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Published by the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs

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The Spirit of Community for Those Who Served

Photo courtesy of oregon state archives.

keeping the promise

An act of the state legislature in 1893 created the state’s first official Oregon State Old Soldiers’ Home on what is now the VA Roseburg Medical Center campus.

Our nation's promise to care for veterans can be traced back to the passing of the first pension law in America. In 1636, the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony “enacted in their court that any man who should be sent forth as a solider and return maimed should be maintained competently by the colony during his life.” This spirit of this law was later retained when the Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies formed a union in 1691, upon which they continued to expand the policy by providing pensions for widows and dependent orphans. Eighty-five years later, the first federal disability compensation program in the United States was provided to the veterans of the Revolutionary War. From the onset, the Continental Congress was inundated with claims for relief and in 1776 that relief was ratified, becoming what is known as the Military Pension Law. This promise continued to build and after the Civil

War, many state veterans homes were established to meet the needs of aging service members. In 1893 in Oregon the state legislature passed a law “to provide a home for honorably discharged Soldiers, Sailors and Marines who had served in any of the wars in which the United States was engaged, or who served in the Indian Wars of Oregon, Washington or Idaho, provided they were or might become citizens of Oregon” was passed. This act created the state’s first official Oregon State Old Soldiers’ Home on what is now the VA Roseburg Medical Center campus. Across the state other communities were also contributing to the care of its veterans. In Portland, during the late-1800s, the “Corson” house on East Taylor Street, stood in what was then the exclusive Mt. Tabor area. This home became a place of refuge and care for old soldiers who remained from the wars past. It was operated by Mr. George Lucke and his family. As a sign see keeping the promise - page 6

INSIDE THIS ISSUE county vso's receive state grant funds Oregon Legislature funded a new grant program to increase outreach to veterans statewide. PG 3

wounded warriors inspire ducks Wounded Warriors inspired Oregon football players at the Brooke Army Medical Center near San Antonio during a visit before game day. PG 9

oregon moh recipient honored by usps Oregon Medal of Honor recipient Bob Maxwell was honored by the US Postal Service when the agency issued Medal of Honor stamp folios featuring MOH recipients. PG 10

Traumatic Brain Injury receives VA Expanded Benefits Director’s Message

Cameron Smith, Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs

all veterans and their families should thrive in oregon A belated happy New Year to all of our veterans, service members, and their families. Already 2014 is passing quickly, but there is no question that 2013 was a great year for our veterans. The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) team and core programs continue to produce outstanding results. Let me share just a small sample from the past year. In 2013, we funded over $40 million in low interest home loans and helped hundreds of veterans achieve a piece of the American dream.

our executive team recently hit pause to review our department’s vision, mission, and values. As I approach my first year as director of ODVA, I am energized by our team, partners, and community and their commitment to helping veterans and their families thrive in Oregon. The foundational guideposts for our work remain timeless – just like the core values of our Armed Forces. At the same time, we must be open to creatively assessing and adapting our strategies to truly

This is not about wholesale change, but about targeted course corrections that will produce transformative results over the long term. This result is an impressive ten-fold increase from a low in 2009 during the depths of the housing crisis. The Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles also continues to impress with a 90 percent plus occupancy rate and national recognition for exceptional skilled nursing care. The construction of our second facility in Lebanon is also on track. It is slated to open near the end of this year and will continue the long tradition of caring for our aging veterans. We were also proud to partner with our county veteran service offices on an innovative $1 million extended outreach grant program. These funds will stretch across the state to connect veterans of all eras to their earned benefits.

honor and serve Oregon’s veterans. This is not about wholesale change, but about targeted course corrections that will produce transformative results over the long term. We currently serve an unprecedented four generations of veterans and still have thousands deployed overseas in Afghanistan. These men and women deserve nothing less than the best and this is our time to reimagine, realign, and reinvest in a 21st century veterans’ services system. I know you stand with us in this important mission and thank you for your personal commitment. Your advice, guidance, and support will be essential to our success. We look forward to sharing more with you and learning from you to make 2014 a standout year for our veterans and their families.

While I am incredibly proud of the efforts of our team and partners, we know that our work for veterans is just beginning. In recognition of that long term effort,


Published by the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Vets News is a free quarterly publication. Each issue contains current information impacting veterans in Oregon including Federal VA hot topics, and state, regional and local happenings. When credit is given to the source, Vets News articles may be reprinted. Nicole Hoeft Mike Allegre Marc Huchette Jeremy Woodall

Managing Editor / Production / Staff Writer Associate Editor / Staff Writer Production / Staff Writer Copy Editing

Buying a home?

Use your state veterans’ benefit




Reunions, events and story submissions are welcome, however, please note that all items are printed upon space availability. Input for the next issue must be received by April 5. Up to the minute Oregon veteran news at O R E G O N D E P A R T M E N T O F V E T E R A N S ' A F F A IR S

“We decide veterans’ disability claims based on the best science available,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “As scientific knowledge advances, VA will expand its programs to ensure veterans receive the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.” The new regulations, printed in the Federal Register, say if certain veterans with service-connected TBI also have one of the five illnesses, then the second illness will also be considered as service connected for the calculation of VA disability compensation. This regulation stems from a report of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM) regarding the association between TBI and the five diagnosable illnesses. The IOM report, Gulf War and Health, Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury, found “sufficient evidence” to link moderate or severe levels of TBI with the five ailments. Eligibility for expanded benefits will depend upon the severity of the TBI and the time between the injury causing the TBI and the onset of the second illness. However, veterans can still file a claim to establish direct service-connection for these ailments even if they do not meet the time and severity standards in the new regulation. Veterans who have questions or who wish to file new disability claims may use the eBenefits website, www. Servicemembers who are within 180 days of discharge may also file a pre-discharge claim for TBI online through the VA-DoD eBenefits portal at www.eBenefits.

20-Year Fixed Rate

3.00% 1.375% Origination Fee - *3.556% Annual Percentage Rate

30-Year Fixed Rate

30-Year Fixed Rate

1.375% Origination Fee

0% Origination Fee


Send your name and current address to ODVA, Vets News 700 Summer St. NE, Salem, OR 97301-1285


The new regulation, which took effect Jan. 16, impacts some veterans living with TBI who also have Parkinson’s disease, certain types of dementia, depression, unprovoked seizures or certain diseases of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

VA and DoD program information for brain injury and related research is at


WASHINGTON – Some veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI) who are diagnosed with any of five other ailments will have an easier path to receive additional disability pay under new regulations developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

*3.742% Annual Percentage Rate


*3.88% Annual Percentage Rate

*APR based on $165,000 30-year loan with 20% down. Effective date 12/02/13.

Visit our new website to learn more. 2

This information, which is general in nature, is based on applicable federal and state laws, Administrative Rules, and the policies and procedures of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Interest rates are subject to change.

Baker County used part of their initial VEOGP grant funds of $10,000 for this billboard located on I-84. The Baker County Veteran Service office was awarded an additional $10,500 to improve outreach efforts to veterans in the county.

veterans' extended outreach grant program awards Photo courtesy of baker county vso

Baker Clackamas Clatsop Columbia Coos Crook Curry Deschutes Douglas Harney Jackson Jefferson Josephine Lake Lane Lincoln Linn Malheur Morrow Multnomah Tillamook Umatilla Wallowa Wasco Washington Yamhill

twenty-six COUNTies RECEIVE VETERAN'S OUTREACH GRANT FUNDING SALEM – The 2013 Oregon Legislative Assembly has provided the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs (ODVA) with $600,000 in funding for the Veterans' Extended Outreach Grant Program (VEOGP) to support county veteran service offices. This provision marks the first time money has been allocated for a competitive grant to increase outreach to veterans.

Committee chosen by that committee's chair.

The goals of the grant program are to serve veterans statewide to greatest effect, improve outreach to veterans, inform them of their benefits, and file claims on their behalf.

After a thorough review and evaluation, 19 proposals were selected for full funding based upon ranking. The remaining seven proposals were selected for an equal share of partial funding that was predicated on the availability of funds.

The VEOGP's Evaluation Committee met on January 15 to consider applications for grant proposals submitted by 26 of the 34 eligible state's county veteran service offices for the 2013-15 Grant Awards. The committee consisted of two ODVA employees and two county veteran service officers chosen by the director, and one member of the Veterans Advisory

ODVA's Veteran Services Division Administrator Eric Belt said the proposals were thoughtful, innovative and targeted to meet the needs of local veteran communities. "The core of most proposals focused on a unique combination of staff enhancement, outreach and technology upgrades to meet the challenges of serving veterans and their family members," he said.

In addition to the competitive $600,000 grant, all counties with a county veteran service office initially recieved a $10,000 base grant for extended outreach in the summer of 2013. To f i n d yo u r l o c a l C V S O o f f i c e , v i s i t


vet community mourns Former member of Advisory Committee to ODVA Former member of the Advisory Committee to the ODVA, and a long-time veterans advocate, Celestino “Tino” E. Ornelas passed away on Nov. 19, 2013. He was 68 years old.

Charitable Check-off

Through Oregon’s Charitable Check-off campaign, taxpayers may donate all or a portion of their state tax refund to the Oregon Veterans' Home or to help raise awareness and prevent veteran suicides.

Born in Canon City, Colo., Ornelas proudly served as a radar technician in the U.S. Navy during Vietnam, from 1962-66, aboard the U.S.S. Hornet. Following his military service, he married Joy Brewster in 1967. He was an employee of Tektronix for 22 years and ended his career there as a purchasing manager. In 1991, he formed his own company, Ornelas Enterprises Inc. (OEI), a successful, family owned electronic assembly and manufacturing company. Ornelas was appointed in 2003 by Gov. Ted Kulongoski to serve on the advisory committee where he served two four-year terms. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Joy, their two children and four grandchildren. Ornelas was buried with full military honors on November 26 at Willamette National Cemetery.

$10,500.00 $45,405.00 $2,300.00 $41,700.00 $2,300.00 $15,049.53 $2,300.00 $31,046.00 $50,406.61 $3,135.41 $25,000.00 $2,300.00 $68,100.00 $13,283.00 $37,452.78 $2,300.00 $16,500.00 $14,000.00 $8,569.50 $74,877.17 $2,300.00 $53,540.00 $9,612.00 $2,300.00 $40,723.00 $25,000.00

On your Oregon Tax Form 40 enter the following codes to donate:

12 29

Oregon Veterans' Home Suicide Prevention and Awareness Campaign

Former member of the Advisory Committee to the ODVA, and a long-time veterans advocate, Celestino “Tino” E. Ornelas passed on Nov. 19, 2013.



Oregon Sailor served aboard troubled WW II destroyer By Mike Allegre

Onboard the Porter were more than 300 “tin can” sailors, including Boatswain Mate 2nd Class Dick Royse of Stayton. William D. Porter set sail from Norfolk, Va. on Nov. 12, 1943, on a top-secret mission that called for it to rendezvous with a Navy convoy that would be escorting the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61). Secretly traveling aboard Iowa were high level officials–most notably President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He and an entourage of U.S. military leaders were enroute to attend the historic Cairo and Tehran Conference to meet with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Russian President Joseph Stalin. Enroute it didn’t take long for bad luck to find its way onto the Porter. On November 14, a ship’s torpedoman intended to simulate the firing of a torpedo at a simulated target during one of many submarine defense exercises enroute across the Atlantic. Instead the sailor accidentally fired an armed torpedo at a target located nearly three miles away.

Photo courtesy of Tim Gonzalez, Copyright Statesman Journal.

During much of its service, the American Naval destroyer William D. Porter (DD-579) had been called a hard luck ship. In World War II, the “Willie Dee” and her crew were part of several notable missions worldwide. Yet, it took historians more than 45 years to learn about several of the ship’s not-so-historic missions.

Above: Nearly 68 years after his discharge, at age 88, Dick Royse had an unexpected surprise last November 10th when a visitor arrived at his daughter Cindy Heuberger’s home near Stayton during a family gathering. Through the combined efforts of his wife Jan (center), and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden’s staff, Wyden (right) came to the home and surprised Royse by presenting him the military medals he had earned but had never received.

Royse recalls that frantic radio messages were sent while a strictly enforced radio silence order was in place. “I knew all about it,” Royse said. “I was a gunner on a 40-milimeter gun station located 10 feet above the bridge and heard all communications, but I couldn’t see the Iowa.” The communique was for Iowa to change her course. Luckily, Iowa’s crew had time to take an evasive maneuver to parallel the torpedo’s wake. With FDR watching from the rail, Iowa's wake then caused the torpedo to detonate. Ironically, earlier that fateful day, the Porter’s crewmembers had accidentally dropped a depth charge that exploded which caused all four ships in the convoy to commence anti-submarine maneuvers. The Willie Dee was hit later by a freak wave that washed a man overboard and flooded part of the engine room causing a power loss. This forced the destroyer to fall far behind the rest of the convoy. Following the Iowa mishap, William D. Porter's skipper, Capt. Wilfred A. Walter, was admonished and ordered to steam west to Bermuda. Upon arriving, American Naval forces surrounded the ship. The Willie Dee and her crew were now under ship arrest -- a first in U.S. Naval history. Royse recalled that some serious closed session inquiries were held on shore. Most of the crew awaited the verdict aboard ship – a verdict that resulted in many of Royse’s shipmates being reassigned to obscure shore locations. The torpedoman, who had later thrown the torpedo's firing primer overboard, was sentenced to 14 years hard labor. However, Roosevelt later commuted the sentence. He felt the mishap was an accident. “I was never interviewed, but I was still stuck aboard ship,” Royse said. After the Naval inquiry, Walter was relieved in May as the ship’s skipper and within weeks the Porter was enroute to Adak in the Aleutian Islands via the Panama Canal with a stop in San Diego for torpedo practice maneuvers. The crew was given two days shore leave so, Royse and a buddy headed for Los Angeles to see his family. With little notice shortly after their arrival, Porter was then ordered to depart. Royse arrived back a few days late and was absent with leave. He was summarily welcomed into the brig, but eventually rejoined his ship a few months later. O R E G O N D E P A R T M E N T O F V E T E R A N S ' A F F A IR S

Photo courtesy of dick royse.

The unintended target was the Iowa.

Left: Seaman Dick Royse at home on leave in 1943. Royse served on board the American Naval destroyer William D. Porter (DD-579), often referred to as the hard luck ship.

Upon his return to the Porter, an ornery 18-year old Royse learned his choices had led to consequences that included some tough duty while serving outdoors in the waters off of Adak, Alaska. “It was pretty damn cold chipping paint then repainting it while working from scaffolding slung over the ship’s side. But I learned my lesson and later was promoted.”

fires, repair the damage, and keep the ship afloat. Royse then heard the order to abandon ship. “There was no rushing or jumping into the water. We loaded into landing craft. However, in that campaign, the Navy lost 34 ships including many destroyers to kamikazes. It was horrible,” he said. With the crew safe, the abandoned ship soon slid stern first and sank. Miraculously, no sailors suffered fatal injuries. The ship became the only “man of war” in battle to sink without a loss of life. The USS William D. Porter had to give up, but her crew did not.

Despite a change in command, however, the Porter’s hard luck continued. Before leaving Adak for duty in the South Pacific, a gun crew inadvertently lobbed a 5-inch shell into the base commandant’s front yard.

Within weeks, Royse and the crew were enroute to San Francisco to be reassigned. After arriving in July, the crew took a 30-day recovery leave. On September 2, the war in the Pacific ended and Royse was honorably discharged in January 1946.

Royse said the ship’s gunners would eventually be highly praised for shooting down several kamikazes, and rightfully so. But, they also were credited with downing three U.S. combat air patrol aircraft. Another of Porter’s machine gun teams accidently riddled a sister ship (USS Luce) with gunfire on her side and super structure.

Nearly 68 years after his discharge, at age 88, Royse had an unexpected surprise last November 10, when a visitor arrived at his daughter Cindy Heuberger’s home near Stayton during a family gathering. Through the combined efforts of his wife Jan, and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden’s staff, Wyden came to the home and surprised Royse by presenting him the military medals he had earned but had never received.

“I didn’t know that they’d decided to leave San Diego early, so it was a long trip back. But a few months in Pearl Harbor while waiting for a transport was good duty,” he chuckled.

Near the end of the war, the Porter fell victim to a unique yet non-fatal kamikaze attack during the Okinawa campaign. With hundreds of Japanese pilots targeting naval ships to be sunk, Navy vessels were at times helpless to elude the kamikaze. On June 10, 1945, the Porter had managed to evade a suicide plane which had been shot down and crashed near the ship. Yet, the momentum from the submerged explosive-laden Val bomber had somehow carried it directly beneath the unlucky destroyer. It was then the Val’s 500 pound bomb detonated. “I was in the sack when that thing exploded. The chains on my bunk broke and from three decks down, I got top-side real fast,” Royse recalled. For three hours the crew struggled to put out the 4

Wyden said the long overdue presentation was twofold. “We’re here because we and a grateful nation want to pay tribute to Mr. Royse’s service, and also to say how much we appreciate the spouses of our veterans as we honor and thank Mrs. Royse, too.” Wyden presented Royse with five medals including the World War II Victory Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal and an honorable service lapel pin. “This is such a big surprise to me and a little overwhelming,” Royse said. “Thank you all.” Looking back on his naval service, Royse happily said he wouldn’t have changed a thing. “Through it all, I really loved my time in the Navy.”

FREE BOOK FOR VETERANS OF THE KOREAN WAR: Published in 2013 by the Republic of Korea Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, this 175-page hardbound commemorative book is being distributed free. This story of a war remembered was published in conjunction with the Congressionally decreed Year of the Korean War Veteran celebration in the U.S.

Book Remembers

Korean War Veterans Sixty years later, the nation’s Korean War veterans are being recognized and remembered in a special way. As a gift of thanks, South Korea collaborated with the U.S. Department of Defense to produce a commemorative book. The 175-page, hardbound book titled, “Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation Honors War Veterans for 60 Years of Growth” is available free to all living Oregon veterans. It is a story of a war remembered. Beginning with the events that led up to the war, through the battlefields across the Korean Peninsula and the ultimate transformation from a war-torn country, the book summarizes the Republic of Korea’s

appreciation for the bravery and service of all American veterans. The illustrative hardcover book was published with the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs. Funding for the 250,000 books was provided by an alliance of South Korean public agencies and private industries. It was produced to cap the three-year Korean War 60th commemorative period, with 2013 decreed by Congress as the “Year of the Korean War Veteran.” The photos and text tell the story from the

perspective of both U.S. veterans who served in the conflict, and the Koreans who prospered from the freedom left behind after the armistice was signed in 1953. Sixty years later, South Korea is now one of the most powerful economies in the world. This book may be obtained free by contacting the Oregon National Guard public affairs office, 503-584-3917. Also, several Korean War Associations have copies to give away. Call Chuck Lusardi 503-628-1847 for more information.

onsite Construction of Oregon’s WWII Memorial Begins SALEM – On February 3 onsite construction of Oregon’s World War II Memorial began on the grounds of the State Capitol.

home front and specific military units. The veterans, families and Oregonians who participated in World War II deserve to have a memorial,” Jaffe said.

While no formal ceremony occurred, World War II Memorial Foundation board members and President Lou Jaffe, ODVA Director Cameron Smith, and supporters were among those observing the start of construction.

Located at the corner of Cottage and State streets, the memorial will cover a 75 by 75 foot area. At its center will be a 33-foot-high obelisk, referring to Oregon being the 33rd state in the union. A world map will be engraved on the memorial’s footprint with markers for major battles and theaters of operation.

A formal dedication ceremony at the memorial is planned this year on June 6, the 70th anniversary of the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy, France on D-Day. Jaffe said the purpose of the memorial is not only to honor that war’s veterans, but to educate young people. The memorial will honor members of the armed services, and everyone on the home front who demonstrated support through their work in the shipyards, in hospitals, as coast watchers, on the farms and elsewhere. That includes women who built ships in Portland and schoolchildren who held scrap metal drives and hauled wagons full of tin cans to make their small but significant contributions.

Oregon is one of only six states in the U.S. without a World War II memorial to honor its resident veterans. In 2011, then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski and the Oregon Legislature formalized a task force and foundation, authorizing it to build an official memorial in Salem.

Oregon WWII Memorial Location

The foundation’s late-2013 fund raising efforts activated several matching grants that helped the project come closer to its needed goal of raising $1.135 million before construction could begin. Jaffe expressed deep appreciation for the generosity of the Larry and Jeannette Epping Family Fund, the Murdock Charitable Trust, the R.H. Parker/United Foundation, Dick Withnell, and several other major contributors who helped make this endeavor a reality. “But the largest donation came from the State of Oregon who provided funding and support,” he said. “We are incredibly grateful to them and to the hundreds of private donors, too.” Along the corner of a low wall are the engraved names of the Oregon service members who died in or as the result of combat. Two black granite benches will invite visitors to sit and reflect on our nation and state’s shared sacrifice during wartime.

“It was probably our nation’s finest hour, coming together in a unified manner. And that’s what we’re trying to preserve. All will be acknowledged in a series of storyboards that highlight Oregon's involvement in the war on the Donations to the memorial are still being accepted at: 5

With more than 1,200 veterans from that war passing away each day nationally, there has been a strong sense of urgency to build the memorial. Approximately 152,000 Oregonians served in World War II and of those, more than 3,700 gave their lives. There are more than 20,000 Oregonian World War II veterans still living. VETS NEWS // WINTER 2013

keeping the promise - Continued From page 1

of respect, Lucke would often stand guard at the home’s rear entry way that was located in the back yard. In 1915, Harrisburg Hospital, north of Eugene, was converted from a private home to a hospital. A year later, the back of the facility was converted to house veterans needing ongoing medical care.

The Home again received praise in 2013 when it was named one of the top rated nursing homes in Oregon by U.S. News & World Report in its fifth annual Best Nursing Homes ratings. This national publication highlighted the top nursing homes in each state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas. The ratings covered more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide. Understanding the need for continued quality care for veterans, the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1995 had already begun laying the ground work for establishing a second Veteran’s Home. This Fall, Oregon will finally open that Home and continue the state’s rich history of caring for veterans. Located in Lebanon, the new Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home is already changing the perception of veterans’ homes across the nation. In a way, the design is modeled after history – organizing care around a community. Once opened, intentional communities or neighborhoods, will offer residents a way to maximize normal living environments and routines, autonomy, a sense of community, and quality of life. The communities consist of three houses per neighborhood and each house will accommodate up to 14 residents. The homes are accessible and adaptive, designed for ease of movement and features open kitchens, dining areas where family style meals are served, a living room with fire place, private bedrooms and baths. Although wars and technologies have changed, the one constant throughout history has been society’s collective promise to care for its veterans. And from 1893 to today, Oregon continues in the spirt of a community caring for those who served. O R E G O N D E P A R T M E N T O F V E T E R A N S ' A F F A IR S

Photo courtesy of

Since then, the exceptional care at The Dalles Home was nationally recognized in 2008 when it was awarded the Step II Award (Silver Award) for Quality Achievement from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). To date, the Home is one of only 170 care facilities in the nation – and one of only two state veterans’ homes – to achieve this level of recognition.

Photo courtesy of multinomah county historical foundation.

By 1997, the doors finally opened to a new chapter in Oregon history. The Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles began providing skilled nursing, Alzheimer’s and memory related care, and rehabilitative services to veterans, their spouses and the parents of military members who lost their lives while serving.

Top: Veterans are seen standing on the steps of the original Oregon State Old Soldiers’ Home in Roseburg during the early-1900s. More than 120 years old, the building is rich in history and character. It is the foundation for the VA Medical Center and a reminder of Oregon’s promise to its veterans – to care for their medical needs. The Home was formally entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

Photo on file, oregon department of veterans' affairs

Nearly 100 years after the original state legislation, in 1987, initial steps were taken toward renewing Oregon’s commitment to care for the states’ veterans. The legislative assembly commissioned a study to determine the feasibility and need of a state veterans’ home and by 1993 legislation passed authorizing the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs to build and operate the state's first Oregon Veterans’ Home.

Above left: The Corson house in Portland was owned and operated by Mr. George Lucke (seen here standing guard) and his family. Above right: Harrisburg Hospital had an area converted in 1915 to care for veterans. Left: View from the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles. Below: U.S. Air Force veteran and resident of the Oregon Veterans' Home in The Dalles, Thomas Dove, in front of the new Stan and Jean Adams Community Center.

rendering on file, oregon department of veterans' affairs

Gradually the Homes’ purpose and scope began to expand. In 1937 the Veterans Administration opened a neuropsychiatric ward and in 1955 new facilities included medical and surgical wards and a nursing care unit. Although the veteran’s hospital never attained the projected resident population anticipated in the 1930s, it served a valuable role in meeting the needs of an aging and often ill population of men who had served their country.

Photo courtesy of VA Medical Center, Roseburg.

By June 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed a bill authorizing a federal veteran’s hospital in Roseburg and in 1933 the Old Soldiers’ Home property was turned over to the National Soldiers’ Home Bureau.


cb|Two architects rendering of oregon veterans home.

A management team has been selected to operate the new veterans’ home which will open later this year in Lebanon. In December 2013, Veterans Care Centers of Oregon (VCCO) was selected to oversee the new home’s operation and will again team up with Westcare Management, Inc. (Westcare) to manage the new home. For more than 10 years, the VCCO staff has worked with Westcare to manage the Oregon Veterans’ Home (OVH) in The Dalles. A non-profit organization, the VCCO was formed in 2003 to provide high-quality healthcare services to Oregon’s veterans. In keeping with that mission, VCCO is directed by a volunteer governing board composed primarily of veterans working on behalf of their fellow veterans. “We fully anticipate that this demonstrated quality will be carried forward to the new residences in Lebanon,” said ODVA Director Cameron Smith. “We’re happy to say that this public private partnership between the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs and the VCCO, supported by the operational expertise of Westcare, has resulted in the veterans home being one of the most highly regarded nursing homes in the state and the nation.” That level of performance resulted in the OVH becoming the first Oregon facility to be awarded the American Health Care Association (AHCA) Silver Quality Award (2008) and, since 1996, one of only two state veterans’ homes in the nation to receive this honor. The Westcare partners have more than 100 years of combined experience in caring for the elderly and provide a skilled management team with extensive operational experience in Skilled Nursing Home Care, Assisted Living and Residential Care for the developmentally disabled.

cb|Two architects rendering of oregon veterans home.

veterans care centers of oregon named Lebanon veterans' Home Operator

Top: An architectual aerial rendering on the Oregon Veterans' Home in Lebanon. Once completed, the Home will offer residents a living environment built in small communities, consisting of three houses per neighborhood. Each house will accommodate up to 14 residents. Each home is designed for ease of movement and feature open kitchens, dining areas, a living room with fire place, private bedrooms and baths.

the building of the edward c. allworth veterans' home 1995 regular legislative session Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1995 began laying the ground work for establishing a second Oregon Veterans' Home by authorizing it in statute.

april 2010 site location choosen ODVA announced in April 2010 the selection of an 12 acre site near Lebanon for the new veterans home adjacent to the Samaritan Health Sciences Campus off Highway 20.

sept. 2012 site named and ground breaking The Edward C. Allworth Veterans’ Home was named for the World War I Medal of Honor recipient. The name of the new home was announced during the ceremonial groundbreaking.

Sept. 2012 construction begins On Sept. 24, 2012 workers began site construction on the home. The completion date is set for June 30, 2014. Officials anticipate having the first residents in the home by October.

expected grand opening: fall 2014 To sign up to receive notification when the Lebanon Veterans' Home will begin receiving admissions applications, please visit




for supporting the place Hiring where honor Our lives. Heroes

vets news Memorial Day Event Submissions due by April 5th

Event forcuses on resume writing, navigating job fairs, military job skills translation and interviewing. Employment Workshop: 9 a.m. Hiring Fair: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The generosity of the ever-growing number of Friends of the Home continue to provide lifeenriching experiences to the veterans and their family who call the Veterans’ Home - home.

Salem Conference Not only does the Home accept monetary donations, Center but gifts such as magazine subscriptions, books,



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blankets, and personal items. If you are interested in donating your Register time as a volunteer, online please contact the Home at 541-296-7152.





Home n s’ ra te E R V E D 503-373-2390 e Or ego thcall: Contact f n o T H G O Ve N SE VI R W E Thank you for the generous donations to the Oregon Veterans’ Home!

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Air Force Association Chapter 216 Al and Betty Herrera Alice Jones Alvin and Norma Clark American Ex-POW Columbia River Chapter American Legion Post 25 Auxiliary American Legion Post 8 Auxiliary American Legion Post 87 American Legion Post 2 American Legion Post 74 American Veterans Post 1776 Beverly Imper Blair Holman Bowlers to Veterans Link Cambia Health Foundation Christine Edlund Clarence and Shirley Pressel Control Tek David and Carol Boyles Williams ND B E Dennis A Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary Chapter 1833 SDonald NS T C Moore A R A Donna R Albee E TO V E T E Donna Arnold Edith Hickam Edwin Sather Electronics Manufacturers Association Elks Lodge 2210 Eugene Robertson Florence McCulley Floyd Branson G V Stauffer Gary and Joyce Clark Gary Champlain Gayle Case Gene and Cindy Biboux Gerald Williamson Harold and Karen Gigstad Harry Macnab Ida Winslow Jack and Carol Ramirez Jack and Emma Means James and Marion Crews James Schmidt Jeanette Gold Jeff and Susan Ford Jim Hand Trust Jo Robb John and Mary Rathbun Judy Makela Judy Makela Kathleen Blome

f a s’ of veteran


Keith and Billie Hansen Keith and Jane Masterson Kenneth Rolph Knights of Columbus Korean War Veterans, Iron Triangle Kristen Stevens Lani Holgate Lillian Granby Louis and Virginia Wampler Marine Corps League, Rogue Valley Mary and Tom Watts Mary Gifford Melvin and Laurie Sarina Meridian Environmental Michael Provost Military Officers Association Military Officers Association, Lower Columbia Chapter Military Order of the Purple Heart Auxiliary Military Order of the Cooties Post 8 Norman and Diane Harrell Oregon State Elks Association Oregon Trail Good Sams Chapter Oregon Veterans Motorcycle Association Paul Burger R and D Plastics Richard and Judy Ray Robert and Maria Bornheimer Robert Kuenzli Robert M. Lee Robert Nicholas Roland and Janice Hendrickson Ron and Jenine McDermid Sam and Dorothy Dalesky Stephen Gracon Steven Beach Steven Covey Thomas and Virginia Hake United Way of Oregon Velma Walworth Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1833 Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1833 Auxiliary Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2848 Auxiliary Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4567 Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4750 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Vietnam Veterans of America Post 757 Virginia McKay Virginia Wood Wal-Mart Warren Dines Winifred Mitchell

Another opportunity to donate. I would like to become a: � Bronze (up to $99) � Silver ($100-199) � Gold ($200 or more) level donor with my donation of $______________________ I would like to donate in � memory / � honor of:____________________________________________________________________ Name:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address: _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip:________________________________________________________ Phone (optional): __________________________ I would like to make a donation using: � Personal Check � Visa � MasterCard Card Number:__________________________________________ Expiration Date:_________________________________ Cardholder’s Name: ____________________________________________________________________________________ � Please check here if you would not like to receive a window decal for your donation.

Please make checks payable to the Oregon Veterans’ Home and mail to: Oregon Veterans’ Home, c/o ODVA 700 Summer St. NE, Salem, OR 97301

O R E G O N D E P A R T M E N T O F V E T E R A N S ' A F F A IR S


events and reunions Hiring Our Heroes Veterans Event in Salem The March 13th event focuses on resume writing, navigating job fairs, military job skills translation and interviewing. Employment Workshop: 9 a.m.; Hiring Fair: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Location: Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial St. NE. To register go to: Contact: or call 202-463-5807. USS BUSH (DD-529) Reunion Shipmates and their families should plan to attend April 3-7, at the Sheraton - Portland Airport. USS Bush Day is April 6 – the day the ship was sunk in battle in 1945. A memorial service and business meeting are planned. Contact: Lizzy Carney, 503-246-5772 or 206-229-0622, 10th Mountain Division Group Newcomers, WWII comrades and descendants meet monthly on the last Sunday for lunch, 1 p.m., Eastmoreland Golf Course Club House, 2425 SE Bybee Blvd., Portland. Discussions include, improvements, maintenance planning and planting for the 10th Mountain Memorial Grove. Contact: Jim Bray, 503-913-7058 Douglas County American Women Veterans’ Assoc. Female veterans from any US service branch and era are invited to meet, get information, help with service projects, and enjoy camaraderie. Monthly meeting: second Tuesday, 5 p.m., at American Legion Post 16, 406 SE Oak St., Roseburg. Contact: Dodie Blessing, 541-784-6250 Vietnam 25th Infantry Div., 1st Air CAV Vets All veterans are invited to meet monthly for lunch and conversation on the second Tuesday at Superking Buffet, 5105 SE 82nd Ave., Portland. Contact: Gary Hartt, 503-632-6955 US Merchant Marine-Navy Armed Guard Oregon’s AMMV meets on the third Monday of each month, 11:30 a.m., at Ernesto’s, 8544 SW Apple Way, Portland. Contact: Bob Roberts, 503-663-7876 Douglas County Veterans Forum The monthly meeting of veteran organization leaders is to discuss and develop common support issues for all veterans in SW Oregon, at 5 p.m., third Tuesday of each month. Briefings provided by VA Roseburg Healthcare Systems director, county veteran service officer and community agencies on veteran’s affairs at American Legion Post 16, 406 SE Oak St., Roseburg. Contact: Jim Little, 541-672-4635, Underage Veterans Meet 1st Fridays in Portland. Underage veterans who joined the service at age 16 or younger, and anyone else interested, are invited to come to this monthly meeting-luncheon at Gregg’s Backyard Restaurant, 3554 SE 82nd (near Powell), on the first Friday. Contact: Willie Paradise, 503-665-1739

Oregon Property Tax Exemptions, Deferrals Disabled veterans may be entitled to exempt some homestead property’s assessed value from property taxes. Active duty service members, including National Guard and military reserve forces, also may qualify for a residential property tax exemption. Additionally, disabled veterans may qualify to “borrow” from the state of Oregon to pay county property taxes. For more details visit the DOR website at or speak with your county assessor office.

Photo courtesy of u.s. treasury Photo courtesy of

Secretaries Lew and Shinseki sorted and packed newly purchased shoes and boots for homeless veterans while participating in National Day of Service at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC, January 20.

shinseki volunteers: Homeless Veterans

Army veteran and Wounded Warrior Wade Mitcheltree (sitting) of Gresham shakes hands with Oregon football players as several Ducks visited the Micheltree family on Dec. 26th at the Brooke Army Medical Center near San Antonio, Texas.

Wounded Warriors inspire Ducks Re-printed with permission by Rob Moseley, Editor,

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Katie Mitcheltree was with her husband, Army veteran Wade Mitcheltree, when she saw a notice that some football players would be visiting the facility where he and other wounded warriors receive rehabilitation. To Katie, a native of Gresham, Ore., they weren’t just any football players. “My team is coming to see me,” Mitcheltree exclaimed upon realizing several Oregon Ducks would visit Brooke Army Medical Center’s Intrepid Center four days before the Ducks faced Texas in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30. That Thursday afternoon prior to the game, Katie, Wade and their two kids were waiting in the lobby when nine Ducks arrived to tour the rehabilitation center and meet several of the veterans recovering there. The Mitcheltrees shook hands with the players and received a jersey, gloves and stickers from Oregon's recent spring game tributes to the military. The contingent of Oregon players was supposed to number seven, but quarterback Marcus Mariota and receiver Keanon Lowe saw teammates leaving for the tour and wanted to come along. The others were center Hroniss Grasu, defensive lineman Taylor Hart, punter Alejandro Maldonado, safety Ben Butterfield, receiver Chad Delaney, receiver Daryle Hawkins and long snapper Drew Howell, with strength and conditioning coach Jim Radcliffe on hand as well. Players expected to encounter a group of veterans struggling with their circumstances, in need of some encouragement. Instead, the tables were turned. “I’ve never experienced anything like that, never experienced that much positive energy in one spot,” Lowe said. The Ducks first met the Mitcheltrees, including their oldest son, Joseph, 12, whose bedroom is decked out in Oregon gear right down to the bedsheets, according to his mother. Players then began to tour the facility, only to have veteran Jason Walker track them down for photos with his family of Oregonians. The tour included three floors of the four-story, 65,000-square-foot facility. The Center for the Intrepid opened eight years ago to “provide service members with severe extremity injuries and amputations the

opportunity to maximize their ability to live and work productively.” The center included the expected rehab equipment, such as weights and a pool. It also housed a model of an apartment, and the cab of a pickup truck, so veterans can encounter any difficulties that arise in those situations before being discharged. And there was more high-tech equipment, including the CAREN (computer assisted rehabilitation environment), a 21-foot dome housing a 300-degree projection screen and adjustable floor. It’s used to simulate various environments and terrain patients can expect to encounter out in the world, including those returning to combat zones. But for all of that high-tech equipment, the most memorable part of the visit was the last 15 or 20 minutes. That’s when players mingled with and signed autographs for the handful of veterans who dropped by the outpatient facility on the day after Christmas. “They’re so focused, they're locked in, they’re positive,” Delaney said. “We see injuries all the time in football, but they handled it much better than I see my teammates handle it. They were so positive, had such a good vibe about it.” Before the players left Oregon’s practice facility for the rehab center, they were handed boxes of jerseys, gloves and stickers by an equipment manager who told them, “don't bring any of it back.” They handed out about a dozen of the 15 jerseys they brought, and left the rest to be distributed by Center for the Intrepid staff when other patients drop in. Not lost on the Ducks was the fact the average age of the facility’s patients was 22 to 25, not much older than the players themselves. Mark Phillips, who works in logistics at Brooke Army Medical Center, is the father and father-in-law to Oregon journalism school graduates. He got a sweatshirt signed by players, and spoke to the impact their visit could have on the wounded veterans. “For them to see somebody like this group come in, it’s uplifting for them,” Phillips said. It turns out, though, he could have just as easily been talking about the players, too. 9

To honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew participated in a “National Day of Service” at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Washington, DC, January 20. Over 90 volunteers, including Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, medical center CEO Brian Hawkins, Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) CEO Wendy Spencer and Treasury staff, also participated in the community service event. While there, Secretaries Lew and Shinseki sorted and packed newly purchased shoes and boots for homeless Veterans. Other volunteers sorted coats, reorganized hospital filing systems, and participated in recreational activities with Veterans recuperating at the medical center. All newly packaged items will be distributed next week at the hospital’s annual Winterhaven Homeless Stand Down. The community service event was sponsored by American University and Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program. Secretary Lew’s first assignment in the Clinton Administration was to develop and implement Americorps. Two decades later, the national service initiative continues to make an impact in communities across the country. To date, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1 billion hours in service, according to the program.

Free Tax Assistance Offered The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for qualified taxpayers. The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $52,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRScertified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities. The TCE Program offers free tax help for all with priority assistance to people who are age 60 and older. They specialize in questions about pensions and retirement issues unique to seniors. IRS-certified volunteers who provide tax counseling are often retired individuals associated with non-profit organizations that receive grants from the IRS. To locate VITA tax preparers in your area, go to www. , or call 800-906-9887. Call TCE, 888-227-7669, or go to VMISLocator/searchTaxAideLocations.action to find free tax preparation providers. VETS NEWS // WINTER 2013

Oregon Medal of Honor recipient Bob Maxwell autographs the Postal Service’s newly issued Medal of Honor stamp for Postmaster Nate Leigh at Bend High School.

Photo courtesy Michael Jensen/Jensen One

Below: Oregon Medal of Honor recipient Bob Maxwell is pictured on the lower right bottom row, on the Postal Service’s newly issued Medal of Honor stamp folio. (Photo by US Postal Service)

Medal Of Honor Recipient bob Maxwell honored by USPS By Mike Allegre

BEND — Bob Maxwell was an infantryman in France in 1944 helping set up a command post when it was attacked by German soldiers. During the nighttime fighting, and to protect his fellow soldiers, he instinctively dropped on a grenade. The blast cost him much of his right foot, and the selfless act of bravery earned him the Medal of Honor. At 93, he is the nation’s oldest living recipient of the highest military honor and Oregon’s only surviving Medal of Honor recipient. On November 8, in Bend, where he resides, the local postmaster presented Maxwell a special commemorative set of postage stamps honoring the few surviving Medal of Honor recipients from World War II. The stamp folio includes images of the Army and Navy versions of the medal and military photos of 12 of the 464 who received the distinguished honor while fighting in World War II. Maxwell’s photo is among them. The stamps were formally issued on Veterans Day, in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Postal Service. Maxwell said it was a great honor to be recognized by the postal service. He believes his life was spared “by divine providence,” for some purpose.

“I’ve been spending the 60 or 70 years since then trying to figure out what the purpose is,” he told reporters. “My main philosophy in life is to be a soldier. If you look in the dictionary for the definition of a soldier, the first one in the dictionary I have says it is one who serves.” A Kansas native, Maxwell was logging in Colorado when he was drafted. Despite his grandfather’s non-violent Quaker beliefs, he wanted to fight for his country. Following training, he was assigned as a replacement to the 3rd Infantry Division outside Casablanca, Morocco. After recovering from wounds received in the invasion of Italy in January, Maxwell was in Besancon, France, on Sept. 7, 1944, stringing telephone wire to a house when German soldiers opened fire with an anti-aircraft gun. With explosive rounds blasting around his feet and enemy soldiers advancing, Maxwell jumped to the ground and took cover with three other men behind a wall. In the dark, he heard a grenade land nearby. “I started to feel around for it to see if I could find it and throw it back,” Maxwell said. “I didn't have enough time. I dropped where it was,” using his blanket to help muffle the blast.

Maxwell’s platoon leader helped him hobble to safety as another German grenade hit behind them, knocking them both down. Besides his foot, Maxwell suffered wounds to his left arm and was grazed in the head. The three others with him were uninjured. For his actions, Technician 5th Grade Maxwell was awarded the Medal of Honor on May 12, 1945. Upon his discharge, he moved to Oregon. Using the GI Bill he learned auto mechanics on the GI Bill before marrying Beatrice in 1951, and spent much of his life teaching that trade. In recent years, he has focused on helping other veterans and is a member of the local group Band of Brothers. He also is a co-director of Honor Flight, which helps World War II veterans visit their memorial in Washington. “I owe the country a great debt because of the freedoms it has given us, and for the perks I received personally from receiving the medal,” Maxwell said. “There is a debt I can never pay back.” More than 16 million people served with the American armed forces during World War II, but only 464 were chosen to receive the Medal of Honor. Of those, nearly half died as a result of their heroic actions and received the honor posthumously.

Paralyzed Iraq War vet changes his mind: chooses life Reprinted from Health Newsline

It was nearly a year ago when paralyzed Iraq War veteran Tomas Young decided he’d had enough. He was wracked by chronic pain and grimly announced his plans to end his own life. However, by December 2013 he had a change of heart about committing suicide, thanks to the newfound love of his life, his wife Claudia Cuellar. Young, 34, was paralyzed below the waist in a 2004 attack in Sadr City during his deployment to Iraq. Since then his condition deteriorated and made him quadriplegic (complete paralysis of the body from the neck down). In an attempt to hasten his death, the Kansas City native had announced he would stop his daily medications and nourishment, which he consumes in the form of liquid through a feeding tube, until he died. He reportedly told an NPR news agency during that dark time, “I decided that I was no longer going to watch myself deteriorate. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” O R E G O N D E P A R T M E N T O F V E T E R A N S ' A F F A IR S

Now, Young credits his wife with giving him the strength to push forward. “I just came to the conclusion that I wanted some more time with my wife. And I decided that I really don’t have the chutzpah to go ahead and do away with myself.” Calling his caregiver-turned-wife Cuellar an amazing wife, Young said, “She’s everything a man could ask for in a partner, I have found in a 5-foot2-and-a-half-inch Colombian woman that is just a spitfire and incredible.” Prior to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Young was an active 22-year old. He enlisted two days after the attacks. He wanted revenge against the Taliban in Afghanistan, but was deployed instead to Iraq. It was a country he believed had nothing to do with the attacks. Days after arriving a sniper’s bullet left him paralyzed from the chest down and very angry. After returning home his life got progressively worse. Medical complications after the initial injury resulted 10

in him becoming quadriplegic, and a pulmonary brain embolism in 2008 made him less mobile. “To be a paraplegic – it’s long hard fight,” said Young’s mother, Cathy Smith. “Then one day you wake up and you’re a quadriplegic and you can’t use your voice. Many people wanted him to speak (out against the war), and he couldn’t talk anymore.” Now living in Portland, Young married Cuellar in April 2012. He says his spouse has given him reason to live. “Since she’s come into my life, I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I want to leave her alone for as short a time as possible. I love her and my love for her is stronger than my desire to kill myself,” he told ABC’s Nightline. ‘If you’re in life and you start to think things are a little too rough to handle just think of me and what I go through, and you realize that “Hey, I don’t have it so bad.”’

voluteers and donations needed and welcome


va volunteer drivers

operation diaper bag

County Service Organization Service Offices

Volunteer drivers are in high demand to transport veterans to and from medical appointments at VA facilities around the state. With more veterans becoming eligible for care and services, the need has increased substantially.

As a way of celebrating the birth of a veteran’s child, a group of volunteers with the Portland VA Medical Center’s Women’s Committee have developed a program to gather items for care packages which are sent to veterans during this exciting time in their lives.

Baker . ................... 541-523‑8223 Jane Chandler Benton .................. 541-758-1595 Mary Newman Clackamas ............ 503-650-5631 Janice Harlan-Raisl Clatsop . ................ 503-440-8310 Philip Simmons Columbia .............. 503-366-6580 Russell Clark Coos....................... 541-396‑3121, Ext. 362 Eric Gleason Crook...................... 541-447‑5304 Angela Gilley Curry ..................... 866-298-0404 Kimberly O’Neal Deschutes . ........... 541-385‑3214 Keith Macnamara Douglas . ............... 541-440‑4219 Jim Fitzpatrick Gilliam . ................. 541-384-6712 Bryan Hunt Grant ..................... 541-575‑1631 Bob Muenchausen Harney.................... 541-573-1342 Guy McKay Hood River ............ 541-386-1080 Les Logsdon Jackson ................. 541-774-8214 Bob Carson Jefferson ............... 541-475-5228 Tom Weiss Josephine............... 541-474-5454 Lisa Shipley Klamath ................ 541-883‑4274 Kathy Pierce Lake ...................... 541-947‑6043 Charles Pike Lane ...................... 541-682‑4191 Joseph Reiley Lincoln .................. 541-574-6955 John Reed Linn ....................... 800-319-3882 Kim Grooms Malheur ................ 541-889‑6649 Connie Tanaka Marion.................... 503-373-2085 ODVA Morrow .................. 541-922-6420 Linda Skendzel Multnomah ........... 503-988‑3620, Ext. 25005 Katie Pereault Polk ....................... 503-373-2085 ODVA Sherman ............... 541-565-3408 Bryan Hunt Tillamook .............. 503-842-4358 Bill Hatton Umatilla ................ 541-278‑5482 Peggy Raines Union . ................... 541-962‑8802 Byron Whipple Wallowa.................. 541-426‑3155, Ext. 241 Linda McIntyre Wasco ................... 541-506-2502 Russell Jones Washington . ......... 503-846-3060 Vicki Horn Wheeler.................. 541-763-3032 Bryan Hunt Yamhill .................. 503-434‑7503 Jerry Wilson

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) transportation coordinator Brigitte Marker said the loss of dedicated drivers is due in large part to age and the ability for older volunteers to drive. She said the need for dependable volunteers who may want to drive a little or a lot is constant. “We’re always looking for drivers to be able to transport our veterans on short and long trip trips. Once they are approved to operate our vehicles, the volunteers may drive as much as they want and volunteer up to 30 hours per week”,” Marker said. “There is a crucial need for drivers especially in the I-5 corridor, in the city of Florence, Yamhill, Tillamook and other northwestern Oregon counties, and in rural areas of eastern and southern Oregon, too.” VA Voluntary Service Chief, Shaun Benson in Portland said his office processes all volunteers to ensure they’re qualified. “Once they’re approved to drive, we’ll ensure they’re trained and assign them to routes from their community.” Veterans who require transportation to a VA appointment must always coordinate with one of the statewide VA medical centers. Once approved for transport, they will be given a shuttle schedule so they can meet it on a specific time and day. Benson noted that with fewer drivers there are a reduced number of days veterans can get a ride. “As long as the veteran provides us with a minimum notice of four business days, we should be able to get them where they need to go, provided there are seats available” Benson said. “And if veteran isn’t sure which VA facility they need to call, they can contact the one nearest to them and ask – they’ll be redirected if needed.” Volunteers interested in becoming a driver should contact VA volunteer centers nearest to them and apply: Boise, Ida. (for Baker, Grant, Harney, Malheur county veterans), 208-422-1000, ext. 7555; Roseburg, 541-440-1272; Portland, 503-273-5042; Walla Walla, Wash. (northeast Oregon veterans), 509-525-5200, ext. 22529; and White City, 541-826-2111, ext. 3796.

Operation Diaper Bag began in 2009 to recognize and thank women veterans for their military service and also to acknowledge their recent birth of their child. Due to the program’s positive impact and the support from the community, Operation Diaper Bag has expanded to include male veterans and their families. VA project coordinator, Amanda Weber, said veterans face challenges in their readjustment to civilian life and the VA continually seeks ways to support this transition. “Operation Diaper Bag provides a muchneeded delivery of vital supplies for their newborn,” she said. The Diaper Bag care packages are put together by the Portland VA Medical Center Voluntary Service staff and volunteers and sent to the veteran by mail or given in-person when they receive a notification of a birth from VA medical or social work staff. Handmade items such as baby blankets, clothing, burping clothes and the diaper bags themselves are among the donated items that are distributed. Weber said these care packages are made possible through donations from service and community organizations, and individual donors. Several organizational auxiliaries have raised donations by holding “baby showers” with the VA as the recipient. Some of the items that are needed include: bibs, pacifiers, bottles, baby wipes, newborn baby clothes (purchased or handmade items), small baby toys/rattles, teething rings, gift cards from major retailers, and baby formula (“singles” packs preferred). Only new purchased or handmade items are given to veterans and their families. Referrals are encouraged. To donate items contact Weber at 503-273-5042, or Go to to donate.

National Service Organization Service Offices

VA pilot Dental insurance Program

life after deployment can feel like a battle. don't go it alone.

Veterans Press 1

The VA has implemented a comprehensive national pilot VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP) to give enrolled veterans and CHAMPVA beneficiaries the opportunity to purchase dental insurance through Delta Dental and MetLife at a reduced cost. Participation is voluntary and purchasing a dental plan does not affect a veterans’ eligibility for VA dental services and treatment. Coverage for VADIP plans began January 1. Covered services include diagnostic, preventative, surgical, emergency and endodontic/restorative treatment. Delta Dental and MetLife are offering multiple plans. Each participant pays the fixed monthly premiums for coverage and any copayments required, depending on the type of plan selected. For more information about VADIP visit 11

American Legion ................................................... 503-412-4771 National Assoc. for Black Veterans ...................... 503-412-4159 Disabled American Veterans ............................... 503-412-4750 Military Order of the Purple Heart......................... 503-412-4770 Paralyzed Veterans of America............................. 503-412-4762 Veterans of Foreign Wars...................................... 503-412-4757

Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Committee Since the Advisory Committee was established in 1945, it has held a distinct and fundamental role as advisors to the Director of ODVA. Advisory Committee members include: Irv Fletcher Dennis G. Guthrie Al Herrera

J. Ryan Howell Michael Jones Trisa E. Kelly

Gerard F. Lorang Mary J. Mayer , Chair Kevin J. Owens

To contact the Advisory Committee, please email or call 503-373-2383. Meetings of the Advisory Committee are public meetings held quarterly. The next meeting will be held on March 5, 2014 @ 9:30 a.m. at the Elks Lodge #357, 2470 W. 11th Ave., Eugene. Please contact 503-373-2383 for more information. Special needs will be met for those who have a disability.

HIPAA Statement ODVA complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA provides that no qualified

person with a disability shall be kept from participation in, or be denied a benefit of the services, programs, or activities of ODVA because of that disability. This publication is available in alternate formats. For this service, or concerns regarding ADA, contact the ADA Coordinator at 503-373-2380. The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, known as HIPAA. You may obtain a copy of the ODVA Notice of Privacy Practices anytime. Visit ODVA’s website at, or call 1-800-828-8801 ext. 2141 or 503-373-2141. Write to ODVA’s Privacy Officer to have a copy mailed to you.


PRSRT STD US Postage PAID Permit No. 22 Salem, OR

Save the date! March 28-29

oregon women veterans conference

I am a woman. I served in the military.

Open and free to all women who have served. CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs 700 Summer Street NE Salem, OR 97301-1285

I am a veteran

@ t h e h i lto n i n e u g e n e reserve your room online

c o n f e r e n c e r e g i s t r at i o n begins january 2014

O R E G O N D E P A R T M E N T O F V E T E R A N S ' A F F A IR S


Vetsnews Feb 2014 online  

Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Feb-April 2014 Vets News

Vetsnews Feb 2014 online  

Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Feb-April 2014 Vets News