April 30th, 2009 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Multnomah County

While Legislators Push to Keep Troops Home, Multnomah County Gives Them a Send-Off

Tags: Iraq War

At the same time members of the state House are pushing a bill (PDF) that would let 2,600 Oregon National Gaurd troops avoid going to war this summer, Multnomah County Commissioners this morning honored the troops on the eve of their deployment to Iraq.

The resolution (PDF) brought by Commissioner Diane McKeel honors veterans and their families. It says military personnel "have been vital to maintaining the freedoms and way of life that Americans cherish" and praises their sacrifices "to defend the United States Constitution and to preserve the liberties that enrich this great nation."

"Residents of Multnomah County recognize the importance of maintaining a strong, well-equipped, well-educated and well-trained military to safeguard freedoms and maintain peacekeeping missions around the world," the resolution says.

It was passed unanimously by all five commissioners.

County Chair Ted Wheeler said the resolution was especially vital now, as Oregon faces a large wartime call-up. Commissioner Judy Shiprack noted that too many veterans end up homeless, suicidal or in need of mental-health services that the county provides.

The Democratic blog Blue Oregon has noted that Oregon House Speaker Dave Hunt (D-Gladstone) has come close to endorsing HB 2556 (PDF), which would limit the Oregon National Guard to serving in Oregon unless it's for a "constitutionally authorized federal order pursuant to a Congressional declaration of war or a valid Congressional resolution."

If the governor decides to keep the troops home, the bill authorizes the state attorney general to defend that decision in court.

We have a call out to McKeel, whose son has served four combat tours in Iraq, to ask what she thinks of the House bill.
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