Ron proudly dedicated the start and finish of last week’s Veterans Day work period to honoring two Oregonians whose World War II service earned them the well-deserved title of “heroes.”
On Nov. 11, before walking in Albany’s Veterans Day parade, Ron met with 100-year-old Dean Powell to give him the public recognition he missed when he returned to Oregon 70 years ago from his World War II service in the Pacific theater.
And on Nov. 14, Ron presented the Air Medal to 91-year-old Donald Cresap in Milwaukie for his World War II service in Italy.
In between, Ron:
- Met in Medford with southern Oregon recreation businesses to hear from them about his draft recreation bill, which is designed to build on the strengths of the recreation economy in the state and nationwide
- Toured a work site in Northeast Portland where Oregon Tradeswomen are transforming an eyesore into an asset for the neighborhood while providing valuable job training to women
- Sat down in Portland with the state’s craft brewers to discuss the Ron’s concerns about the proposed merger between Anheuser-Busch and SABMiller
- Listened to members of the Oregon Students of Color Coalition at their annual conference at Portland State University to get feedback on his legislation with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley that targets escalating college costs and learn about other issues they face
- Ron met Mr. Powell and his family before Albany’s 64th annual Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11 because he wanted to give the veteran a personal letter of thanks for his service.
Ron said he was gratified to help Mr. Powell get the public honors he never received when he returned home to Myrtle Creek seven decades ago from his World War II service in the Pacific theater.
Veterans Day also gave Ron the opportunity to talk with Oregon reporters about the importance of providing the best possible health care for veterans, including better staffing at VA health centers and ensuring that veterans needing mental health treatment get that care.
Ron’s meeting with Mr. Cresap on Nov. 14 in Milwaukie came the day after the terrorist killings in Paris. As he presented Mr. Cresap with his Air Medal, Ron thanked Mr. Cresap for his service 70 years ago in Europe and noted that heroism remains an important lesson for today.
“Yesterday’s cowardly killings in Paris remind us so cruelly that freedom always has its enemies, and we grieve with the families who lost loved ones in yesterday’s attacks,” he told the audience gathered at Rose Villa Retirement Community to honor Mr. Cresap.
“But today’s ceremony also reminds us,” Ron said, “that freedom prevails in the end because of brave Americans like Don, who fought in Europe with such distinction.”