Every day is Veterans Day on portrait wall at Creswell, Ore., cafe

Every day is Veterans Day on portrait wall at Creswell, Ore., cafe

CRESWELL, Ore. -- Bob Dugre said the collection on the wall of his restaurant began last November with one picture of one veteran.

You might say the portrait collection on the wall of Mom's Snak Shak has expanded.

The total is 142, nearly all with direct ties or family connections to Lane County.

These are pictures of soldiers, sailors, Marines and Air Force vets. "We have a picture from 1855, all the way up to a local lady that was deployed two days ago to Germany," Dugre said.

The oldest portrait in the collection shows a veteran who lost an eye during the Civil War. He insisted his portrait be taken from a sideview.

The collection includes a portrait of Creswell's own Duane Hodges, who served in the Navy.

"North Korea had sent a missile through the ship," Dugre said. "He was the only casualty on board."

The ship was the USS Pueblo, on an intelligence mission off the coast of North Korea 1968. The ship was attacked and captured by North Korea.

Hodges died in the attack. He's remembered with a plaque at the local veterans memorial in Creswell, Ore.

Many Creswell veterans have come in to the Snak Shak to see the growing collection, including Oregon National Guard member, Jayson Southmayd.

"It's really humbling," Southmayd said. "It's nice to see that people are recognizing the soldiers from past wars and present wars."

Southmayd is a former U.S. Marine who enlisted with the National Guard and went to Iraq spring of 2008 as a medic. He was injured.

"Just recently came back from Iraq," he said, "and looking to probably go again as soon as I heal up."

Perhaps his picture will be added soon to this noteworthy collection.   

Out of the 142 pictures at the restaurant, 23 are current American soldiers and marines serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe and other points overseas.