Twelve people were honored as "Veterans of the Year" during the annual Veterans of the Year Banquet at American Legion Post 10 in Albany.

The honorees are:

Leonard Blanchan

Leonard Blanchan of Lebanon joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and served until 1946. He was a tail gunner on B-29s and earned a Wings Gunnery award and Good Conduct Medal. He was a corporal.

Blanchan has been a member of the American Legion Post 51 for 25 years and is on the post board of trustees.

Doug Broughton

Doug Broughton of Albany served in the Army from 1966 to 1970. He spent two years in Germany with the 23rd Engineers and 18 months on the Demilitarized Zone in Korea with the 1st Cavalry. He received the National Defense, Good Conduct and Unit Commendation awards.

Broughton volunteers for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 584. He maintains the landscape and yards, helps with meals and is an instrumental part of barbecues and picnics. He is often involved in charity fund-raisers and the delivery of Christmas baskets.

Broughton worked for Willamette Industries Duraflake for 25 years and enjoys participating in classic car "cruise-ins" in the area.

Craig Derush

Craig Derush of Albany entered the Navy in 1990 and served a Persian Gulf tour from 1991 to 1992. In 1993, he was on Mediterranean Deployment.

After his discharge in 1994, Derush joined the Disabled American Veterans. He immediately began assisting other veterans by ensuring that they receive the necessary information and materials to complete the benefits process.

His dedication to veterans, their benefits and improving the system has led Derush to a job as a National Service Officer. Derush is one of the youngest commanders in the DAV.

Mildred Kalinauskas

Mildred "Mickey" Kalinauskas of Corvallis served as yeoman first class in the Navy from 1944 to 1946.

She was born in Washington and lived in the Willamette Valley since childhood. After World War II, Kalinauskas worked as a legal secretary and assistant until her 70s.

Kalinauskas is involved with many activities including the Cat's Meow gift shop. She is a member of the American Legion and Auxiliary and is now the secretary. She has been president of Cascade Seafarers for five years.

Kalinauskas was a Woman of the Moose for more than 25 years and was a state officer one year.

Paul Linnell

Paul Linnell of Lebanon enlisted in the Army on March 19, 1943, and was assigned to the 75th Infantry Division.

He was wounded Dec. 25, 1944, at Malempre, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. Linnell was left for dead, taken by Germans and shipped in a box car. He and other soldiers were liberated March 28, 1945, in Honstaff, Germany.

Fifty-four years later, Linnell received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star at a ceremony in Prineville. He also received the Good Conduct Medal, an American Campaign Medal, EAME Medal with three Bronze Stars, World War II Victory Medal and POW Medal.

Linnell is a member of the Big Timber Chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War.

Larry Miller

Larry Miller of Salem was a seaman apprentice in the Navy Seabees in 1977 and 1978. He was in the Navy Amphibious Construction Battalion and earned a Boat Cocksin License.

He is commander at AmVets Post 15 in Albany and Second Vice Commander at the AmVets Department of Oregon.

Garner L. Pool

Garner L. Pool of Albany served in the Navy from August 1942 to August 1948. He spent 25 months and 19 days aboard the USS Cascade in the South Pacific. He also spent time aboard the USS Woodworth, USS Henley and USS Yosemite, where he was located in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. He received a Pacific Theater Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

He was commander of American Legion Post 10 in 1958. He served as the chairman of three state conventions and was oratorical chairman at the post, district and state levels. Pool served in many other officer positions at various times. He was editor from 1968 to 1979 of Taskforce, the post newsletter.

Pool served in 1961 as Chef de Gare of Voiture 891. He also held offices in the Voiture and Voiture 727.

Pool has been a member of Linn, Benton and Lincoln County Labor Councils and Marion and Polk Central Labor Council.

Robert C. Scott

Robert C. Scott of McMinnville joined the Navy in May 1942 and retired from the Naval Reserves in December 1981. He was a lieutenant commander and served in the Pacific.

He is a member of AmVets, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Korean War Veterans Association, MOAA and the Fleet Reserve Association.

David Standley

David Standley of Lebanon served in the Army from 1957 to 1978. He served in Korea, Germany, Panama and two tours in Vietnam as a tank commander. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Bronze Star.

Standley has been a member the American Legion Santiam Post 51 for 28 years. He was past commander and is currently post adjutant and District 3 commander of the American Legion Department of Oregon.

He is Chef de Gare Passe of Linn Voiture 891 40/8. He now serves as Aide to the Grande Chef de Gare du Oregon for 2003-04.

Bud Stutheit

Bud Stutheit of Albany served in the Army from March 1953 to March 1955 and spent one and a half years in Verdan, France. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

Stutheit is a 13-year member of the American Legion Post 10. He takes other veterans to Portland several times a month so they can see doctors at the Veterans Hospital.

He also volunteers with fund-raising projects for the Legion, including working at the coffee trailer at the Santiam Rest Stop and selling tickets at the Willamette Speedway during the summer.

Roy E. Vaughn

Roy E. Vaughn of Dallas served in the Army from June 1945 to November 1958. He served in Rome, Italy, for two years and in Darmstadt, Germany, from May 1950 to October 1953.

He is the senior vice commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 6. He has provided the trailer on which the chapter builds the parade float. The float has won two blue ribbons and one red ribbon at parades throughout Oregon.

Vaughn also volunteers to sell forget-me-nots and tickets at the gun show in Rickreall.

Merle E. Woods

Merle E. Woods of Corvallis served four years in the Navy and 16 years in the Active Ready Reserve. He was stationed in San Diego; Alameda, Calif.; Norman, Okla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Corpus Christi, Texas. He flew single-engine Jet Trainers and multi-engine prop aircraft.

Woods has been the finance officer for 10 years at the American Legion Corvallis Post 11. He served on the Oratorical Program as a timer in the local post, District 3, area and department contests.

He joined the Post 11 Honor Guard shortly after it was organized 14 years ago. Woods also helped establish the Post 11 Safety Awards Program.


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