Stan Oren (left) was sworn-in as a new Veterans Service Commissioner just before Christmas by Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh. He began his five-year term on Jan. 1 - Putnam Sentinel
Stan Oren (left) was sworn-in as a new Veterans Service Commissioner just before Christmas by Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh. He began his five-year term on Jan. 1. (Putnam Sentinel/Martin Verni)

PUTNAM COUNTY — Just before the Christmas holiday, the Putnam County Veterans Service Commission welcomed a new board member. Stan Oren began his five-year term on Jan. 1.

“I’ve always worked second and third shift, all my life, and when I retired 11 years ago, I decided it was time to give back to the community. So I volunteered at the YMCA, the election board, Boy Scouts, just all kinds of things.

“And, I’ve been up through the chain of command for the Legion, through the district. I thought this was an opportunity to help my fellow veterans. So that’s why I did it.”

Mr. Oren clearly cares a great deal about his community. During discussion, he glanced towards his wife, wondering which group or agency he might be momentarily forgetting. Either this was due to being caught in the moment, and he is obviously honored to serve, or because Mr. Oren is simply very involved with his community, and it’s hard to keep track of it all.

Either way, one more did emerge. Mr. Oren also serves on the Port Authority Board.

When asked what he hopes to accomplish as a member of the Veterans Service Commission, Mr. Oren responds, “Well, I just want to make sure that all our Vets in need, get help. And, anything I can do to help them. Anything I can see to help improve [the commission], that’s what I want to do. I just want to be there to support our operations here.”

Mr. Oren was then asked about his own service record. “I got selected,” he says, “Dear Ms. Bloom sent me down to take my physical. I passed and was told, ‘You’ve got two weeks. Get your life together boys.’ ”

“So, I went home, and said something to my dad. He looked at me and said, ‘You want to walk, or a ride?’ He was in the Navy, so I got up in the morning and went and joined the Navy.”

“That’s basically it. I went to boot camp and went through. I was discharged in ‘71. I came home and started my family. We got married just before I left, but it all worked out. That’s basically my service time, U.S. Navy.” Mr. Oren served for two years before being discharged. As is also plainly clear, he has continued to serve his community ever since, and will now do so as a Commissioner with the Putnam County Veterans Service Commission.