Hart Strong: How Stayton is honoring fallen Marine Ty Hart - KPTV - FOX 12

Hart Strong: How Stayton is honoring fallen Marine Ty Hart

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The last picture taken of Ty Hart, courtesy of his family. The last picture taken of Ty Hart, courtesy of his family.
The Ty Hart memorial shirts being printed at Sport Fever Graphics in Stayton. The Ty Hart memorial shirts being printed at Sport Fever Graphics in Stayton.
Sport Fever Graphics in Stayton. Sport Fever Graphics in Stayton.
STAYTON, OR (KPTV) -

The Stayton community is coming together to honor fallen USMC Lance Corporal Ty Hart and his family in the wake of a helicopter crash that took his life.

Hart was one of twelve Marines who died after two CH-53-E Super Stallion helicopters collided during a routine training mission in Hawaii on January 14th. 

“You instantly just get that gut feeling like, ‘Oh my gosh, this isn’t happening, this isn’t real life,’ you know?” his wife, Hanna said.  “[It’s] denial for the first couple hours until you realize this is happening.  This is going to change everything.”

The official search for the missing Marines lasted for a week, and was finally called off at sunset on the 7th day.

“The head of the Coast Guard had the hugest heart and he called off the search at sunset for all of us, for the twelve families, so that we had the opportunity to go down and be on the beach when the sun went down,” Trina Hart, Ty’s adoptive mother, said.  “We all wrote messages in the sand for the waves to carry them out to Ty and one of Hanna’s friends wrote ‘Hart Strong’ in the sand, and we all had this ah-ha moment of that’s exactly what we are.”

And so, #HartStrong was born.

Now, it’s the front design of a Ty Hart memorial shirt designed in partnership between Sport Fever Graphics, a screen printing business in Stayton, and the Hart family.

More than 300 sweatshirts and t-shirts have been pre-sold – not only in Oregon, but in Washington, Alaska, Utah, Ohio, Iowa, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Hawaii.

“He was that guy who was always nice to everybody and was friends with everybody,” said Sport Fever Graphics owner Dustin Hamilton.  “It’s devastating, because that family has given so much to this community.”

All proceeds from the memorial shirts are going to the Lance Corporal Ty Hart Memorial fund (https://www.gofundme.com/tyhart) to help athletes in the Stayton community afford program fees and get equipment for the sports they love.

“We’re all broken right now, we’re all hurting,” Hanna added.  “But everyone’s hurting together and everyone’s coming together.”

The Hart family attended a memorial service for all twelve Marines on base in Hawaii Friday.  They said it was the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do.

“I don’t think it was just because it was our son, but it was the magnitude of what happened,” Trina added.

The Hart family said the support from the community and from the military has been overwhelming, and they couldn’t ask for more.

A local service for Ty Hart will be held this Saturday, Jan. 30, at 2:00 p.m. at Stayton High School.  The public is welcome to attend.  His family requests that donations be made to Ty’s memorial scholarship fund, in lieu of flowers.

To learn more about the memorial shirts or to place an order, visit http://www.sportfevergraphics.com/#!lcpl-ty-hart-memorial-page/y5e1v.

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