The ALS Association Oregon and SW Washington Chapter honors and appreciates all veterans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. This Veterans Day, we’d like to introduce Kelly Nace, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was diagnosed with ALS in August 2022. A retired truck driver, he currently lives with his wife, Kerry, in Redmond, Oregon.
Raised in Oregon City, Kelly joined the Marine Corps in 1978. He was stationed at Tustin Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin, CA, where he served as a helicopter mechanic and crew chief. Kelly serviced CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift cargo helicopters that were used to deliver troops, vehicles, and supplies from ships to shore.
During his time in the Marines, Kelly was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, for three years and recalls having the opportunity to play tourist and visit other countries like South Korea and Thailand. Kelly also has fond memories of getting into shenanigans with fellow service members, like the time he flew a kite in a typhoon.
All fun aside, Kelly says his time in the Marines taught him important skills that served him well later in life, such as the value of hard work and working cohesively with a team. Kelly comes from a long line of military veterans, including his father, who served in the Army; his brother Todd, who was in the U.S. Navy; and his nephew, who was also in the Marines. Kelly’s son presently serves in the Navy as a nuclear electrician.
For reasons still unknown, military veterans are twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of ALS as the general population. The ALS Association is available to help veterans and their families navigate the resources and benefits available to them. For more information, contact our Care Services team at directly at (503) 238-5559.