Portland, Ore. – Portland has lost a champion for change. Activist Joe Walsh known as “the Lone Vet” has passed away this month at the age of 78. He served in the Navy and was called to duty in the Vietnam war, within about two years he was protesting the war he once supported, outside of his naval base. His activism never stopped. If you look up the definition of hold their feet to the fire, there’s a picture of Joe Walsh in the dictionary, standing on the corner of a Portland protest with his sign, or seated in front of the microphone at a city council meeting.
Joe lived to question authority, and never hesitated to tell elected officials when he thought they were doing the wrong thing, even the ones he seemed to like. You could argue probably no one was more looking forward to voting in November than Joe. not because he was political or partisan, not at all. It is because he loved participating in the process and fighting for the change he believed in.
Not only did he understand that it is we the people who create real change in the world when we put pressure on those in power to do the right thing, but Joe practiced putting on that pressure every day. They say a squeaky wheel gets the grease, some would say nobody put out more of a squeak to get the grease going, than Joe Walsh.
KXL’s Jacob Dean interviewed Joe Walsh on several occasions including at a demonstration back in 2014 near downtown Portland. That full video is above.