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11/10 Mi Town: Patty Taylor Dutcher

We're almost smack dab in the middle of November, and around our house we realize that the days are going by much too quickly.

Everybody's just getting used to the time change and now Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The big department stores are advertising sales and are all decked out for Christmas and we still have leftover Halloween candy in the pantry.

Call me the village spoil sport, but I can't understand why the rush is on to begin the shopping season this early. Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday, with friends and families gathering to share good and happy times and for us to all give thanks for our many blessings.

It would be good to take the time to enjoy this special time of year and not be inundated by Christmas advertising so soon.

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Folks from all over Polk County gathered in front of the old armory building in Dallas to welcome home the members of the 162nd Engineer Company who returned after serving in Afghanistan.

The Engineers were mobilized in September of 2009 and during their 400-day commitment, cleared more than 15,000 miles of roads of IEDs during 6,000 hours of active missions in Afghanistan.

Commendations received included 13 Bronze Stars, 78 Combat Action Badges, 60 Army Commendation Medals and five Purple Hearts.

We're glad to have you back home again and thankful for your service.

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Not everyone can serve in uniform, so here's your opportunity to support our men and women serving in faraway places with strange sounding names.

Operation Santa 2010 is celebrating with a "packing party" today (Wednesday, Nov. 10) at 6 p.m. in the Oregon Room at the Werner Center on the Western Oregon University campus.

The Marine Corps Family Foundation is working with the WOU Student Republicans and local businesses to provide our military troops with needed items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, snack bars, DVDs/CDs, candy, cookies and nuts, and white boot/crew socks.

Join us as we write letters and cards, fill stockings, pack boxes, and wrap socks and gifts to make the upcoming holidays brighter for everyone serving our country.

For more information: www.marinecorpsfamilyfoundation.org or email at info@marinecorpsfamilyfoundation.org.

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During November, Polk County Historical Society, located next to the fairgrounds on Highway 99W, is offering free admission for all veterans as well as those currently in the military.

On Nov. 20, a Civil War program is scheduled. A Camp Adair display will be featured during the entire month.

The museum is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and on Mondays. Thursday, Nov. 11, the museum will be closed in honor of Veterans Day.

For more information: 503-623-6251.

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