Caring community rallies for a friend with COVID-19


Friends say Pledge of Allegiance and offer prayer for Dave Alt

Dave Alt is a retired lineman for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). He spent much of his life in rural areas, erecting towers to run BPA power lines or doing maintenance on those same power lines. He and his wife Helen are retired in rural Clark County.

Friends describe Alt as a humble man with a servant’s heart. At Christmas, you’ll find him ringing a Salvation Army bell at local grocery stores, hoping people will fill his bucket with donations to his favorite charity. During the year, he delivers free papers to area churches once a month traveling much of rural Clark County with another friend.

Alt regularly takes his ride-on mower out and cuts the grass and weeds on the roads leading up to his rural home. It’s Dave’s way of making the rural neighborhood look better. He’s regularly helping friends make home repairs or doing odd jobs for neighbors.

Friends gather outside a local hospital, saying the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer for their friend, Dave Alt. Photo by John Ley
Friends gather outside a local hospital, saying the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer for their friend, Dave Alt. Photo by John Ley

Dave’s love of country is second to none. He will join any flag waving rally and has proudly walked carrying the American flag in many local parades. The back of his pickup truck will carry a US Constitution sign.

But for the past two weeks, Dave was fighting a cold. Last Friday night, he was fighting for breath when a friend called to check on him and his wife. The next morning, Dave was admitted to the hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19.

The good news is that Dave doesn’t have pneumonia according to his wife Helen, who was frightened on Saturday, but the staff gave her a bit of uplifting news on Monday. Dave sounded a bit more upbeat when he talked to Helen on the phone. But his many friends were still concerned.

So an impromptu call went out Monday afternoon for a prayer rally for Dave outside the hospital. Roughly 30 friends showed up with American flags. These friends signed a flag for Dave while sharing tales of Dave’s huge heart. They said the Pledge of Allegiance and then a few prayers for their friend Dave. They wanted to give back to a man who has selflessly given to so many, praying Dave remains with us for a few more years.

The community came together, caring for a friend with COVID.

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About The Author

John is a retired airline pilot, serving Delta for over 31 years. Prior to Delta, he served in the US Air Force for 11 and a half years; three and a half years as a Public Affairs Officer and eight years as a pilot. John flew multiple airplanes around the world for Delta, retiring as a B-767 Captain. During his 31 years at Delta, John served as a member of the pilot’s union leadership, representing the Portland-based pilots for five years. John got involved in area politics during the Columbia River Crossing debate. He became a citizen activist, speaking out against wasteful spending and fighting for common sense transportation solutions. He ran for the Washington state legislature twice, a Representative position in 2014 and Senate in 2020. John is the eldest of six children. He remains extremely close with members of his family and lives in Oregon and Washington. He has 14 nieces and nephews and a growing number of “grands” in the next generation. John has enjoyed skiing, scuba diving, travel, and time on his Harley when he’s not busy with local issues or flying.

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