Fellow Hot Sauce Fans and BBQers (and everyone else reading this!), there is a true, real-life American hero who needs our love and support…
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant (SSG) Frank Hegr is a selfless, brave individual (among many thousands in our armed forces) who put his life on the life for the cause of freedom. It is also known amongst Frank’s family and friends that he is a HUGE fan of spicy foods, so many of us in the Hot Sauce Community are joining together to do something very special for him.
Our good friend and chilehead “Arizona” Jack Penrod has in his possession a guitar autographed by famed rocker Ted Nugent, that Jack, with the generous help of Sam and Tina McCanless of Zane and Zack’s World Famous Honey Co., is planning to raffle off to raise money for Frank. We plan to give Frank this gift of monetary support (and hot sauce!) personally at this coming March’s Fiery Foods and Barbecue Show in Albuquerque, NM. Many others in the fiery foods industry and chilehead community are donating their time, their money and yes, even lots of hot sauce, for this great cause.
Details will be coming very soon on how you can purchase raffle tickets! I plan to post up ALL the info you will need… plus I will have Sam and Tina McCanless on The Firecast Podcast to talk more about before Christmas! Stay tuned.
In the meantime, please take a few minutes of your time and read a little about Frank:
Biographical Data for SSG Frank Hegr
Frank joined the US Army in 2007 after graduating from the University of Washington with a Bachelors degree in Economics. He entered as a specialist and went to basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia. After completion of One Station Unit Training for Infantry, Frank went on to US Army Airborne School. Upon successful completion of Airborne school, he attended Ranger Indoctrination Program where he was selected to become a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment and assigned to the 2nd Battalion at Ft. Lewis, Washington. During his time in Regiment, Frank successfully completed United States Army Ranger School, earned his Expert Infantryman Badge and Combat Infantryman Badge. Frank deployed four separate times with the Ranger Regiment: once in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and three times in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He concluded his career with the Army as an E6 (Staff Sergent) Fire Team Leader.
On September 8, 2011 while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan he sustained multiple complex injuries from the detonation of a hand grenade. While clearing a compound, Frank entered a room and attempted to detain an Afghani insurgent. The insurgent was non-compliant, and during a struggle to subdue him, this insurgent detonated a fragmentation grenade while Frank was laying on top of him. Frank sustained multiple significant and complex injuries. These injures include compound fractures of his right tibia, fractures to his fibula, right femur, and his feet, toes, wrist, his right hand and fingers. He suffered from nerve damage in both of his legs and right arm. His injuries also resulted in the loss of his reproductive organs, which has lead complications in having children, and has created the need for lifetime hormone replacement therapy. In addition, Frank suffers from a traumatic brain injury from the concussive blasts from the grenade. Frank also suffers from a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Frank was recently fitted with a neurostimulator in his spine to help with the daily chronic pain. While this device is used to decrease pain, it too comes with a host of its own complications. Frank suffers from daily falls, confusion and severe memory loss. He also has vision loss and is unable to drive.
Frank still faces a long road of recovery. He has made incredible strides since the injury but will require several more surgeries in the future and there continues to be unexpected complications. Through every challenge, however, Frank has proven time and again that he lives by the Ranger Creed. He is extremely motivated and determined to move past his injuries. He hopes to return to school to get his MBA one day.
Frank currently requires 24 hour care. His wife, Shara, is Frank’s full time caregiver. Frank and Shara met at the University of Washington and have been together for 8 years. After Frank was injured, Shara resigned from her position with Homeland Security to care for Frank. The two moved to Collin County, Texas in 2013 so that Frank could have access to the best veteran healthcare available and to be in such an amazing and patriotic community.
During his military career Frank received the following awards and commendations:
- Purple Heart
- Joint Service Commendation Medal
- Army Commendation Medal (x2)
- Joint Service Achievement Medal
- Army Achievement Medals (x3)
- Army Good Conduct Medal (x2)
- Presidential Unit Citation Award
- National Defense Service Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal (x3)
- Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- NATO Medal and an Overseas Service Ribbon