Veteran Emmitt Patterson attended the service to remember his father who served in World War II and his friends who didn’t make it back from Vietnam with him.
“It makes me feel good that people come out. I’ve had a lot of people say thank you for your service, which I did not get back when I got back from Vietnam,” said Patterson.
This year, the F-16s were missing from the Memorial Day service. The federal sequestration impacted cuts to military programs, the Air Force being one of them.
“I think we all like the thunder, the jets going over, and even the bi-planes who couldn’t come over because of the rain. It is a part of trying to allocate our resources and certainly making sure our men and women get the training and that those who are in harms way have what they need as a priority over flyovers,” said Representative Greg Walden.
Walden says the day isn’t just remembering the fallen but also current veterans. Hundreds of thousands of veterans are still battling with the Department of Veteran Affairs over disability claims. Walden says he’s working with other legislators, like Senator Ron Wyden, to help veterans who are still waiting.
“We’re all working really hard to punch through it at the VA to get the backlog down. And they’ve actually made progress in the last few months. It’s going in the right direction,” said Walden.
Senator Wyden and Congressman Walden also spoke at the Central Point Memorial Day service before speaking at the Eagle Point service.