horse enthusiasts from around the world will gather in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, May 1-3 for fun, entertainment and festivities to honor the world’s most versatile horse – the American Quarter Horse. Our sponsors – Tractor Supply, B&W Trailer Hitches, John Deere, Justin Boots, Merial, Nutrena, Professional’s Choice, Bank of America, Montana Silversmiths, Farnam, Breyer and Wrangler – share our passion for horses and are an integral part of QuarterFest.

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