Military & Veterans

Military & Veterans

Brian Bull / KLCC

Across the Eugene-Springfield area, people gathered in parks and cemeteries to honor those Americans who gave their lives in times of war.

Brian Bull / KLCC

A formidable weapon against the Axis powers is visiting the Eugene Airport this weekend.  The World War Two-era bomber – a B-17 Flying Fortress called the “Aluminum Overcast” – will offer visitors a chance to learn of the aircraft's role in disrupting the Nazi supply chain.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports:  

Brian Bull / KLCC

One of the most famous bombers of World War II is in Eugene, this week.  A B-17 Flying Fortress --deemed the “Madras Maiden” -- touched down Monday, as part of an ongoing effort to educate people about the war against the Axis…and the airmen who served.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports. 

Kitty Piercy

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy visited the White House this week to be honored by First Lady Michelle Obama for the city’s work to house homeless veterans.

Recorded on: November 11, 2016

Air Date: November 14, 2016

Our speakers will share how the military transformed their lives, and the challenges they faced returning to civilian life.

Rachael McDonald

On Veteran’s Day, Friday, the City of Springfield will unveil a new Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial at Willamalane Park.

Angela Kellner/KLCC

Not everyone can trek to our nation's capitol to see the real thing. So for the past 30 years, a smaller version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall has traveled the country.

On Thursday the replica wall opened at Skinner Butte Park in Eugene.

Veterans' Housing Project

Congressman Peter DeFazio has announced federal grant funding of nearly $1 million to help homeless veterans in southwestern Oregon.

Neighborworks Umpqua

A California couple has donated a valuable lot of land in Roseburg. They’ve asked a local non-profit to develop it for veteran housing.


Rachael McDonald

Wednesday marks the one year anniversary of the death of Brian Babb. The Oregon Army National Guard veteran was shot by Eugene Police while suffering from a mental health crisis. His family is holding a benefit Wednesday in Eugene to celebrate Babb’s life.

Rachael McDonald

There is a memorial to U.S. women veterans in Washington D.C. The City of Springfield wants to build one in Oregon. Women vets met Monday to talk about what it will look like.

Lane County

More than a year ago, several government agencies and non-profits in Lane County set a goal to house one veteran for every day of the year in 2015.

Desmond O'Boyle

The new Veterans Affairs Medical Clinic opens to the public Monday (today). In an effort to get vets the care they need, Lane Transit District is offering free service to the facility. Passengers simply need to tell their bus driver they are going to the new V-A Clinic to receive an LTD day pass. Andy Vobora is the Director of Customer Service and Planning for LTD.

Oregon Dept. of Veterans' Affairs

The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs is investigating a security breach that may have compromised the personal information of nearly 1000 vets.

Rachael McDonald

Last November, First Lady Michelle Obama challenged Mayors around the country to "make a commitment to end veteran homelessness in 2015." The mayors of Eugene and Springfield rose to the challenge and progress has been made over the past year in "Operation 365". There is still a lot of work to do to house veterans in our community.

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.

When Heroes Are Not Welcomed Home

Feb 16, 2015

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.

Albany Democrat-Herald

A new long-term care home in Lebanon for Veterans is finished and will be dedicated, Saturday. The facility can house up to 154 residents and is named after a World War I Medal of Honor recipient from Corvallis.

The 40 million dollar facility broke ground in 2012 and focuses on rehabilitation services and long term care for veterans with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs Spokesman Jeremy Woodall is proud of the building.

Jessica Robinson

A day of planned celebration of Bowe Bergdahl in his Idaho hometown turned out to be a pretty uneventful one. Hailey, Idaho, cancelled Saturday’s event after the city received threats. Our correspondent Jessica Robinson has attended previous annual events for Bergdahl during his captivity and has more from Hailey.

Chris Lehman

June 6 is the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of western Europe. And this year’s D-Day will be especially meaningful for World War II veterans in Oregon. The state's long-awaited World War II Memorial will open on that day.

When Art Sorenson boarded a ship to Europe…

Art Sorenson: "I knew this was the big one."

The eastern Washington native fought with the 104th Infantry Division across France, Belgium and Germany in the closing months of World War II.

Hiring Our Heroes

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is hosting a “Hiring Our Heroes” event for veterans and their spouses in Roseburg Wednesday.

The job fairs for vets were launched three years ago. As a result, more than 1,500 companies have hired about 23,000 veterans and military spouses, according to the Chamber of Commerce. Spokesman Phillip Maas, who retired from the Army after a 25-year career, says Wednesday’s event in Roseburg will have a variety of employers.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Returns To U.S.

Jun 1, 2014
oregonlive.com

A soldier believed to be the only remaining prisoner of the Afghan war is on his way home.

U.S. officials Saturday morning said Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released to special operations forces by a Taliban group in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border.

Boise State Public Radio’s Emilie Ritter Saunders reports Bergdahl was captured in 2009.

Idaho native Bowe Bergdahl has spent most of his 20s held captive by Afghan militants.

Now at 28 years old, Bergdahl is being freed one month shy of the fifth anniversary of his capture.

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