VFW Pelican Post 1383
Klamath Falls, Oregon

515 Klamath Ave., Klamath Falls, OR 97601
(541) 882-0054

OFFICERS

Commander: Karen Johnson

Colonel(R) Karen H. Johnson took a direct commission into the Army Nurse Corps on 30 March 1987.  She retired from the US Army with 26 years of service.  She is a life member of the VFW & the Disabled American Veterans, and an associate member of the Marine Corps League. She is also a member of the VFW Color Guard.

Her military assignments took her from being a Medical/Surgical Nurse in San Diego to the Command of one of the country’s largest Wounded Warrior Battalions at Fort Bliss Army Post, El Paso, Texas.  She has served in Honduras; Guatemala; Saudi Arabia; Kuwait; United Arab Emirates; Oman; & Qatar.

She holds several degrees including a Bachelor of Science in Adult Education from San Diego State University and UCLA, a Bachelor of Nursing from Graceland University, a Master’s in Nursing Education from National University, and is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS.

Colonel Johnson’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Commendation, Army Achievement Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Arm Forces Reserve Medal w/ M Device, Army Reserves Overseas Training Ribbon, Southwest Asia Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Liberation Medal of Kuwait, Army Unit Superior Award.

Her civilian occupation is a Registered Nurse and she retired with 29 years as a Nursing Instructor in San Diego, CA.  Colonel Johnson is a native of Bonnet Shores, Rhode Island, and now resides in Klamath Falls.  She is married to Mr. Ronald Johnson who served in the United States Marine Corps.  They have 2 daughters, 2 granddaughters, and 2 French Bulldogs.

Senior Vice Commander: Nokowhat "Noko" Herrera

Nokowhat “Noko” Douglas Herrera LTC, USA (retired) began his army career in 1983. He was enlisted for 5 years before receiving his commission as a chemical officer through OCS in 1988. He was both a Battalion and Brigade Chemical Biological Radiation Nuclear (CBRNE) officer before transferring to the 445th Civil Affairs Battalion and later the 351st Civil Affairs Command. He first deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1997 as a Tactical Support Team (TST) Leader with the 1st Infantry Division, and in 2003 deployed with the 2nd Infantry Division as a Civil Affairs Team (CAT-A 621) leader in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, MAJ Herrera’s CAT-A was one of the first elements to enter Samarra, Iraq, with the 3/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team and the 4th Infantry Division. In 2009 He organized and developed a Civil Military Operations Center (CMOC) Team specifically tailored to support the 1st Theater Support Command’s Humanitarian Operation Center (HOC) in Kuwait. In 2010 he was the first Installation Emergency Manager for Tobyhanna Army Depot where he developed and executed the Installation Emergency Management Plan/Program.  He then volunteered for Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division and assumed the duties of Deputy Director of the Joint Border Coordination Center (JBCC). He completed his tour and was asked to remain with the 3rd Infantry Division as the Commanders Emergency Relief Program (CERP) “Chief” at headquarters Regional Command (South). He also saw overseas duty in Honduras, Japan, and Korea. His awards include the Combat Action Badge, 2 Bronze Stars, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Meritorious Service Medals, 2 Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/2 campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, 2 NATO Medals,  Joint Meritorious Unit Award and Army Meritorious Unit Award. He completed over 32 years of service to the army. Noko is currently the Chapter Commander for the Crater Lake Chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA) 29-6 and is employed as a Case Manager for Supportive Services for Veterans Families at Klamath and Lake County Action Services and currently resides with his wife; Vicki of 29 years in Klamath Falls.

Junior Vice Commander: Ken Waters


Adjutant: Melanie Heap
Melanie received her commission in 1988 from the ROTC program at Oregon Institute of Technology. She served in the Army from October 1989 to December 1993. During this period she was stationed in Augsburg Germany and deployed to Desert Shield/Desert Storm from December 1990 to May 1991 as a Water Purification And Graves Registration Platoon Leader.

Melanie has been a member of the VFW since 2012 and is a life member.

She is a recent graduate of KCC obtaining an Associate of Applied  Science in Culinary Arts.
Quartermaster: Duane Whitehead

Duane was a member of the U.S. Army. He served in Viet Nam as a Combat Engineer.


Duane is a Life Member of the VFW and has served at the Post Quartermaster for last 6 years and is the current District 5 Commander. He also serves as a member of the  Color Guard, Chairman/Manager Bingo Committee,  and Member of House Committee. Past Post positions were, Jr. Vice Commander and Sr. Vice Commander.


Duane is a retired Klamath Falls Police Detective.  Duane and his wife Kathy have two daughters and one son.

Chaplain: Ben Quen

Chaplain (Major) Jacob Scott received a commission as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers through ROTC at St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota in 1998. Chaplain Scott served for just over seven years on active duty. His assignments included: Taegu, Korea; the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas – with two tours in Kuwait and Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. He left active duty in 2005 and continued to serve in the Army Reserves in St. Louis. He earned the Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in May 2010. In 2011, he was called to serve as pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, Klamath Falls, where he began serving with the 1st Squadron, 82nd Cavalry Regiment, Oregon Army National Guard. He deployed to Afghanistan with 1-82 CAV in 2014-2015. He still serves in the National Guard as the Brigade Chaplain for the 82nd Brigade, Camp Withycombe, Oregon.

He is a graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff Officer Course. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. John’s (1998) and a Master of Public Policy Administration from the University of Missouri – St. Louis (2003). Chaplain Scott has been a Life Member of the VFW since 2003 (Post 8729, Lake City, Minnesota). 

Chaplain Scott was born and raised in Red Wing, Minnesota. He married Christine (Sproat), a native of North Carolina, in 2010. They have made their home in Klamath Falls, Oregon, since 2011. After the Church and the National Guard, he enjoys spending time running, reading, playing with Finegan (his black lab therapy dog), enjoying Oregon craft beer, and Christine’s cooking.

In 2006 Ben retired from the military with 22 years of service. He served 4 years (1966-1970) in the Marine Corps, and 18 years (1988-2006) in the California Air National Guard. While in the Marines, he was a Jet Mechanic/Crew Chief and Duty Section Chief. Ben served 18 months in Vietnam and endured the ‘Tet Offensive’ of 1968.  In the Guard Ben was a Communications Engineer and a member of the Base Honor Guard, serving as Superintendent of both branches. He served in of Vietnam, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Nobel Eagle.

Ben has been a Life Member of the VFW since 2002. He’s was previously the Post Chaplain for and serves as a member of the Color Guard. Ben also serves as the Marine Corps League Detachment and Department of Oregon Chaplain.

In 2004, Ben retired from his civilian job after working 33 years in the High Tech Communications Industry. Ben and his wife Karen moved fro California to Klamath Falls in 2006. They sepnd much of their time volunteering in their Church and community.



Surgeon: Terry KLein

Judge Advocate: Melanie Heap
Melanie received her commission in 1988 from the ROTC program at Oregon Institute of Technology. She served in the Army from October 1989 to December 1993. During this period she was stationed in Augsburg Germany and deployed to Desert Shield/Desert Storm from December 1990 to May 1991 as a Water Purification And Graves Registration Platoon Leader.

Melanie has been a member of the VFW since 2012 and is a life member.

She is a recent graduate of KCC obtaining an Associate of Applied  Science in Culinary Arts.
Sergeant at Arms: Roger Pattee
Trustee 1 year: Pete Gomez


Trustee 2 year: Mike Longnecker


Trustee 3 year: Ron Ballard