Just because someone is not eligible for certain VA

Serving those who
have served.
These benefit and membership requirements can be
confusing, and lead some to believe mistakenly that to
be a veteran you must have served during wartime.
There is still a significant amount of false or misMany veterans either have tried to, or know someone that
leading information out there, as to what is needhas attempted to join one of the service organizations, but
ed to qualify as a veteran. Federal laws state, the term
"veteran" means a person who served in the active military, were denied membership due to the time they served.
Just because someone is not eligible for certain VA benefits
naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released
or membership in an organization does not exclude them
therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable. (38
from being a veteran. The only requirement to be a veteran
USC § 101(2)).
is to have served in active duty
The various national veterservice and not have been disans service organizations
Just because someone is not eligible for certain
charged dishonorably.
such as the American Le-
VA benefits or membership in an organization
Those who served in the Nagion require service during
tional Guard or Reserves are
a recognized period of war
not eligible for benefits from the
for membership. Other serVA unless they were activated into national service under
vice organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars,
Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Title 10 or Title 32 orders or injured in the line-of-duty.
and the Military Order of the Purple Heart add additional
If you have doubts or questions about whether you are a
membership requirements.
veteran or not, come talk to us at the Veterans Service Office and we will do our best to find the correct answer to
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates
there are 5.5 million (25% of all veterans) who served during your status and help you to apply for and receive any benefits for which you
the peacetime eras that are excluded from membership in
may be eligible.
any of these organizations. The VA limits certain benefits for
low-income veterans and widows of veterans to those who
served during a period of war.
During long wars with heavy casualties personnel have sometimes been
pressed into front-line fighting with little or no training - these troops are informally categorized as General Replacement, UNTrained or Grunt; a term
that came into wide use during the Vietnam War. Major HG Duncan best
communicated the spirit of the term “Grunt” - “Term of affection used to denote that filthy, sweaty, dirt-encrusted, footsore, camouflage-painted, tired,
sleepy beautiful little son of a bitch who has kept the wolf away from the
door for over two hundred years.” Thus the term “grunt” is one of honor.
Veterans’ Services http://co.wasco.or.us/county/directory_staff.cfm
A message from
CVSO Russell Jones
The Purple Heart Trail
In the last few months of
2014 the Oregon Legislature worked on the final
Session of The Purple
Heart Measure; this designates I-5 as the Purple
Heart Trail, Oregon is one
of the last states to identify
a highway as a Purple
Heart Trail. The intention of
the Purple Heart Trail is to
create a symbolic and honorary system of roadways,
bridges, highways that
gives honor to the men and women who have
been awarded the Purple Heart medal in service.
Signs placed at various locations explain those
roads and highways where the legislation has
been passed to assign parts of our national road
system as The Purple Heart Trail. Currently
there are 45 states as well as Guam that are
participating in the Purple Heart Trail. "MOPH's
Purple Heart Trail Program." MOPH. N.p., 2015.
The Purple Heart Trail was established in
1992 by the Military Order of the Purple Heart;
the innovative idea came from Frank J. Kuhn,
Life isn't always easy after a deployment. That's where Vet Centers and Vet Center Mobile Vans can help. Across the
country they provide counseling, outreach, and referral services to combat veterans and their families. They guide veterans and their families through many of the major adjustments in lifestyle that often occur after a veteran returns
from combat. Services for a veteran include counseling in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), alcohol/drug assessment, marital and family counseling, employment counseling and guidance, sexual trauma referral, and suicide prevention. All services are free of cost and are strictly confidential.
Eligibility for Service: Veterans who have served in any combat
zone in any era. Family members of combat veterans are eligible for
readjustment counseling services for military related issues. Women
and men of all eras who were sexually harassed or assaulted while
on active duty.
Schedule: The Mobile Van is in The Dalles on the fourth Wednesday (noon to 4:00) and Thursday (8:00 to noon) of each month. Initial visits are walk-ins and follow-up appointments are scheduled
with the Mobile Van staff. Questions? Phone (503) 362-9911.
“You don’t lead by hitting people over the head; that’s assault, not leadership!” ~ Dwight Eisenhower
Patrick Wilbern
Jr. an affiliate of The Military Order of the Purple
Heart Chapter 1732 in Virginia. The Purple Heart
Trail starts at a memorial in Mt Vernon, Virginia.
This is the burial location of George Washington
and the memorial marks the origin of the Purple
Heart Trail. The Purple Heart Trail achieves its
honorary goal by creating a visual reminder to
those who use the road system that others have
paid a high price for their freedom to travel and
live in a free society.
Veterans Service Office Volunteer Janet Block comes from a family with a history of
military service - her father, father-in-law and uncle were all WWII veterans and her
husband served for 22 years. She and her husband have continued that service by supporti
ng veterans and their families.
Janet began her service at the VSO when she stopped by the recently opened downtown
office to see if she could help; soon she was a permanent office volunteer welcoming
veterans, answering questions, scheduling appointments and visiting with veterans and their
family members while they waited to see a Service Officer. She deems it an honor to fill the
Janet enjoys bi-weekly yoga classes at the senior center and looks forward to twice
monthly pinochle games with friends. She also takes pleasure in computer solitaire
whenever time permits. Janet is a former member of local American Legion Auxiliary
Post 019 and a current member of American Legion Auxiliary Post 135 in Wamic. She
has held positions as Membership chairman, Secretary/Treasurer for 3 years and
helped with the Christmas Gift Shop for the residents at the Oregon Veterans Home for
the past 5 years.
Janet sees veterans as the back bone of our great country. During Desert Shield/Desert
Storm she was very active in a local group called MASH (Mothers Against Saddam
Hussein) formed by Susan Carter and Louise Hexum. During that time there were 225
soldiers from Hood River to Goldendale who were activated. MASH not only supported
the family members who were left behind, but supported the soldiers with many cards,
letters and boxes of necessities. They hung yellow ribbons all over town and placed a
monument at Kelly View Point.
Veterans’ Service Office, 201 Federal Street, The Dalles
Janet and her family moved to The Dalles for the health of their son, a move that
proved to be just what the doctor ordered for their sick three-year-old. The climate here
improved his health so successfully that his only trip to the hospital after moving here
was to have his tonsils removed!
For years Veterans Service in this area operated from various out of the way - almost out-of-sight - locations and was
staffed by one officer who shared his/her time with Hood River and Klickitat Counties. Veterans seeking assistance often
traveled to the office only to find it closed because the lone officer was obligated elsewhere and the only choice was to lock
the door and put up the “closed” sign. Obviously, this was an ineffective, unpopular, and disrespectful way to serve those
who had served our Country.
Thankfully, many things have changed since those “olden days.” Hood River and Klickitat Counties have established
their own Veterans offices. Wasco County Veterans Service Office (VSO) is now housed in a central, highly visible, and
easily accessed location in downtown The Dalles. It is staffed by two full-time accredited Veterans Service Officers and a
dedicated crew of volunteers. To best serve Wasco County’s nearly 3,000 veterans and their families, the office is open five
days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday are “walk-in” days while Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
are for scheduled appointments. Appointments can be scheduled in person or by telephoning (541) 506-2502.
“"The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on." ~ Walter Lippman
~ Volunteer Coordinator Jean Maxwell
We are happy to announce that since December, there have been no U.S. military casualties
in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (airstrikes against ISIS/ISIL in Syria and Iraq) and
Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (training and assisting Afghanistan’s military forces).
MITCHELL, Lee V. (09/1926—12/2014). U.S. Army Air Corps, B-24 Flight Engineer, Japan
ARNOLD, David D. (10/1966—12/2014). U.S. Coast Guard
FUGATE, Phillip E. (09/1950—01/2015). U.S. Navy
GREENSTREET, Jean C. (1923—01/2015). U.S. Navy, WWII
MELUM, Arvin (04/1925—01/2015). U.S. Coast Guard, WWII
BIRLEW, Darryl L. (09/1950--01/2015) U.S. Army
BUCHANAN, Lewis “Pete” 02/1938—01/2015. U.S. Navy, USS Ranger
CHAPMAN, Gary L. (08/1952—01/2015). U.S. Army, 720th Military Police Battalion
BURNS, Joseph E. (02/1925—02/2015). Army Air Corps, WWII, B-24 Bomber Pilot
FOSTER, Glenn A. (02/1919—02/2015). U.S. Army, WWII, Pacific Theater
PAGE, Arley O. (04/1923—02/2015). U.S. Army, WWII, Blue Devils 88th Inf.
LUCAS, Melvin “Mel” G. (06/1933—02/2015). Oregon National Guard
MILLER, Charles “Chuck” (10/1945—02/2015). Oregon National Guard
BUNN, Daniel E. (10/1925—02/2015). U.S. Coast Guard, WWII, North Pacific
RUDDELL, George I. (01/1919—02/2015). U.S. Air Force
BECK, Mary Helen (08/1921—03/2015). U.S. Army, WWII
Lucy Coffey, the oldest female veteran, passed away yesterday at the age of 108. The Texas native enlisted in the
Women's Auxiliary Army Corps after Japan bombed Pearl
Harbor and rose to the rank of sergeant, earning two
bronze stars during her time in the Pacific. Coffey was a
brave woman, a proud American, and an inspiration to us
all. Thank you for your service, Sergeant Coffey.
Veterans’ Service Office 541-506-2502
The total worldwide U.S. military casualties since October 7, 2001 in the combat theaters is
5,374 killed in action and 52,312 wounded in action. There were an additional 1,475 noncombat related deaths in the combat theaters.
Bivouac of the Dead
The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat
The soldier’s last tattoo;
No more on Life’s parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.
On Fame’s eternal camping-ground
Their silent tents are spread,
And Glory Guards, with solemn round,
The Bivouac of the dead.
MEMORIAL DAY, which is observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates the men
and women who died while in the military service. In observance of the holiday, many people
visit cemeteries and memorials, and volunteers often place American flags on each grave
site. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time.
Crisis Hot Line – 800-273-8255
Oregon VA Home Loans – 503-373-2051
VA Hospital (Portland) – 800-949-1004
VA Regional Office (Portland) – 800-827-1000
Service Officers: Russell Jones and Patrick Wilbern
Wasco County Veterans Service Office
201 Federal Street, The Dalles, OR 97058
Phone (541) 506-2502
Mid-Columbia Veterans Memorial Committee
(MCVMC) is creating a “Mini-Museum of Military
Memorabilia” in a downtown 2nd Street window, for
display from Memorial Day through the 4th of July. If
anyone has memorabilia appropriate for the window
display, contact Jean at (541) 506-2502 or (541) 2963478 for details.
“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. ~ Winston Churchill
By Theodore O’Hara