We are a Part of the Military Family

We are a military family.  This is not a common phrase these days, but it is one that I proudly state.

During World War II, my dad served in the US Army.  Like many of his generation, he didn’t talk much about it.  He served here in the United States and also in the Pacific theater.  When asked about his service, he would shrug and say that it was what people did and the right thing to do.  Daddy developed long-lasting friendships and camaraderie forged through working for a greater good outside of oneself, working hard together, and shared experiences.

Bud Pierce, my husband, also served in the military, first as an enlisted Marine and later as a Navy officer.  Bud wanted to serve (unusual at the time among his peers) and found time between his first and second year in medical school to go to boot camp as an enlisted Marine.  Bud served for six years as a Marine, trained in jungle warfare and desert warfare serving as a basic rifleman.  After medical school, Bud served as a Naval Reserve Medical Officer for seven years, spending much of his service time taking care of Marines as a doctor at Camp Pendleton.

Our family is surrounded by those that served in the US Armed Forces.  Bud’s dad, Arnold, served in an engineering battalion in the Pacific.  He had the misfortune of being captured by the Japanese and being interned in a Japanese POW camp.  After being freed, he joined the Army Air Corps which would later become the US Air Force.  He would next serve in the European theater during the Berlin airlift to counter the Russian blockade and siege of Berlin.  There, Arnold met Erika who married Arnold and later became Bud’s mom.  Erika as a teenager had her own World War II hardships of living through constant around-the-clock bombings of Berlin.  Her job was to go to the roof after the planes dropped their bombs and kick off incendiary devices to prevent the buildings from catching on fire.  War is hell!

My children were a delight as grandchildren for Grandpa Da.  Da was a Marine who was sent to storm the beaches at Iwo Jima.  He was caught in heavy fire in that landing and suffered severe head injuries.  For two years, he was hospitalized and did not know his own name.  Being tough and resilient, he miraculously recovered and went on to serve as a first responder.  Da carried the scars of his wartime service and had a metal plate in his forehead to replace missing cranial bones.   Da had recurring health issues throughout his life from his injuries.  Yet, he was ever proud of having served.  There is a photo of Da on my Facebook page as he and Bud proudly wear their dress blues to a Marine Corps birthday celebration.

As your state representative, I will serve our veterans as they have served us.  I am committed to obtaining the resources that are necessary to help our veterans re-connect with civilian life and to further their education and training.  It is also important to support the families of our active military and veterans, as families often pay a heavy price for the service of their loved ones.  You can count on me to be your advocate in the Oregon Legislature.