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Deschutes County commissioners salute Dick Tobiason, a ‘tireless champion for local veterans’

(Update: adding video, comments from Tobiason, Deschutes County commissioners)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A large group gathered at the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday to recognize retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and Vietnam War veteran Dick Tobiason for his exceptional service and unwavering support for veterans in Central Oregon over the years.

"Dick Tobiason has for decades provided recognition and respect and honoring to local veterans in our community. So it was really great today to be able to give him a little bit of recognition and honoring," Commissioner Phil Chang said.

After two decades of Army service, Tobiason committed himself to giving back to those who had served the nation.

Commissioner Patti Adair said, “As we approach Veterans’ Day, we are excited to honor and recognize Dick for his many extraordinary contributions to our country and our county. We are truly grateful for his service.”

Chang said, “Dick is a tireless champion for local veterans. He has changed the lives of many through his work.”

Tobiason led efforts in recent years to create the National Medal of Honor Highway that stretches from Oregon to Massachusetts. The project recognizes more than 3,000 Medal of Honor recipients with road markers.

Adair said, "The roads that he's had named, honoring those that have served -- it really warms my heart."

Projects like the Central Oregon Veterans Village and the flag display in Downtown Bend on patriotic holidays would not have been possible without Tobiason's efforts.

Regarding the Veterans Village, Chang said, "They have helped 34 veterans have walked the path from homelessness to being more or more permanently housed and and reintegrating into their communities."

Tobiason, who received a plaque honoring his efforts, told the board: “So when this county pats itself on the back, veterans will never be forgotten. It's been an honor to work with you. Thank you very much.”

Article Topic Follows: War-Military

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