Major Egan, Why’d you do it? (Originally published here on 24 Dec 08)

(Note: I’ve been putting up this for 13 yrs now… even while it doesn’t seem to be to be that prolonged.

It was a section of why I resolved when I retired to stop just talking about veteran troubles and to commence executing a little something about it.

Final year (2018-considering the fact that retired for medical motives), I turned a veteran provider officer for the Washington State Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of The united states.  And for that firm, I also grew to become Chair of Veteran Added benefits Plans for this condition.

If you have to have support, be sure to contact a Veteran Company Officer by way of the Clark County Veterans Help Business office at 1305 Columbia Avenue, Vancouver, WA 98660 or make an appointment by contacting 360.693.7030.

All charitable corporations will need genuine fingers-on help far more than they need revenue.  Offering donations to these groups is important. Actually becoming involved is even extra crucial.

I urge you to find some group that you can aid… and get out there and support them.  The shell out is basically absolutely nothing if you go to work for them.

But the rewards are incalculable.)


I at first posted this 13 yrs back right now (24 Dec). And it bears repeating.

This tale was in the paper… although, regretably, not on the Columbian world wide web.

It is the tale of a retired Army Major, just one Thomas Egan a veteran of 2 a long time on the Korean DMZ, a Master’s graduate of the University of Oregon a retired Oregon Army National Guard officer.

He was found lifeless, apparently frozen to death, upcoming to a bottle of booze, in Eugene, Oregon within just the earlier number of times.

Unfortunately, the story speaks for alone. Occasionally, the wish to ruin one’s self can overwhelm all other instincts.

I by no means realized you, Major, but we served together at the very same time. I have no plan what took place to you, but I desire I did… and I would like it could have been mounted.

Tomorrow is Xmas. If you know an individual who desires assistance, take the time and the effort and hard work to try and get that support to them. Significant Egan experienced enable out there, but built terrible options when it arrived to using it.

As I glance exterior at the foot of snow, I request myself: “how a lot of Main Egans are there?”

Is there more that could have been carried out?

Almost certainly not.

But I would like there experienced been.

Great bye, Big. From all accounts, you served us honorably and very well. I never achieved you, but I won’t forget you.

I could have been you.

Soldier’s demise resonates 

Homeless veteran froze to death even though expert services had been available

By JACK MO
(Eugene) Sign up-Guard 

EUGENE, Ore — Thomas Egan was a scholar and a adorned soldier. He was also a homeless alcoholic whose lifetime finished last 7 days when he froze to demise in Eugene through an unusually lengthy and harsh chilly snap. 

His entire body was found protected in snow in the vicinity of the corner of West To start with Avenue and Blair Boulevard, a bottle of liquor by his aspect. 

News of the demise of the longtime Eugene resident troubled a lot of local veterans — specifically those who knew that with some work and some assistance, the guy they termed Major Egan could have had a roof about his head. 

“The whole Countrywide Guard local community is taking this quite tricky,” mentioned Bud Dickey, a vocational rehabilitation coordinator with the U.S. Division of Veterans Affairs’ group reintegration support center in Eugene. 

“It’s incredibly disturbing for all of us, for the reason that Important Egan was retired and could have been drawing his (veterans’) advantages,” Dickey explained. “He had alternatives that he did not accessibility.” 

Egan collected month-to-month Social Protection checks, but the sum was a pittance in comparison with the payments he was entitled to as a retired army veteran. When he turned 60 in July, Egan turned eligible to acquire $909 just about every month in Countrywide Guard retirement earnings, Dickey mentioned. 

Egan also could have applied for a separate pension examine primarily based on unemployability. “That would have gotten him an apartment if he needed 1,” explained Jay Rea, a Springfield resident who served below Egan in the Countrywide Guard in the late 1980s. “I drop a tear when I heard he died,” Rea mentioned. “It breaks my heart due to the fact he was the friendliest person, and so intelligent.” A New York indigenous, Egan joined the Army in 1971 soon after graduating from Quinnipiac Higher education in Hamden, Conn., with a bachelor’s degree in history. 

He was stationed at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea for two a long time, and was reassigned to the Oregon Military Countrywide Guard in 1977. 

Acquired master’s degree 

Egan gained his master’s degree from the University of Oregon in 1983, and ultimately attained the rank of main with the Nationwide Guard. 

He retired honorably in 1991, subsequent a 20-year armed service occupation for the duration of which he was awarded many provider medals and ribbons. 

Dickey reported Egan’s want to consume created him ineligible for VA housing programs that have to have sober dwelling. 

Egan experienced declined to enroll in material abuse treatment packages provided via the veterans company, Dickey reported. 

According to those who understood him, Egan worked sporadically. He did some landscaping, and most yrs aided supply phone textbooks. 

Sometimes, he located an condominium to remain in for a although. At other situations, he lived on the streets. In August, Egan invested two weeks at the Eugene Mission — which is a lot less than just one block from the location wherever a passer-by discovered his body final 7 days. 

Mission officials said Egan in no way induced any difficulties there, and could have stayed any time. Dickey claimed Egan has no family members in Oregon, and tracking down members of his extended relatives on the East Coast has been complicated. 

Dickey, who served 5 yrs with Egan in the Countrywide Guard, is serving to to direct an energy to have Egan interred at the Roseburg Nationwide Cemetery. 

“He will be buried as a veteran in a veterans’ cemetery,” Dickey reported. “He was a good soldier, and we’re heading to get him the burial he’s owing.”