All blog posts related to the issue: Veterans
  • Ron Thanks Two Oregon Veterans for Their World War II Bravery

    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:

    • 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.”

  • Honoring Frank Moore

    Frank Moore is an Oregon icon, World War II veteran, avid fly fisherman and tireless advocate for preserving the wilderness and beauty of the North Umpqua River. 

    On Memorial Day, Ron had the honor of visiting with Frank who fought both at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. Frank was awarded the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for his bravery.

    During the visit on the banks of the North Umpqua, Ron presented Frank with a copy of the bill that would designate more than 100,000 acres of public lands in Oregon as the “Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary.”

    Frank isn't just a world-class fly fisherman. When he was the proprietor of the Steamboat Inn along the North Umpqua River for almost 20 years, Frank shared Oregon’s beauty with visitors. And he has long played an immense role in conservation and habitat preservation of the river. It would be a fitting tribute to have the area he loves and works to preserve named after such an extraordinary Oregonian. Ron, along with Sen. Jeff Merkley, introduced the bill this May and are pulling out all the stops to ensure its passage this Congress.

  • Honoring America’s Heroes

    Oregonians paid tribute to our veterans in many different ways and Senator Wyden was honored to be a part of several of them.

    At the Portland VA Medical Center, Senator Wyden and other Oregonians gathered to visit with veterans and thank them for their service. For Reynolds High School’s 3rd annual Living History Day, Senator Wyden, students, and community members gathered to honor over 400 veterans and hear their stories of service.

    In Portland, Senator Wyden helped serve at the Portland City Bible Church Veterans Day breakfast and also chronicled the stories of Oregon veterans by interviewing Iraq War veteran Coleman LaFazio for NPR’s StoryCorps.  Senator Wyden then headed to Forest Grove for the Elks Lodge day room dedication and met with WWII veteran Lt. Col. Dewitt.

    In a unique moment, Senator Wyden -with the help of Mrs. Royse- surprised World War II Navy veteran Dick Royse with six military honors that were long overdue. Afterwards, he headed to Albany’s American Legion’s Veteran of the Year Banquet where he presented veteran Harlan Neal and his wife, Inez, with a flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol to commemorate Mr. Neal’s service.

    On Veterans Day, Senator Wyden, paid his respects to the fallen at the Linn County Veterans Day Memorial Service with Major General Hokanson and visited with the Albany Eagles at their annual Biscuits and Gravy Veterans breakfast. One of the highlights of the weekend was marching in the Albany Veterans Day parade- it was fantastic to see so many Oregonians attend and show their support for those who sacrifice for our freedom.

    “America’s veterans represent the best of America and I am deeply grateful for their service,” said Senator Wyden. “It’s important to honor them, not just on Veterans Day, but every day through our actions and public service.”