Some of the 'Services' and 'Programs we have available

Please remember our deployed troops this Christmas by sending them some boxes of Christmas Cheer!

Our 'Facebook' page has 'Daily' postings covering Veteran/Military topics - log-on and enjoy!!!!!!!

We encourage you to 'click' on the above 'f' (FACEBOOK LINK) in the red circle to see our daily postings of stories and information relevant to 'Veterans, Military and their Families'.

Our "Facebook Page Manager' is fantastic and really does a Great Job in posting a wide array of interesting stories. We really appreciate the work she does!!! Thanks Marilyn


The American Civil War Christmas

Santa Claus distributes gifts to Union troops in Nast's first Santa Claus cartoon, (1863)

On the first Christmas Day during the war, Lincoln hosted a Christmas party during the evening; earlier that day, he spent many hours trying to legitimize the capture of Confederate representatives to Great Britain and France, John Slidell and James Murray Mason (the Trent Affair).[1]

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and his son Thomas "Tad" Lincoln

In 1862, the Lincolns visited injured soldiers at the various hospitals.[2] Many Union soldiers in 1863 received gifts "From Tad Lincoln", as Tad had been deeply moved by the plight of Union soldiers when he was taken by his father to see them. The gifts were mostly books and clothing.[3] The most famous Christmas gift Lincoln ever received came on December 22, 1864, when William Tecumseh Sherman announced the capture of Savannah, Georgia.[4]

A "V-Mail" Christmas Card from WWII

A "V-Mail" Christmas Card sent home by one of Raritan, New Jersey's GI's, Tony Orlando

Christmas has always been a major holiday in the United States, but during World War II (1941-45) it took on special meaning as many families had a “loved one” serving in the military who could not be home for Christmas. During the war years “Peace on Earth” was not just a nice phrase found on Christmas cards, but the number one wish of all peace loving people throughout the world. The Christmas season gave hope that while this year many were away, maybe next year the war would be over and missing family members would return home.

Wartime brought about a unique turnaround in consumer purchasing power and availability of goods. Before the war, America was still recovering from the great depression when money and jobs were scarce. Shoppers were often limited to window shopping, not having any extra money to purchase anything not considered a necessity. When the war began, war production went into high gear with more good paying jobs and additional discretionary income to purchase goods.

Christmas Eve Mass during the Korean War

A Christmas Eve Mass during the Korean War -at Taegu, South Korea, soldiers from the 581st Signal Co

By Carlos Bongioanni, Stars and Stripes-

Amid the horrors and devastation of war, a midnight Mass 65 years ago in a dilapidated church in Kyong-ju, South Korea, would prove to be a miracle of sorts for Army Pfc. Norman Deptula.

It was December 1950, six months into the Korean War. Deptula, then 21, was among the approximately 100,000 United Nations troops who had just been evacuated out of North Korea. He had been among the "Chosin Few" who had escaped intense battles against overwhelming Chinese forces in the Chosin Reservoir campaign.

In a telephone interview Wednesday from his home in Webster, Mass., Deptula, now 86, recalled how frightened he was after an estimated 300,000 Chinese crossed over the Yalu River into North Korea, intent on annihilating the U.N. forces.

Spending Christmas in Vietnam

Entertainers with Bob Hope perform at the 1969 Da Nang, Vietnam 'Tour of Duty' show.

Christmas could be a lonely time for a soldier deployed in Vietnam.

For many, this holiday would be the first time that they were away from their families. Deployed to a strange country, and in the middle of a war zone, the holiday period could bring tears to the eyes of the most hardened of troops as they remembered their families’ celebrations back home.

The music on the Army Forces Vietnam Network (AFVN) often did not help. As the holiday approached, their radio stations across the country and on ships in the area would play a variety of Christmas music. According to some, Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” and Nat King Cole’s “A Christmas Song” were often on the playlist. However, while others remember hearing Bing Crosby or Johnny Mathis’ versions of “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” in some areas and on some stations, the song was banned as bad for morale.

Christmas during Operation Desert Storm

Bob Hope and Ann Jillian performing during a 1991 Operation Desert Storm show

"It was tremendous. Baghdad was lit up like a Christmas tree," said a U.S. wing commander back from bombing the Iraqi capital.

"I didn't run out of adrenalin. There were lots of bombs going off. It was an awesome display," said another pilot who took part in the first raids of the gulf war to drive Iraq out of Kuwait.Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from American warships, U.S. and Saudi F-15E fighter-bombers, British and Saudi Tornadoes, French Jaguars and Kuwaiti Hawks were among hundreds of planes which took off from bases in Saudi Arabia and the gulf early Thursday in a United Nations-sanctioned assault against Iraq.

Pilots said targets included surface-to-air missile sites around Baghdad. President Bush said U.S.-led forces were determined to destroy Iraq's chemical weapons and nuclear bomb potential.

Christmas in a War Zone

Theresa Hillis fourth from the right during the Gulf War 1991

I was a member of the 68AES, an Air Force Reserve medevac unit, stationed out of Norton Air Force Base, California.  In December of 1990, I was doing my two week tour in Hawaii when our unit contacted me and asked if I wanted to go on another sandy trip.  The Gulf War was getting ready to start. They were asking for volunteers.  I was single and had just graduated from college.  I said yes.

Twenty volunteer medics and nurses left the week before Christmas.  At the same time we left, Bob Hope departed as well, ready to do his last military tour for the troops.  Our civilian plane took us to Dover Air Force Base, where we waited with several other soldiers.  The C-5 transport did what most C-5s do; it broke down…a lot.  After a few days, we got in the air and flew to Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, where it promptly broke down again.  We huddled in tents before finally getting back on the plane to fly to Dhahran in Saudi Arabia.  By then, it was Christmas Eve.



Just 'click-on' the "Find out More" red bar below, to see a photo gallery of some of the Military memorabilia and artifacts that we have collected and that have been 'donated' by the many area Families that have a Military History.



CALL 541-889-1978 FOR HOURS AND SPECIAL SHOWINGS - M/F 10am to 4pm




Re-dedicated this last June 2019, to the memory and Honor of one of our local Heroes. The Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida extend to you an open invitation to visit the Museum and Library and learn more about Sgt. Brennen and all of our local and regional Heroes who have served our great Country, and the many who did "GIVE ALL".

You may arrange special viewing appointments by calling our offices at 541-889-1978, Monday thru Friday from 9am to 4pm.


New Veterans Shopping Benefits Beginning January 1, 2020

Starting January 1, 2020 the Department of Defense is expanding in-store military exchange and commissary shopping privileges as well as MWR resale facility use to:

  • All Veterans with service-connected disabilities
  • Purple Heart recipients
  • Former prisoners of war
  • Caregivers or family caregivers registered as the primary caregiver for a veteran in the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers

Some Ongoing Stories of Interest For Our Veterans

Proposed legislation would name service in Iraq, Afghanistan, a health hazard to U.S. troops

In this photo from 2013, a Marine at Forward Operating Base Zeebrudge throws trash into a burn pit.

November 22, 2019 Bt Patricia Kime,

Lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday that would recognize the health hazards posed by oil well fires, burn pits and other pollution sources in Afghanistan and much of the Middle East — an effort they say would help ill veterans who apply for VA benefits.

The “Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition” bill, S. 2950, would declare that service members who deployed to the Middle East in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War and after, to Afghanistan and Djibouti following Sept. 11, 2001, and to Iraq beginning in 2003 were exposed to toxins.

The bill stops short of establishing service connection for specific diseases and does not guarantee disability benefits for ill veterans.

But it would require the Department of Veterans Affairs to concede that veterans were exposed to pollutants if they served in the named locations during the specified time frames, effectively eliminating a need for them to prove that they were in close proximity to a pollution source.

Sponsors Sens. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Joe Manchin, D-West Va., say the legislation is needed because currently, VA requires veterans to show evidence of their exposure to support benefits claims and frequently rejects claims on the lack of evidence on exposure.

Civil Service Preference for Hiring Military Vets Comes at a Hidden Cost

A professional interview panel quizzes transitioning service members in mock job-readiness interview

November 20, 2019

By Gregory B. Lewis, Professor of Public Management & Policy, Georgia State University

An important way the U.S. shows its gratitude to veterans who have fought America's wars is by giving them a leg up in getting a job with the federal government.

The policy, known as "veterans' preference," became law after the Civil War, was strengthened following World War I and grew even more entrenched after World War II and in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While it's good that the nation thanks its troops, the strong preference for veterans has had some negative effects as well, particularly in terms of lessening the civil service's diversity, as my research into this policy shows.

How Veterans' Preference Works

Congress gave disabled veterans preference in hiring for some federal jobs after the Civil War.

Lawmakers greatly expanded it after World War I, allowing able-bodied, honorably discharged veterans to receive a hiring preference in most civilian federal jobs, as well as widows of deceased veterans and wives of severely disabled ones. More recently, the Obama administration strengthened veterans' preference by directing agencies to establish hiring goals and making other changes.

His dad has been deployed 10 times. This is his message to other military kids

What it is like to be a son of a Green Beret. Davidson & his Dad as illustrated in a book they wrote

November 10, 2019, By Christina Zdanowicz, CNN

(CNN) Davidson is only 9 years old, yet he's been the man of the house eight times while his dad serves his country.

His father, Dave, is a Green Beret on his 10th deployment. The family lives in northern Virginia while Dave is stationed somewhere overseas. Davidson is used to not having his dad around, but he never forgets him.

"Sometimes it's fine because we actually do a lot of fun things while he's away, but it's also sad because he's just not here," Davidson told CNN. "My mom sometimes breaks down and cries a lot because she misses him. And it's not really hard for her because I help her, but it's just she misses him."

From 2001 to 2015, 2.77 million service members have been deployed overseas, many of them mothers and fathers leaving families behind.

Davidson sees the world matter-of-factly, approaching his dad's deployments with the strength that many military families display.

"I don't even know where he is, but I think he's fine because he's a good, strong guy," he said.

Each family deals with the hardship in their own way. This is how Davidson's family does it. They asked that CNN not use their last name for security reasons.

New Bill Would Protect Military, Veteran Family Members from Deportation

A group of 10 Marines, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen and soldiers were part of 125 immigrants

November 8, 2019 by Gina Harkins,

A retired Army officer in the Senate introduced a bill this week that would protect a policy allowing family members of service members and veterans to remain in the U.S. temporarily without threat of deportation.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, wants to safeguard these family members with the Military Family Parole in Place Act. The program allows some parents, children and spouses of active-duty troops, reservists and veterans to temporarily remain in the U.S., but Trump administration officials are considering scaling it back.

The program gives troops' and veterans' family members who came to the U.S. illegally the chance to adjust their immigration status without leaving the country. Officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began reviewing the program this summer, when some family members began hearing the program was being terminated.

Duckworth called the possibility of ending the deportation protections "cruel and inhumane."

Related: ICE Is Deporting Veterans Without Checking Their Service Status, Watchdog Says

Veterans can now access their VA medical records through their iPhones

Veterans with iPhones can now view their Department of VA medical records  with Health app.

November 7, 2019 by Patricia Time,

Veterans with iPhones can now view their Department of Veterans Affairs medical records through their phone’s Health app.

VA and Apple began rolling out the capability during the summer but issued formal announcements this week, just ahead of Veterans Day.

“We have delivered veterans an innovative new way to easily and securely access their health information,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said Nov. 6 in a release. “Veterans deserve access to their health data at any time and in one place, and with health records on the Health app, VA has pushed the veterans experience forward.”

Veterans will see an aggregated view of their VA health care information such as lab results, medical history, procedures and medications.

Information from private medical providers also is available if that provider participates in the Apple Health program. More than 400 companies are on board, including Johns Hopkins, University of California San Diego, Quest Diagnostics and Allscripts.

Veterans Can Now Learn About Their Toxic Exposure Risks with New VA App

Soldiers burn trash in an old dumpster at Joint Security Station Adl in western Baghdad in 2008.

November 25, 2019 By Dorothy Mills-Gregg,

For veterans who think they were exposed to toxic substances during their service, the Department of Veterans Affairs has a mobile application that will help them answer questions about what this potential exposure means for their long-term health.

Originally designed for VA providers, Exposure Ed now lets anyone view a list of service-related exposures -- broken down by type, conflict and date or location of service. It also has a map veterans can use to find the closest VA facilities and exposure-related programs.

For example, veterans thinking they came into contact with the Vietnam-era herbicide Agent Orange can use the "Exposures" button on the home page for immediate access to a list of illnesses related to exposure. Or, veterans can input in the time and location they served to view everything they might have been exposed to.

Related: After Decade of Fighting, the Blue-Water Navy Benefits Bill is Now a Law

The last option sorts exposure risks by conflict, ranging from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn.

WELCOME! A FEW TOPICS OF INTEREST (click on pics for more)

Articles published Bi-monthly

Logo of the Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida


Our Chairman / Founder Ronald Verini , writes 2 articles a month which are published in a regional newspaper. You can read these articles here on our Webpage just by clicking on the heading 'Veterans Articles'. This Article will be published December 8, 2019.


Back in the 60’s and 70’s when Vietnam was raging on and the hippies were running around with the slogan ‘Make Love Not War’ our nation was divided, a little like it is today in many parts. Back then we sent our men and women to a war zone to fight an enemy far away to an unpopular war. Today we struggle with sending our men and women to various war zones that also have a dividing political pull that has brought about the same type of pull that  some say weakens our nation. In both cases our troops are caught in the middle. 

Think about the fact that we send these men and women to fight, sacrifice and at times die for us.  What do you think those troops are thinking when over there fighting for us and some of us are back here squabbling about weather we are going to abandon the very people that have supported us in fighting in the war zones… I remember the Montagnards and interpreters in Vietnam and now the Kurds in Syria and 

1-855-948-2311 - This is the phone number for the 'White House' VA Hotline

Staff answering the White House VA Hotline. 1-855-948-2311 - service open 24/7

What is the White House VA Hotline?

The hotline’s pilot began under direction of the Veterans Experience Office on June 1, 2017, and entered phase two on October 15, 2017.

White House VA Hotline:  1-855-948-2311.

Calls are answered by a live agent 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  The hotline is staffed by more than 60 agents who have had extensive training on VA programs and services.  Most of these agents are a Veteran, military family member, caregiver or a survivor.

The White House VA Hotline conducts immediate warm hand offs for at-crisis risk Veterans needing the services of the Veterans Crisis Line.

Trends identified by the hotline will be used to rapidly respond to systemic inefficiencies and empower VA employees to resolve Veteran concerns quickly.

  • Veterans Crisis Line:  1-800-273-8255


1-800-273-8255 press 1
Veterans Crisis Line

Top 10 Celebrity Veterans

These ten celebrities are famous, they have one thing in common: they served in the U.S. military.

November 10, 2019 By

These ten celebrities are famous, they've gone on to great things, and they all have one thing in common: they served in the U.S. military.

Some of them made use of military education benefits to further their careers. Others used their experiences in uniform as the springboard for a life in the spotlight. Join us now for a countdown of 10 well-known military veterans.

10. George Carlin

9. Steve McQueen

8. Ice-T

7. Humphrey Bogart

6. Morgan Freeman

5. Chuck Norris

4. Mr. T

3. Johnny Cash

2. Clint Eastwood

1. Elvis Presley

Another suprising celebrity veteran, is Mel Brooks, writer, director actor (who remembers 'Blazing Saddles')... He graduated Virginia Military Institute, was a corporal in the US Army and fought in the Battle of The Bulge WWII.

Most Dangerous Veteran Jobs in America, And where to Get One.........

Steel Workers is #7

November 10, 2019 By Blake Stilwell,

The most dangerous jobs in the military are hazardous both in combat and in garrison. It's something every American service member just comes to accept.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians (that's the bomb squad for you non-military types), pilots and engineers all face incredible hazards even when they aren't deployed to a war zone. Even training for the infantry stateside carries significant risk. As the Navy used to tell you: It's not just a job; it's an adventure!

When it comes to finding a career in post-military life, newly separated veterans can trade in the level of risk they've come to accept in the military for one of these instead. While we list the fatal injury rates, keep in mind that the non-fatal injury rate for each is much, much higher.

Thanks for visiting our VAOI Webpage!

Main Offices and Facility, Museum/Library of Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida 180 W Idaho Ave,Ontario,Or

 We thank all the Supporters, Businesses and Friends  for giving their time and resources in helping and caring for our Veterans, Military and First Responders and their Families.

We really appreciate your interest too,  in 'Who we are and What we do'. If you have any questions or suggestions or would like to 'volunteer' or 'donate', well please contact us with an email, a phone call, or just drop on into the office. 

You are always welcome to come and join us Monday thru Friday from 9am to 4pm. We are a "No Dues' nonprofit organization with the coffee pot always on and lots of conversation always available. Bring your questions regarding any veteran services you are concerned about, and we will do our best to steer you in the right direction.

Our phone is 541-889-1978, and we are located in Ontario, Oregon at 180 W. Idaho Ave.


New Graphic Novels Honor Hero Medal of Honor Recipients

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta dragging a wounded comrade and firing at the enemy in Afghanistan

October 11, 2019, By Mathew Cox,

The graphic novel on former Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta tells the story of the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War, according to the release.

Then Spec. Giunta, of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, was on patrol in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan in October 2007 when his platoon was ambushed by Taliban fighters.

"Braving rocket-propelled grenades and intense smalls arms fire, Giunta advanced on the enemy, prevented the capture of a fellow paratrooper and turned the tide of the battle," the release states.


More on the 'Medal of Honor' publications..

"We are excited to share these stories with readers," Joseph Craig, director of AUSA's Book Program, said in the release. "It has been personally rewarding to learn more about these remarkable soldiers, and we have been fortunate to work with such a talented creative team to bring this history to life."

The graphic novels can be downloaded here and here.


Retired Marine who Fought to House Homeless Vets Has Died

October 6, 2019 By Kyle Stucker, Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.

Macdonald died Sept. 28.

Macdonald's 101 Steppingstones Road property provided housing to homeless combat veterans free of charge, and provided a place where veterans could practice their religious beliefs. It featured detached, tiny home-style buildings around a residential home that had a chapel in its basement.

Macdonald and the Veteran Resort Chapel made headlines in 2017 and 2018 because of a legal dispute with the town's government over the tiny homes' noncompliance with local land-use regulations. The court system ultimately ruled in favor of the town, declaring the Veteran Resort Chapel was not a church and that it had to adhere to Lee's residential zoning laws.

Learn More

"I have so many wonderful memories of Pete that I am having difficulty picking just one," wrote Sara Hampton. "So I will just say this: His (strength), loyalty, and dedication taught me many things. He will forever live in my heart as one of the misunderstood and unsung heroes of this world. Tomorrow morning, I will sit at my patio table with my coffee cup and yours and remember you and all of our talks and laughs. I know you have finally found peace in the arms of God, and for that I am grateful. But damn I will miss you!"


Every Day, not just Memorial Day, we should be thankful for the hundreds of thousands of men and women who gave their lives, that we as a Nation may continue to live with the Freedoms and Values that make this Country so Great! 

Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida

Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida Doing The Right Things for The Right Reasons - Supporting Military Members- Veterans- and Their Families

Who we are....

Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida distributing local handmade quilts to our Troops.

Our Mission

Is to provide a voice, for Veterans and Active Duty personnel of the Armed Forces of the United States of America and their dependents. To support, Honor, Recognize and Advocate for their needs as members of our Communities, States and Country


We are an 'All Volunteer' 501 c 3 organization

We support 'Our Mission' through Donations and an All Volunteer Staff.  Pictured here to the right is a young High School Senior whose Senior Project was to raise money for our Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida programs, which he did by completing an engine swap in a Ford Taurus and thus raised $2,666.75. He is pictured with our Chairman and a few of our Veteran Volunteers.


You are Welcome Anytime......

We are a "No Dues" Non-profit organization that welcomes you for 'Coffee & Conversation' 5 days a week in our Ontario, Oregon Office. You can also give us a call regarding any assistance you may be seeking.

PLEASE, Help Our Cause

Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Contact Us

Drop us a line!

Better yet, see us in person!

We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours which are: M thru F  9:00am / 4:00pm.

Veteran Advocates of Ore-Ida

180 W. Idaho Ave Ontario, OR 97914, US

(541) 889-1978

Hours 9:00am to 4:00pm M/F