By Molly • 

Cascade Steel honors veterans

Cascade Steel Rolling Mills honored veterans Monday morning with a special recognition event.

According to the mill’s president, Jeff Dyck, more than 90 of the mill’s 430 employees are veterans. “They’ve got the leadership background and a lot of the work skills,” he said. 

This is the first time Cascade Steel has hosted a coordinated effort and invited the public to participate.

Dyck said that Mike Ryan, one of the mill’s superintendents, and a veteran himself, came up with the idea. However, he couldn’t attend, as he had a steel manufacturing meeting in Washington, D.C.

Jon Ostling helped coordinate the effort in his place. 

As veterans gathered in the training room, Dyck expressed his appreciation to those in attendance. “I’m honored on behalf of Cascade Steel to put this on today,” he said.

Dyck thanked the veterans and their spouses for their service and asked for a moment of silence in honor of all veterans and those currently serving overseas. 

Among those in attendance were Garry Charbonneau, a former Navy Seabee and Cascade Steel employee. He served in Vietnam from 1970-71, helping train South Vietnamese troops.

Joe Hopper, an Air Force Airman, said he stayed in the U.S., but would have gone to Vietnam if anything broke out, when he served in 1968.

Hopper has worked over 35 years at Cascade Steel, now operating equipment which controls the air quality. He is also a partner with another local business, Double J Disc Jockey.

Dick Harrison, a visitor, served in the Air Force from 1952 through 1956. A former sawmill worker, he moved to McMinnville with his wife to be closer to their daughter. 

Those attending enjoyed refreshments, including muffins, coffee and gifts of hats and mugs.

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