Military Order of the Purple Heart Bids Farewell to Operation Denali 2009


The National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), Jeff Roy, presided over the launch of Operation Denali this past weekend at the Mountain View VFW Post 10252 in Anchorage, Alaska. This event coincided with the annual MOPH Department of Alaska Convention hosted by Department Commander Ron Siebels.  Commander Roy was joined by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Alaska Senator

Jeff gives team coins

Commander Jeff Roy gives Operation Denali Team his “Commander’s Coin”

The purpose of the event was launch an extraordinary expedition by America’s heroes to successfully summit 20,320 ft. Mt. Denali, the highest peak in North America, after more than a year of intensive preparations.  The team will be departing Anchorage on June 1 for the Denali Base Camp, where they will begin their ascent which is expected to take 3 weeks to complete.  Mark Begich for this historic event.


Palin listens to Marc

Governor Palin listens to LTC Hoffmeister Explain the Climb

Commander Roy introduced the members of this team of wounded warriors who symbolize the strength of our Nation and those who defend it.  The team includes Lieutenant Colonel Marc Hoffmeister, team leader and an active duty Army officer, who lost significant use of his left arm and hand by a roadside improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Iraq in 2007; Matt Nyman, who lost his right leg in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2005; David Shebib, who almost died from multiple injuries caused by an IED detonated against his dismounted patrol in Iraq in 2006; and, Jon Kuniholm, who lost his right arm as a result of wounds received in Iraq in 2005.  Also climbing with the team are Gayle Hoffmeister, a team mentor and wife of the team leader, and Bob Haines, also a team mentor and a retired US Army Infantry NCO who is currently an Anchorage Fire Fighter.

Official Check Presentation

Board Director Bill Wroolie Presents Sponsorship Check to Operation Denali Team

L to R: Senator Begich and son Jacob, MOPH Commander Jeff Roy, Jon Kuniholm, Bob Haines, Gayle Hoffmeister,

Matt Nyman, David Shebib, Mark Hoffmeister, MOPH Board Member Bill Wroolie, Governor Palin

The Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, primary sponsor of Operation Denali, is also providing the team with a satellite telephone for interviews and communications during the climb.  The team plans to make calls during their climb to the Anchorage Radio “Bob and Mike Show”, MOPH Commander Jeff Roy, the Board of the MOPH Service Foundation, Governor Palin, and Senator Begich,  They will make several calls to the Armed Forces Press Service who will be running a daily blog on, as well as to the Purple Heart Radio  Those who are interested in tracking the climb can do so on the tracking site at:

The Military Order of the Purple Service Foundation , the primary sponsor of Operation Denali, raises funds for service, welfare, and rehabilitation work in connection with the members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. (a congressionally chartered veterans organization), those who are eligible for membership therein, or any wounded, disabled and/or handicapped veteran, his widow, orphan or survivors.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) <>  is unique among Veteran Service Organizations in that all its members were wounded in combat. For this sacrifice, they were awarded the Purple Heart Medal. With grants from the MOPH Service Foundation, the MOPH and its Ladies Auxiliary promote Patriotism, Fraternalism, and the Preservation of America’s military history. Most importantly, they provide comfort and assistance to all Veterans and their families, especially those requiring claims assistance with the VA, those who are homeless, and those requiring employment assistance.  MOPH volunteers provide assistance to Hospitalized veterans at VA sites and State Veterans Homes

For information contact:

LTC Marc Hoffmeister, Team Leader, (907) 350-8222


Ms. Tempie Thompson, MOPH Service Foundation, (703) 635-3531

Email: [email protected]


National Public Relations Director, John Bircher, 352-753-5535

Email: [email protected]




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