By News-Register staff • 

A Veterans Day rescue for an Army veteran

 

WILLAMINA - On Veterans Day, fittingly, Gulf War Army veteran Timothy Marsh was located by Yamhill County Search and Rescue members after spending several days with his dog in a rural area of Willamina.

The 51-year-old Marsh, a Lane County resident, and his dog were stranded north of Willamina, according to Yamhill County Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Ray. The location was about four miles north of Coast Creek Road, and to the north on Homestead Road. It's the same area where the Willamina Creek Fire burned last summer.

Marsh said he and his dog survived by eating dog food and drinking water from puddles and melting ice.

"I thought I was dead," Marsh told Portland television station KPTV. "I thought if I had to stay another night out there I would've been dead. It was freezing every night. I had a light jacket on and that was it.

"I was yelling for three nights that I can remember, yelling for help.  Thank you for everybody, thank you for all the prayers. I'm thankful to be alive. When they (rescuers) showed up I just fell to my knees and started crying."

The Lane County Sheriff's Office listed Marsh as a missing and endangered person last Saturday. He and his dog were believed to be traveling from Florence to Newport in a Ford F-250 pickup. It unclear how March wound wound up more than 60 miles northeast of Newport.

Marsh had not been seen or heard from since leaving Lane County. Coupled with medical issues he faces, there was great concern for his well being.

The Yamhill Communications Agency dispatch center was informed by searchers that Marsh suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and takes medication for the anxiety disorder.

About 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Monte Taylor, 61, of Dallas, was grouse hunting in the woods off Homestead Road in rural Willamina.

While on a landing and waiting for fog to clear, Taylor heard what he believed was a faint cry for help. Over the course of the next half hour or so, Taylor tried to pinpoint the voice's origin.

He was put in touch with the sheriff's office through YCOM and reported what he was hearing. Sgt. Todd Whitlow, who oversees the search and rescue unit, responded with deputy Don Stackpole.

They repeatedly called out for Marsh, and finally determined he was across a canyon from the location where Taylor first through he heard the cries for help.

About a half hour later, Stackpole and search and rescue team member Keith Fritz located Marsh by his vehicle. He was disoriented, fatigued and hypothermic. He was placed in a patrol car to warm up and provided liquids.

Marsh said his pickup had run out of fuel four days earlier by his estimation. He said he had walked an estimated 4 1/2 miles Wednesday morning, but his military training kicked in, and he decided it was best to remain with his vehicle.

Marsh was transported by West Valley Fire District ambulance to the Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville, treated and released Wednesday afternoon.

"This is an amazing outcome and the best case scenario we could hope for, especially for a veteran on Veteran's Day." Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson said. "We're so pleased Mr. Marsh was reunited with family today." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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