News Briefs, Oakridge/Westfir

Oakridge set for annual tribute to heroism of Maximo Yabes

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The city of Oakridge has designated Thursday, Feb. 3, as the annual day of reflection honoring the memory of hometown war hero Maximo Yabes.

maximo yabes,vietnam war hero,oakridge oregon
Maximo Yabes

Feb. 26 is the actual anniversary of his death in Vietnam in 1967 at the age of 35.

First Sergeant Yabes was born in Lodi, Calif., and at a young age moved with his family to Oakridge, where he received his primary and secondary education. In 1950, he dropped out of Oakridge High School and joined the United States Army.

He posthumously received the Medal of Honor — the United States’ highest military decoration — for his actions near Phu Hoa Dong in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Yabes distinguished himself when he used his body as a shield to protect others in a bunker, moved two wounded men to a safer position where they could be given medical treatment and destroyed an enemy machine gun position before being mortally wounded.
A monument to Yabes’ heroism can be found at the highway rest area at Greenwaters Park. His biography can be found here.


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