By the time you read this column, I will have returned from months of military training in Alabama and Virginia. The entire experience was a blessing.
The training in basic soldier skills in Alabama and legal education in Virginia were both challenging and rewarding. The different sights, sounds and foods I experienced will stay with me the rest of my life. The people I had the privilege of sharing those experiences with will be lifelong friends. A giant chapter of my life comes to a close.Learn more »
Kudos to Cow Creek Tribe
Thanks go to the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians for its continued support by donations to St. Joseph’s Community Kitchen. Through this help, we are able to continue to feed nutritious meals to the needy families and veterans of Roseburg.Learn more »
Whipple assists with playscape
Cobb Children’s Learning Center would like to thank Oregon Community Foundation’s Whipple Fund for its grant of $10,688 for our Natural Playscape project. Students from ages 3 through eighth grade are able to use this playscape. It’s an outdoor play environment that is alive and green, inviting curiosity and wonder. Some of the elements in the playscape are a climbing wall, social swing, water pump and creek bed, fort building zone, picking garden and more.Learn more »
Assistance is appreciated
The staff of St. Vincent de Paul in Myrtle Creek wishes to take this opportunity to thank the Lilja Family Fund for its generous grant of $5,000.Learn more »
Cortney Michelle Smith and Adam Bruce Daniel Hokanson exchanged wedding vows Oct. 18 at Winston City Park. A reception and dance in the Winston Community Center followed the wedding. Guests came from Minnesota, North Dakota, Idaho, Washington, Nevada and many areas of Oregon to celebrate the event.
Cortney is the daughter of Melissa Kendall Kellner of Roseburg. Cortney is a 2007 graduate of South Jefferson Central High School in Adams, N.Y. and a 2010 graduate of Umpqua Community College. She works for Axiom Economic Pest Control in Milwaukie, Ore.Learn more »
District winners are announced
The Veterans of Foreign Wars District 12 recently held a banquet to celebrate its Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen winners. Students advance from Post level to compete at District. These are the District winners.Learn more »
UVAS takes trip to Kanipe Park
The Umpqua Valley Audubon Society offers a field trip from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday to Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park, northeast of Oakland. Please meet at 8:30 a.m. in the main parking area off Elkhead Road, near the caretaker residence.Learn more »
The Douglas County Clerk’s Office issued the following marriage licenses Nov. 14 to Nov. 21, 2014:
James Stephen George, 29, and Ashley Shantel Hill, 27, both of Eugene, November 14Learn more »
By the time you read this column, “American Sniper” will have become the highest-earning war film of all time in the U.S., surpassing Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.”
“American Sniper” is a drama based on the real story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL said to be the most lethal sharpshooter in U.S. military history and credited with killing more than 160 people in Iraq. Directed by Clint Eastwood, “American Sniper” was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of veteran Chris Kyle.Learn more »
Learn about Cancer Center
The National Active and Retired Federal Employees will meet at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at Round Table Pizza, 2040 N.W. Stewart Parkway, Roseburg.Learn more »
UGMC creates display cases
The Umpqua Gem and Mineral Club will have a potluck beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, with a Jr. rock club meeting at 6:30 and a regular meeting at 7 p.m. in Rooms 2 and 3 at the Mercy Community Education building, 2459 Stewart Parkway, Roseburg.Learn more »
Meeting draws AWVA members
The American Women Veterans’ Association has cancelled its February meeting so members can attend the VA Roseburg Healthcare System Town Hall meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Auditorium, Building 16, at 913 N.W. Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg.Learn more »
Take a walk on the fowl side
The Umpqua Valley Audubon Society will host a field trip to the Stewart Park Wildlife Area in Roseburg from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday. Please meet at the south end of the duck pond parking lot near Fred Meyer at 8:30 a.m.Learn more »
DAR applies for VWCP Program
The Umpqua Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution has completed its application for participating in the Vietnam War Commemorative Partner Program. Chapters across the nation are thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans and their families.Learn more »
Orchid Society hosts Q and A
The Umpqua Orchid Society will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 2 at the Mercy Education Center, 2459 N.W. Stewart Parkway, Roseburg.Learn more »
Take a look at the night skies
Umpqua Astronomers will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Douglas Forest Protective Association conference room at 1758 N.E. Airport Road, Roseburg.Learn more »
Unity offers Movie Night
Unity Church will show a free movie at 6:15 p.m. Friday at 507 N.E. Winchester Ave., Roseburg.Learn more »
Volunteers and Tribe help SUHS
The South Umpqua Historical Society wishes to thank the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians for its recent help with labor and materials, and the expertise of Jim Connor, Chris Wilson and Matt Garel, of the Seven Feathers crew, in the relocation of our perimeter fence. This move will give us much needed additional parking and display area.Learn more »
Learn about the school district
The Roseburg branch of American Association of University Women will have social time at 6 p.m., a no-host dinner at 6:30 and a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Jasmine’s Catering, 809 S.E. Main St., Roseburg.Learn more »
Join the fun and games
The Sutherlin Lioness group will host a bunko party fundraiser Saturday at West Intermediate School, 531 N. Comstock St., Sutherlin.Learn more »
Brenna Stinson and Trevor Gomez were joined in matrimony Dec. 27 at River Run Lodge at Eagle Crest in Redmond. Aaron Hanson of Newburg Foursquare Church officiated the ceremony, which was followed by a reception.Learn more »
Army Pvt. Sheridan L. Shontz, daughter of Jean M. Shontz of Myrtle Creek, has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina.Learn more »
Army Pfc. Mychelle R. Fugate, daughter of Wendi and Troy Fugate of Glide, has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina.Learn more »
Lions establish new location
The Umpqua Lions will have a no-host dinner meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Kowloon Restaurant, 2686 N.E. Diamond Lake Blvd., Roseburg.Learn more »
MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, ROSEBURG
STEVER — Angela and Joseph Stever, Riddle, December 6, a daughter, Kelsey Kerriann Stever, 8 pounds 13 ouncesLearn more »
Plant Clinic hours growing
The Douglas County Master Gardeners will have Plant Clinic hours from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays through the month of February at the OSU Extension office, 1134 S.E. Douglas Ave., Roseburg.Learn more »
Post 2468 hosts VFW potluck
Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Ladies Auxiliary of Post 2468 will host a potluck at 6 p.m. Friday at the VFW Hall, 1127 N.E. Walnut St., Roseburg.Learn more »
Douglas County Veterans Viewpoint: Information is available for veteransJanuary 25, 2015 —
I’ve written about the importance of education as a foundation for being a good citizen. I understand that, sometimes, acquiring the information needed to make good choices can be tough. We should all be thankful for the many resources available to veterans, their families and supporters.
When people ask me for resources, I begin with the Douglas County Veterans Service Office. The helpful and knowledgeable staff at the VSO helps provide information on veterans’ claims, educational benefits, burial benefits, home loan certificates of eligibility, Department of Veterans Affairs medical care, Oregon VA home loans and a host of other resources. If VSO staff can’t answer your questions, they will know someone who can.
The VSO is located in the Douglas County Courthouse, 1036 S.E. Douglas Ave., Roseburg. The office is in Room 8.
If getting to Roseburg is difficult for veterans, the VSO operates outreach locations in Canyonville, Reedsport, Yoncalla and at Umpqua Community College. Please call ahead to make an appointment or to confirm walk-in hours: 541-440-4219. More VSO information is available online: www.co.douglas.or.us/veterans.
The Veterans Affairs Roseburg Healthcare System is the place to start for questions about VA medical care and other services. VARHS offers a wealth of important information, including the GI Bill, disability compensation, burials, memorials and survivor benefits. VARHS is located in the heart of Roseburg on Garden Valley Boulevard. I recommend starting with a phone call to 541-440-1000, or going online at: www.roseburg.va.gov.
Allow me to change gears and touch on an upcoming event of special interest. The Roseburg VA will host a Veterans Death Benefits Seminar on Thursday, March 26, beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the Roseburg VA Campus Auditorium. The seminar will focus on services and locations for remains, death benefits, questions regarding burial and other funeral-home details, hospice care and services available.
The Veterans Death pension is a benefit paid by the VA to eligible dependents (surviving spouse and/or child) of deceased wartime veterans whose deaths were not related to military service. In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be the surviving spouse or eligible child of an eligible veteran. Children of veterans are eligible if they are under the age of 18, enrolled in a VA-approved educational/training institution or became permanently incapable of self-support before reaching the age of 18. Deceased veterans must have served at least 90 days of active duty with at least one day of wartime service and died of causes that were unrelated to military service.
Allow me one last digression. I previously mentioned how VARHS provides information about the GI Bill. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the GI Bill, was enacted on June 22, 1944. Last year, the VA celebrated the 70 years of educational and economic assistance to our service men and women and veterans.
Today, a new group of veterans, including activated members of the National Guard and Reserve components, is accessing the post-9/11 GI Bill and other education benefits, following in the footsteps of the World War II veterans who benefited from the original program. Subsequent legislation expanded and extended similar GI Bill benefits to generations that followed, including veterans of the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf Wars, as well as those serving during peacetime.
“In the 70 years since the original GI Bill was signed into law in 1944, VA has provided millions of veterans and their families with low-cost home loans, education and vocational training,” said Allison A. Hickey, VA’s Under Secretary for Benefits. “VA is committed to ensuring today’s veterans have every opportunity to achieve their goals, and the GI Bill is one big way in which we are delivering on that commitment.”
God bless our veterans and God bless America.
Have information to share with Douglas County veterans? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-580-6178.
John McDonald, a member of the Oregon National Guard, is president of the Douglas County Veterans Forum and a member of the Douglas County Veterans Advisory Committee, the Patrick W. Kelley VFW Post 2468 and the Earle B. Stewart American Legion Post 16. He’s a combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm with more than 15 years of military service. He can be reached at email@example.com.
50th Anniversary: Courville, Tom and MarilynJanuary 26, 2015 —
Courvilles enjoy life together
Tom and Marilyn Courville celebrated their 50th anniversary recently with a few friends and a private dinner party.
Marilyn Wrightsman and Tom Courville met at a Lake Snohomish Bible Camp when they were 15 years old and he knew she was the one for him. After they’d both finished high school in 1962, Tom joined the U.S. Army. The pair were married two years later on Dec. 21, 1964, in Seattle, Washington. Tom served a total of more than 10 years in the military between 1962 and 1976, including two tours to Japan. The second time, Marilyn was able to go with him to Okinawa and one of their daughters was born at the Air Force Base there.
In 1976, Tom mustered out for the last time and the Courvilles moved to Douglas County, where he was employed with the U.S. Postal Service until his retirement in 1992. Marilyn was a home maker for their family and worked at J.C. Penny. She also encouraged the children to participate in 4-H. Their interests in dog care and obedience training took them to the Douglas County Fair, and even to the State Fair in Salem.
Marilyn and Tom enjoy writing, research, teaching nutrition and spending time with their eight grandchildren. Tom has also earned a degree as a holistic health practitioner and as a nutritional consultant. In his free time, he likes to play golf. The couple have three children: Roger Courville of Gresham; Renée Honea and her husband, Leland (Butch), of Carson City, Nevada; and Lori Hauswald, and her husband, Tom, of Kalama, Wash.
Club News: USSVI meets Jan. 30 to select 2015 Rogue-Umpqua Base officersJanuary 19, 2015 —
Submarine vets meet locally
The Rogue-Umpqua Base of the United States Submarine Veterans Incorporated will gather at noon Jan. 30, 2015, at the Tri-City Veterans Hall, 252 Old Pacific Highway, Myrtle Creek (take Exit 103 from Interstate 5).
This meeting will celebrate and honor shipmates on “Eternal Patrol,” and elect a Base Commander and a Treasurer. For those who haven’t already joined, but would like to do so, Base and National dues for 2015 are $30 (Base is $10 and National is $20). Life members’ National dues are free. Meeting locations rotate in and out of Douglas County, so submariners may want to keep the information number below for handy reference.
Rogue-Umpqua Base Vice Commander Pratt says, “Whether your pin is gold or silver, and regardless of your rank or rate, if you are a qualified submarine veteran, you’re welcome as a ‘brother of the ‘phin.’”