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Press Release
June 04, 2010
Oregon Leadership and employers meet to discuss employment and reintegration for returning veterans
Portland, OR - More than two hundred Oregon and Southwest Washington employers gathered at Portland Air National Guard Base Friday morning for an event aimed at helping Oregon veterans secure jobs. Jim Linkous, Regional Vice President of Viawest, helped to organize the event as a way to honor all those who serve in uniform.

"I'm passionate about helping the men and women that serve. This event builds awareness and gets the need out there so people are educated and realize it is our responsibility to give back," said Jim Linkous.

More than 2700 Oregon National soldiers recently returned from a deployment with the 41 Infantry Brigade Combat Team to Iraq. Approximately Fifty percent of them are unemployed. Governor Ted Kulongoski, a keynote speaker at the event, spoke to the importance of helping Oregon troops make the transition back into civilian life.

"These soldiers come back from combat and are back in their community in 15 days, I can't tell you how difficult that is, said Governor Ted Kulongoski. "Nothing is more important to them than having a job," he added.

In his address, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General of the Oregon National Guard encouraged employers to hire veterans.

"Getting our soldiers and airmen back to work, that is truly successful reintegration," said Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees.

Harvey Platt, President of Platt Electric, has long been leading the charge to hire Oregon veterans. Out of his more than 800 employees, one hundred have served or are currently serving in the military.

"We say you need two things to work at Platt Electric – a great attitude and a willingness to learn. Our veterans bring us that and much more everyday," said Harvey Platt, of Platt Electric.

Kevin Tucker, Deputy President of Flir Technology, served eleven years in the United States Air Force. He said the skills learned while in the service translate well into the civilian work force.

"They have a good sense of discipline and responsibility, and they are good at figuring out how to get things done," said Kevin Tucker, of Flir Technology.

The event ended with a tribute to the more than one hundred Oregon service members who died in the line of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

100604-F-8260H-022.jpg  Oregon Leadership and Oregon employers render honors during a ceremony held in Portland to discuss employment and reintegration for veterans, Friday, June 4. U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and Maj. Gen Raymond F. Rees, Adjutant General, Oregon were in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ssgt. John Hughel, Oregon National Guard Public Affairs)
Contact Info: Stephen Bomar
Capt., Public Affairs
Oregon Military Department
(503) 584-3885