TIGARD - Jason Rehling, the 28-year-old deputy who suffered a shotgun blast to the face last month, thanked Grant County citizens for their support in a June 5 telephone message conveyed by his wife, Andrea.
Jason stated: "I just can't wait to get back to serving the citizens of Grant County, especially after the wonderful outpouring of support, love and good will."
In a single fund-raiser on May 10, citizens donated more than $14,000 to Rehling and fellow deputy Richard Gray, who suffered gunshot wounds to the back of the head and neck. Subsequent fund-raisers have added to the support.
The deputies' wounds were sustained following a domestic disturbance call in Long Creek.
Rehling, 28, a four-month recruit of the sheriff's department, was life-flighted to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend and transported to Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. There, he underwent surgeries to repair his injured face and jaw. He is scheduled for five or six more surgeries, his wife reported.
"This isn't going to stop him from going back into law enforcement. That's how his mindset is. He's a strong man, and he's going to continue on," Andrea said.
Jason has kept his spirits up. On May 27, he was released from Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. The family moved in with Andrea's parents in Tigard, where Jason continued to rehabilitate.
"It's going pretty good. He's been out of surgery, and he's at home," Andrea said.
Andrea is pregnant, with a due date of June 14 (if doctors perform a Caesarian section) or June 28. She also cares for the couple's young son, Matt.
"We appreciate all of the county pulling together for us, the county's generosity and the love and support and prayers," Andrea said.
Jason turns 29 on June 12. Anyone wanting to send cards or continued expressions of support can write to: 8624 Southwest Miller Court, Tigard, OR 97224.