SALEM, OR -- Oregon’s House will soon vote on a resolution honoring Dick Tobiason, founder of the Bend Heroes Foundation.
The House committee that deals with veterans issues held a hearing on HCR 202 Tuesday. "Dick needs no introduction to this committee," said Rep. Rick Lewis (R-Silverton) Committee Vice Chair, "He’s been involved in nearly every session over the past 14 years, with the committee, promoting legislation to honor veterans and their families." Lewis pointed out that Tobiason was the driving force behind highway designations across the state, "These are the WWI Veterans Memorial Highway, WWII Veterans Historic Highway, the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans Memorial Highway, the Purple Heart Trail, the Medal of Honor Highway, the POW/MIA Memorial Highway and most recently, the Gold Star Families Memorial Highway." He also spearheaded the effort for a national Medal of Honor Highway, from Newport, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts.
Lewis added, "A number of other projects have been completed, including the designation of a bridge in Central Oregon, in honor of WWII Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Robert Maxwell." In addition to founding the Bend Heroes Foundation, Tobiason helped in the creation of the Veterans Village shelter in Bend. He's also a vet, "Dick served two tours in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart for serious injuries suffered from a grenade blast," said Lewis, "He served as an army pilot for 20 years, including time flying aircraft as a scout for fighter jets in Vietnam."
Tobiason attended Tuesday's hearing virtually, and gave a brief statement, "Between the Legislature, Governors and your Senate counterparts, in Oregon, we will never ever forget those war veterans. The purpose of putting signs up along those highways - 3,500 miles of highway, is just to make sure the public knows that we honor and respect their service and sacrifice."
HCR 202 unanimously passed out of committee and is headed to the full House.
Deschutes County Commissioners honored Dick Tobiason in November.