Oregon Post 43 dedicates new annex to fallen soldier

La Grande, OR

La Grande, Ore., Post 43 dedicated its new annex, constructed by post members over the past five years, to the memory of a fallen local U.S. soldier. Sgt. 1st Class John Scott Stephens, son of Jo and Gene Stephens of La Grande, died of wounds sustained on March 15, 2007 in Iraq. Stephens was an Army medic assigned with the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, from Fort Riley, Kan. His wounds occurred when an IED explosion struck his vehicle while he was on patrol with his unit. Stephens attended high school and college in La Grande, participating in sports and community activities. He played football, baseball and was a member of the high school swim team. The city of La Grande honored him posthumously by naming one of its Little League baseball fields after him. He achieved a master's degree in education at Eastern Oregon University, with hopes of one day becoming a teacher and coach. He was honored by memorial services in La Grande and at Fort Riley, Kan. The governor of the state of Oregon was in attendance at the former service. The Post 43 annex dedication was attended by community and Legion members, along with the Stephens family. Receiving flowers and a plaque From Post Commander Duane Yocum were Stephens' mother Jo and father Gene.

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