Issaquah VFW post plans Memorial Day service

May 24, 2011

The Issaquah Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 3436 hosts a Memorial Day service at Hillside Cemetery, just below the Veterans Section, at 10 a.m. May 30.

The Issaquah High School Junior Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps unit will provide the color guard and honor guard for a 21-gun salute.

The VFW-sponsored Boy Scout Troop No. 709 and Cub Scout Pack No. 639 will help set up at 9 a.m. May 28 and take down decorations from the cemetery after the ceremony. There will be someone at the cemetery between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to hand out forms for people to specify the symbols — such as crosses and flags — they want on veterans’ graves.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center, 75 N.E. Creek Way.

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Issaquah High School ROTC is on chopping block

May 10, 2011

The Navy Junior ROTC at Issaquah High School performs at a March school assembly. Unless the program raises its enrollment to more than 100 students, it could be canceled. By Don Borin/Stop Action Photography,

Low enrollment cited as reason for possible elimination

After 39 years of camaraderie, learning and accomplishment, the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is facing the chopping block.

Unless the program can bring enrollment up to 100 students by Oct. 1, the U.S. Navy has announced it will close the unit by fall 2012. This year, Issaquah High has 70 students enrolled in its Navy Junior ROTC.

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Honor veterans in Memorial Day section

April 12, 2011

Dave Waggoner said he is worried that people are forgetting about U.S. veterans.

He recalled a phrase — selective disengagement — that journalist Bob Woodward had used.

“He said people across the United States selectively disengage from war, whether it be Afghanistan or Iraq or Korea or Vietnam or World War II,” said Waggoner, quartermaster with the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

When society selectively disengages from wars, it loses focus on the people who fight them and their experiences.

“The cost of war is people, and the people of Issaquah paid that price for their service,” Waggoner said.

The Issaquah Press is working to reverse that trend. For the second consecutive year, in its Memorial Day issue, The Press will publish profiles of Issaquah men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces.

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Patriots’ ROTC drill, rifle teams perform well at meet

March 15, 2011

On March 5, the Liberty High School Navy Junior ROTC participated in the third Northwest Drill and Rifle Conference’s meet at Spanaway Lake High School where 11 schools attended.

The students departed on a bus from Liberty at 5:30 a.m. and arrived at the drill meet at 7 a.m. The teams then competed in their respective competitions throughout the day. At the end of competition, all the teams from the 11 schools gathered in Spanaway’s gymnasium for the awards ceremony.

Liberty placed very well in many areas. The armed drill team placed third overall, as did the unarmed drill team. In a separate category for armed and unarmed commanders, the armed team commander, Cadet Lt. JD Charest, placed first among the armed commanders while the unarmed team commander, Cadet Lt. Commander Cassie Achzenick, placed second among unarmed commanders.

Senior Cadet Lt. Junior Grade Henry Beck placed second in Individual Armed Exhibition Drill (rifle spinning) during his first competition. Liberty’s Color Guard Team One placed fourth and the Precision Rifle team took first place for the third time this season with Cadet Ensign John Lorenz leading the group in scores.

The next drill meet will be March 26 at Kentwood High School.

Nathan Wilhelm is a staff member of The Beat, The Press’ teen page. Comment at

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Organizers hope schoolwide 5K run inspires life fitness

January 18, 2011

Issaquah High School students try to stay warm during a 5K involving more than 600 students. By Laura Geggel

The temperature hovered in the mid 30s, but that didn’t stop 621 Issaquah High School students from lacing up their shoes and donning their purple sweatshirts for the first schoolwide 5K run Jan. 11.

Sophomore Madison Wernik admitted the course was challenging, but said, “I was kind of excited, actually. It just seems like a good idea. It unifies us.” Read more

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Issaquah residents gather to celebrate Veterans Day

November 11, 2010

Members of the Issaquah High School Junior Naval ROTC Honor Guard fire a volley during the 21-gun salute Thursday during a Veterans Day observance at Issaquah City Hall. By Greg Farrar

UPDATED — 4:15 p.m. Nov. 11, 2010

Never forget.

The theme was reiterated throughout the annual Veterans Day ceremony at City Hall on Thursday, hosted by the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3436.

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Veterans Day Observance / Nov. 11, 2010

November 11, 2010

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Issaquah ceremony honors veterans’ service

November 9, 2010

Dave Waggoner is a stickler for military tradition and no other symbol better pays homage to those serving in uniform than the American flag.

“I’ve always wanted people who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country to never be forgotten, for their actions to be respected,” said Waggoner, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War.

That’s why he spearheaded the effort to ensure that the city of Issaquah always had new flags flying on its 11 flagpoles. In the continually growing tradition, the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post No. 3436, hosts its fourth annual Veterans Day Service on Nov. 11.

Waggoner will present new flags purchased by the VFW to City Councilwoman Eileen Barber. Barber’s family has long ties to military service, from her father in World War II to her nephew, who is just back from serving his second tour in Iraq. She said she looks forward to the ceremony each year.

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Press Editorial

November 9, 2010

Veterans Day history is worth understanding

Thursday, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. At precisely 11 a.m., a wreath will be laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery to honor and thank those who have served in the armed services of the United States.

The time, 11 a.m., is symbolic. It was at this time on Nov. 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), that a cease-fire agreement was signed, bringing an official end to World War I, “the war to end all wars.” Read more

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Support our troops — fund the Veterans Administration

November 9, 2010

Julia McKechnie Liberty High School

Every year during Liberty High School’s Veterans Day assembly, I am amazed by the number of people who stand up when an especially solemn Associated Student Body officer asks those who know a member of the armed services to rise.

Nearly the entire student body stands up and looks around, many students wearing the same astonished expression that crosses my own face. As Veterans Day approaches, I am reminded of the overwhelming number of “support the troops” yellow ribbons that plastered the bumpers of American cars shortly after the Iraq War began. Looking back, I realize I seldom see these tokens of patriotism anymore, which leads me to wonder: Are we really supporting our troops? Read more

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