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2015 Oregon Memorial Day Events

On Memorial Day, May 25, Americans will honor and remember all of those who have died while serving in the U. S. Armed Forces.  In recognition of the holiday’s rich history, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) has published a list of Memorial Day celebrations that are occurring throughout the state. Decoration Day, as
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70 Years of Service: ODVA Celebrates its 70th Anniversary

In recognition of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs 70th anniversary, we are featuring personal stories of Oregon veterans here on our blog for the 70 days leading up to June 16. Below is an interactive “story map” showcasing Oregon veterans’ experiences around the globe through multiple eras of service. Each veteran’s story will link back
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Theodore Osborn: “If I get out of here alive, I am never going to be hot again!”

It is perhaps the worst job during wartime, but somebody has to do it. In December of 1969, Theodore Osborn was assigned to the U.S. Army Mortuary, Ton Su Nut Air Base in Saigon, Vietnam. Upon his arrival, he was told all assigned position for his primary MOS were filled and that he was being
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Sederstrom/Glein Family: Combined 150 years of military service

Eldon Glein of Salem, is a retired U.S. Navy Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class with a small family lineage dotted with veterans of the Civil War, World War I and World War II. Interestingly enough, his service is tied, by marriage, to an Oregon Naval officer who was killed at Pearl Harbor and was later
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Ed Johann: “That’s not skill. That’s luck.”

 At 17, Ed Johann found himself at the center of a storm that would eventually grow to encompass most of the world. Standing on the deck of the USS Solace, a hospital ship, Johann was enjoying a Hawaiian Sunday morning when he saw several small planes arrive and circle the area. “It must be some
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Nathan Nakis: “He put on the uniform to strengthen, not break our common bond.”

His fellow soldiers considered Nathan Nakis a younger brother or son. An engineering specialist, Nakis was part of Bravo Company 52nd Engineer Battalion, attached to the 101st Airborne Division that built and repaired Iraqi homes, roads and water systems. Nakis was killed December 16, 2003 in Iraq when the truck he was driving rolled over.
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Hazel Ah Ying Lee: First Chinese-American woman to fly a military plane

During World War II, a select group of young women pilots became pioneers, heroes, and role models. They were the members the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) — the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft. The war was an historical time and aviation history was rewritten as nearly 1,100 WASP serve their nation during the 1940s.
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Oregon Veterans’ Cremains to be Interred

PORTLAND – A final salute with full military honors will be made to 19 Oregon military veterans and two spouses of veterans whose cremated remains will be interred at Willamette National Cemetery on May 22, at 10 a.m. For nearly 10 years, the Oregon State Hospital Replacement Project has been working with Oregon Department of
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Edward C. Allworth: “Exceptional courage and leadership.”

Soon after he graduated from Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) in 1916, Edward C. Allworth enlisted in 1917 and joined the U.S. Army’s 60th Infantry Regiment of the 5th Division. The U.S. had entered World War I and Allworth would eventually be going into combat. Six days before the armistice was signed on
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Staryl C. Austin, Jr: “When Pearl Harbor was attacked, I knew I’d be going into the service.”

For nearly 38 years, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Staryl C. Austin, Jr. served his country and his state as a military leader in the U.S. Army Air Corps, U.S. Air Force, and 31 years in the Oklahoma and Oregon Air National Guard. Austin is a native Oregonian who attended public schools in Bend and Albany, graduating
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Earnest Whitman: “The tips of my toes eventually turned black and fell off.”

This is a recollection of a first-hand account of events as written by Earnest Whitman, U.S. Army 1949-1952. I was in Korea and a gunner on a 75 Recoilless Rifle and it was just getting light. We were camped alongside the road when I heard a sound outside my pop tent. As I peeked outside,
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Robert Deiz: “We couldn’t get near combat. But combat came to us.”

 At a time when black Americans struggled to overcome the daily obstacles of racial segregation, Robert Deiz dreamed of a career flying airplanes. Learning to fly in the late 1930s through the Civilian Pilot’s Training program at Swan Island in Portland, Deiz realized his dream at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. With an increased
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