Update on Vet Court

On April 10th, Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty visited the Central Oregon Veterans Council to update everyone about Vet Court.

A Veterans Treatment Court is a court specifically for Veterans. The YouTube video below provides a brief explanation of why a community benefits from a Vet Court and what it accomplishes.

Currently, we do not have a Vet Court in Central Oregon. An effort to create one has been going on for a number of years. for a variety of reasons, it has never gotten off the ground. Flaherty shared there is overwhelming support from the entire community.  However, he added, we do not have the judicial resources.  In 2006, it was determined that the circuit court in Central Oregon should have nine judges and we only had seven. Eight years later, we still only have seven. So, we don’t have the resources to have a Vet Court. Futher it appears they are doing their best to identify vets who are in the legal system. But, veterans don’t always identify themselves as veterans. When a vet is identified, they ensure that they are getting all the services that they are entitled to under the VA and a mentor to be with them through the process. The DA’s office has undertaken efforts to tap into grant money. But, that wouldn’t be able to be used to put more judges on the bench which is the heart of the problem.

This has even become one of the District Attorney election issues between Flaherty and his rival candidate, John Hummel. See the Bulletin article, ” DA candidates spar over veterans court

One day, there will be a Vet Court. How soon that is appears to be anybody’s guess.


Leave a comment

Filed under central oregon, Veteran's Court

Free Residential Document Shredding, Food Drive and Drug Disposal Event in Terrebonne

When: Saturday, September 15, 2012

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Substation in Terrebonne

Contact:  Laura Conard, (541) 383-4431 Sheriff’s Office Community Events Coordinator

There is no cost to the public for up to 4 medium size boxes of personal documents. However donations of non-perishable food will be accepted to benefit local Terrebonne food banks.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Data Delete are collaborating on September 15th to provide residents the opportunity to safely destroy personal documents. Also you can learn identity theft prevention tips and what to do if you believe your identity has already been stolen.  The event is intended for private residential document shredding and is not for business or company disposal.

No advance document sorting is necessary as shredding equipment can destroy paperwork with paper clips or staples attached.  File folders and binders may also be shredded.

Drug Disposal Program

At the event, the Sheriff’s Office will also have a deputy available to collect outdated or unwanted prescription medication.  Please note that needles and non-prescription medications are not accepted at this event.

The drug disposal program is designed to keep unwanted or unused medications away from abusers, children and animals. The program is also intended to reduce negative environmental impact to the water, soil and landfill’s by using proper disposal practices.

“We want to make Deschutes County citizens aware of the risks of improper document and drug disposal while helping local families at need in the community,” said Sheriff Larry Blanton.

Deschutes County encourages persons with disabilities to participate in all programs and activities. This event/location is accessible to people with disabilities. If you need accommodations to make participation possible, or to request this information in an alternate format please contact Anna Johnson (see below).

Leave a comment

Filed under central oregon, Document Shredding, Terrebonne

A Farewell Salute to Mike Ward

Mike Ward  Sadly, last week on March 1st Mike Ward, a well-known Central Oregon veteran, passed away. Mike was attending a national meeting of the Disabled American Veterans in Washington DC. My memories of Mike will always include his great smile and  can do attitude. Mike was heavily involved in the local veterans community, pitching in wherever he thought his help was needed.  A memorial service will be held next Saturday, March 10th at 2:00 pm, at the Bend Elks Lodge 63120 Boyd Acres Road. Remembrances can be made to the Disabled American Veterans 1503 NE Fourth St, Bend OR 97701.

You are welcome to post any thoughts or stories about Mike here.

Below is the obituary I was provided by Central Oregon Veterans Outreach:

January 13, 1945 – March 1, 2012

Michael James Ward passed away on March 1, 2012 while on a trip to Washington DC for the Disabled American Veterans organization. Mike was a strong supporter of American Veterans and a past Oregon State Commander of the Oregon Disabled American Veterans. A memorial service will be held at the Bend ELKS lodge, 63120 Boyd Acres Rd, Saturday, March 10 at 2pm.

Mike was born in Oregon City, Oregon on January 13th, 1945, and soon moved with his family to Eugene. Mike relocated with his mother, sister and brother to Bend in 1952. While attending school in Bend he participated in many sports and excelled in cross county running, pole vaulting and wrestling. Mike returned to Eugene to finish high school, winning two back-to-back State championships in wrestling.

Mike joined the Air Force in 1964 and traveled with the Air force wrestling team prior to focusing on a maintenance career. He served tours of duty in Turkey, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. When he returned home on leave he stayed with his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ann and Bud Keown of Crescent. He always felt at home there with their children Kevin and Kellie. He remained in the Air Force until being seriously injured in Korea in 1986. After lengthy rehabilitation Mike returned to Bend, devoting the majority of his time to helping veterans. Mike was instrumental in helping many Veterans receive help from the VA. He was also a major force in organizing the Bend Veterans’ Day parade each year.

Mike is survived by his wife Sun, daughter Su and her husband Hasani Davenport and grandchildren Tai, Asa and Mia and Clay of Bend whom he loved very much; daughter Joan Ward and son Joe Ward of Cottage Grove who were always in his thoughts; sisters Mary Ann Keown of Bend, Roberta and husband Dale Curfman of Olympia, Jackie and husband Pete Peterson of Pendleton, Kathy Inman of Tacoma; brothers and their wives, Steve and Teresa of Lakeview, Charlie and Cathy of Eugene, Rick of Springfield, Tom and Micky of South Carolina; stepmother Muriel Hilliard of Corvallis; nieces, nephews and cousins, all whom he loved, but too numerous to mention.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, 1503 NE Fourth St. Bend, Or. 97701.

1 Comment

Filed under Bend, central oregon, Memorial

A Woman to Keep an Eye On, Washington Senator Patty Murray

Senator Patty MurrayI’m excited to bring your attention to the fact that Washington Senator Patty Murray  is  Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. She also was recently selected to be co-chair of the Debt Super Committee, the committee recently formed to tackle deficit reduction.

I read her biography on the Veterans Affairs website. Her father was awarded a purple heart after World War II. In 1972, she interned in the Seattle VA’s psychiatric ward. Last week, Oregon Public Broadcasting featured her . The most telling remark to me was, “At a time when we’re cutting budgets, we have to be very cognizant that we can’t take anything away from the people who have defended our country”. 

To be honest, I don’t envy the twelve that are on the Debt Super Committee. I think it is going to be very challenging to get something agreed upon. But, I think the results would be better than across the board cuts. Senator Murray is the closest Oregon has to representation on the Debt Super Committee and she should be a loud voice for veterans. This may be a woman you want to keep an eye on.

Can Low-Key Sen. Murray Guide Supercommittee?

NPR assessed the members, what they bring to the table and how they voted on the final debt-ceiling deal. Just below the article, you will be looking at the Members of the House of Representatives on the Committee. To see the Senators, including Patty Murray, click on the tab that says Senate.

Below, are the other Members on the Debt Super Committee. The links are to information on their positions on Veterans :

Congressman Jeb Hensarling, Texas (Co-Chair)

Senator John Kerry, Massachuesetts

Congressman Dave Camp, Michigan

Senator Max Baucus, Montana

Congressman Fred Upton, Michigan

Congressman James Clyburn, South Carolina

Senator Jon Kyl, Arizona

Congressman Xavier Becerra, California

Senator Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania

Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Maryland

Senator Rob Portman, Ohio

Leave a comment

Filed under Debt Super Committee, military, Oregon, Senator Patty Murray, VA, veteran benefits, Veteran employment, Veterans

Thoughts on Saturday’s Stand Down at the Bend Community Center

Saturday, I was volunteering at the Stand Down for at risk and homeless Veterans which was held at the Bend Community Center. I was helping out at the last station. This was where they were dropping off their forms and picking up items they needed: tents, sleeping bags, hygiene kits etc. I have a feeling a portion of  the Vets who came didn’t get to that station because they didn’t need any supplies or just had a question or just had a few questions.

Jim Darcy one of the Veterans served Saturday

Jim Darcy one of the Veterans served Saturday.

So, what do homeless Vets look like in Central Oregon? Well, they are young, old, white, black, male, female, living in the woods, being on the verge of not being able to pay their rent, sleeping on someone’s couch or in their cars, have a partner, have a pet. Actually, they are quite a mixed bag. But two things they had in common, they have all served their country and they were so grateful for the help.

I would have liked to have taken the time to sit down with them and talk to them. I was curious about when they were in the service and for how long. I wondered what they had seen while they were in. I wanted to know how they had come to be in their present state and how they were holding up. I had so many questions. But, they would have to wait because I was helping handing out supplies!

I know Veterans are just a portion of the homeless and anybody being homeless is a shame. But, did you know they are a disproportionate part of the homeless population? I think that’s messed up! Some of the Veterans were drafted, some had volunteered. It depends when they were in the service. That’s the thing, they were in service to you, me, all of us! As I wrote before, we need to make sure we do right by them simply because they served. Steve Buyer said, “Because all of us believe and understand in the fabric of why we call ourselves Americans is to care for the men and women who wear the uniform; and when they take off the uniform, we care for them when they are veterans.”

The federal government has taken on ending homelessness among veterans by 2015. Locally,  Central Oregon Veterans Outreach is spearheading the effort. They applied for grant to put on the Stand Down which was a huge success. They went in on another grant with NeighborImpact to help veterans families. But, they didn’t get it this time. They were just awarded another grant to help homeless veterans in Central Oregon with housing and work. If you would like to support the efforts of COVO make a donation on their website or call them up and ask how you can help.

The Bulletin did an article on the Stand Down.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bend, central oregon, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, COVO, Homeless Veterans, Stand Down

Help get Team Rubicon the Classy Awards!

Team RubiconTeam Rubicon is up for two Classy Awards!  I would like your help voting for them. They are up for the Charity of the Year and Best New Charity awards. All you need to do is vote for them. It will only take a second unless you want to read more about them or the other candidates.  The Top 10 Finalists will be  announced on August 30th.  The winners will be recognized live on-stage at the Oscars-style Classy Awards ceremony in San Diego on September 17th. Team Rubicon co-founders, Jake Wood and William McNulty are featured speakers at the event.

The first I heard of them was after the tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. I was watching the NBC news and up pops this piece about vets stepping in and assisting in the most amazing way. It was one of those moments when I just wanted to stand up and cheer. Here was something that those vets had the skills needed in spades! Their mission is to aid disaster victims applying skills they learned in the service while engaging veterans. I think that is what makes Team Rubicon special, it’s about Vets doing service in a constructive way! So, come on, vote for them! And, while you’re at it, get your friends to vote for them too!

Leave a comment

Filed under Afghan Veterans, Classy Awards, Heros, Iraq Veterans, Team Rubicon, Veterans

Spread the Word, 2 Bend Events August 13th

Two events that are important to get the word out about. The first is:

The Great Giveaway

August 13, 2011

8:00 am-1:00 pm

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

2555 NW Shevlin Park Rd in Bend

They will have clothing, shoes, bedding, towels, rugs, curtains, toys, books, small appliances, dishes, silverware, utensils, some furniture, purses, bags, and holiday items. If you ride the bus, the #3 will drop you off at the corner of Mt. Washington and Shevlin Park. Everything is free!

Donations are being accepted and can be dropped off at the church on the 11th and 12th from noon to 8 pm.


And the second is:

A full day of  Services for at-risk and homeless Veterans called a-

Stand Down

August 13, 2011

8:00 am- 4:00 pm

 Bend Community Center

1036 SE 5th St

(Behind the Humane Society Thrift Shop)

This is a Veterans only event

Free transportation to/from Madras, Prineville, La Pine, and Bend

For more information and details, call COVO at 541-383-2793 or Steve at 541-350-3802

Veterans can come down any time between 8:00 am- 4:00 pm. There will be representatives from:

Additional services provided by NeighborImpact, Red Cross and Bend Community Center. There’s a lot  more services offered free to veterans!  If  you’re couch surfing or are having problems please come this was meant for you!

This event was made possible by Central Oregon Veteran’s Outreach receiving a grant from the federal government. We’re real excited about this. It’s the first one held in Central Oregon and hopefully not the last!


Filed under Bend, central oregon, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, COVO, Disabled veteran, Employment, Give Away, Homeless Veterans, Red Cross, Stand Down, The Central Oregon Vet Center, veteran benefits, Veteran employment, Veterans