Veterans were honored Friday with a hot dog and hamburger barbecue at the Umpqua Community Health Center parking lot in north Roseburg.

Veterans were able to bring their pets to the event and get them pampered. Along with the lunch, there were booths offering pet grooming, haircuts for the veterans, and even pastries for the humans and treats for the dogs — one even offered ice cream cones for the canines.

Umpqua Community College and the American Red Cross provided information about their organizations, and other handed out sundry items and brochures services for veterans.

UCHC hosted the event for the second year in a row, to coincide with the Veterans Day weekend to honor the veterans and provide some free services for them.

KC Bolton, CEO of the Umpqua Community Health Center, was awarded two bronze stars before he retired from the U.S. Army. He was pleased with the number of veterans who turned out for the event despite the cold weather.

Bolton said it was a way the clinic’s staff could show their appreciation to the veterans for their service.

“I think it’s the right thing to do, the staff gets excited when we prep for this event, to show thanks to the veterans,” Bolton said.

UCHC board chair Ruth Galster said the event was another way they that the clinic could help the community.

Oda Flood, a Vietnam veteran in special forces and a POW for six years, said these types of event mean a lot to him after how the soldiers were treated when they came back from Vietnam.

“We were called pretty bad names when I came home from Vietnam,” Flood said. “The main thing is that it is for the veterans to let us know that, by God, there is someone out there that does care.”

Jerrie Thomas, the owner and baker at Goodog Bakery in Myrtle Creek was one of several people to help make Friday’s event dog-friendly.

“I am here to treat the veterans and let them know that we truly appreciate what they’ve done, and many have little doggies and I have treats for both,” Thomas said.

Navy veteran Vincent Rose brought his dog Lilly to get her groomed by the workers from Sutherlin Pet Grooming. He thought it was a nice service for those veterans with dogs.

“I think it’s really great, I’m very much appreciative of them putting this event on, and I recently moved back, so that’s nice,” Rose said.

County Commissioner Tim Freeman spoke to those gathered at the event and applauded the veterans for their service and for Umpqua Community Health Center officials for recognizing their contribution.

“Our veterans represent what’s best about our country, they defend the freedoms we enjoy every single day,” Freeman said. “It’s our duty to thank our veterans for the great sacrifices they have made and continue to make in service to our country.”

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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