Valerie Vance

Proudest professional moment: I was working for the Vet Center in Portland as a volunteer in two capacities: co-facilitator for women’s group therapy and as an educator of a free six-week class to teach anyone who desired to attend about PTSD, Secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the affects of wars on families. I partnered with Vietnam veteran John Aubrey, and we taught the class for about two years. We were interviewed by Julie Emery for a piece on ABC locally, invited by Dr. Barlow, a history professor, to present to classes at Lewis & Clark and at Pacific University, and were on a local talk radio show where we took calls. Our goal was to help families understand and work together so that families could stay together. I have so many veterans in my life. I wasn’t in the service or any wars, but I wanted to somehow serve.

First job: Usherette at the Kelso Theater the moment I could get a worker’s permit. Babysitting and picking anything someone would buy doesn’t count. At 12 I was teaching the neighbor girls ballet for 5 cents a class. The next year my rates increased to 10 cents! Cost of cookies!

Fun fact: I was racing around on my own motorcycle at 12, changing my sprockets and road tires to Knobbies when needed. At 14, I was driving the one-ton hay truck around and driving our army truck up and down our one-mile driveway. I was also the midwife on the farm delivering calves & goats.

Favorite spot on a Saturday night: Anywhere exploring and embracing life with my fiancé Greg Gray & our families & friends.

Favorite movie: Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo & Juliet.” I still have the VHS! Also, I love the original “Ocean’s 11” with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford.

Music of choice: Classic Rock!

Favorite place to eat: Bleu Door, Cactus YaYa’s, Yummy’s Mongolian Grill. Little local places are my favorites.

Motto/Inspirational quote: “The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’ is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was ‘involved,’ the pig was ‘committed.’” – Unknown

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