COVID-19 Updates 11/13/2020: Honoring Our Veterans

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

We celebrated and honored our nation's heroes this week. The North Plains Community came together on Wednesday to honor and celebrate our Veterans at the North Plains Veterans Park Dedication. The park will forever be a peaceful place to find comfort and reflection for us all to think of those that have served, continue to serve and all that our Veterans and families have sacrificed for our country. I come from a proud U.S. Navy strong family and this park warms my heart and makes me so proud to represent this district.

North Plains 2

North Plains Bricks

The Veterans Memorial Park is officially open! Thank you to all who attended the grand opening ceremony.  The design also incorporates more than 1,500 bricks, and the opportunity for residents and friends of North Plains to make their contribution to the project by “Buying a Brick.” Patrons may purchase a brick for $100 and include the inscription of a service veteran, deceased or living. There is no deadline to purchase a brick- the park design has more than 1,500 bricks, so we will accept dedications for years.  

          North Plains Veterans Memorial Park


The City of Hillsboro has constructed a new road across the County Fairgrounds extending Grant Street to Brookwood Parkway known as Veterans Drive.  The Memorial Fund for Veterans of Washington County is accepting orders for memorial stones to honor any veteran who has or did have ties to Washington County.

More information or to purchase a memorial stone.

Watch: Oregon Virtual Veterans Day Celebration 

The State of Oregon conducted a virtual celebration to show appreciation to all Oregon veterans for their service and the freedoms they have helped secure. Featuring Governor Kate Brown, Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Kelly Fitzpatrick, Senator Jeff Merkley, Senator Ron Wyden and many more.

Lines for Life

Lines for Life provides a hotline specifically for members of the military. 

United States Department of Veteran Affairs has provided links to Federal VA benefits and resources for health benefits and services. 

The Public and Intergovernmental Affairs website contains up-to-date official VA news releases, speeches, stories, videos, fact sheets on various subjects, information regarding VA's homeless veterans program.

A VA website that helps find local resources that can assist in connecting veterans, their family members and friends with mental health information.

The Association of the United States Army has a website that provides beneficial information for military retirees and their families.

Honoring veterans' service to our nation - 1 in 4 veterans in America has a disability 

Information provided by Disability Rights Oregon

Disability Rights Oregon works to make sure that veterans with disabilities receive the support they need to live independently with their families or in their communities.

We help veterans who wish to pursue other rewarding careers after they've completed their military service to communicate with employment counselors at Oregon's Vocational Rehabilitation Office.

And we advocate for greater investments in mental health services for veterans, and anyone else in need of mental healthcare, where those resources will have the most lasting impact: our communities.

For links to resources about the rights of veterans with disabilities in Oregon, visit our website.

8 Facts About America's Veterans

Learn more about those who’ve served our country

On Veterans Day, we pay our respects to the men and women who have served in the armed forces both at home and abroad. But who are these dedicated individuals? Let’s look at the facts.

1. The U.S. has 17.42 million veterans.

Veterans make up 7% of the overall adult population. Nine percent are female and 91% are male. Learn more.

2. 61% of U.S. veterans have been deployed at least once, and 36% have served in a combat zone.

Learn more.

3. 47% of veterans are age 65 or older.

In comparison, 19% of the non-veteran U.S. population is age 65 or older. Learn more.
47% of veterans are age 65 or older

4. 12% of the veterans in the workforce are women.

Overall, women account for 47% of the American workforce. Learn more.

5. 76% of veterans own a home.

In comparison, 62% of non-veterans own a home. Learn more.
76% of veterans own a home

6. 23% of veterans are racial or ethnic minorities.

Learn more.

7. At 11%, Alaska is the state that has the highest proportion of veterans as part of its population.

Montana and Virginia come in second — 10% of their residents are veterans. For the country as a whole, 7% of residents are veterans. Learn more.

8. 79% of U.S. veterans say they would advise a young person close to them to join the military.

Learn more.

Thanks to our friends at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Pew Research Center for the data, collected between 2016 and 2019. Want to learn more? Explore our fascinating facts on Americans and work.

House District 30 – Veteran Connections

Cpl. Joseph Herndez Gallegos Army Air Corp WWII

SSFT Joseph S. Gallegos USAF/OANG 1961-69
Joe Gallegos also served as the House District 30 State Representative (2013-2017)

SSFT Joseph S. Gallegos USAF-OANG 1961-69

Cpl. Joseph Hernandez Gallegos Army Air Corp WWII

Mae “Betty Pomeroy, Retired US Army Colonel

Mae “Betty" Pomeroy, Retired US Army Colonel

Veterans Day Picture

My uncle, Norman Olson, was a Navy Veteran. In early 1945, his ship that he served on went in for the Iwo Jima Invasion. He was aboard the USS Bismarck Sea, when it was attacked by kamikaze pilots and sank. He survived, but his mother had received word that he had died. She then noticed a letter she had received from him that was dated AFTER the attack on his ship, so she knew he was alive. (Communication was difficult and much delayed to say the least back then.)

Learn more about the sinking of the USS Bismarck Sea:

The Sinking of the Bismarck Sea

Aron Carleson's Grandpa served in the Army, while her Grandma was a Rosie the Riveter, working on military planes for Boeing. (1944)

Aron Carleson's Grandpa served in the Army, while her Grandma was a Rosie the Riveter, working on military planes for Boeing. (1944)

Brigette Harrington is proud of her Navy Veteran Grandpas, Michael Harrington, and Charles Gebhardt

Brigette Harrington is proud of her Navy Veteran Grandpas; Michael Harrington, and Charles Gebhardt

Noel Vargas, Marine Sergeant E-5 (1996-2000)

Noel Vargas, Marine Sergeant E-5 (1996-2000)

Julian Gray's Father

By Julian Gray - House District 30 resident, sharing a story of his veteran father

Thank you for your service gunners mate Julian Gray, Sr. Dad served in WWII on the USS Vincennes (CA-44). This ship was at the Battle of Midway (although dad never mentioned being involved in that engagement) and was later assigned to support then guard the landing at Guadalcanal. Dad saw the marines landing.

At 1:44 AM on the morning of August 9, 1942 Japanese ships slipped into the area and discovered the Allied convoy including the USS Vincennes. They opened fire on the convoy comprising the Vincennes, Astoria, and Quincy in a battle that lasted a mere 20 minutes. All three US Cruisers we’re sunk in that battle, which came to be known as the Battle of Savo Island; there’s a book about it (“Savo”). My dad abandoned ship when the order was given and survived after swimming for 8 hours. He was rescued by an American destroyer. Just before being rescued a Japanese submarine was discovered in the area and beneath the surviving seamen. The destroyer dropped depth charges that successfully destroyed the submarine. The crew in the water were told to keep their heads above water - the shock of the explosion would implode their eardrums. The aftermath of that battle with the sub left dad and his crew mates swimming in a diesel fuel slick.

Ultimately, so many ships were sunk in the waters off Guadalcanal that the area became known as Iron Bottom Sound.

After physically surviving the Battle of Savo Island, my father was retrained for bomb disposal and  finished the balance of the war in the Philippines disarming mines and unexploded ordinance.

We can never measure the toll war takes on a person. I witnessed dad coping with PTSD and nightmares through alcohol and smoking. I clearly recall him waking in the middle of the night screaming “abandoned ship” more than once. Many of dad’s friends went down with the ship that night off Savo Island. Dad died at a young 54.

Thank you for your service, sir. Thank you to all veterans. 

Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance

Governor Kate Brown will Hold a Press Conference at 12:00 pm, today (11/13) to announce new measures to address Oregon's alarming spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. She will be joined by representatives from the Oregon Health Authority

and the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)

.A live stream will be available for the public. Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL) simulcasts will also be available. Please watch here

Patricia Ekman (Navy Wave)

Patricia Ekman (Navy Wave)

Bernhhard Ekman (Retired Navy Veteran) and William Sollman (Army Veteran)

Bernhard Ekman (Retired Navy Veteran) and William Sollman (Army Veteran)

How did you honor our nation’s heroes? Whether in war time or peace, they have sacrificed for the greater good for us all. Serving in the military becomes a family affair, one of pride and love of country. Thank you to the many heroes of House District 30 and their families.

Be good to yourself and each other. ❤

Onward & Upward,


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1430
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-487, Salem, Oregon 97301