Its been several months since the end of the 2016 Legislative session where we saw 6 Concurrent Resolutions passed for 7 Heroes……who gave their lives for our country.
February is here once again and the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session has begun.
This session has 4 House Concurrent Resolutions that cover 5 Heroes from Oregon. 2 more are in process, but for now there are these 4.
Here are the resolutions:
HCR3: Pvt. James H. Rowden USMC 3-5-1966 Republic of Vietnam
PFC. John W. Rowden USMC 2-10-1968 Republic of Vietnam
HCR6 Cpl. Dale G Peterson USMC 4-23-2007 Iraq
HCR7 SGT David W Johnson-Deford US Army 9-25-2004 Iraq
HCR11 SGT Ronald W Burkhart 3-26-1968 Army Rep. of Vietnam
As you problably noticed, HCR3 is for 2 brothers. Last session, SCR206 approved signs for Brothers George and James Wright, of Boring, who both lost their lives in Vietnam.
Oregon has 4 sets of Brothers who were lost in Vietnam, and the Rowden brothers will be the 2nd Honored with Memorial Signs.
I want to share a post from the Oregonian from 1968 about the Rowden Family.
“Parents Ask Deferment of Third Son After Two Brothers Killed in War Medford (Special)
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Rowden who have lost two sons in Vietnam, Thursday applied for a deferment for their third son, Douglas, 19, Mrs. Rowden told The Oregonian.
Douglas Wednesday received notice to report not for induction but for a pre-induction physical examination.
All youths in the 19-year age group are automatically classified 1-A and are called for preliminary physical examinations, Helen McDonnell, chief clerk of Selective Service Board number 17 at Medford, explained.
If they fail the examination they are automatically classified 4-F or 1-Y. If they pass the physical exam, they may then apply for reclassification for any one of a number of reasons.
The Rowdens said Thursday their local board had suggested they write a letter immediately applying for a deferment for Douglas under the hardship provisions of the regulations.
“They told me they were pretty sure the board would grant a six-months deferment, as the board has a compassionate policy,” Mrs. Rowden said.
The six-month deferment can be extended, Selective Service Officials report, “but we would prefer a permanent deferment.” Mrs. Rowden said.
The Rowdens’ oldest son, James, was killed two years ago while fighting as a Marine at the age of 21.
The Rowdens were notified Tuesday that their second Marine son, John, 21, had also been killed while fighting on 10 Feb (1968). John had enlisted because he thought his dead brother would have wished it, the parents explained. If Douglas were their only remaining son he would be automatically exempted from military service, but the Rowdens also have a son, Malcolm, 10 years old.
“I feel we have donated enough to the Vietnam cause,” Rowden said, still shocked by notification of John’s death.
He said he had written to Oregon’s congressional delegation and to Gov. Tom McCall and expected to talk to Sen. Wayne Morse.
Douglas, a high school graduate, is working in a sawmill and has never attended college, so is not eligible for a student classification, Mrs. Rowden said. (The Oregonian, Portland OR, Friday 16 Feb 1968) Rowden Funeral Slated Thursday The body of John Wayne Rowden, 21, has been returned for burial and funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in Memory Gardens Funeral Home. Additional funeral details are to be announced tomorrow.”
Can you imagine ???? Having lost TWO sons in Vietnam, having JUST learned about the 2nd……then in the face of what must have been crushing grief…….try to protect the life of your 3rd draft elgible son ??? Strength beyond compare. I ask each of you that read this……..to please try to put yourselves in the place of those parents, and those surviving Brothers. I cannot imagine what that was like. Many of have lost a Husband, a Mother, a brother or sister to combat.
But in modern warfare such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the loss of multiple family members is rare, and has not happened in Oregon.
As this session moves along i will keep you updated with these Resolutions.