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July 13, 2014
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Douglas County Veterans' Viewpoint: Forum combines power, strength of veterans' groups

Last week I had the good fortune to sit down with Dona Brewer, one of the directors for the Douglas County Veterans Forum. She is the president of the American Women Veterans’ Association, an organization with the mission of preserving and promoting the legacy of servicewomen, veterans and their families.

The association, which is on a summer hiatus, recently conducted a flag retirement ceremony at the Sutherlin Independence Day picnic. For more information about the group, please contact Brewer at 541-391-9813 or email her at

The next monthly meeting of the DCVF is at 5 p.m. July 15 at the American Legion Post 16, 406 S.E. Oak Ave., Roseburg. The forum is composed of members of veterans groups, including the Southern Oregon Warbirds, Vietnam Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AWVA, the American Legion and others. The forum represents veterans by combining the power and strength of the member organizations for the advancement of the welfare and interests of Douglas County’s veterans.

The DCVF and its member organizations provide mutual support for activities that benefit the greater Douglas County community, such as fundraisers for Camp Millennium, oratory and scholarship programs for high school students, food drives, job fairs and Memorial Day ceremonies.

Additionally, the DCVF sponsors the Veterans Day Parade Committee, which provides our community with one of the finest parades west of the Mississippi. The DCVF also works with Roseburg High School on Living History Day, providing high school students an opportunity to visit with and learn from veterans.

July 17 is the quarterly remembrance service at the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The noon service honors recently deceased veterans and VA employees and volunteers. The Roseburg VA chapel is in Building 16, 913 N.W. Garden Valley Blvd. Call 541-440-1000 for more information.

The Cow Creek Umpqua Tribe has a long history of military service and supporting veterans. For example, the tribe made the largest donation of the nine federally recognized tribal governments in Oregon for the World War II memorial unveiled last month on the Capitol grounds in Salem.

The Tribe hosted its 15th Annual Independence Day Dinner for veterans. U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley attended the prestigious event. The senators each spoke briefly, touching on the value of service, veterans and veterans’ health care. The Douglas County Veterans Forum presented the senators with growlers from Roseburg’s own Old 99 Brewing Co.

It was an honor to attend the Independence Day Dinner. The tribe’s hospitality and food at the Seven Feathers Convention Center was outstanding. I felt blessed to share the tribe’s support for all veterans.

Finally, a July 19 convoy to escort Charlie Company from Roseburg to Ashland for the Mobilization Ceremony is being organized by the Vietnam Veterans of America and Rolling Thunder. Details are still being worked out. Anyone interested in participating should contact Linda Mooney at 541-817-7646 or

God bless our veterans and God bless America.

Have information to share with Douglas County veterans? Contact me at 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, Storm with more than 15 years of military service.

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The News-Review Updated Jul 13, 2014 12:06AM Published Jul 13, 2014 12:06AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.