(Oregon Veteran’s Home, Lebanon, Oregon) – The Oregon Jamboree of Sweet Home, Oregon, was one of three groups that accepted awards on Friday, September 20, 2019, from the Oregon Veterans’ Home at the five year anniversary of the opening of the home in Lebanon, Oregon. Festival director, Robert Shamek, accepted on behalf of the event, it’s board of directors, volunteers and staff.
Megan Eddy is the recreation director who has worked with a phenomenal group of ladies to make all of the fun happen for the home. In the last five years, they have developed relationships with people and groups in the community to provide for opportunities and experiences.
“It was difficult to pick three organizations that we wanted to award,” said Eddy in introducing the award recipients.
The Oregon Jamboree was selected for providing a one-of-a-kind country music experience to the residence of the Oregon Veterans’ Home. Many of the veterans want to attend the Oregon Jamboree but, due to limitations, are not be able to attend the three-day outdoor premier country music festival in Sweet Home, Oregon. Shamek stepped forward in bringing a summer concert series that has provided a total of eight musical performances over the last two years. Many artists have reached back out to perform again and have even gone above and beyond to provide one-on-one concerts for veterans unable to leave their room to attend the summer concerts.
The Oregon Jamboree also assisted the recreation team in establishing a headliner for their third annual Fourth of July Freedom Music Festival event.
“We are thankful and admire the folks at the Oregon Jamboree for that,” continued Eddy in her announcement. “Thank you for making each summer a music filled event!”
Other Award Recipients Are:
- The Oregon Elks who brought forth the fire pit for the veterans which was the catalyst for many more generous donations from the Elks. When the Oregon Veterans’ Home is in need of coffee, hearing devices, or gaming systems – they are there to fund it. The home has developed strong relationships with many, especially the Sweet Home Elks chapter. They have stepped up to fund the annual Valentines Dinner each year, but also the labor to serve the semi-formal meal. Each year, at the Fourth of July Freedom Music Festival, event hours are long with set-up and take down on the 4th of July – they are there every step of the way. Total funds donated to date exceeds $20,000.
- Quilts of Valor is a quilting group whose mission is to cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts of valor. A quality made quilt, not to be mistaken as a charity quilt is quilted and awarded as a thank you for the veterans’ services, sacrifices and honor during war. Working year around, they provide a new quilt every other month in an honorable ceremony including a presentation, the pledge of allegiance, and a blessing. Invites are sent to loved ones to join while they are honored. A total of 262 quilts have been given to residents over the last five years.
“I had no idea [when I met them at the grand opening of this building] how much love they would share over our campus,” says Eddy.
This is the place where honor lives.
- First veteran admitted was a marine, Mr. Donald Tubbs
- First female was Michelle Francis, a post Korean War veteran
- On their two-year anniversary, they admitted US Army WWII Veteran Robert Rogers, who was also the 155th admit for the first-time full house
- 605 total veterans and spouses served since opened
- 207 Army Veterans
- 132 Navy Veterans
- 54 Marines
- 1 Merchant Marine
- 4 U.S. Coast Guards
- 76 Air Force
- 7 Air Army/Air Core
- 131 WWII veterans; 26 still with them today
- 120 Korean war Veterans
- 188 Vietnam Veterans
- 11 Gulf War Veterans
- 54 PeaceTime Veterans
- 70 Spouses
- 15 employees when they opened in 2014 to 260 today