Veterans Day ceremony honors service

November 8, 2011

Dave Waggoner is tireless in his efforts to ensure both today’s military members are honored and yesterday’s heroes are not forgotten.

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Issaquah School District campuses host Veterans Day events

November 1, 2011

Several local schools have planned to honor current military personnel and other veterans just in time for Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

At 9:30 a.m. Nov. 9, Clark Elementary School will open its doors to present and past military members and their families, said Heather Maloney, president of the Clark PTA.

Maloney said local veterans from the area, including from local VFW posts and the Providence Point retirement community, had been invited.

The school also had contacted the Issaquah High School Navy Junior ROTC program about providing a color guard.

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Community pauses, reflects to commemorate 9/11

September 13, 2011

If terror remains the most vivid memory from Sept. 11, 2001, then resilience emerged as the most forceful message on the 10th anniversary.

In a series of solemn gestures, amid a ceremony steeped in symbolism, community leaders gathered beneath a crystalline sky Sept. 11 to remember the 2,977 people lost in the attacks, and the more than 6,000 military personnel felled in Afghanistan and Iraq since then.

Issaquah police officers, Veterans of Foreign Wars members and city leaders salute the U.S. flag at Issaquah’s 9/11 remembrance ceremony. By Warren Kagarise

“This is a time to remember the victims of Sept. 11, as well as remember those who risk their lives every day to protect ours,” Mayor Ava Frisinger said in a stirring speech to the crowd assembled on the Issaquah Community Center lawn. “My hope — and it’s an ongoing one — is that we as a nation and as communities may live without fear and act without fear.”

The experience on a sun-splashed afternoon echoed a vigil from the day of the attacks, when stunned residents gathered on the same spot for a sunset ceremony.

The crowd at the 10th anniversary, about 200 people strong, did not match the attendance from then.

In the opening prayer, Eastside Fire & Rescue Chaplain Mike Ryan said 9/11 served as the catalyst for “this age of terror and these moments of remembrance” — a theme repeated throughout the remembrance ceremony.

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Community gathers to commemorate 10 years since 9/11

September 11, 2011

Issaquah High School Navy Junior ROTC members present flags as Issaquah police officers and Eastside Fire & Rescue firefighters salute during a Sunday ceremony to commemorate 9/11. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 4 p.m. Sept. 11, 2011

If terror is the most vivid memory from Sept. 11, 2001, then the most forceful message on the 10th anniversary is about resilience.

In a series of solemn gestures, amid a ceremony steeped in symbolism, community leaders gathered beneath a crystalline sky Sunday to remember the 2,977 people lost in the attacks, and the more than 6,000 military personnel felled in Afghanistan and Iraq since then.

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Issaquah ceremony offers chance to reflect on 9/11

September 6, 2011

“To me, it was one of the worst days in our nation’s history,” Eastside Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Bud Backer said of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

But the way the country came together in the aftermath of those attacks can be pointed to as a source of pride, Backer added.

To mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the city of Issaquah, EFR, city police and other civic groups are joining in a public ceremony 1 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Issaquah Community Center.

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Navy JROTC gets reprieve, if district picks up entire tab

September 6, 2011

A Navy spokesman said local officials potentially could save the Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Issaquah High School.

But only if the district was willing to take on the entire cost of running the program, said Mike Miller, of the Naval Training Service Command.

In an e-mail to Issaquah High JROTC students and their families, district schools Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said a district takeover of the program is not practical.

In July, the Navy announced plans to disestablish the Issaquah JROTC program, along with 28 other units nationally, because of low enrollment combined with budget restraints. Under the Navy’s plan, the unit will stay active through the coming school year, but would be formally disbanded as of June 30, 2012.

The move will not affect the JROTC program at Liberty High School, and Rasmussen said Issaquah High JROTC members would be able to transfer into the Liberty program.

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Military News

August 2, 2011

Liberty grad assumes command of destroyer

Matthew Roberts

Cmdr. Matthew Roberts, son of Beverley and Paul Robert, formerly of Issaquah, has assumed command of the Everett-based destroyer, USS Momsen DDG-92. A 1988 graduate of Liberty High School, Roberts was a commanding officer in Liberty’s NJROTC program.

Roberts attended the University of Arizona with a Navy ROTC scholarship and was commissioned in 1993 after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He has since received his Master of Arts degree in organizational management from George Washington University and graduated from the War College at Newport, R.I., as the Halsey Scholar with a Master of Arts in national security and strategic studies.

Roberts has served as a military assistant in the Bureau of African Affairs with the U.S. State Department and as a Special Assistant in the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Actions Group.

Navy to close Issaquah High ROTC program

July 26, 2011

Despite what local officials termed an aggressive attempt at promoting the program, the Navy announced July 18 that it plans to “disestablish” the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps unit.

Students can continue in the program through the coming school year. But along with 28 others nationally, the local ROTC will be formally shut down effective June 30, 2012.

The JROTC program at Liberty High School should not be affected.

“The NJROTC program has a strong tradition and I am disappointed that the Navy has announced its disestablishment,” Issaquah NJROTC Cmdr. Larry Artman said. “We have been working hard to increase our enrollment, but I understand the significant budget constraints facing the Navy.”

Because the Issaquah unit was failing to meet enrollment standards established by the Navy, the unit was placed on probation earlier this year. According to Sara Niegowski, executive director of communications for the school district, local officials believed they had several months to increase enrollment in the program to 100 students, or 10 percent of the overall school student population.

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Patriots sharpshooters hit No. 1 spot in nation

July 5, 2011

Liberty High School air rifle team students Sean Denson (left), Jacky Cheung, John Lorenz, Murphy Ransier and Tyler Snook are the scholastic military champions after placing first at the NRA National Air Gun Competition. By Art Weatherford

After an incredible show of teamwork, Liberty High School’s National Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps placed first nationwide as scholastic military champions at the National Rifle Association Air Gun Competition on June 23-25.

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Liberty High School sharpshooters hit No. 1 spot in nation

June 30, 2011

NEW — 6 p.m. June 30, 2011

After an incredible show of teamwork, Liberty High School’s National Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps placed first nationwide as scholastic military champions at the National Rifle Association Air Gun Competition on June 23-25.

“As a team, they scored better than any other team in the nation,” Liberty naval science instructor Al Torstenson said.

Five Liberty air rifle team students — including graduating seniors Tyler Snook, Jackie Chueng and Murphy Ransier, incoming senior John Lorenz and incoming junior Sean Denson — flew to Camp Perry, Ohio, for the championship.

The coaches, Art Weatherford and senior naval science instructor Cmdr. Dan Joslin, accompanied the team.

Though the students won first place, “probably everything that could go wrong, went wrong,” such as equipment malfunctions, Weatherford said. But, “It wasn’t anything the kids weren’t able to rise to.”

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