Celebration marks Oregon Veterans Home’s fifth year in Lebanon

By Sarah Brown

Lebanon Local

The Oregon Veterans Home of Lebanon celebrated its five-year anniversary Sept. 20 with cake and a look back at its history and community involvement.

Oregon Veterans Home program director Jeremy Woodall speaks to a full room.

Since opening in 2014, the OVH has served 605 veterans and spouses. Those residents included 207 Army vets, 132 Navy vets, 76 Air Force personnel, 54 Marines, seven Army Air Corps, four from the Coast Guard and one Merchant Marine.

The residents served in the Vietnam war (188), World War II (131), Korean War (120), Gulf war (11), Afghanistan and Iraq wars (3), and 54 were peace-time vets.

When the OVH opened, they started with 15 employees, and today have more than 260. There is an average 80 hours a week of volunteer hours invested for the residents.

Special recognition was given to the Oregon Elks for their contributions, and more specifically, to the Elks Lodge 1972 in Sweet Home, who assist with events.

The Oregon Jamboree was honored for its contributions in providing free entertainment for the veterans who are unable to attend the concerts. The Willamette Valley Quilts of Valor was recognized for making customized quilts for 262 veterans of the home so far.

The OVH was awarded this year the Silver National Quality award for its commitment to

Albert Irwin, left, a Korean War Navy veteran, shares celebratory cake with his son, Terry Irwin. Albert is the longest tenured veteran residing at the OVH in Lebanon.

improve the quality of care to its residents, but Jeremy Woodall, program director of Oregon Department of Veteran’s Affairs, noted they don’t do this for the awards; they do it for the veterans.

“We do this because these guys and gals deserve our very best,” he said.

“This is the place where honor lives.”