Honoring a Local Hero
On Monday, the city council will be asked to consider changing the names Camas Avenue or Dove Lane, two major streets that run along the elementary, middle and high school.
The local United Veterans of America chapter is asking the streets to be named after Navy serviceman, Reinhardt J. Keppler, a congressional Medal of Honor recipient.
Veteran Edward Malecki says he's been on board with the proposal since it was conceived a few months ago.
"When I first heard about it, I thought it was a great deal," said Malecki, "The Medal of Honor, that's such a tremendous award, and it's just a shame [he was] killed in action to get that."
Keppler was born in Washington, graduating from Wapato High School in the late 1930's before enlisting in the Navy.
He served in the Navy during World War II, seeing action at Pearl Harbor, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Keppler suffered mortal wounds at The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in November of 1942 after a Japanese bomber crashed into his ship -- despite his fatal injuries, he continued to assist in saving his ship and caring for other causalties.
Keppler later died from those wounds and was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.
"Having a street renamed after this veteran, what it means to the family, and what it means to the other veterans, it shows that somebody cares," said Malecki.
Keppler is buried at Golden Gate National Cemetary in San Bruno, California, but Malecki believes he deserves more than a headstone.
"The rest of the community can look up to that and say 'I knew that guy, I went to school with that guy,'" said Malecki, "It's just very-very-very important."