Local Businessman Thanks Veterans Through His Trucking Company
"Rolling Tribute" Created To
Honor Those Who Sacrificed for Our Freedom
OR] – To Rick Peters,
thanking Veterans is serious business. He and his wife, Elizabeth, started
by producing an event in 2003 that packed 1,000 people into a Newberg auditorium
to honor those who have sacrificed for our freedom. Today, his appreciation
is expressed through a special vehicle covered with murals that honors
Veterans…and with a vision for much bigger things to come.
The vehicle is a construction truck and
trailer painted in honor of those who have served in our Armed Forces. On
the driver’s side is a picture of an upturned helmet in the sand, and
the passenger's side shows the flag raising on Mount
Suribachi. On the trailer is a depiction of a soldier carrying
his wounded brother-in-arms from the battlefield; another scene is that of
medic tending to a wounded soldier.
The painting was done by a Portland artist
suffering from terminal cancer. Every day for a month, Jere Harley headed
to the shop to work on what he called "one of the most rewarding
projects" he's worked on. He was receiving both chemo and radiation
treatments during the time he was working on the truck. He said that many
days the art gave him a reason to get out of bed each morning. Harley's brother
is a retired colonel in the Marines.
Peters sees this as a foretaste of
something far larger for our Vets. Having produced and participated in a
number of Veteran support events in the past, he and Elizabeth are now working on a center for
Veterans. A partnership of public and private groups, the center would
include facilities for health care, sports & recreation, pharmacy, and
other Veteran’s services. The center would also have a community
focus, with a museum, amphitheater, arboretum, educational programs,
meeting rooms, and an auditorium.
The truck is a way for Peters to
encourage returning Veterans to become owners of businesses, or to connect
with employers eager to hire Vets. The truck is also a reminder to all of
us that Freedom Is Not Free. "We owe these men and women so much"
Peters said. "It is our duty and our honor to serve those who have
"If only one Veteran looks at this
and realizes there are many Americans who appreciate the sacrifice he or
she has made, it will all be worth it."
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