Veteran Establishes Scholarship Fund

MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. — A longtime Myrtle Creek resident has set up a scholarship program specifically for Douglas County veterans re-entering the workforce.

The founder of the new Del Blanchard Family Scholarship, Del Blanchard, is also a Navy veteran. Giving his country more than 20 years in service, he’s now giving to his fellow military men and women.

Blanchard says while patriotism was a factor in his Navy enlistment, he admits there was even stronger motivation.

“As much as anything else I guess, I grew up on a dirt poor farm where we didn’t have running water or indoor plumbing. (laughter) And it was just a good life for a young man. I had the opportunity for so many challenges,” Blanchard said.

Opportunity–that’s what Blanchard, now the longtime owner of his own business, says he needed and people need, which is why he started the Del Blanchard Family Scholarship Program.

“It was just in my blood. My mother was a teacher. My grandmother was a teacher,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard says he values education and it can also serve as a great tool. Provided that chance by the G.I. Bill after his service, he wanted to give others that same opportunity, especially those he believes deserve it.

“They’ve got the background. They love their country. They know what it is to do without,” Blanchard said.

And he hopes these veterans will, like he did, seize this chance.

“Do it while you have an opportunity. Don’t let one single moment in your life where there’s an opportunity pass you by,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard says the scholarship kicks in the first of next year. Click here for more information. (or contact Umpqua Community College)

KEZI 9 News also reported last week that Blanchard was waiting to hear from his wife who was in the Phillipines visiting family when Typhoon Haiyan hit. He says he heard from her Sunday and she is safe and sound.

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