Honoring our heroes

November 11th, 2010

Today the University of Oregon community will gather to recognize and give thanks to the men and women who have sacrificed for our country. I'm looking forward to recognizing five University of Oregon students who are Tillman Military Scholars:

* Specialist Sam Bennett who served in the Army and is now finishing a degree in computer and information science;

* Sergeant Bryan Boender who is earning a law degree and is organizing the Law School's Public Service Day;

* Kelley Christensen who is pursuing a master's degree in historic preservation. She is the oldest of three and the daughter of Navy pilot and squadron commander Robert Christensen. Her father died while serving on active duty in 1992 when Kelley was seven;

* Army Captain Justin Jangraw who earned his bachelor's degree from West Point and is working toward his Executive MBA at the UO; and

* Senior Airman Caleb Lesselles who enlisted in the Air Force in 2001 and is now pursuing a master's degree in architecture with a focus on sustainable design.

The University of Oregon was selected last year as one of eight Pat Tillman Foundation university partners across the nation. The students earn the award for their academic achievements, their leadership, and their commitment to serving their country and their communities. I am proud of them.

I am also proud of the many heroes who came before us at the UO. One of these heroes is Sergeant Don Malarkey (class of 1949). He's a World War II veteran who was the inspiration for Stephen Ambrose's "Band of Brothers." He is a living legend.

On this eleventh day of the eleventh month in 2010, I honor Sergeant Malarkey and the many other men and women who have served our country. Thank you.

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