Train ride for heroes

Local teachers, responders, vets honored


December 15, 2021

Benny Westcott

Passengers relax on the Santiam Excursion Train.

Sunday evening's Santiam Excursion Train ride on the Albany and Eastern Railroad wasn't just an everyday roll down the tracks. This one was packed with heroes.

Local teachers, first responders and past and present military personnel milled about as the engine rumbled alongside Route 20 from Lebanon to T2 Inc. in Sweet Home and back during a two-hour trip.

Lebanon's Eriksen/Irwin Country Financial insurance agency sponsored the ride as part of the overall company's "Operation Helping Heroes" program, which allots money every year to its Lebanon branch to give back to the community.

The 250 f...

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