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Oregon Veteran Community Conversations

Follow Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Cameron Smith as he travels throughout the state and take the survey to lend your voice to the conversation:


ODVA Seeks Applications for Advisory Committee

For the first time in the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs (ODVA) 70 year history, our state is striving to serve veterans spanning four generations and five major wars.  No one organization can single-handedly address the needs of veterans in Oregon – it takes the work and collaboration of our cross-community partners. One of those core
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VA statement on today’s Supreme Court decision

VA is strongly committed to providing Veterans and their families the care and benefits they have earned and deserve. Our commitment to our Veterans and their families will continue to be our focus as we work to comply with today’s Supreme Court decision. VA will review relevant statutes and policies to implement any necessary changes
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VA Expands Disability Benefits for Air Force Personnel

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today published a new regulation that expands eligibility for some benefits for a select group of Air Force Veterans and Air Force Reserve personnel who were exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange through regular and repeated contact with contaminated C-123 aircraft that had been used in Vietnam
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ODVA 70th Anniversary

  Governor Kate Brown stopped by to say a few words about ODVA’s 70th anniversary and assist Director Cameron Smith with the ceremonial cake-cutting (complete with sword!) Joining the cake cutting were ODVA’s longest-tenured and newest employees, Mary Dirks (38 years) and Diana Sullivan (1 month).


Harlan Roth: “They were still so thankful years after Americans freed them from the Japanese.”

Like so many young men his age following the outbreak of World War II, Harlan Roth wanted to do his part for the war effort.  He was an anxious 18 year-old from the heartland of America; Hemingford, Neb., but his entry in military service was not immediate. It was two years after graduating high school,
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Keith Zilk: “What are you doing here?”

Two months before Keith Zilk was scheduled to graduate from a two-year Photography School, he received a draft notice. Luckily, he was able to appeal to the draft board and they delayed his induction date to accommodate graduation. Keith was assigned to the 40th Infantry division. During the interview process, he made it known that
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Bob Shano: “I just feel like they need some older guys.”

Vietnam Vet and business owner, Bob Shano, felt there was something he could do to help a new crop of young soldiers heading over to Iraq. That help came in the form of joining them. He was inspired to re-enter the active Army after Sept. 11, 2001. “I was pretty fired up,” Shano recalls, who
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Omar McGuire: Survivor of Bataan Death March

More than 60 years after he survived the infamous Bataan Death March in 1942, Omar McGuire of Eugene was presented with military medals he had earned. McGuire was presented the medals by Governor Theodore Kulongoski and then Oregon Air National Guard Commander, Brig. Gen. Jim Cunningham in the Governor’s ceremonial office. The retired postal worker
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Donny Goddard: “You felt really out of place when you walked back into civilization.”

Looking down at the remnants of his shaving kit covering the walls of his foxhole, Donny Goddard was thankful the enemy mortar had not hit him directly. The year was 1970 and Donny Goddard was sitting in his 4-foot hole at base camp in South Vietnam. In 1968 at age 20, Goddard was part of
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