Remembering and Honoring our Fallen Heroes from ; 2018 Resolutions and Bills


Remembering and Honoring our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day

Please join me in honoring the brave military service people who have given everything they have, laying down their lives for this great nation, this Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May every year to commemorate the men and women who have died in military service. This year is the 150th time that Memorial Day will be observed. Initially it was known as Decoration Day, and people across the nation took the time to place flowers to decorate the graves of those who died in war. That tradition began about 3 years after the conclusion of the Civil War.

Over the years, thousands of Oregonians have given their lives in war-time military service. Some of those losses have hit close to home, and some have come from our community. Senate District 5 honored two fallen heroes during the 2018 Legislative Session: Lance Corporal Bryan Pahl Bertrand from Coos Bay, and Soldier Pfc. Brice M.Scott from the Florence/Eugene area.


Remembering and Honoring Lance Corporal Bryan Pahl Bertrand for his service to his country

Bryan was the youngest and only son in a family with three older sisters, Rebecca, Erica and Tara.  He was born on August 12, 1978 to Bruce and Patty Bertrand. Bryan was a very social person, and from a young age he was able to talk to both young and old alike. That same characteristic was evident in the Marines. Gunnery Sergeant Randolph Richter said that he couldn’t “recall ever seeing Bryan alone; he was always with his peers…and his peers were happy for being with him”. The special friendships he made while in the Marines were a big reason why Bryan loved being a Marine.

From his time in Coos Bay through his experience as a Marine, Bryan had a heart for people who were bullied or put down in life.  He befriended schoolmates who weren’t accepted by the more popular crowd.  In the Marines, he helped a fellow Marine who had become the target of put-downs and jokes.  That Marine expressed to Bryan’s parents how that got him through some difficult times.  Bryan was a tough Marine with a heart. 

He graduated from Marshfield High School where he excelled at sports and was an all-state linebacker on the football team. Whether camping with his family, excelling in high school football as an outside linebacker, having fun with friends in Coos Bay, or training as a Marine, he always wanted to be engaged in doing something, especially if he thought it was fun or challenging.  Gunnery Sergeant Richter said that Bryan was set on ridding the world of boredom.  Of course, that approach at times landed him in some hot water.

Within weeks of September 11, 2001, Lance Corporal Bryan Pahl Bertrand was deployed to the Middle East, where he flew missions delivering supplies between Pakistan, Bahrain, and Afghanistan. Marine Lance Cpl. Bryan Pahl Bertrand, 23, died January 9, 2002 in a military plane crash in Pakistan along with six other Marines. He was the first Oregon casualty of the war against terrorism.   



Remembering and Honoring Private First Class Brice M. Scott for his service to his country

Carol Tripp, Gold Star mother of fallen Oregon Soldier Pfc. Brice M.Scott contacted my office during the 2018 legislative session.  Carol requested that a memorial sign in honor of Brice be placed on Highway 126. In her story, Carol shared that Brice was born on September 17, 1988, in Eugene. During Brice’s life, Hwy. 126 between Florence and Eugene was a constant for him, starting with his mother traveling in the night from our home in Florence to Sacred Heart Hospital in Eugene.  Later, there would be frequent travels to his grandparents home for weekend visits. Brice spent countless hours during his life on this beautiful highway.

Brice grew up in Florence and later attended North Eugene High School. He later moved backed to Florence after high school and in March, 2010, PFC Scott joined a long line of family members who served in the military when he enlisted in the United States Army. 

His military career led him to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division as a 19D Cavalry Scout and belt-fed machine gunner. Shortly after deploying to Afghanistan in 2011, PFC Scott was working a security checkpoint in Kandahar Province when he and two other soldiers were ambushed by eight insurgents. On July 31, 2011, he succumbed to wounds sustained from enemy fire while trying to help a fellow soldier. PFC Scott was known for his selflessness: always trying to help others and putting the needs of others before his own. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.



2018 Resolutions and Bills

During the 2018 Legislative Session, the Oregon Legislature passed several resolutions honoring Oregonians who died in military service.

HCR 202: Honoring First Lieutenant Pokorney

House Concurrent Resolution 202 recognizes and honors First Lieutenant Frederick E. Pokorney, Jr., for his service to his country.

HCR 205: Honoring PFC Scott

House Concurrent Resolution 205 recognizes and honors Private First Class Brice M. Scott for his service to his country.

HCR 209: Honoring Lance Corporal Bertrand

House Concurrent Resolution 209 recognizes and honors Lance Corporal Bryan Pahl Bertrand for his service to his country.

SCR 204: Honoring Sgt. Patrick Fennerty and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jonathan Gibson

Senate Concurrent Resolution 204-A acknowledges the service and sacrifice of Sergeant Sean Fennerty and CW3 Jon Gibson, and of their loved ones.

There are other ways to observe Memorial Day and there are several events around the state. To find out more information, the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs has a list online.

While Memorial Day is dedicated to honoring those who have died in military service, we did a lot of work this past legislative session to help our warriors living among us.

SB 1506: Oregon Wounded Warrior Program

Senate Bill 1506 creates an “Oregon Wounded Warrior” parking permit for veterans who are disabled. It will allow the holder to park for free in metered and time-limited public parking spaces.

SB 1517: Free Hunting Tags for Veterans

Senate Bill 1517 authorizes Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to annually issue a limited number of free hunting tags for use by veterans to nonprofit organizations.

SB 1548: Post Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness

Establishes June as Oregon’s Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Month and June 27th as Oregon Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day. 

HB 4038: Veterans Omnibus Bill

House Bill 4038 addresses a number of issues of concern to veterans: the siting of the Roseburg Veterans’ Home, cemeteries for veterans, incarcerated veterans, the disposition of unclaimed military medals, and veterans’ preference for public employment. It also directs ODVA to establish a program for assisting incarcerated veterans.

HB 4098: Apprenticeship Informational Materials and Training

House Bill 4098 directs the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs to develop pamphlets on apprenticeship program opportunities and distribute them to local Veteran Services Offices. A

HB 4035: Tuition Assistance for National Guard Members

House Bill 4035 provides tuition assistance to Oregon National Guard members. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission will distribute tuition assistance for community college and Oregon public university programs to qualifying National Guard members. 

SB 1557: Support for Students Called to Active Duty

Senate Bill 1557 allows students who are ordered to active duty during their studies to make up missed assignments and exams in line with excused absence policies. SB 1557 allows teachers to award grades without considering missed work that would be completed after the grading deadline.


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