We Appreciate Our Veterans In Word and Deed

CEO Dave MarkhamVeterans Day is November 11, and this month’s magazine honors Central Oregon’s veterans. We understand the debt owed to these men and women and want to recognize and show our appreciation with not just words, but deeds.

For that reason, Central Electric has worked with Honor Flight of Central Oregon and is partnering with Bend Heroes Foundation and its newest initiative, Central Oregon Veterans Village.

CEC’s involvement in these endeavors is consistent with the co-op’s commitment to one of its seven guiding principles: Concern for Community. This concern is rooted in the belief that the cooperative works for the sustainable development of the communities and members we serve.

Bend Heroes Foundation developed a program to address the veterans’ homeless crisis in Central Oregon, combining the best attributes of two successful programs in Clackamas County and Kansas City, Missouri. The Central Oregon Veterans Village will consist of 15 tiny houses—of which CEC funded one—and a community center. The temporary housing will include help for veterans to find gainful employment and eventually transition into long-term housing. To learn more about this project, see pages 4 and 5.

Many of you are likely familiar with the Honor Flight of Central Oregon program. After taking a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the program resumed flight this year, enjoying much local media coverage. In September, 28 veterans of the Korean War and Vietnam War made the flight to Washington, D.C., to visit many famous memorials— including those dedicated to the conflicts they participated in—and Arlington National Cemetery.

This trip is often one of a lifetime for these veterans who answered their nation’s call to go halfway around the world to defend the free world. We owe much to these veterans, and they deserve to be honored for their sacrifices. CEC is proud to have sponsored six of the 28 veterans who are co-op members. See page 8 to read more about this trip.

November is also when we celebrate Thanksgiving and reflect and express gratitude. Enduring and working through a pandemic brings greater awareness to what we can sometimes take for granted, such as family, good health and employment.

As CEO and president of Central Electric, I want to take a moment to express my appreciation and thankfulness for the co-op’s employees. They have demonstrated a get[1]it-done attitude without sacrificing the quality of service expected by members while dealing with the adversity and disruption imposed by COVID-19.

On behalf of our employees and board of directors, I wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.