2014 memorial Day edition
honoring those who paid the ultimate price.
Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs
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Oregon Applauds World War II Memorial Efforts as
Photo by mike allegre.
History is lifteD into Place
The centerpiece of Oregon’s WWII Memorial -- a 33foot-tall, 20-ton granite obelisk -- was raised from a semi-trailer, above trees and laid into place on the memorial’s site in Willson Park at the Oregon State Capitol grounds in Salem on April 3.
insiDe tHis issue
By Mike Allegre
SALEM – Nearly 75 onlookers braved the cold weather for three hours while standing outside the fence line at the site of Oregon’s World War II Memorial on April 3, to watch as the centerpiece was about to be put in place. What that group may not have been aware of was that they were watching a moment of state history unfold. At times it appeared as if the group was in some way urging the movement of the memorial’s 20-ton granite obelisk while it was slowly lifted from a semitruck and hoisted more than 40 feet above trees along Court Street. After the 33-foot obelisk was gently lowered and laid horizontally inside the middle of the memorial, the crowd seemed to give a collective sigh of relief. With cameras capturing the historic moment, the crane operator and ground crew patiently guided the obelisk to a vertical position, inched it to its pedestal and gently lowered it into place. The sound of applause signaled that the memorial’s
five-sided obelisk was now in place, permanently fixed into our state's history. With the cold nearly forgotten, many of those who had watched this feat of meticulous engineering may have realized they had been part of the memorial’s history that only few could ever claim to have witnessed. Stepping back after obelisk stood in place, construction project manager Bob Plame was amazed and pleased by what he had seen. “It was challenging, but the hard part is over.” A Vietnam veteran, Plame was happy to say the project remained “on schedule and on budget.” This was not the first time the obelisk had captured the attention of a crowd in Oregon. During a statewide tour in 2013, the memorial's walls and obelisk were on display in cities large and small to to help raise awareness that the memorial was being built and to give an opportunity to those who may not have another opportunity, to see what would be build in honor of our state's see WWii memorial - Page 6
korean war vet finally receives medals More than 60 years later, two Purple Hearts and the Korean War service medal honors Mr. Robison's war time sacrifice and courage. Pg 3
70th anniversary of D-Day Among the tens of thousands who survived the invasion 70 years ago were two Oregonians. Their stories of that historic yet fateful day are on Pg 12
wwii photo album returned to japan Seven decades after a family photo album was found on an Okinawan beach by a Navy Officer, his family made the trip to return it to those who had lost so much. Pg 10
Cameron Smith, Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs
We cannot forget tHat We are still a nation at War Every day I feel privileged to serve as the director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. After three tours in Iraq as a Marine, I ﬁ nd great strength and solace in continuing to serve our military and veterans’ community.
Attending the funerals of our fallen service members is both the hardest part and greatest honor of my job. When I grieve with Gold Star families, I am struck by their remarkable strength and resiliency.
At the same time, I am humbled by the mission at hand. For the ﬁ rst time in history, we are serving four generations of veterans who have served in our military, fought our battles in ﬁ ve major wars, and stood guard over our peace.
These families have undoubtedly lost a light in their lives, yet they recommit with great resolve to live their life in honor of their fallen service member. Our military families do not wear the uniform, but there is no question that they also serve.
As a state and nation, we should all feel the weight of that responsibility – perhaps no more so, than as we approach Memorial Day.
Remembering our fallen once a year is not enough. The widows, widowers, mothers, fathers, siblings, and children of these men and women remember every day.
If we cut through the clutter of the start of summer and screaming sales, Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to honor the memory of our fallen friends, family, and heroes. How can we ever forget their service and sacriﬁ ce? Across the ages, from the beaches in Europe and on Paciﬁ c islands to the mountains and jungles in Asia, countless Americans have stood up to serve and have laid down their lives. At the most basic level, they fought to protect the one on their right and the one on their left, but ultimately their ﬁ ght protects us all and preserves the values we hold dear. And we cannot forget that we remain a country at war. Over the last decade, we have lost almost 7,000 in the deserts, mountains, and city streets half way across the world in Iraq and Afghanistan. The weight of these recent conﬂ icts has been borne by the few. Most of our citizens have not been directly touched by the wars. The same cannot be said for our Gold Star families. This year, we will unfortunately add the names of two incredible soldiers and Oregonians to the memorial at our headquarters in Salem: Private First Class Cody J. Patterson and Specialist John A. Pelham.
They are reminded of that loss when seeing an empty seat at the dinner table, when that family member is missing during the holidays, and the voice of that loved one is now heard only in their memories. Once again, Memorial Day observances are being held across this country, and there can never be too many of them. And at these events, Americans are honoring their fallen warriors like Specialist Pelham and Private First Class Patterson. Whether one served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East or elsewhere, veterans share a connection across the eras. William Shakespeare wrote in Henry the Fifth about this bond between warriors: “From this day to the ending of the world, but we in it shall be remembered; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.” This Memorial Day, let us all pause to remember our fallen and their families. Let us never forget what these men and women have done and what their loved ones have lost. We are stronger for their service and will never forget their sacriﬁ ce.
These men were so athletic, strong, and full of life. They loved the military and found themselves called to service at the highest level in the Army Rangers and Special Forces. It is tragic that their lives were cut short in Afghanistan.
VET S NE WS
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
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eDitor clarification In the 2014 winter edition of Vets News, we published a photograph of Oregon Medal of Honor recipient Bob Maxwell autographing the Postal Service’s newly issued Medal of Honor stamp for Postmaster Nate Leigh at Bend High School. Although the photograph was properly credited, the type was difficult to read, therefore we would like to clarify that this photo was courtesy of Michael Jensen of Jensen One.
THE DALLES – The place where honor lives, the Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles, has again been named one of the top rated nursing homes in Oregon by U.S. News & World Report’s annual 2014 Best Nursing Homes report. The sixth annual report indicates the Home received an overall five-star rating and is among the top nursing homes in the state. U.S. News’ Best Nursing Homes report is designed to help the millions of Americans who will spend time in a nursing home in 2014. Nearly 16,000 nursing homes nationwide and more than 90 major metropolitan areas were rated. The recent report also indicates the number of fivestar ratings nationally is up from 19 percent last year to 25 percent. “The rising number of five-star homes is encouraging,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News health rankings editor. “It speaks to care that is steadily becoming more skilled and compassionate.” Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Cameron Smith said the Home’s residents are like family and that’s how they’re cared for by the excellent staff and volunteers there. “That entire Oregon Veterans’ Home team earned this national recognition because their approach is simple; treat all veterans and their family members with the same caring respect and dignity they would want for their own families,” Smith said. To create Best Nursing Homes 2014, U.S. News drew from data at Nursing Home Compare, a program run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency that sets and enforces standards for nursing homes. Opened in the fall of 1997, the Home is located just outside The Dalles. The staff is able to care for as many as 151 residents who need long-term care in a facility that provides skilled nursing, Alzheimer’s and dementia-related care, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitative care to veterans, their spouses, and parents who have lost a child to war-time service. In 2008, the Home was awarded the Step II 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 nearly 200 care facilities in the nation – and one of only two state veterans’ homes – to achieve this level of recognition.
7 out of 10 veterans have not accessed their federal VA beneﬁts.
ARE YOU ONE OF THE SEVEN? IF SO, CALL A VETERAN SERVICE OFFICER (PAGE 15). TODAY'S VETERAN BENEFITS MAY SUPRISE YOU.
Up to the minute Oregon veteran news at www.oregondva.com OREGON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
oVH nameD one of tHe toP nursing Homes in oregon
Photo by mike allegre
Korean War Vet receives Purple Heart Decades Later
over there, I was pretty young,” he said. “When I got shot through the chest, our machine gunner got killed. That’s who they’d go after, the guys with the automatic weapons.”
Photo courtesy of the keizertimes.
Photo courtesy “When I of went the keizertimes.
After recovering from his first wound, Robison was returned to combat duty, but two months later, he was shot in the left leg. His time in the war zone was over.
Robert Robison stands at attention as ODVA Director Cameron Smith pins on the Purple Heart the 82 year-old Korean War combat veteran had earned more than 60 years ago.
SALEM – While in combat during the Korean War, Private 1st Class Robert Robison became a casualty on the battlefield. He was shot in the chest on March 25, 1951, Easter Sunday. And it wasn’t until after he received a second combat wound that the Army paratrooper was honorably discharged. But, it was more than 60 years later that Robison, 82, finally received his two Purple Hearts and Korean War service medal that honored his sacrifice in that conflict. In a special ceremony at the governor’s office on Feb. 21, the emotional Robison was honored with the medals he had earned and for continuing to serve in the U.S. Army despite being shot twice. The Director of the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs, Cameron Smith, presented three medals as Robison’s wife Barbara and three of their children attended the event. Smith said the chaos of combat sometimes meant that veterans did not always receive the honors they
earned in previous wartime eras. “For too long, the Korean War has been the forgotten war,” Smith said. “We stand here today to say that we do remember and honor the service and sacrifice of Mr. Bob Robison.” Robison recalled that he didn’t know he was owed the medals until he got a letter from the Veterans Administration telling him he would be charged for VA medical treatment because he had never been awarded a Purple Heart though his record showed he had been wounded twice in combat. He and family members, including a niece in Michigan, then began working to get the decorations added to his record. With help from ODVA veteran service officer Joe Reynoso, he received the paperwork to prove he had earned the awards. While Robison has spoken little over the years about his war experiences, he said it wasn’t too difficult to hear someone else talk about what he went through in war.
By August 1951 he had recovered from his wounds and was discharged. After a short courtship he married wife Barbara on November 1 of that year. However, Robison would later rejoin the Army and serve until 1957. With his military career now complete he entered into civilian life once again and became an iron worker in California in 1959. He moved his family to Oregon in 1969, soon moving to Keizer where he’s lived the past 43 years. He retired as an iron works foreman in 1996. Robison’s story has since been published in newspapers and on websites around the U.S. and the world. His story so impressed one class of South Korean school children, ages 11 to 13, they decided their new class project was to write letters to Robison to thank him for serving and to congratulate him on receiving the medals he had earned decades before. “Dad received 60 amazing letters. I read them aloud to my parents and we all cried. Now, we’re in the process of writing letters back,” his daughter Cindy Hepting said. “He’s so deserving and is proud to have served his country. We’re grateful he is finally receiving these medals and very thankful to everyone involved in arranging this special ceremony.”
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway (i-84) to be Dedicated A 370 mile stretch of Oregon highway will soon be dedicated to honor all veterans who served in the Vietnam War. On Memorial Day, May 26, Interstate 84, from Portland to Ontario, will be designated as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway. The highway will be dedicated that same day at 1:30 p.m., during a ceremony at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles. A long-time project of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Oregon State Council (VVA OSC), the highway will pay tribute to the 57,000 Oregonians who served during that war, including 803 who lost their lives, and the 38 military members and one civilian who remain missing in action. More than 120,000 Vietnam veterans call Oregon home and represent nearly one-third of all veterans living in the state. Legislation signed into law by Gov. John Kitzhaber on April, 11, 2013, cleared the way for the highway’s designation, however state law requires that construction and installation of signs be paid only through donations and in-kind services. The VVA
OSC has arranged for free drilling of the holes for the sign posts and has received other project assistance. “Fifteen signs will be placed along the highway,” said Ron Morgan, president of the Oregon State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America. “There will be seven signs eastbound and eight signs westbound.” In 2010, Highway 97 was designated as the World Highway signs similar to this one are being placed in 15 locations along Interstate War II Veterans Memorial 84, the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial, between Portland and Ontario. –Photo Highway. It runs from I-84 courtesy of the Oregon State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America. at Biggs Junction south to designated to honor Vietnam veterans. the Oregon/California border, and extends east on State Highway 126 from Redmond to Prineville. Donations are still being accepted to help pay for the signs and their installation and to help defray Morgan said Oregon has led the way in working the cost of the dedication program. Donation checks with state officials to honor veterans with these should be made payable to VVA OSC, and mailed to highway designations. VVA officials in Pennsylvania, VVA OSC Treasurer Clyde Evans at PO Box 1221, La Massachusetts and Utah will be developing proposed Pine, OR 97739. legislation to have sections of I-84 within their states 3
VETS NEWS // SPRING 2014
In order to better serve veterans, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a new disability process to expedite disability claims filed by veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent & Total (P&T). Under the new process, SSA will treat these veterans’ applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from Wounded Warriors. “We have reached another milestone for those who have sacrificed so much for our country and this process ensures they will get the benefits they need quickly,” said Acting Commissioner Carl W. Colvin. “While we can never fully repay them for their sacrifices, we can be sure we provide them with the quality of service that they deserve. This initiative is truly a lifeline for those who need it most." Maryland Congressman John Sarbanes, a leading proponent for increasing assistance to veterans said, “As the baby boomer generation ages and more veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan need care, this common sense change will help reduce backlogs and cut through unnecessary red tape so that our most disabled veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned.” In order to receive the expedited service, veterans must tell Social Security they have a VA disability compensation rating of 100 percent P&T and show proof of their disability rating with their VA Notification Letter. The VA rating only expedites Social Security disability claims processing and does not guarantee an approval for Social Security disability benefits. These veterans must still meet the strict eligibility requirements for a disability allowance. For information about this service, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/disability-pt.htm.
Photo courtesy of VfW Post 1442
ssa to eXPeDite Vet's claims; fielD office serVice cHanges
VFW Post 1442 member Robert Thornhill and Post Commander Marion Ellsworth (white cap) stand next to Kat Bonham, Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) after delivering boxes of donated books to Portland’s Kelly Elementary. Post Adjutant Wayne Sharp (far right) also helped with the delivery to the school.
VfW Post collects cHilDren’s booKs Why are groups of military veterans collecting children’s books for elementary students in Portland? The answer lies in the military and civilian life experiences of VFW Post 1442 members, both young and old, who understand that reading is an essential foundation of learning. After reading a news column written by reporter Anna Griffin in the Oregonian in February 2011, headlined, “Southeast Portland’s Kelly Elementary aims to collect 10 books for every student,” Post 1442 Commander Marion Ellsworth, a World War II veteran, decided the post should join the book drive. Griffin’s report told how the school’s librarian, Laura Jones, had read about a University of Tennessee research project in which economically disadvantaged students were given books to take home over the summer break for three consecutive years. The result was that those children did as well on ensuing reading tests as students from better-resourced schools who also had attended summer school, which was not available to the disadvantaged students. Post volunteer Robert Thornhill said the collective reasoning for pursuing the project was, “Today’s children are our future. With no money to buy books, our volunteers began to collect books via donations.”
Thornhill said he learned that to a reader, especially a child, a book can be many things: a teacher, a counselor, a companion, an adventure, entertainment, an opening to the world. “To be readers, however, children must have access to books. So, collecting children’s books became another way for our post members to continue to serve,” he said. While they have not kept count of the exact number of books collected for the school, it is estimated that Post 1442 has delivered nearly 500 donated books. Most of the donations were obtained from The Book Corner in Beaverton. Thornhill said frequently, as the Post bought gently used books from the all-volunteer operation, the volunteers there would also donate an additional one or two boxes of books. “The Veterans Motorcycle Club of Molalla has also donated several boxes of books through our Post,” he added. After Post 1442’s last delivery of books to Kelly in April, the storage room was overflowing with books for students to read over the summer vacation. The Post has also begun donating books for students at William Walker Elementary in Beaverton. “We’re very happy to help any of these students,” Thornhill said.
To meet increasing service demands, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has invested in technological innovations offering more convenient, cost-effective and secure options for the public. Considering these factors, SSA is making some service changes in field offices across the country. On August 1, SSA will stop offering Social Security number printouts. Beginning October 1, SSA offices no longer will issue benefit verification letters. As a result of these changes, agencies and organizations that routinely need access to these materials are being asked to use the data exchanges specifically developed for this purpose. The SSA has collaborated with other federal, state and local agencies to build hundreds of robust data exchanges during the past few years. Today, SSA provides more than 1.6 billion electronic verifications of Social Security numbers or benefit information to employers, state and local agencies, and other authorized third parties. People needing proof of their Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits can get verification letters online instantly through a my Social Security account at: www.socialsecurity.gov/ myaccount . A letter can also be mailed to them by calling 800-772-1213, (TTY 800-325-0778). OREGON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
learn more at WWW.benefits.Va.goV/gibill 4
Photo by marc huchette
The 2014 Woman Veteran of the Year award was presented by Renee French (left) and Carole Bova-Rice (right) to Peggy Lutz of McMinnville. Peggy served in the Navy from 1944 to 1946. She is a long-time volunteer for veteran’s causes and currently sits on the board of directors for the Oregon Honor Flight organization.
this is my journey: 2014 oregon women veteran conference Eugene – The ninth bi-annual Oregon Womens Veteran Conference hosted nearly 350 female veterans at the Eugene Hilton Convention Center March 2829. This two day event drew women veterans from all across the state to network, participate in workshops, and visit with more than 40 service providers and vendor tables. During the conference, ODVA Director Cameron Smith spoke to the attendees and emphasized the importance of this event. “One of the most important aspects of this event is the networking with their fellow women veterans and also connecting with all of the resources whether it is the federal VA or the community providers or non-profits.” One of the highlights of this year’s conference was the presentation of the Woman Veteran of the Year. This year’s award was given to Peggy Lutz of McMinnville. Lutz served in the Navy from 1944 to 1946. She is a long-time volunteer for veteran’s causes and currently sits on the board of directors for the Oregon Honor Flight organization. At age 92, Lutz was honored and grateful to even be considered for this award.
“I’m so humbled by this award. I have done very little in comparison to the younger women veterans of this generation who have put so much at risk. As I’m coming to the end of my life an award like this lets me know that I have made a difference. I am very blessed.” Renee French, the Oregon Women Veteran Coordinator, along with the conference planning committee went to great lengths to make this year’s conference impactful and meaningful to all demographics of women veterans. “This year we’ve had great representation from all generations of female veterans in attendance. With the caliber of speakers we brought in and some of the new events and breakouts, we are beginning to see an increase in today’s generation of women veterans reaching out to connect at conferences like this.” Keynote speakers this year included Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg, US Department of Labor Deputy Secretary of Veterans’ Employment and Training Terry Gerton, State Representative Julie Parrish, National Director American Legion Rehabilitation Division Vern Jones, and Chair of the Advisory Committee to ODVA Mary J. Mayer.
Medford designated as Purple Heart City By Damian Mann. Reprinted with permission of the Mail Tribune.
Medford became the second city in Oregon to become a “Purple Heart City,” on Feb. 6. The designation honors the almost two million veterans since World War I who have received the military award.
Even though many veterans weren’t wounded in a combat zone, Rupp said, they still suffered.
About two dozen veterans showed up for the presentation, including Larry Rupp, commander of the Rogue Valley Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 147.
Purple Heart City signs are displayed at the Medford airport and other locations throughout the city, Rupp said. He doesn’t know how many veterans in this area received Purple Hearts. His organization has 51 members.
“This recognition is for all veterans,” Rupp said. “It’s almost like a city saying thank you.” Rupp said Albany is the only other city in Oregon to become a Purple Heart City. It accepted the recognition at the end of January. The Purple Heart is bestowed on members of the U.S. military who have been killed or wounded in action. “This is the one military award that nobody wants,” Rupp said. “You pay a price for it.”
“They didn’t bleed, but they still experienced the mental anguish of war,” he said. “We all carry the mental scars.”
The Purple Heart decoration was initially created as the Badge of Military Merit by Gen. George Washington in 1782. The decoration was awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers. In 1931, the Purple Heart was revived on the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth. It was made retroactive to April 5, 1917, the day before the U.S. entered World War I. Since 1917, 1.9 million Purple Hearts have been awarded. 5
Ve t e r a n s o f World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and the Cold War attended the council meeting. Councilor Chris Corcoran told them his father suffered all his life from posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of combat in Korea. He said his father's life was saved when a ration can deflected a bullet that glanced off his hip bone rather than entering his body. Corcoran said the Purple Heart City is the least the city can do to honor the veterans of past wars. “This is very near and dear to my heart,” he said. VETS NEWS // SPRING 2014
WWII Memorial- Continued From page 1
The truck’s driver and memorial board foundation member Tim Bronleewe had a distinct surprise during the stop in Baker City. A man approached Bronleewe and stared at the sections of stone that would become part of the memorial. The man, who asked to remain anonymous, began sharing a personal story with Bronleewe about his late-father’s naval service in World War II. He then pulled from his pocket a tarnished Navy hat insignia to show Bronleewe. The hat pin had an anchor and the letters USN on it. It had belonged to the man’s father. Bronleewe listened intently as the man briefly explained how his dad had served in the South Pacific and had risen to the rank of chief petty officer before being honorably discharged after the war. The former sailor had seldom spoken of his wartime service, so his family knew little about it. As he held a link to the old salt’s naval service for what would be the last time, the man then gave the insignia to Bronleewe and made a request. “He asked me nicely if I would place his dad’s insignia in the concrete when it was poured at the base of the obelisk,” Bronlewee said. “I accepted the insignia and promised him I’d make sure we’d honor his dad’s service with the request.” Months later as the concrete was pumped into the obelisk’s framed base on March 7th, Bronlewee kept his promise to the man when he handed the insignia to Scott Brown of Brown Construction. Minutes later Brown stopped the concrete flow and then gently placed the memento onto the wet mixture. As the concrete began flowing again a small piece of history disappeared from sight. “It was a pretty touching thing to see for those of us who watched this private moment,” Brown said. “I’m proud and happy we could salute this sailor and help preserve his memory and military service.” Several days later, Plame quietly took a private moment to remember his father – a World War II B-25 pilot who flew missions during battles in the South
Photo by mike allegre.
WWII community. Visitors who viewed sections of the memorial were able to see, touch and feel the obelisk and one of the walls that displayed some of the engraved names of Oregonians who were killed in that war.
On March 7, when construction workers poured the concrete base for the World War II Memorial’s obelisk, one special World War II sailor was honored by his son when the US Navy pin worn by his father, was placed if the concrete and permanently became a part of the memorial.
Pacific. In a last minute gesture, Plame placed his latefather’s Air Corps pilot’s lapel wings where the final load of concrete was poured near the obelisk’s base.
The memorial covers a 75 by 75 foot area, located in Willson Park, on the corner of Cottage and Court Street.
“Dad died in 2012 and was a retired Air Force colonel. This was a private way that I could honor my dad’s service and memory,” he said.
Ground was broken on the memorial exactly two years prior on June 6, but its construction began in February when Oregon Army National Guard soldiers began clearing the area to prepare it for pouring the concrete base. Soon afterward, contractors lifted several three to four-ton walls into place. Engraved on the walls are the names of 3,772 Oregonians who gave their lives during combat. Smaller walls, or storyboards, also will surround the memorial and are engraved with historical stories of Oregon’s World War II history.
It has been said for years that a memorial to honor and remember the state’s remaining World War II veterans, their families, and Oregonians who participated in the war efforts is long overdue. Now, after three years of planning, fund raising, and an amazing amount of volunteer time and effort, a memorial that honors the service and sacrifice of this great generation will finally be dedicated at 1:30 p.m., June 6th on the State Capital grounds. The dedication will coincide with the 70th anniversary celebration of D-Day – the Allied invasion of Normandy, France. Veterans who fought and died in every theatre of battle, and those people who served on the home front, will be honored and remembered during the dedication. It will forever be a reminder of the Oregonians who served both at home and abroad during World War II.
Most of the memorial’s floor is made up of “pavers” that will have a global map inscribed on them. They will surround the walls and the obelisk. Two benches inside the memorial will invite visitors to sit and reflect on their nation and state’s shared sacrifice during wartime. The memorial’s foundation president, Vietnam veteran Lou Jaffe, said it may have been our nation’s finest hour as the country came together in a unified way. He said it is that history that will be preserved and will forever be a reminder of the many sacrifices Oregonians made during World War II. “All the elements of this memorial will honor members of the armed services, including some specific Oregon military units, who fought and died in every theatre of battle. Using a series of storyboards it also will recognize those on the home front who supported the war effort through their work in the shipyards, in hospitals, as coast watchers, on the farms, and elsewhere,” he said. “This includes women who left their homes to build ships in Portland, and schoolchildren who held scrap metal drives and hauled wagons full of tin cans to make their small but significant contributions.” Jaffe said all will be acknowledged in a series of storyboards around the memorial to highlight Oregon’s involvement in the war and will forever be a reminder of the Oregonians who served both home and abroad during World War II. With more than 1,200 veterans from that war passing away in the U.S. each day, there has been an extra sense of urgency to build the memorial. Approximately 152,000 Oregonians served in World War II and of those, just over 20,000 remain. The $1.2 million project’s meager beginnings and its eventual completion could be remembered as one of Oregon’s finest hours with many of its residents coming together in a unified way. This time it was to honor a vanishing and respected group of Oregonians. The centerpiece of Oregon’s WWII Memorial -- a 33foot-tall, 20-ton granite obelisk -- was raised, above trees and laid into place on the memorial’s site in Salem on April 3.
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
Photo courtesy of usDVa.
Emily Hutchison and Molly Finnegan, VA Health Care for Homeless Veterans, and Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs Joan Mooney pose for a photo during the Feb. 1 Columbia County Veterans stand down.
stanD DoWn HelPs figHt Veterans’ Homelessness
Photo courtesy of usDVa.
By Joan Mooney, VA Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs
Returning to Oregon to volunteer at the 2nd annual Columbia County Veterans stand down reminds me how truly privileged I am to have the chance to serve our nation’s Veterans. I count myself fortunate to be able to lead a team that works every day with our Congressional partners to improve VA services. If VA is going to be successful in ending Veterans’ homelessness by the end of 2015, it will take an all-hands-on-deck approach. Stand downs like this give me an opportunity, as a VA leader, to roll up my sleeves and work hand-in-hand with community partners and hundreds of our most in-need Veterans.
On Saturday, Feb. 1, the local notfor-profit group, Community Action Team Inc., in coordination with Columbia County, the State of Oregon, Disabled American Veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and other dedicated organizations put together an impactful event to help Veterans who have fallen on hard times and those most-at-risk for becoming homeless. Together we worked to provide them with the essentials like clothing, a fresh haircut, medical checkups and information on VA benefits. Veterans also met with private and public agencies about employment opportunities. These supportive services can help get a Veteran off the streets and gain greater independence. People often speak to the importance of events like this; but reaching out to homeless Veterans or those most-at-risk hits close to home for me.
Cott age S
One day while rummaging through old black and white photographs, I found a picture of a handsome man, John Walsh, in full uniform kneeling, holding a little girl’s hand. A second showed him smiling in his cook’s uniform, and scrawled proudly at the bottom in the rough handwriting of a five year-old girl were the words, “My Daddy.” Cour
I know little about my grandfather John Walsh. I know that he served in the U.S. Army during World War II and in Japan, and was portrayed as one of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s “favorite cooks,” and a runner on Wall Street. And he would eventually become a homeless Veteran.
Oregon WWII Memorial
When he was alive and after he died my family hardly spoke of him, other than he was a fighting man when he’d had too much to drink. It was painful for the family to talk about. But what happened? How did he go from an honorable soldier to a man without a home for several years before his life ended in such a sad and painful way? John Walsh died on my fourth birthday in 1967, an alcoholic without a real home. At some point – before he was cared for in his final days at the Manhattan VAMC and before he was laid to rest with dignity at Pinelawn National Cemetery on Long Island – he was a man loved by many. He was like a lot of Servicemembers I see in uniform today and like the Veterans I have had the honor to serve over the past five years.
eVent DroP-off There will be a location on Cottage Street next to the memorial where passengers may may be dropped off. city ParKing City parking surrounding the memorial is limited and metered. Please plan ahead.
The image of my grandfather homeless is unlike the man he was in the photographs I found. How do we keep other Veterans from entering that downward spiral of joblessness, depression, and substance abuse that often leads to homelessness? My goal—VA’s goal—is to work to keep any Veteran off the streets and help all Veterans lead the most productive lives possible.
otHer consiDerations As with any large event, especially one in warmer weather, it is recommended that those who need assistance or have health conditions attend the event with someone. 7
VETS NEWS // SPRING 2014
2014 memorial Day edition
honoring those who paid the ultimate price.
2014 statewide memorial
albany May 26 - 11 a.m. – VFW Linn Post 584 presents a public ceremony at the Linn County Veterans Memorial at Timber Linn Park off of Price Road. After the ceremony lunch will be served at Post 584, 1469 Timber St. VFW Post 584, 541-926-7925 or Roy Poppleton, 541924-9085
Ave., hosted by American Legion Post 70, includes guest speakers and Taps. 10:30 a.m. – Ceremony at the World War I monument, near Jubilee Park, hosted by American Legion Post 70. 11 a.m. – Ceremony with guest speakers and Taps at Laurel Cemetery, on Laurel Ave., hosted by American Legion Post 70. Bob Soria, 541-592-6856
After a Harbor Front ceremony, attendees may board local fishing vessels, travel to the open ocean to cast flowers in the water in memory of all who have lost their lives at sea, and for U.S. armed forces men and women who were killed in action. A reception follows at the U.S. Coast Guard Station. Guest speaker: Lincoln County Commissioner, Bill Hall. Debby Metz, 541-765-2150 or Tonya York, 541-270-1508 eagle Point
May 26 - 10:30 a.m. – A public ceremony with American Legion Post 14 and VFW Post 353 at Mountain View Cemetery, 440 Normal Ave. Guest speakers, with music from the Valley of the Rogue New Horizons Band, Southern Oregon Concert Band, and Ashland High School Choir. Flag presentation: Boy Scout Troop 112.
May 26 - 9 a.m. – Ceremony at Don Jones Memorial Park, on Hamrick Road, for the annual Fallen War Heroes Memorial Day Commemoration. Guest speaker: Oregon Rep. Greg Walden.
May 26 - 11 a.m. – Ceremony at Eagle Point National Cemetery. Guest speakers: Rep Greg Walden; Col. (Ret) Dave Dotterer, USMC. Events include a flyover by local aircraft, Bag Pipers, Oregon National Guard and Marine Corps League Honor Guard.
Jennifer Boardman, 541-423-1042
Bob Huff, 541-826-9283
Bradford Fish, 541-261-5867, email@example.com
May 24 - 11 a.m. – Dedication of the granite marker that lists the names of eight former Nestucca High School students who died during their military service. An informal community ceremony and the annual Col. Kenneth Reusser Memorial celebration will be conducted.
May 26 - 7 to 11 a.m. – American Legion Post 74 and the Odd Fellows will host a Memorial Day breakfast on SW 2nd Ave. Suggested donation: $5 per person.
Kay Saddler, 503-398-5000, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 26 - 9 a.m. – Ceremony at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Catholic Memorial Day Mass, 200 Crest Dr.
baKer city May 26 - 10 a.m. – Ceremony hosted by American Legion 41 will honor the Military Fallen and Veterans. Guest speaker and burial flag dedications at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Gary Young, 541-523-4838 beaVerton May 26 - 10:30 a.m. – Public gathering at Veterans Memorial Park, 7th and Watson Streets. The American Legion Post 185 Band will play patriotic music.
May 24 - 11 a.m. – Annual Memorial Day parade through downtown. Parade check-in and registration begins at 8 a.m. on 4th and Golden St. Entrants must register to be in the parade at www.oregonscvan.net .
11 a.m. – A ceremony will include an Honor Guard flag presentation, POW/MIA ceremony, gun salute. Guest Speakers: Col. (Ret.) Mary J. Mayer, USAF; State American Legion Commander, Mike Morris; Mayor Denny Doyle.
May 26 - 11 a.m. – Ceremony at Oceanview Memorial Cemetery on Ocean Blvd.
12:15 p.m. – Submarine veterans will conduct the Tolling of the Boats at the USS Albacore Monument.
Bill Kehler, 541-888-6556, email@example.com
Marv Doty, 503-644-0350, firstname.lastname@example.org
benD May 26 - 1 p.m. – Annual public ceremony and services at Deschutes Memorial Gardens, Hwy. 97. Speaker: David Edelston, Celtic Society. Poppy March held during the ceremony. Reception following at VFW Post 1643, 1503 NE 4th St. Bob Cusick, 541-419-8465
12 p.m. – Ceremony at Sunset Ocean, near Hwy 101, on Frontage Road.
May 22 - 12 p.m. – A memorial service at OSU will include a flag folding and POW/MIA table, a display of military memorabilia from student/staff veterans in the university’s Veterans Lounge with refreshments provided. From May 19-23 veterans and their dependents are invited to place a pin on the world map displayed in the campus’ Memorial Union Main Lounge to signify service locations.
Terry Brown, 503-867-6123
Dee Harbison, 541-686-2818 11 a.m. – Ceremony at Eugene Pioneer Cemetery, 18th and University Ave., sponsored by American Legion Post 3. Bob Jones, 541-338-4074 12:30 p.m. – Ceremony at Lane Memorial Gardens, 5300 W. 11th Ave. Music: Willamette HS Topnotchers Choir. Military Honors: Oregon Army National Guard. 2:30 p.m. – Ceremony at West Lawn, 225 S. Danebo. Music: Willamette HS Topnotchers Choir. Military Honors: Oregon Army National Guard. Dee Harbison, 541-686-2818 forest groVe May 26 - 11 a.m. – Ceremony and Avenue of Flags at Forest View Cemetery, 1161 Pacific Ave. hosted by American Legion Post 2. The event includes a high school choir, the Boy Scouts, and a Color Guard.
Gus Bedwell, 541-737-7662, email@example.com
Jim Craigg, 971-235-6056
May 26 - 6 p.m. – Public ceremony at City Hall, 898 Elk Dr., to read aloud the names of Oregon military members killed in Vietnam in remembrance of their shared sacrifice with other veterans.
May 26 - 2 p.m. – Ceremony and tribute to county veterans at Benton County Veterans Memorial, south lawn of the National Guard Armory, 1100 NW Kings Blvd.
Sam Vitale, 541-469-6443
Les Whittle, 541-752-3222
May 26 - 11 a.m. – Zion Memorial Cemetery, Township Rd. Guest speakers, rifle salute, reading of local veterans who passed away in the past year. Event sponsored by American Legion Post 122. BBQ chicken lunch held at the Post following the program, 424 NW 1st Ave.
May 26 - 11 a.m. – American Legion Post 20 and Auxiliary and VFW Post 3203, will host a public ceremony with a Color Guard and Avenue of Flags at Dallas Cemetery, 2065 SW Fairview. Music provided by the Dallas High School choir and band.
Pat Coffman, 503-505-3250
Dennis Johnson, 503-623-3727
Sam Vitale, 541-469-6443
May 26 - 10 a.m. – Ceremony at City Hall, 222 Lister
May 26 - 11 a.m. – The 69th Annual Fleet of Flowers:
May 22 to 26 - 10 a.m. to Midnight – The Grants Pass
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
May 26 - 10 a.m. – Program offering: A Matter of Honor - Lest We Forget. Names of veterans added to the Memorial Wall will be read during the ceremony at the community center, 20062 N. Umpqua Hwy. All are invited. Refreshments will be served. Bill DeGroot, 541-505-6526
golD beacH May 26 - 12 p.m. – A ceremony, hosted by VFW Post 4439, will honor and salute the fallen, at the Curry County Veterans Memorial, 94080 Shirley Lane.
day events Active Club presents Boatnik, the 55th annual Memorial Day weekend event on the Rogue River. Boatnik Memorial Parade on May 24, 10 a.m. Ceremony at 12 p.m., May 26, Riverside Park. All proceeds go to support local youth programs and scholarships. Gerrin Beck, 541-659-5535, www.boatnik.com May 26 - 11 a.m. – Ceremony hosted by the Marine Corps League. Nearly 1,000 flags in an Avenue of Flags displayed at Hillcrest Memorial Park. Military honors: Color Guard and Firing Squad. Refreshments served after the ceremony. Hillcrest Memorial Park, 541-476-2310 gresHam May 26 - 9 a.m. – Graveside tribute to all fallen military members by VFW Post 180 at Forest Lawn, 400 SW Walters Rd. 11 a.m. – Tribute to all fallen military members is presented by VFW Post 180. Local and state dignitaries will speak at the corner of NE Powell Blvd. and Roberts St.
gun salute at Calvary Cemetery, Hwy. 214.
May 26 - 10 a.m. – A ceremony will include military honors from American Legion 61, POW-MIA Table at Restlawn Cemetery, Hi Pass and Territorial Rd.
10 a.m. – Mass will be offered. A reception will follow at American Legion Post 89, 740 College St.
Margaret Kimbro, 541-998-6192, 4margaretkimbro@ comcast.net
May 26 - 6 a.m. – Sunrise Service and Avenue of Flags at Klamath Memorial Cemetery on Memorial Drive. 10 a.m. – Annual parade on Main St. to Veterans Park.
Contact: Roy Brogden, 541-863-3857
11 a.m. – Ceremony at Veterans Park co-hosted by the 173rd Fighter Wing and VFW Post 1383. The Marine Corps League and Post 1383 will render military honors.
12 p.m. – Open house free to the public at each of the following locations: VFW Post 1383, 515 Klamath Ave., will serve a stew lunch. American Legion Post 8, 228 N 8th St., serving a chili feed, the Marine Corps League, 1018 Main St., will host a spaghetti feed. Michael Reynolds, 541-891-5749 la Pine
May 26 - 11 a.m. – A public ceremony hosted by American Legion Post 45 will be held at Community Cemetery, Reed Rd. off Hwy 97. Guest speakers: County Commissioner Tony DeBone and Mayor Ken Mulenex. A public open house and BBQ will be held afterwards at Post 45, 52532 Drafter Rd.
Margaret Kimbro, 541-998-6192, 4margaretkimbro@ comcast.net.
Pat Cotton, 541-536-1402 la granDe
May 26 - 1 p.m. – American Legion Post 6 and VFW Post 2666 will co-host a ceremony, with a Rifle salute and Taps, at Veterans Gateway Memorial, Hillsboro Fairgrounds, on Cornell Rd. Keynote speaker: Maj. Gen. Dan Hokanson.
May 26 - 11 a.m. – American Legion Post 43 presents an Avenue of Flags and ceremony at Grandview Cemetery. Speaker: Rev. Roger Cochrane. The flags will remain lit overnight and will be display May 24-26 until 3 p.m.
Dan Fink, 503-799-2665
Lonnie Myers, 541-963-2908
2:30 p.m. – A ceremony will be held at Fir Lawn Cemetery, 1070 W. Main St.
HooD riVer May 26 - 11 a.m. – “Honoring Our Veterans” ceremony at Idlewilde Cemetery, 980 Tucker Road. Presentations by American Legion Post 22, the Boy Scouts, and Oregon Army National Guard. Music: Hood River Valley High School band. Veterans’ plaques will be added to the “Bud Collins Walk of Honor.” Flyover: Vintage WWII aircraft. Bob Huskey, 541-386-2599, idlewildecemetery@gorge. net inDePenDence May 26 - 9 a.m. – Veterans groups will host a ceremony at the city park. A veteran’s Color Guard will render military honors. Doug Birch, 503-510-6637 11 a.m. – Independence State Airport, 4705 Airport Rd., hosts the 21st Annual Memorial Day Pilot Tribute honoring Oregon military and civilian aviators who have passed on. Non-military flyover at 10:50 a.m. A picnic lunch in the Nutsch Aviation Hangar, at 11:30 a.m., $5 per person. Limited parking. A free parking shuttle from Marquis Spa on Hoffman Road will be provided. Kate Jaudes, 971-209-9501
May 26 - 8 to 11 a.m. – American Legion Post 57 and VFW Post 4015 will conduct full military honors services at five local cemeteries starting at 8 a.m. at each location. 11 a.m. – A public ceremony at Memorial Park, SE 6th and Blaine, includes a flag ceremony, the Gettysburg Address is recited, Memorial War roll call, and floral presentations by various groups. All are welcome at the Community BBQ at 12 p.m. Faith Gerstel, 503-538-9151 oregon city May 26 - 10 a.m. – Mountain View Cemetery, 500 Hilda St., will present floral tributes, military vehicles, Gardiner Middle School Band, bagpipers. Guest Speaker: James McDonald, Korean War veteran. Historic cemetery tours and light breakfast refreshments will be offered. Mountain View Cemetery, 503-657-8299
Glenn Colangelo, 503-945-0190
myrtle creeK (tri city) May 26 - 8 to 10 a.m. – Breakfast for veterans and families at Veterans Memorial Bldg., American Legion Post 123, 252 S. Pacific Hwy. Veterans are free; donations accepted for others.
Val Shaull, 503-805-8991, www.vfwpost180.us/
May 26 - 8 a.m. – Ceremonial flag raising at the River Bank Gazebo. Boy Scouts will place a wreath on the river for those lost or interred at sea.
Jim Kosel, 503-845-6119
May 26 - 11 a.m. – American Legion Post 51 and Lebanon High School JROTC will present the colors and military honors during a ceremony at the IOOF Cemetery, 37295 Cemetery Rd., near Hwy 20. More than 500 burial flags will be on display, and nearly 1,300 U.S. flags and crosses will be placed on veteran’s graves. Fred Schafer, 541-258-7453
PortlanD May 26 - 10 a.m. – A public ceremony with live patriotic music, a joint military Honor Guard and a veterans’ organizations flag procession at Willamette National Cemetery, 11800 SE Mt. Scott Blvd. Guest speaker: Cameron Smith, Director, ODVA, Roger Huntley, 503-273-5250, firstname.lastname@example.org 10 a.m. – Reading of all 803 names of Oregon service members killed in action in Vietnam who appear on the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Living Memorial, 4022 SW Canyon Rd. 11:15 a.m. – Annual public ceremony at the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Living Memorial with military honors, rifle salute, and Taps. Ron Cannon, 503-819-4228
malin May 26 - 7 to 10 a.m. – Annual Memorial Day Breakfast at Malin Park Community Hall, 2307 Front St. Cost: $7.50 each; $20 per family. All proceeds go to support veteran and community services.
10:30 a.m. – An Everlasting Ceremony will honor all deceased veterans.
May 26 - 11 a.m. – Annual parade from 4th and Main to the Firefighter Memorial Park, followed by a ceremony at Juniper Haven Cemetery, hosted by VFW Post 1412, American Legion Post 27, and Band of Brothers.
Dennis Chabot, 541-723-2110
Jim Taylor, 541-350-9766
May 26 - 10 a.m. – VFW Post 3973 will hold a public ceremony at Adams Cemetery, Adams Cemetery Rd.
May 26 - 11 a.m. – A service, with Color Guard and rifle salute, will be conducted by VFW Post 1909 at Hudson Cemetery, 75900 Larson Rd.
Rodney Wymore, 503-829-8748
Roger Ege, 503-556-4119, email@example.com
mt. angel May 26 - 9:30 a.m. – A public ceremony and service includes a flag presentation, Honor Guard and military 9
continueD on Page 11 VETS NEWS // SPRING 2014
“Destiny” in WWII-era album's return to Okinawan family Article and photos by Lisa Tourtelot. Used with permission. © 2014 Stars and Stripes.
CHATAN, Okinawa — In 1945, Francis “Duke” Wieden found a photo album buried in the sand on an Okinawan beach. It was a curious find, given the devastation of war on the island, and one that struck a chord with the young Navy officer. Almost seven decades later — and two years after Wieden’s death — his family assembled outside the Irei Association meeting hall here, excited and tense as they waited to go inside to greet the family of the album’s owner. The two families would finally meet. April 1, 1945: A disturbing find
Andy Anderson said Duke Wieden had a big heart and a bigger smile. He once told Wieden’s second wife, Carolyn, that Wieden greeted wounded soldiers on the beach with a cheeky grin, telling them that they were only 10 minutes away from the hospital ship Hope — home of the best doctors and prettiest nurses.
were taught that suicide was the best option if they were cornered by Americans. They were told they would be issued two grenades — one for the enemy, one for themselves. Masako “Iha” Sunabe’s older sister, Mitsuko, was in charge of getting a group of residents to a predetermined safe area, but drowned almost six months earlier while crossing a river on the way to safety. When the sirens sounded on April 1, 1945, 15year-old Iha had only enough time to grab a few handfuls of brown sugar cubes for sustenance and run for the hills with her family. When the shelling began, Iha and her family were fleeing to the north, the start of a terrifying journey. “The entire sea, all along the island, was covered with American vessels and ships,” she recalled. The sugar cubes did not last long. Within weeks of their escape, food became scarce.
“Andy said he knew some of them didn’t make it, but Duke gave them peace of mind for their last few minutes,” Carolyn Wieden said. “Those who did make it will always remember Duke’s smile and quiet valor.”
“My brother went down into the village to look for something, just a leaf of cabbage or anything. There was nothing to be had,” Iha said. “What we did was take boots or leather belts, wash them in the river, try to cut them into pieces and boil them until they were edible, which you probably wouldn’t want to eat.”
The USS Latimer had offloaded the troops of the 96th Infantry Division onto beaches Brown 1 and 2 — where Chatan, Okinawa, is now. Wieden was among the soldiers and sailors who came ashore after a heavy shelling of the area.
When hunger left one of Iha’s nieces crying uncontrollably, her family was instructed by Japanese soldiers garrisoned nearby to kill the child because she was making too much noise.
He spotted the soggy, sandy album, filled with pictures of a family, children and friends. No one knows how it got there. Anderson would later explain that Wieden was grievously upset by his find. He wanted to return it to its family, knowing that the photos could be the only record of happier times. Just three weeks earlier, he had been overjoyed to learn that his first son, Dan, was born in Portland, Ore. Carolyn Wieden said she believed the fear that he might never meet his son drove him to be so protective of the album. Wieden brought the album back to his bunk on ship and eventually, back to his home in Oregon — where he never spoke of it again. April 1, 1945: Fleeing to the North
Air raid drills were common on Okinawa; families OREGON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
“Luckily, the Japanese soldiers who were with us only had two grenades,” Iha said. “One they planned to use on any American soldiers who got close enough, and one for their own group as the soldiers closed in.” That left no grenade to be used to kill the child. “She survived due to the fact that they only had two grenades left.” March 2012: ‘The last thing I can do’
Duke Wieden left the Navy after the war, had two more children — Ken and Sherrie — with his wife, Violet, who later died from a stroke. In 1995, he married Carolyn Browder and they merged families. The couple spent 17 years together. After enduring heart attacks and dementia for nine years, Duke Wieden died Feb. 20, 2012. A few weeks after the funeral, Ken Wieden decided to open his father’s Navy trunk, which had sat in a 10
Top left: Masako “Iha” Sunabe and Carolyn Wieden embrace after the Wieden family formally returned the Sunabe’s World War II-era family photo album in Chatan, Okinawa, Jan. 12, 2014. Top right: Masako “Iha” Sunabe finds familiar faces copied from her sister’s War II-era family photo album before a ceremony at the Irea Association Center in Chatan, Okinawa, Jan. 12, 2014. Above middle: US Navy Lieutenant Francis “Duke” Wieden in 1944. Above: Japanese photo album.
basement, unopened, for more than 60 years. He found uniforms, photos, mementos and the Okinawa album, damaged but full of images. He took it to his stepmother, but she had no idea what it was. Unsure where else to turn, she called Anderson. It turned out that he was with Wieden the day he found it. He explained how upset Wieden had been, and that he had hopes of returning it to its rightful owner one day. That resolve became her own. “It’s the last thing I can do for Duke,” she recalled saying at the time, “and I believe the album needs to go home.”
October 2012-April 2013: The search
Carolyn’s son, Lee Wall, and his girlfriend jumped at the chance to help. Sophie Lee said she could translate some of the Japanese in the album and identified a few very common names, but little else.
May 26 - 7:30 a.m. – Breakfast at Post 44, 704 SW 8th St. Donations accepted.
May 26 - 12 p.m. – A memorial, wreath laying, military honors by VFW Post 2471 will be held at the Sorosis Park, Kelly Viewpoint Veterans Memorial.
The trio got in touch with an Okinawan government official, but never got an answer about the names. Wieden’s wife carefully removed the photos from the moldering album and cleaned each one. She kept them in order and placed them in a new album. Weeks turned into months without progress. One day, she expressed her frustration to her guitar teacher, Rene Berblinger, who said he had friends who could translate Japanese characters. Within weeks, she had a page-by-page translation, including the name and address of the album’s owner: Mitsuko Sunabe of Chatan, near where Duke Wieden came ashore so many years ago.
11 a.m. – Ceremony at Redmond Cemetery, Yew Ave. and Old Bend-Redmond Hwy. An Avenue of Flags with 1,275 displayed downtown to honor all veterans laid to rest at the cemetery. Dennis Guthrie, 541-280-5161 Roseburg May 26 - 11a.m. – Ceremony at the Roseburg VA Cemetery Annex, with military honors rendered by VFW Post 12, Honor Guard, White Doves release, wreath presentations, reading of “In Flanders Fields,” Taps. Guest speaker: Glenn Madderom, VA National Cemetery Development. The public is invited to attend a picnic at the Stewart Park Pavilion following the ceremony. Lloyd Kesterson, 541-672-2874, kestersons@gmail. com
June 2013: A new connection on Okinawa
While having coffee at his favorite spot in Portland, by sheer coincidence, Rene met Erik Lundberg, who was visiting from his home on Okinawa. Excited to help in the search, Lundberg offered to do some legwork on the island.
May 26 - 11 a.m. – The Greater Salem Area Veterans Organization hosts the annual ceremony at City View Cemetery, 390 Hoyt St. SE. Ceremonial wreathes to be presented. A free lunch is served afterwards at VFW Post 661, 630 Hood St. NE.
Lundberg recognized an organization logo on the clothing of children in several photographs. With help from the Chatan city offices, Lundberg got in touch with the Irei Association, a youth group.
Kerry Wymetalek, 503-881-8303
Erik showed members of the group photocopies he’d made of the album pages. A man there recognized the names and a person in the photos. Another woman recognized herself. By October, Lundberg met with Mitsuko Sunabe’s nephews, who meticulously compared birth certificates, dates, faces and names. By Nov. 2, they confirmed that the album belonged to their aunt. “This is a very important thing for all of us,” Iha Sunabe said later. “Nothing else really survived. There was just one picture that had her in it.” Jan. 12, 2014: Destiny
Iha Sunabe, with nephews Katsuhide and Nakamura and relatives of former Irei Association members, waited in the group’s new building to meet the Wieden family. They gathered around, pointing out faces they recognized in dark, blurry photocopies of the album’s pages. Carolyn Wieden led the way in, grinning, and introduced herself to Iha Sunabe. Before the album changed hands, Dan Wieden, Duke’s oldest son, and his stepmother gave thanks to the Sunabe family. “It does seem as if something magical is happening that brings us together,” he said. Iha Sunabe could barely contain her excitement as she unwrapped the album. Her wide smile lit up the room and she pointed at each picture of Mistuko saying, “My sister, my sister!” Katsuhide Sunabe explained that since the album features so many members of their former community — Irei village is now Camp Lester — the album will stay in the Irei Association building for all to enjoy. The Wiedens also returned the original binding that once housed the photos, and they gave the family a new album with the same photos, blown up into higher resolution, to keep in their home. Lastly, they included an album of their own family, so the Sunabes could know a little about Wieden.
1:30 p.m. -- The Oregon State Council Vietnam Veterans of America co-hosts the dedication of Interstate 84 as Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway at the Oregon Veterans Home, 700 Veterans Dr. One highway sign will be unveiled during the ceremony. Dallas Swafford, 541-296-7152 Tigard May 26 - 11 a.m. – American Legion Post 158 will honor all veterans at Crescent Grove Cemetery, 9925 SW Greenburg Rd. Veteran’s Color Guard, Bag pipe music. An Avenue of Flags will be displayed all weekend. Potluck is served, 12:30 p.m., at the Post, 8635 SW Scoffins St. American Legion Post 158, 503-624-2332, www. americanlegion158.com Tillamook May 26 - 11 a.m. – Ceremony at Sunset Heights Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 7800 Trask River Rd. Tillamook Community Band will perform patriotic music and play Taps. Boy Scout Troop 586 will present the colors. Refreshments served following the ceremony.
11 a.m. – A ceremony will be held at Restlawn Memorial Garden, 201 Oak Grove Rd. NW.
Dean Crist, 503-842-6213
Glenn Colangelo, 503-945-0190
3 p.m. – Ceremony at the Afghan-Iraqi Freedom Memorial, 700 Summer St. NE. Two names of Oregon soldiers killed in action will be added to the Memorial Wall. Speaker: Cameron Smith, director, Oregon Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs. Names of Oregon military KIA from both wars inscribed on the wall will be read during the ceremony. Military honors: Oregon National Guard Select Honor Guard.
May 26 - 10:45 a.m. – A ceremony at Winona Cemetery, 9900 SW Tualatin Rd. Tualatin Police Honor Guard and static display by Tualatin Valley Fire Dept. High School choral group: Crimsonairs. Guest speaker: Korean War DMZ Veteran Joe Lipscomb. Bugler duet echo Taps. Free community picnic follows at Tualatin Community Park.
Mike Allegre, 503-373-2389
Scappoose May 26 - 10 a.m. – Memorial Service with Honor Guard and Taps. All Services Flags to be presented at the Catholic Church and Cemetery, 51555 Old Portland Rd. Light lunch will be served. Bernard Offley, 503-706-6693 Seaside May 26 - 11 a.m. – American Legion Post 99 and Seaside Elks #1748 will host a ceremony at the Post, 1350 Broadway. Guest speakers include Don Larson, Post 99. Bud Thompson, 503-738-5158 Selma May 26 - 12 p.m. – Ceremony at Deer Creek Cemetery on Lake Shore Dr. Bob Soria, 541-592-6856 Sisters May 26 - 11 a.m. – A memorial service will be held at the Village Green Park, at Fir St. and Washington Ave. A BBQ will be served afterward. Pat Bowe, 541-588-0192 Springfield May 26 - 9 a.m. – American Legion Post 40 Flag Ceremony at Mohawk and I St. Frank Blair, 541-998-2839
“I want this trip to be one of healing, forgiveness and peace,” Carolyn Wieden said. “That’s what we all need to work for.”
10 a.m. – Ceremony at Springfield Memorial Gardens, 5305 Main St. Music: Willamette HS Topnotchers Choir. Military Honors: Oregon Army National Guard.
The group ended the ceremony with a formal toast in Japanese tradition. They gathered at Lundberg’s home for a lunch while they shared stories about their lives and celebrated the album’s return.
Dee Harbison, 541-686-2818
“It must have been some kind of destiny,” Iha Sunabe said.
Vandee Mauser, 541-993-4300
Terrebonne May 26 - 9 a.m. – A memorial ceremony will be held at Pioneer Cemetery, 485 NW Larch Ave. Lara Chan, 541-526-1626 11
Dale Potts, 503-692-1832, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 26 - at 11 a.m. – American Legion Post 104 members will conduct the ceremony at Memorial Cemetery, 2080 Bridge St. Speaker: Del White. The Post Honor Guard will post the Colors, fire a 21-gun salute, play Taps. Bill Shields, 503-649-5099, email@example.com Wasco May 26 - 7:30 to 11 a.m. – The 30th Annual Memorial Day Celebration includes a country breakfast, brief ceremony honoring veterans and changing of the flag at 10:30 a.m. Watch or ride in the parade at 11 a.m. A BBQ, car show, raffle, pastry auction, tractor/wagon rides, and book signing by author Jane Kirkpatrick will follow. Carol MacKenzie, 541-442-5079 Wilsonville May 26 - 10 a.m. – The Oregon Trail Chapter, Korean War Veterans of America will host a ceremony at Oregon’s Korean War Memorial with a commemorative reading followed by Taps. Located off I-5, exit 283, 10 miles south of Portland. Follow the signs to Town Center Park. Chuck Lusardi, 503-628-1847, Luallenrd6@gmail.com Woodburn May 26 - 10 a.m. – The annual Remembrance Ceremony is hosted by American Legion Post 46 at Belle Passi Cemetery, 997 Belle Passi Cemetery Rd. An Avenue of Flags will have nearly 300 burial flags. Dan Evers, 503-981-1470
Up to the minute statewide event information can be found on ODVA's blog home page or www.oregondva. com/blog/2014/05/01/2014memorial-day-events VETS NEWS // SPRING 2014
As the war in Europe raged on during World War II, in early June of 1944, the Western Allies were poised to invade northern France. The invasion would become the long-awaited “Second Front” against Nazi-occupied France destined to cause the destruction of Hitler’s regime and end the war.
70tH anniVersary of
D-Day By Mike Allegre
By May 1944, tens of thousands of highly trained Allied troops were spread across England awaiting the order to advance. The planning was intense and detailed. By June 5, the supreme commander of Allied Forces, U.S. Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, had given the order to begin the invasion, but weather in the English Channel became stormy with high winds, huge seas swells and low cloud cover. Eisenhower was forced to postpone the assault. He and his staff knew any further postponement of the invasion would mean recalling men and ships that were already in position to go across, and increase the chances of the invasion force being detected.
them elsewhere. However, brave and determined American, British, Canadian, and Polish soldiers eventually forced the enemy to fall back. By June 11 (D + 5), with the beachheads firmly secured, more than 326,000 troops had landed with some 100,000 tons of military equipment. The Allies had gained a bloody foothold on what German forces once occupied, but at a cost. While the overall casualty rate was less than expected, American casualties totaled more than 6,600 with 1,465 killed. Overall the Allies suffered more than 12,000 casualties and with an excess of 4,400 killed.
discharged him. Undaunted, Bill would not give up his commitment to serving his country. “In August 1942, I said to hell with this stuff and went over to a recruiting office. I didn’t say anything about my other enlistment. I just signed up,” he said. The Army’s new airborne units needed paratroopers and becoming one was enticing. They earned $100 a month, which was twice what other soldiers were paid. Wingett signed up immediately and was assigned to Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th PIR.
Among the tens of thousands who survived that invasion 70 years ago were two Oregonians. Bob Shotwell of La Pine and Bill Wingett of Salem lived to tell their stories of that historic yet fateful day. Their stories tell the tale of D-Day from two perspectives.
It was September 1943, and with their grueling 15 months of training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia now a memory, the newest crop of Army paratroopers boarded a train for New York City. There they boarded a troop ship bound for England and more combat training lay ahead.
The attack on Normandy initially began early on June 6 with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks and naval bombardments. It would set the stage for day-one of the invasion – D-Day.
bill Wingett D-Day ParatrooPer
By May 1944, the classified details of the impending invasion of Europe were revealed. Within days Wingett’s unit was transferred to their jump-off point, RAF Upottery. Upon arriving, Upottery was locked down.
The invasion fleet, drawn from eight different navies with 6,939 vessels, crossed the Channel under a veil of darkness. Before the armada arrived, three divisions of paratroopers (two American, one British) had already been dropped inland.
In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Bill Wingett did what nearly everyone else his age was doing: he enlisted in the United States Army. What he could not have known then was he would become a member of one of the most celebrated units in World War II – the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) part of the newly formed 101st Airborne Division.
Late on June 5, updated weather reports indicated satisfactory conditions. With changing tides and a waning full moon, Allied military leaders knew it was time to begin the assault. Eisenhower made his final decision and told his commanders, “Let’s go.”
At approximately 6:30 a.m., following a bombardment by ships’ guns, the beach assault began. More than 160,000 soldiers (including 73,000 U.S. troops) from six divisions (three American, two British and one Canadian) stormed ashore across a 50 mile stretch of beach. They attacked five main landing areas named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Water obstacles on the beaches and a high concentration of the enemy firing down upon the advancing troops led to a high casualty rate especially at Omaha Beach. Initial reports were so bad that U.S. First Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Omar Bradley, considered pulling troops off the beach and landing OREGON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
The 506th PIR became legendary in 2001 when military historian Stephen Ambrose published his best-selling book, Band of Brothers, and later with the 10-part HBO mini-series by the same name. Yet, before joining the 506th PIR, things got off to a rocky start for Wingett. Originally, he enlisted in San Francisco just two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, but a few weeks later he was involved in a serious auto accident and spent four months in the hospital. The Army 12
During the early morning hours on June 6, at air fields around England, hundreds of aircraft engines rumbled. Nearly 7,000 paratroopers, each loaded down with 50 to 100 pounds of equipment, began boarding C-47s bound for the northern coast of France. Their historic jump into the night would signal the Allied invasion of Europe had begun – D-Day had arrived. Heavy flak and aircraft course changes over France caused American paratroopers to land all over Normandy. Wingett landed near his objective, Causeway No. 2 and Ste. Marie-du-Mont, near Utah Beach, but he came down in a creek that had been flooded by the Germans. A non-swimmer, Wingett quickly removed all of his equipment so he could keep his head above water and breathe. “I damn near drowned,” he said. Many of his fellow airborne soldiers weren’t so lucky. Paratroopers lost their lives in flooded plains,
Wingett pulled himself to dry ground, but he was now without a rifle and had few supplies. The heavy German anti-aircraft fire left airborne troops scattered all over the French countryside. Units struggled to find members. Wingett also was separated, but joined up with a group of soldiers from the 82nd Airborne. Less an hour after he had landed, the lanky 20 yearold met death face to face. Three German soldiers had set up a machine gun nest 15 feet from him. “The two guys with me had rifles, but they didn’t shoot them. I killed the first guy with a knife,” Wingett recalled. “He had a machine gun pistol and as I hit him, he went down shooting. He wounded one German and killed the other one. It was him or me. That’s when I got a rifle.” It would not be the last time Wingett would face life or death, and while he survived some of his close friends did not. Burt Christenson, Bill Dukeman, and Everett Gray were close friends of Wingett’s even after Wingett had been transferred from Easy Company to the Headquarters Company three days before D-Day. “Gray and I were both machine-gunners. He was killed a couple of days into the Normandy fight. Dukeman was killed later while fighting in Holland. Gray was elsewhere when he died. I’ve always felt that if we’d been together he’d have survived the war,” he said.
Wingett rejoined Easy Company in February 1945, and was part of the march deeper into Germany. What the U.S. Army found next would stay with Wingett the rest of his life. The 506th and other units began encountering something they had never expected to see – German concentration camps. It was now the Army’s job to provide humanitarian aid and protection for Jewish and other political prisoners.
Ironically, within two years, Wingett rejoined the Army and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. During the next 18 months he made 167 jumps. Years after leaving the Army a second time, he swapped uniforms in 1964 to join the U.S. Naval Reserve. After 17 years of honorable service, he retired as a Petty Officer 1st Class. Wingett and many other Easy Company soldiers not portrayed in the mini-series have since been discovered at reunions and special events. Yet, since 2001, many have passed on. Today, at nearly 92, Wingett still lives in Salem, but life has slowed down. He smiles when asked to sign autographs, and his pen has often been for hire. Recently he signed nearly 700 posters and small cards for a D-Day history publication. “It’s fun to sign these items as there aren’t many of us left.” For Wingett the war was a job. “We didn’t go to war to become heroes,” he said. “I was no hero. The ones we left behind, the guys who lost their lives, they are the heroes in that war.”
bob sHotWell omaHa beacH lanDing by Leon Pantenburg Reprinted by permission of The Bend Bulletin.
As a member of the Army’s 149th Amphibious Combat Engineers (116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division), Private Bob Shotwell, 90, of La Pine, Oregon, landed in the first wave on the Dog Red section of Omaha Beach.
Photo courtesy of bill WiNgett
Following the successes of the Allied breakout in Normandy during July and August, Wingett and the 101st Airborne prepared for a second jump – this time into occupied Holland for Operation Market Garden on September 17. Unfortunately when he hit the ground, Wingett broke his leg and was evacuated to a hospital in Belgium for recovery. He missed the bitter cold fight to secure Bastogne in December and January during the Battle of the Bulge and later when the Army advanced south to Adolf Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” compound in the Bavarian Alps.
Nov. 23, 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism and three Purple Hearts for wounds in France and Holland.
inch of the beach presighted for accurate firing of mortars, machine guns, and 88mm cannons. The slaughter started before the soldiers disembarked, and the first wave was almost decimated. “Bits and pieces pop into focus…a hand, an arm with nobody around it, a foot. A helmet with a head still in it,” Shotwell said. “I wondered if the next shell would be mine. I will always remember the loss of my best friend as we stepped off the landing craft. Suddenly I realized we were fragile humans and that a shell from a German 88 could take a man’s head off very easily...which it did,” Shotwell said. By late-afternoon, enough equipment had come ashore that the engineers could start clearing the wire. In the face of heavy fire, Shotwell and other engineers blew holes in the wire and advanced to the bluffs. They stopped at nightfall. Exhausted, Shotwell “slept fitfully” about halfway up the cliff. At days end on June 6, about 175,000 Allied military personnel were ashore in France. But the cost had been very high – some 4,900 died on the beaches and in the battle further inland that day. Of the 40 combat engineers who landed at Dog Red in the first wave, only four were alive at the end of the day. The next morning, Shotwell reached the top of the cliffs. He looked out to sea, over the armada of 5,000 anchored ships, with a sense of disbelief, and surprise that he was still alive. “So this is France, I thought. I had no idea of what I had just been a part of,” he said. Shotwell went on to fight in four major combat actions including the liberation of Paris before the war was over. In the weeks and months after the invasion, Shotwell helped clear the way for tanks and rebuilt roads and bridges. He was recommended for the Silver Star for his part in the crossing of the Rhine River in Germany.
Photo courtesy of bob shotWell.
shot as they descended, or while hanging by their chutes in trees, power poles and street lamps.
Like many veterans, Shotwell rarely mentions his service, and initially, was reluctant to let me interview him for the “Vanishing Heroes” project.
Left: Bill Wingett, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Right: Bob Shotwell, 149th Amphibious Combat Engineers, 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division.
“We liberated five camps and kept the sick and dying inside the camps. Sadly we couldn’t feed them much food or they might die, but many did anyway,” Wingett recalled. “It was a sickening, maddening experience and not one that anyone would ever want to go through.” Weeks after the Germans surrendered in May, American soldiers began serving as an occupation force. The 506th PIR remained in Bavaria and were preparing to fight the war in the Pacific, but in less than two months, the Japanese had surrendered. These soldiers now awaited their trip home. Before leaving Europe, Wingett would make two classified and potentially dangerous train trips in the Fall of 1945 with other American soldiers to transport displaced civilians to Budapest, Hungary. Soon after his return, Wingett was honorably discharged on
Shotwell doesn’t dwell on his memories of that day, but added that June 6 remains seared into his mind. His memories have “thankfully softened,” he said.
Dawn was breaking as the Higgins landing craft he was in dropped its ramp. Under a deadly hail of enemy fire, Shotwell and his fellow soldiers quickly ran to the beach.
“War memories are best held in limbo,” he said. “They take on a softer glow that way. Most of my memories of World War II are of the pleasant things. I try to forget the bad things.”
“The noise was deafening. Big guns fired, engines on vehicles roared, men shouted and geysers of water erupted around our craft.” he said. “It seemed like mass confusion.”
But Shotwell does remember an attitude which helped him and his buddies get through the hell of Omaha Beach.
Still, Shotwell said he wasn’t really scared. He was in the first wave that landed at 6:30 a.m. “I felt excited, probably because I had no combat experience at all,” he said. “Like most kids, I had this feeling of invincibility and thought nothing could happen to me. We found naval gunfire and pre-landing bombardments had not softened German defenses or resistance. ” That feeling “evaporated” as the boat stopped and the front ramp went down. The Germans had every 13
“We didn’t want to make a D-Day type landing on some American beach, and we didn’t want to make a combat crossing of the Mississippi, and we didn’t want that kind of fighting going on in some small town in America,” Shotwell said. “We were thankful we could be the line of defense between our enemies and our homes.” A notable character in central Oregon, Shotwell is a retired writer, journalist and photographer. With family and many friends nearby, Shotwell celebrated his 90th birthday on April 6 with a party in his honor in Bend. VETS NEWS // SPRING 2014
Va remoVes annual rePorting reQuirements WASHINGTON –The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is eliminating the annual requirement for most veterans enrolled in VA’s health care system to report income information beginning in March 2014. Instead, VA will automatically match income information obtained from the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration.
Va rolls out neW Veteran iD carDs WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced the phased roll out of newly designed, more secure Veteran Health Identification Cards. The new cards are distinguished by additional security features and will have a different look and feel. In addition to being more secure, the card has been transformed into a Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC). Similar to a typical health insurance card, the VHIC displays the Veteran’s Member ID, a new unique identifier, as well as a Plan ID, reflecting the veteran’s enrollment in VA health care. “VA is committed to providing high quality health care while ensuring the personal security of veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “These new identification cards are an important step forward in protecting our nation’s heroes from identity theft and other personal crimes.” The VHIC is personalized to display the emblem of the veteran’s branch of service. It also provides features that make it easier to use, such as the addition of “VA” in Braille to help visually impaired veterans, and the printing of VA phone numbers and emergency care
instructions on the cards. The card replaces the Veteran Identification Card (VIC), which was introduced in 2004. As part of a phased rollout in February, the card will only be offered to newly enrolled and other veterans who have not been issued a VIC. In early April, VA began a three month effort to automatically issue the more secure VHIC to current VIC cardholders. VA recommends veterans safeguard their VIC as they would a credit card, and cut up or shred the card once it is replaced. While not required to receive VA health care, all enrolled veterans are encouraged to get a VHIC. Enrolled veterans can get more information about the VHIC by visiting their VA medical facility enrollment coordinator or the website, www.va.gov/ healthbeneﬁts/vhic, calling 877-222-VETS (8387) or visiting their local VA health care facility. Veterans who are not enrolled in the VA health care system can apply for enrollment at any time by visiting www. va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll, calling 877-222VETS (8387) or visiting their local VA health care facility.
WyDen HolDs toWn Hall at Vets Home
Photo by mike allegre
Facing numerous topics ranging from tax reform to health care and disability pay to veteran benefits, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden answered questions as he spoke with more than 60 constituents during a town hall meeting at the Oregon Veterans’ Home on April 15, in The Dalles.
Sen. Ron Wyden spoke with more than 60 constituents, including many veterans, during a town hall meeting at the Oregon Veterans’ Home on April 15, in The Dalles. OREGON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
In his opening remarks, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee thanked and applauded all veterans for their dedicated service to their country and gave kudos to the VA for improving its services to veterans and their families. He said more should be done, but noted the process time for veteran’s claims has been reduced by more than 30 percent in recent years. “Another big priority is finding jobs for our younger veterans. That’s why the passage of the veteran’s tax credit bill is so important,” Wyden said. “We want our veterans, especially those returning from duty from or in support of Iraq and Afghanistan, to receive needed health care and not fall between the cracks.” Other attendees expressed concerns that disabled Americans are paying more taxes and that pensions are being affected. Oregonians with questions or concerns may contact Wyden’s office direct by using their website: www. wyden.senate.gov. 14
Some veterans applying for enrollment for the first time are still required to submit income information. There is no change in VA’s long-standing policy to provide no-cost care to indigent veterans, veterans with catastrophic medical conditions, veterans with a disability rating of 50 percent or higher, or for conditions that are officially rated as “serviceconnected.” VA encourages veterans to continue to use the health benefits renewal form to report changes in their personal information, such as address, phone numbers, dependents, next of kin, income and health insurance. For more information, visit www.va.gov/ healthbeneﬁts/cost or call VA toll-free, 877-222VETS (8387).
ass’t. sec. of labor Kelly Visits nortHWest SALEM -- Accompanied by officials from several state and federal officials whose agencies serve veterans, the Assistant Secretary for Labor Keith Kelly paid a visit to the WorkSource Oregon Veteran Employment’s Office in Salem on March 7. Kelly had just toured several Washington state military installations and visited employers in Oregon. At Salem’s employment office, Kelly was joined in a round table discussion with panel members from the Oregon Employment Department, Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs’ Director Cameron Smith, and the U.S. Department of Labor concerning various veteran employment issues. Kelly said he was pleased that Oregon has partnered with many organizations and agencies to serve veterans and help them find employment. “Everyone has an equal piece of the responsibility to our veterans and their families,” Kelly told the group. “Oregon’s National Guard in particular has been called to serve at a much higher rate than in many states and many of these returning soldiers and airmen are seeking work. One of our goals is to ensure these veterans are job ready when they meet potential employers and apply.” Smith joined the round-table discussions with Kelly and said we need to strengthen partnerships across the public and private sector to support the increasing needs of veterans, especially the thousands of new veterans. “The assistant secretary recognizes the vital roles we all play in assisting veterans, especially the success of the Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialists (DVOPS), Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) and Veteran Service Officers (VSOs) on the ground in Oregon.
eventsreunions Tapping Fresh Talent Career Expo – Free event for job seekers and veterans with disabilities on May 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Lane Community College Center for Meeting and Learning, 4000 E. 30th Ave. Area businesses are seeking to connect individuals with disabilities to businesses that are looking to diversify their workforce. Attend resume review and specialty networking workshops. Register at: www.tappingfreshtalent.org/Eugene Contact: Tiana Tozer, 971-244-0305
VETERANS’ SERVICE OFFICES County Service Organization Service Offices
War Birds Over the West Fly-in – A vintage War Bird fly-in and auto show is a fundraiser for restoring the Milwaukie-based B-17 bomber, Lacey's Lady, June 14-15 at the Aurora Airport near Canby. See airplanes, cars, aviation merchandise, with kid fun and more. Admission cost varies. Dinner with pilots is June 13, $25. Contact: Terry, 503-654-6491, www.b17alliancegroup.com
Washington County Job and Benefit Fair – Free Veteran job and benefit fair for all veterans, spouses of veterans, May 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free parking. Meet 40 employers with real family wage jobs, 20 veteran resource providers at Tuality Hospital Education Center, 334 SE 8th, Ave., Hillsboro. Contact: Kurt Carlsen, 503-527-2711
Warrior Run-Walk Fundraiser in Oregon City – Teams or individuals can enter a 5K, 10K Walk, Roll, and Run, July 27, at 8 a.m., Clackamette Park, 1955 Clackamette Dr. Registration: $40. T-shirts and goodie bags are included. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. The event benefits veterans and the services they receive at Sycamore Lane Therapeutic Learning Center. Contacts: Suzanne, Michelle, or Lisa, 504-5937084
for supporting the place where honor lives.
Vietnam Veterans Living Memorial Day Event Clean-up May 17 - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Volunteers needed for clean-up and landscaping at the Oregon Vietnam Veterans Living Memorial, 4022 SW Canyon Rd. Tools, gloves, beverages and lunch will be provided. Contact: Jerry Pero, 503-866-3990
DONATIONS TO THE Veteran's Appreciation Week-Job Fair at Portland VETERANS’ HOME ARE C.C. – Job and Benefit Fair for all veterans, students, and the general public, 10 a.m. to 2:30 DEEPLY APPRECIATED. pm, May 21-22, at Portland Community Collegethe Orego f n o
Rock Creek, 17705 NW Springfield Road, Bldg. 2, Portland. Contact: Jaime T H O S 971-722-7744 G Rodriguez, E VIN R W E Salem High School JROTC North Drill Team to H S O the Exhibition Perform – Two Color Guards and Drill Team will exhibit their national competition routines at the main gymnasium, 765 14th St NE., May 25, at 7 p.m. Contact: Lt. Col. (ret.) Dwight Morse, 503-9314801, firstname.lastname@example.org
Home n s’ ra te E R V E D
VA Under-Secretary for Benefits to Visit Ontario – Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida will host VA UnderSecretary Allison Hickey, on May 30, 12 p.m., at Treasure Valley Community College, Science Center Room 104, 650 College Blvd. VA benefits and other veteran issues will be addressed by Hickey. Contact: Ron Verini, 541-709-8373 or 541-8891978, www.veteranadvocates.org
D American Legion Extension Institute Training BE A N will conduct a Session 180 S ST – Milwaukie Post N Legion'sC AExtension E R A Training Session at R E TO V EInstitute T 12 p.m., May 31, at 2146 SE Monroe St., Oregon City. The three-hour session will review history, customs, traditions and the Legion’s Four Pillars. Staff will answer questions. Refreshments will be served. Contact: Ward A. Allen, 503-621-7977
’a s of veteran
Military Order of Purple State Convention – The convention will be held at the Liberty Inn in Lincoln City on June 6-7. Call for reservations: 877-994-1777. Contact: Robert Haltiner, 503-704-3483, email@example.com Oregon WWII Memorial dedication – This event will being held in Salem at the State Capitol, on Friday, June 6, at 1:30 pm. For more information, see feature article in this publication for more details.
4th Annual Wasco Salmon/Steelhead Tournament Fishing in the Columbia River, on September 27, at the mouth of the Deschutes River. Categories: The generosity of the number of and Men’s, women’s andever-growing youth; both salmon Friends of the Home continue to provide lifesteelhead. First place winners win new rods enriching experiences to the veterans and their and reels.who Entry which includes a hamburger/ family callfee: the $20, Veterans’ Home - home. hotdog lunch. A silent auction will follow. Not only does the Home accept monetary donations, Contact: Carol MacKenzie, 541-442-5079, but gifts such as magazine subscriptions, books, firstname.lastname@example.org blankets, and personal items. If you are interested in donating your time as a volunteer, please American Women Vets’ Assoc. in Douglas County contact the Home at 541-296-7152.
Female veterans from all U.S. service branch/eras are invited to meet, become better informed, do service projects, and enjoy camaraderie. Monthly meeting is on the 2nd Tue., 5 p.m., with a quarterly potluck at American Legion Post 16, 406 SE Oak St., Roseburg. Contact: Dona Brewer, 541-391-9813
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. Contact: Jim Bray, 503-913-7058 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: Rick Sciapiti, 541-670-1057, email@example.com 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 Rest., 3554 SE 82nd (near Powell), on the first Friday. Contact: Willie Paradise, 503-665-1739
Baker . ................... 541-523‑8223 Jane Chandler Benton .................. 541-758-1595 Mary Newman Clackamas ............ 503-650-5631 Janice Harlan-Raisl www.clackamascvso.com Clatsop . ................ 503-440-8310 Philip Simmons Columbia .............. 503-366-6580 Russell Clark www.columbiacvso.com Coos....................... 541-396‑3121, Ext. 362 Eric Gleason Crook...................... 541-447‑5304 Angela Gilley Curry ..................... 866-298-0404 Kimberly O’Neal www.currycvso.com Deschutes . ........... 541-385‑3214 Keith Macnamara Douglas . ............... 541-440‑4219 Jim Fitzpatrick Gilliam . ................. 541-384-6712 Bryan Hunt www.tricountyvso.com Grant ..................... 541-575‑1631 Bob Muenchausen www.grantcvso.com Harney.................... 541-573-1342 Guy McKay www.harneycvso.com 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 www.josephinecvso.com Klamath ................ 541-883‑4274 Kathy Pierce www.klamathcvso.com Lake ...................... 541-947‑6043 Charles Pike www.lakecvso.com Lane ...................... 541-682‑4191 Joseph Reiley www.lanecvso.com Lincoln .................. 541-574-6955 John Reed Linn ....................... 800-319-3882 Kim Grooms Malheur ................ 541-889‑6649 Connie Tanaka Marion.................... 503-373-2085 ODVA www.marionpolkcvso.com Morrow .................. 541-922-6420 Linda Skendzel Multnomah ........... 503-988‑3620, Ext. 25005 Katie Pereault Polk ....................... 503-373-2085 ODVA www.marionpolkcvso.com Sherman ............... 541-565-3408 Bryan Hunt www.tricountyvso.com Tillamook .............. 503-842-4358 Bill Hatton www.tillamookcvso.com Umatilla ................ 541-278‑5482 Peggy Raines www.umatillacvso.com Union . ................... 541-962‑8802 Byron Whipple www.unioncvso.com Wallowa.................. 541-426‑3155, Ext. 241 Charlie Neveau Wasco ................... 541-506-2502 Russell Jones Washington . ......... 503-846-3060 Vicki Horn www.washingtoncvso.com Wheeler.................. 541-763-3032 Bryan Hunt www.tricountyvso.com Yamhill .................. 503-434‑7503 Jerry Wilson www.yamhillcvso.com
National Service Organization Service Offices American Legion ................................................... 541-475-5228 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
yes, I would like to donate to the oregon veterans' home! Begining with this issue, all Veterans' Home donors will be recognized in our February (winter) edition of Vets News. Thank you for your continuous support of veterans and their families!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-373-2383. Meetings of the Advisory Committee are public meetings held quarterly. The next meeting will be held on June 4, 2014 @ 9:30 a.m. in Salem at the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, Hall of Heroes Room, 4190 Aumsville Hwy SE. 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
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
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 www.oregon.gov/odva, 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.
VETS NEWS // SPRING 2014
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS
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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.
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