Operation Iraqi Freedom, Fallen Heroes, Iraq War 03/19/03

Anthony Leo McDowell

Gresham, Oregon

January 31, 2011

Age Military Rank Unit/Location
50 Army SFC

671st Engineer Company,

Tualatin, Oregon


For Memorial Service Snapshots, Click photo below:

February 7, 2011

From smmoregon.com :

In July 1986 I joined the USN (United States Navy), and after extensive schooling, I was attached to Patrol Squadron 44 in Brunswick, Maine. I deployed twice to Iceland, and once to Rota Spain. I participated in three North Pole Expeditions.
In June 1990, I was attached to the Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster PA. It's a scientific research facility for advancement in war technology. I was a member of the Auxiliary Security Force during the Persian Gulf War 1991-1992.

In August 1993, I was honorably discharged and assigned to the Naval Reserve Fix Wing Patrol Squadron 69 in Whitbey Island, WA. I remained there until 1998 when I transferred to the Army Reserve. I deployed to Iraq in 2003 with the 671st Engineer MRBC Company of Portland, OR. as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. While in Iraq we were attached to the 3rd ID. I am currently with the 671st Engineer Company, where I train and mentor 54 soldiers in bridging and demolition.

In over twenty years of military service, I have continuously taken care of service members in their time of need. I have served on Active and Reserve duty, Persian Gulf and Iraqi Freedom, US Navy, and US Army.

On December 3rd 2006, I helped to dedicate the Maintenance Facility at the 671st Engineer Company to SPC. Brandon Tobler.
SPC. Tobler paid the ultimate sacrifice while under my command on March 22, 2003 in Iraq.

In December 2007, I set up a relief fund for a soldier whose home was damaged in a flood. With the support of the community, this soldier was deployed to Iraq for his second tour without worries.

I've helped to organize Going Away parties for Units deploying to Iraq, and held Christmas Benefits for the families of deployed soldiers.

I would like to dedicate my life to continuing the NCO (Non Commissioned Officer) responsibility of taking care of my fellow comrades, and Veterans in need.

SMMR OREGON ..... Sergeant McDowell's Military Relief

From The Oregonian oregonlive.com 02/01/11:

Man shot by Gresham police identified as Anthony McDowell
Published: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 11:33 AM Updated: Tuesday, February 01, 2011, 3:49 PM
By Lynne Terry, The Oregonian 

GRESHAM -- Anthony McDowell, 50, of Gresham, died from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the state medical examiner.

An officer-involved shooting left a man dead about 7 p.m. Monday. Police were summoned by a call from the home in the 24000 block of Southeast Oak Street near 238th Avenue. The caller said a family member was suicidal, according to Officer John Rasmussen, a Gresham police spokesman.

When officers arrived, the man out of the house with a rifle, Rasmussen said. The man's wife and a child remained inside.

Eddie Hamrick, who lives four doors down, said he heard shooting from a house where a family lives. He didn't know their last name but said the man is called Sarge, as in sergeant. 

“We heard two high-powered shots,” Hamrick said. “It rattled every window in the house. It was a rifle or shotgun, not the guns that police carry.”

He went outside and saw a patrol car in the street with officers crouched behind it. He went back inside his house and heard nothing else.

David Mason, who lives down the block from the home, heard two shots as well but his wife heard six. When they looked outside, they saw police cars and a fire engine.

The patrol car was still parked on the street this morning.

Hamrick said the man was already in the neighborhood when he moved into his home five years ago. 

No officers were hurt in the shooting, Rasmussen said.

Portland police and the East County Major Crimes Team are investigating the shooting.

-- Lynne Terry

From The Gresham Outlook theoutlookonline.com 02/01/11:

Man killed by police was 20-year veteran
UPDATE • Gresham resident Anthony Leo McDowell was involved in helping other veterans

By Mara Stine

The Gresham Outlook, Feb 1, 2011, Updated 24 minutes ago 

The suicidal man Gresham police shot and killed Monday, Jan. 31, has been identified as Anthony Leo McDowell.

Friends and neighbors knew the 50-year-old man as Sarge, as he was a sergeant with the Army Reserve. He had more than 20 years of military service, including active and reserve duty in the Persian Gulf and Iraq.

Most currently, he served with the 671st Engineer Company, where he trained and mentored 54 soldiers in bridging and demolition.

“He was a good soldier,” said a man who answered the phone at the Tualatin headquarters.

McDowell also had set up a nonprofit organization and website to raise money for military relief.

Officers shot the man while responding to a 7 p.m. call from the man’s wife reporting that her husband was suicidal and armed with a gun at their home in the 24000 block of Southeast Oak Street, said Officer John Rasmussen, Gresham police spokesman.

Police arrived on the scene. While approaching the house, a man armed with a rifle came out and confronted officers.

“A shooting ensued,” said Gresham Police Chief Craig Junginger. The man died at the scene. Cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest, according to the state medical examiner’s office.

Although his wife and child also were at the scene, it isn’t clear whether they were in the house or witnessed the shooting, Rasmussen said.

Neither of the two police officers involved in the shooting were injured, Junginger said. Their names have not yet being released.

Both are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation conducted by the East County Major Crimes Team with help from Portland police.

According to a website for Sergeant McDowell’s Military Relief, he joined the United States Navy in 1986 and was deployed twice to Iceland and once to Rota, Spain.

He took part in three North Pole expeditions and in 1990 was attached to a scientific research facility for advancement in war technology called the Naval Air Warfare Center in Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Auxiliary Security Force during the Persian Gulf War from 1991-92.

After being honorably discharged in August 1993, he was assigned to the Naval Reserve Fixed Wing Patrol Squadron 69 in Whidbey Island, Wash., where he served for five years.

In 1998, he transferred to the Army Reserve, and in 2003, he deployed to Iraq with the 671st Engineer Company based in Tualatin as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

There, on March 22, 2003, a soldier named Brandon Tobler died while under McDowell’s command. Three years later, McDowell helped dedicate the maintenance facility at the 671st Engineer Company in Tobler’s memory.

Following the floods in Vernonia in December 2007, McDowell organized a relief fund for a soldier whose home was damaged.

“With the support of the community, this soldier was deployed to Iraq for his second tour without worries,” McDowell wrote on his relief fund’s website.

He helped organize going away parties for deploying units and held Christmas benefits for the families left behind.

“I would like to dedicate my life to continuing the NCO (non commissioned officer) responsibility of taking care of my fellow comrades, and veterans in need,” he wrote.
Copyright 2011 Pamplin Media Group

From The Oregonian oregonlive.com 02/07/11:

Family and friends bury Anthony McDowell, soldier shot by Gresham police
Published: Monday, February 07, 2011, 5:56 PM Updated: Monday, February 07, 2011, 6:29 PM
By Steve Beaven, The Oregonian 

Family and friends gathered Monday under an iron-gray sky at Willamette National Cemetery to honor Anthony McDowell, a military veteran who was shot to death by Gresham police last week outside his home.

They grieved, but they also wondered: How did it come to this? How could a man so dedicated to his community and fellow soldiers die such a violent death at the hands of police officers?

"There's a lot of unanswered questions," said Sharon Brunner, a friend who was waiting as she waited for the funeral procession at the cemetery.

McDowell, 50, was holding a rifle when he was killed on Jan. 31 during an encounter with officers. 

The Gresham Police Department said in the immediate aftermath of the shooting that officers were dispatched to the house after McDowell's wife called to report that he was suicidal. A full account of the shooting has not been released. 
But McDowell's family said in a statement that he was holding the rifle over his head when he was shot and didn't know police were outside his house.

Two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated. The case was expected to go before a Multnomah County grand jury.

The nature of McDowell's death was a backdrop for his funeral and the burial that followed. But it was his life that mourners came to celebrate.

At the start of the funeral at Good Shepherd Community Church in Boring, Chaplain Mike Friend surveyed the mourners on the gymnasium floor.

"This is a good-sized crowd," Friend said. "That's a testament to Anthony McDowell." 
McDowell was remembered as a devoted father, husband and a "patriot."

He had been in the Navy and the Army Reserve and served in Iraq. He was also the founder of a nonprofit that aids veterans called Sergeant McDowell's Military Relief. His friends called him "Sarge."

McDowell raised money to help veterans and their families. He threw Christmas parties. He bought gifts for children. And he helped soldiers who'd recently returned from war in their efforts to re-engage with society.

Sometimes, friends have said, money for Sergeant McDowell's Military Relief came out of Anthony McDowell's pocket.

"He bent over backward in helping those soldiers," said Kenneth Claiborne, one of the mourners who said he knew McDowell through the military.

After the funeral service at the church, the long, slow procession of cars and motorcycles made its way through the winding roads of the cemetery.

When the procession stopped, six young soldiers escorted McDowell's flag-draped casket from the hearse. A horn played taps. McDowell's family was given the flag from his casket.

And then, not long before the casket was taken to be buried, the sun came out.

-- Stephen Beaven 

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