“A message to all” by Carolyn “Chelle” Pokorney:
I lost my husband and my hero in Iraq in 2003. To honor his memory and support Marine ROTC students at Oregon State University, my daughter and I have established the Lt. Frederick E. Pokorney, Jr. Memorial Scholarship.
Fred and I were married in Washington State when Fred was an enlisted corporal in the United States Marine Corps for security forces at Bangor, Wash. Fred applied for and was accepted to the Marine Commissioning Enlisted Program (MCEP) for only the elite of the military. We moved to Corvallis, Ore., where Fred attended OSU to attain his degree in political science and history. Upon his graduation March 23, 2001, Fred received his commission as a second lieutenant.
Fred attended The Basic School (TBS) in Quantico, Va., and graduated in the top 20 of his class. He was then stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in January 2002. Fred was assigned as an artillery officer with the 1/10 Artillery unit and was shipped off to the Artillery School at Ft. Sill, Okla., for six months. He was then deployed on January 11, 2003 to Iraq. He was killed two years to the date of his commissioning, March 23, 2003, in An Nasiriyah, Iraq.
Fred was promoted posthumously to first lieutenant the day he was killed in action. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on April 14, 2003.
Fred loved mountain bikes, basketball, and SCUBA diving with his brothers-in-law, and he was always helping others–those close to him and his community. As a family, we enjoyed traveling the United States, sightseeing, going to the beach, gardening, and picnicking on the river for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
This scholarship will continue Fred’s legacy as our “Hero” and “Gentle Giant”–he was 6’6”. He was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery in his last moments while leading his Marines in the Battle of An Nasiriyah. His commitment to his Marines is embodied with this scholarship award to a future candidate of the USMC ROTC. His daughter, Taylor, will be given the honor to present this award in her Daddy’s memory to express her love for him, and giving back to his Marines will help heal the tremendous void in her heart.
We all, Fred’s family and friends, truly believe that making this positive act from his tragic loss will allow us to hold his love in our hearts forever. The honor, courage, and commitment he had for his Corps will continue through this scholarship.
We believe every American should support our future young military leaders of this nation in their hearts and minds, and can do so by supporting such endowments as Fred’s with a small donation. We owe much to those who give their lives so selflessly to protect our freedoms.