WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04), along with Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Kurt Schrader (OR-05), and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) today requested answers on alleged mistreatment of Oregon National Guard (ORNG) servicemembers deployed to assist with the state’s COVID response.
In a letter to Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Major General Michael E. Stencel, the lawmakers called attention to reports they’ve received from ORNG members regarding mismanagement, lack of organization, delay of benefits and pay, and failure to pay ORNG members what they are owed. These reports indicate a potentially disturbing pattern of mistreatment during this recent ORNG deployment.
“ORNG Members are fellow Oregonians who give their time and sacrifice to serve our communities in times of need. Many ORNG Members have full-time jobs, families, and other responsibilities that they willingly pause in order to serve their fellow Oregonians,” the lawmakers wrote. “ORNG Members’ heroic efforts are bolstering hospitals and helping our communities and loved ones during a deadly pandemic. ORNG members deserve effective and efficient leadership, support, and management, and they deserve to receive the full pay and benefits they have earned.”
They requested a detailed response from the state on how it will address the issues and called on leaders to immediately rectify the reported accounts. You can read the full letter here.