Local residents honored at American Man Dinner

Nancy Patton

For The New Era

Eight men from the community were honored on Flag Day, Saturday, June 14, at the Honoring the American Man Dinner and Awards ceremony, held at the Sweet Home Elks Lodge.

This was the second year for the event, sponsored by Patton Productions and the Honoring the American Man Committee.

Entertainment was provided by the Singing Christmas Tree Choir, singing patriotic songs. The Christian group Praise in 3D sang the national anthem and David Dominy ended the evening singing God Bless the USA. Howard Drago from the Elks led the flag salute.

Three of the Sportsman’s Holiday Princesses, Ella Butler, Alyssa Logan and Tracy Smith. attended the event and helped pass out the patriotic plaques to the honorees and other gifts throughout the evening. The court also walked the 15 auction items around for display to the bidders.

Funds from the auction this year went to the Singing Christmas Tree, earning $292. The auctioneer was past Elks Exalted Ruler Dennis Bechtel.

The men who were honored this year are:

Tom Tucker, who was a career veteran with the U.S. Air Force, joining in 1962 and receiving his discharge 20 years later, in 1982, as a master sergeant. He served in Japan, Vietnam, and many bases on the U.S. mainland.

Since retirement he returned with his wife to Sweet Home. One of his passions is gardening and dahlias are his specialty. Tucker is involved with American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He helps at military funerals. He is the quartermaster-commander of the Lebanon American Legion and also works with the bingo games. Tucker participates in the Avenue of Flags, using approximately 400 flags for a local cemetery during Memorial Day ceremonies. These large flags were used on the coffins of military persons and donated for the avenue of flags use.

George Dominy, who served in the U.S. Marines out of high school, and has been a volunteer firefighter. Dominy has served as a police officer for the city of Sweet Home since 1989, where he is now a sergeant. In May of 2001 he was awarded the Medal of Valor for putting his own life on the line while saving a fellow officer.

Dominy knows the importance of having a strong family. He taught strong moral values, taking the time to be involved with, observe, or even participate in his sons’ activities. His family support grew to the daughters-in-law and grandchildren.

He is an active member of his church. having a strong faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, living it out daily. He is a co-leader of the worship team at church and a volunteer in the community, including participation in the Special Olympics, Tip-A-Cop, Shop With A Cop, the Sweet Home Singing Christmas Tree and performing the National Anthem with his sons in Praise In 3D, at various venues including the Sweet Home Logger Olympics, the Sweet Home Rodeo, the Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony, and the National Nine-Man Football games.

Ozzie Shaw, who enlisted in the Navy Air Corps in 1943. After his honorable discharge in 1946, he went to college. In 1950, he was hired as a surveyor in Iowa. Later that year he moved his family to Oregon, working for CH2M Hill.

He worked for Timber Service of Sweet Home before beginning his own surveying and forestry firm, Shaw Dobyns and Associates, which he continued for 25 years.

In 1981 he was elected Linn County Surveyor. Shaw was active as a scout leader, cubmaster, president of the Sweet Home Jaycees, Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce president, Linn County Chamber president, and Rotary president. For many years he helped with the Frontier Days celebration, and then headed the successful speedboat show for Sportsman’s Holiday at Foster Lake. It was his job to successfully launch all the racing boats into the lake.

He won the Jr. Citizen Award in 1959 at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet and was named one of Oregon’s three outstanding Young Men in 1960. He was County Surveyor of the year for Oregon in 1985 and 1993.

As Linn County Surveyor he designed the Waterloo Park area, the Linn County Jail grounds and the County Fairgrounds.

The extension to Sunnyside Park was dedicated to him as the Osburn Shaw Recreation Area in 1995. He has served on the Linn County Parks Board since 1959.

Shaw has been known for his wit and he has emceed many Chamber of Commerce banquets as well as winning their awards.

He and his wife Barbara have six children, 14 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Kenneth Collins, who served in the U.S. Navy. After the service he went on to teach music, including band and choir, from kindergarten through college. He also taught math classes.

Collins also directed musicals and created a piano keyboard instruction course for all third-graders in the Sweet Home School District. This class was created for the purpose of increasing spatial-temporal reasoning in students. He created an inter-district sound system that has made all plays and musicals audible by an audience.

Collins has been a volunteer with the Oregon Jamboree. He has volunteered at Holley Elementary School, directing musicals, career day presentations and correcting student papers.

He is active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars being the bugler for the Honor Guard, attending funerals throughout Linn County and Memorial Day services in Crawfordsville and Sweet Home. He created a partnership between the VFW and the Sweet Home School District by having colors presented at the first high school football game of the season and playing the National Anthem.

Collins is involved with the high school English classes through VFW essay contests, which have held national honors and scholarships. He created a music CD for the Veterans Club with sheet music, which was distributed to and used in the district elementary schools comprised of patriotic songs. This is part of re-teaching students their own national anthem.

He has also taught flag etiquette and the history of the American flag to students. He has also taught students how the Star Spangled Banner became our national anthem.

Collins has created a plan, which is now implemented, to retain and strengthen the membership of AMVETS in Sweet Home. He has also been involved in the partnership grant that the Sweet Home School District and Community Steering committee is presenting to the Oregon Symphony.

Just recently the committee was invited by the symphony to make a proposal for 2008-10 for symphony personnel and eventually the full orchestra to work with the Sweet Home students in a two-year agreement.

Marty Lovik, who is a graduate of Bonn American High School in Bonn, West Germany. He served in the United States Army for over 20 years.

Lovik is an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He served as the Oregon state assistant sergeant at arms and he served twice as Post Commander and twice served as a veterans service officer, aiding veterans and their families.

He has also been commander of the Military Order of the Cooties, the honor degree of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, in which he was responsible to help and visit local hospital patients. He served for two years on the Oregon State Defense Force under CSM Juan Ulep.

Lovik also supports and aides Special Olympics and the Sweet Home Rotary Club. He enjoys teaching Americanism and American flag history to elementary students.

He currently serves as an adjutant and judge advocate of the VFW Post 3437 in Sweet Home. He is a color guard and honor guard member for parades and funerals. He also serves people by cutting their grass when they are unable.

Marion Fritts, who joined the U.S. Navy on June 15, 1953. He attended boot camp in San Diego, Calif., and later was assigned to six ships and five shore stations during his naval career. Mr. Fritts served in both the Korean and Viet Nam conflicts.

After 22 years of active service, he was transferred to the Fleet Reserve on July 3, 1975, as a master chief petty officer (E-9) and placed on the retired list on Jan. 1, 1983. He received the Combat Action Ribbon, Viet Nam Service Ribbon W/2 Awards and Pistol Marksman Ribbon.

Fritts made six overseas deployments to the Western Pacific During his career. On Feb. 20, 1960 he married Corinne Beauchesne in Philadelphia, Pa.

He joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1975. He has held position of post commander of Sweet Home twice, in 1977-79 and 2002-2003. He was VFW District 14 commander in 1983-1984. He has held the post quartermaster office for 10 years in the past, has served as Voice of the Democracy chairman at the post and district levels.

Fritts has assisted the Elks BPOE 1972 for its Flag Day ceremonies. He has assisted in post bingo operations, assisted in military funeral rites for deceased veterans, and served on the Vets Club Board of Directors.

He has put out grave-marker flags for Memorial Day. He has organized memorial services for the local cemeteries, participated in the Brownsville, Sweet Home and Albany parades.

In addition to the VFW, he is a member of the Retired Enlisted Association of AMVETS and the Armed Forces Top Enlisted Association.

Lorenzo Pike spent 23 years in the Army, two years in the Reserves, 13 years in active duty, and eight years in the Oregon National Guard. He made one tour of Desert Storm and another in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pike is now active with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3437. He volunteers putting flags out, he works with the dinner functions, and serves in other areas where he is needed. While active with the National Guard, he was deployed on many of the large fires in the State of Oregon.

Pike has taken great pleasure in helping Juan Ulep box and ship needed goods to the Philippines giving Humanitarian Aid. This project gave him the opportunity to use his ability and skills to help those in need around the world.

Ralph Martin served in the US Navy from 1944-1948. During World War II, he served in Okinawa. After the war he served in the Philippines, Japan and China. He was among many of the sailors in the U.S. Navy who assisted in the liberation of the Philippines during the latter part of World War II.

His early introduction to the banjo and its music began in 1967 after he attended the Sacramento Banjo Rama. His interest in the instrument and its music was so sparked from this experience that he decided to form a band in Southern California and later helped teach scores of people how to play, including his sons, John and Dick Martin.

In 1970 Martin organized the first Banjo Spectacular, which became an annual event for many years to come. During the first 10 years, the Southern California Banjo Band, which he formed, recorded three LP records. They performed at many banjo conventions on the West Coast.

After he retired as a longshoreman from the waterfront in Long Beach, Calif. In 1989, Martin and his wife Joyce moved to Sweet Home, where he continues his passion for the banjo, putting on the annual Oregon Trail Banjo Camp.