Military & Veterans

Military & Veterans

Nearly 300 soldiers with the Oregon Army National Guard will be honored in a formal demobilization ceremony Saturday in Medford.

The soldiers are with the 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Regiment, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The unit is based in Southern Oregon and has soldiers from cities including Roseburg, Coos Bay and Grants Pass. They deployed to Afghanistan in September of 2014.

Ingersoll: "Much of their mission is classified so I can't go into specifics, but they were all over Afghanistan performing security operations."

Master Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Dept.

On this Memorial Day, hundreds of Oregon families are celebrating with their soldiers who've recently returned from overseas deployments.

During the past month, nearly 800 soldiers with the Oregon Army National Guard have completed deployments ranging from 9 months to more than a year. Some provided security in Afghanistan during the drawdown of troops. Others with an engineer battalion worked on soldier housing in Kuwait and U.S. military facilities in Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq and Afghanistan. Sgt. Phillip Steiner is a spokesman with the Oregon Army National Guard.

Meeting Date: February 13th, 2015

Air Date: February 16th, 2015

A World War II soldier was back home in Hood River and wearing his uniform, complete with Silver and Bronze Stars, when his barber told him, “I oughtta slit your throat!” 

www.newslincolncounty.com

Congress gave Newport’s Coast Guard air station a one-year reprieve after a threatened December closure. The community still fears they’ll lose their rescue helicopter. This week, opposing parties filed declarations in court.

A Washington D.C. Coast Guard official filed documents in federal court claiming the closure was only a proposal. In response, the Newport Fisherman’s Wives filed a contradicting statement. Ginny Goblirsch with that group says the Coast Guard’s decision had been presented as final:

Veterans' Housing Project

A long-time tradition in Eugene, The Truffle Shuffle, is this Sunday. What's new is that the fun-run is a fundraiser for Saint Vincent de Paul's Veteran Housing Program. Terry McDonald is Executive Director of Saint Vinnies:

Egan Warming Center

St Vincent de Paul of Lane County has received federal funds to help end veteran homelessness within three years. Spurred by this, the Mayors of Eugene and Springfield and Lane County Commissioners have been raising money this holiday season to help with the project. Their effort is called Veterans Home for The Holidays-- the idea is that each day a homeless veteran will be permanently housed.

St. Vinnie's Executive Director Terry McDonald says fundraising for has been slow.

Tiffany Eckert

A soldier, his wife and five kids will experience the holiday season in a new home-- thanks to a veterans housing program in Lane County. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert visited the family and has this report.

Recently, military veteran Logan Murrill and his wife Rebecca were renting a house in Oakridge. But it was being sold and they had to move. Logan called Lane County Veteran’s Services.

Logan Murrill: ”We weren’t expecting a house or anything. We were just wondering if there were some volunteers who could help us pack.”

Karen Richards

Thurston Middle School is known for its Veterans Day assembly. Monday, students presented a check to the local VFW, after fundraising last week.

The Thurston Middle School band welcomed about three dozen veterans and their families to the packed gymnasium. Principal Brandi Starck said the goal of the event was to understand the history and meaning of Veterans Day:

Starck: “We also want to take time to honor the veterans who live in and around our community. People who have continued to live here and continued to support our community, even after their service.”

St Vincent de Paul

In time for Veterans Day, Groups in Lane County are launching an effort to end veteran homelessness by 2016. Operation 365 aims to house one veteran each day between now and a year from now.

The local effort is part of a nation-wide program. St Vincent de Paul of Lane County has been awarded a federal 3 year grant of 3-million dollars to help. St. Vinnies Executive Director Terry McDonald:

McDonald: "We have the outreach and the opportunity to make this ambition goal and we're going to make a run at it."

www.newslincolncounty.com

Oregon lawmakers are urging the Coast Guard to reverse its decision to close the Newport Air Facility. Oregon representatives Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter Defazio and Kurt Schrader along with Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley wrote a letter emphasizing the impact the closure would have on Newport. Hank Stern, Wyden’s press secretary, says the senator was surprised by the Coast Guard’s decision.

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