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Jaime Herrera Beutler To Host Veterans Resource Fair on February 19 in Kelso
Event will include presentation of Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross honoring Southwest Washington military heroes
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler announced today that she will host a Veterans Resource Fair in Cowlitz County on Wednesday, February 19.
This free event is open to the public. Veterans, active duty and military family members are encouraged to connect with local organizations, groups and businesses to learn about employment opportunities, benefit information, health care services, and other resources available specifically to them. A “Mobile Vet Center” that offers a variety of counseling services -- from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to marriage and family counseling -- will also be available.
“The men and women of our military have earned our eternal gratitude, and I work to support them however I can. I’m pleased to host this ‘one-stop’ experience for veterans that brings together some of our communities’ best employment and assistance resources,” said Jaime. “It can be difficult for veterans and families of those in the military to know what assistance is out there – I’m hoping to make those resources more accessible.”
Two heroes to be honored with belated awards
At the event Jaime will award the Purple Heart to Michael Schult of Carrolls and the Distinguished Flying Cross to the widow of Terry Paxton of Longview, two Southwest Washington military heroes who had earned but never received awards for meritorious service.
Mr. Schult sustained severe combat injuries in Afghanistan when his truck was struck by an enemy bomb. It was only after Jaime’s office helped resolve a paperwork error that the U.S. Army recognized the oversight and provided Mr. Schult’s Purple Heart award, which is given to service members who have been wounded or killed in combat. It is the oldest military award still given in the U.S.
Mr. Paxton was a crew chief of a UH-1 Helicopter in the Vietnam War. Despite taking heavy fire during a volunteer mission to resupply ground troops in the Song Chang Valley, Private First Class Paxton and his crew successfully completed the mission. His efforts were vital in saving the lives of numerous other U.S. soldiers who were on the ground. More than four decades later, thanks to a congressional effort to recognize this event, Mr. Paxton’s widow will accept the Distinguished Flying Cross on his behalf for his heroism during flight.
Southwest Washington Veterans Resource Fair
*Award presentations at 1:30pm
Kelso Elks Lodge
900 Ash St.
Kelso, WA 98626
Free and open to all Southwest Washington active duty service members, veterans and their families.
Confirmed Resource Participants to date:
Cowlitz Family Health Center
Disabled American Veterans
Employment Service of the Guard and Reserve
Washington State Vet Corps
Longview Housing Authority
Work Opportunity Center of Cowlitz County
Veterans of Foreign Wars
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA)
* Resource organizations who are interested in participating should contact Jaime’s district office at 360-695-6292.