The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

State VFW honors local vet Bob Roche


Bob and Esther Roche attended the Washington State Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Olympia where they were delighted to learn that Bob had been named Veteran of the Year. Courtesy photo.

Cathlamet resident Bob Roche was named Veteran of the Year at the Washington State Veterans of Foreign Wars convention on Friday in Olympia.

The honor was a complete surprise to Roche and his wife Esther, who socialize with the couple who not only nominated him but found out well before the event that he had won.

"I can't believe they were able to keep that a secret," Roche said on Monday of Donn and Doreen Dale of Toutle Lake.

In his letter of nomination, Dale cited Roche's many years of service, including:

• Holding every leadership position in his local VFW;

• Five years as the VFW District 16 commander;

• Establishing a service office from his home in 2005;

• Coordinating transportation to the VA for medical service for Wahkiakum County veterans;

• Chairman of the Wahkiakum County Veteran's Relief Committee;

• County representative to the Washington Department of Veteran's Affairs;

• Speaker at POW and MIA ceremonies;

• Involving local schools in American Essay Programs;

• Hosting local eighth graders at Greenwood Cemetery to place flags and honor Veterans, and

• Wahkiakum County Food Bank volunteer, securing beef for the year, and turkeys and ham for the holidays.

"He is also committed to the 'Warriors and Widows' fishing tournament for JBLM Warrior Transition Battalion for two full days of lodging, fishing, food and fun at no expense to the participants," Dale wrote. "This event allows those wounded soldiers and their widows/widowers to escape their 'issues' at hand. Being 80 percent disabled himself, Bob never slows down in his many efforts to help others. I have the utmost respect and confidence in this man who still continues his mission of helping others, especially veterans."

Roche served in the U.S. Army and retired at the rank of captain.


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