“There are so few people like us here. There is so much education that needs to be done. The thing is, though, people are willing to listen.
“And they showed that.”
Lacey Beaty is talking about her colleagues on the Beaverton City Council.Patch | PromotionCalling All Advertisers!Want an extra 1,000 impressions added to your campaign? Patch is looking for small businesses to participate in customer interviews. Sign up!
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Beaty, an Army combat veteran, was on the phone from California where she was helping coach the George Fox Women’s Lacrosse Team to its fourth victory in six games.
“It’s clear that Beaverton cares about veterans and the sacrifice that they have made,” she said.Subscribe
Beaty, in her first year in office, helped Beaverton earn the designation as a Purple Heart City, one of only eight in Oregon, and helped push through changes in the city’s Minority, Women, and Emerging Small Business Policy so that it now includes veterans with a service-related disability.
“It’s so important that veterans know that their service is appreciated, that they are appreciated,” she said.
“And that they are not forgotten.”
And because of her efforts, Beaty has not been forgotten.
She is being honored as the 2016 Outstanding Woman Veteran of the Year by the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs.
The announcement was made at the department’s conference at Camp Withycombe.
In her five years in the Army, Beaty was a radiology specialist and combat medic and served in the First Infantry Division during the Iraq War.
Beaty, who grew up in San Diego, moved to Beaverton when she and her husband, a member of the Oregon National Guard, finished a tour in 2008.
“We wanted somewhere safe,” she said. “We had both been in combat and we wanted somewhere where we could settle in.”
They started in Central Oregon and worked there way around the state.
“When we first drove into Beaverton, I knew this is where I wanted to live,” she said. “It was even before we learned that it’s the safest large city in the Pacific Northwest.
“There was just something about the city that spoke to us, that said this is where we should live.”
For Beaty and her husband, both combat veterans – he continues to be active duty and was actually deployed back to Afghanistan the day after she was elected – the sense of safety was important.
“But there is more than that,” she said. “Beaverton provides a real sense of community. There are very few veterans here, maybe 200, but the sense of community is so strong.
“I knew that when I brought up veterans issues, they would be met with open minds.”
Beaty says that while she is glad with the steps that were taken last year, her hope is to make sure the city’s policies apply not just to veterans with service-related disabilities but to all veterans.
“I know it’s super cheesy but it’s so important to remember that people who serve are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so everyone can enjoy freedom,” she says.
Beaty joined the Army right out of high school.
“It was right after September 11,” she said. “I knew it was what I had to do.”
It is that sense of service that led her to the City Council.
She served on the city’s visioning committee and has been active in the community.
Beaty is on the Board of Directors of HomePlate Youth Services, the non-profit in Washington County that runs drop in centers for homeless youth.
She is also the director of the Virginia Garcia Memorial health Center’s school-based clinics.
“It is so important to be involved, to recognize the community around you,” she says. “You need to be able to see what is happening, who needs help.
“And then work to provide that help.”