The 40/8 Awards 17 Scholarships

Nursing students, at left, accept a special pin from members of The 40/8 during a banquet on April 30. Photos by Sarah Brown

The Forty & Eight (40/8) awarded 17 scholarships to nurse, automotive and medical students, and honored them with a banquet on April 30.

Fred Schafer, at left, honors automotive program students.

“This is what we do every April, we celebrate the nurses,” said Fred Schafer, nurses training director locale of the 40/8. “Since the automotive school was put here in Lebanon, we’ve picked up one or two of the automotive students in their senior years.”

The 40/8 runs bingo games twice a week at The American Legion in Lebanon and uses the proceeds to fund scholarships for local students, he said. The society has been awarding scholarships to nursing students for decades. More recently they opened their applications to students at Linn-Benton Community College Automotive Technology and COMP-Northwest.

Pam Seelye, grand president of LaFemmes, of Canby, was inspired by the turnout at the banquet who came to honor the students, “because you don’t get enough pats on the backs and ‘thank yous’ for what you do.”

Nursing student Savanna Prather reads her essay submission during a banquet honoring scholarship awardees.

In the past, the 40/8 awarded eight $800 scholarships for nurse’s training, but this year they handed out 14 for nurses, two for automotive technicians and one for a COMP-Northwest med student, for a total of $13,600.

Kevin Owens, past state commander, of North Bend, noted that oftentimes veterans are called heroes, but he believes the nurses are the ones who are heroes.
“Our nurses program is strong in Oregon,” Owens said. “There’s a shortage of nurses, as you know, and we hope that you encourage your friends to become nurses. It’s a great profession and you do a lot more good than we could ever do.”

Retired nurses and ROTC students served at the banquet while the 40/8 passed out special pins and plaques to the honorees. Applicants must have good grades, and those with a veteran in their family will take priority.

COMP-Northwest student Steven Mayberry, at right, accepts a plaque from Fred Schafer as the first medical college student to receive a scholarship from The 40/8.

The 40/8, also known in its translated name as “The Society of Forty Men and Eight Horses,” is a society of American veterans who support veterans and their families, and participate in charitable and patriotic endeavors.

The name is derived from boxcars used to transport American soldiers to the front line during World War I. The boxcars could hold 40 men or eight horses – and were labeled as such – and became a symbolic and shared experience among the soldiers. Veterans founded The Forty & Eight in 1920 as an arm of The American Legion, which later became a separate organization in 1960.