Send veterans photos, story ideas for Memorial Day section

March 27, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. March 27, 2014

The Issaquah Press is proud to announce it will print its fifth annual veterans section — Lest We Forget — in the May 21 paper, in time for Memorial Day.

Veterans, we want your photos and information, whether you served in a war or during peacetime. If someone in your family was a veteran, but he or she has passed away, we still want to include him or her.

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Lioness seventh-graders bring home hardware

July 10, 2012

A pride of lionesses roared in the desert.

The EBI Lioness AAU girls basketball team won the Reno Jam On It Championship’s seventh-grade division in June. The team included Skyline High School’s Gina Grossi, (back row, first from the left); Liberty High School’s Samantha Kelderman, (back row, third from left), Kadi Cooke, (front row, first from the left), and Megan Kirschner, (front row, fifth from the left); and Eastside Catholic High School’s Bailey Haner (front row, fourth from the left). Contributed

The EBI Lioness team, composed of teenage players all over the Eastside, earned first place at the Reno Jam On It Championship’s seventh-grade division in Reno, Nev., in May.

The team, part of AAU competition, “were determined to win it for their coach” Felicia Johnson, an email from one of the team’s parents stated.

Johnson fainted while at the tourney, so the team had to play on its own the first two games.

“I don’t even remember even having to call a timeout,” Johnson said.

Lioness center/forward Kadi Cooke, from Issaquah, agreed.

“It was stressful at first but then all of our teamwork paid off for the team and it was fun at the end,” she said.

The team spent a lot of time together off the court, shooting guard Bailey Haner said.

“We went go-karting together, we went on roller-coasters, we ate ice cream a lot,” she said. “It was really fun.”

All the fun stuff makes the team more cohesive, she added.

The level of competition was all over the place, Johnson said, but it got tough once they reached the semifinals.

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U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert commemorates fallen on Memorial Day

May 28, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 28, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert honored veterans and families on Memorial Day, as the Issaquah representative in Congress also highlighted legislative accomplishments for veterans.

“As so many of us settle into this long weekend looking forward to visiting with and enjoying our friends and family, let us pause to remember those Americans who have given us the liberty to do so,” he said in a statement. “We are blessed to have so many generations of warriors who have fought valiantly for our freedom. They suffered so that those of us who endure may pursue our American dreams.”

Reichert, a former King County sheriff and Auburn Republican, also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve during the Vietnam War era.

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Use fire safety tips for a safe Memorial Day weekend

May 25, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. May 25, 2012

The state Department of Natural Resources urges people headed outdoors for Memorial Day weekend to help prevent wildland fires.

Though temperatures remain on the cool side, the extended holiday weekend attracts a higher-than-average number of visitors to forests, raising wildfire concerns. Firefighters have responded to 51 wildland fires so in 2012.

“We want everyone to enjoy their Memorial Day weekend, while being safe and taking simple steps to prevent an accidental wildfire,” Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark said in a statement. “An escaped campfire can threaten lives, property, and drain scarce tax dollars.”

Help prevent wildfires by clearing debris around campfire pits and using a shovel and water to completely extinguish campfires. The state urges people to be cautious and only build campfires in approved pits in designated areas.

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Meat producer recalls bratwurst as Memorial Day approaches

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

Zenner’s Quality Meat Products, Inc. issued a recall for about 3,660 pounds of bratwurst due to misbranding and allergen concerns, just as Memorial Day barbecues approach.

The company, based in a Portland, Ore., issued the recall because the product contains soy protein, a known allergen, not declared on the label.

The recalls is for 2.25-lb. packages containing Zenner’s Smoked Brotwurst with a sell-by date through July 17.

The product bears the establishment number “EST. 6308” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Zenner’s Quality Meat Products, Inc. produced the products through May 16, and distributed to wholesale establishments in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

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Expect transit schedule changes on Memorial Day

May 24, 2012

NEW — 2 p.m. May 24, 2012

Issaquah bus riders should expect King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit scheduled changes Monday for Memorial Day.

Metro Transit operates on a Sunday schedule for Memorial Day. The transit agency is also offering special shuttle bus service Saturday through Monday to the Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center from the Northgate Transit Center and South Renton Park & Ride.

For Metro Transit service, if a bus route does not usually operate on Sunday, then no service is offered on Memorial Day.

Metro offices also close on the holiday, including the customer information phone lines. Use the Trip Planner for travel assistance.

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World War II nurse treated wounded soldiers at decisive battles

May 22, 2012

In the distance, not far from beaches along Sainte-Maxime, a city along the Mediterranean Sea, a battle raged to liberate France from Nazi occupation.

Lucille Lundstrom

Offshore, a ship painted a radiant white girded for the inevitable casualties — incoming soldiers suffering from gunshot and shrapnel wounds. The crew aboard spent the months beforehand preparing for service in a combat zone.

The complement of nurses aboard the ship, U.S. Army Hospital Ship Marigold, included 21-year-old Lucille Lennart, a compassionate young woman from tiny Everson, near the border between Washington and British Columbia.

Nowadays, Lucille Lennart is Lucille Lundstrom, a retired nurse and resident at Providence Point in Issaquah. Like other World War II veterans — a group dubbed “The Greatest Generation” by journalist Tom Brokaw — Lundstrom is humble about the years she served aboard the Marigold.

“I thought I should,” she said in a recent interview. “There was a war on.”

Lundstrom served as a nurse aboard the Marigold — a cruise liner converted for wartime use — as the ship sailed around the globe and joined more than 350,000 American women in military service amid World War II.

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VFW hosts Memorial Day commemoration in Issaquah

May 22, 2012

Issaquah residents will have the opportunity to remember and celebrate local veterans who have given their lives in the line of military service at 10 a.m. May 28 at Issaquah’s Hillside Cemetery in an annual observance of Memorial Day.

The Issaquah High School Junior Naval ROTC will facilitate a 21-gun salute and provide the color guard for the event. It will be the final public performance of the group after more than 40 years of service, event organizer Dave Waggoner said. ROTC will no longer be offered at the school after this school year.

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Issaquah man established fuel stations in the South Pacific during World War II

May 22, 2012

When William Bentz enlisted in the U.S. Army in July 1943 to serve in history’s most widespread world war, modern technological communication did not yet exist.

William Bentz, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, holds a collection of materials he obtained while visiting the rededication of the National WWII Memorial in May 2004 in Washington, D.C. By Christina Lords

That meant no cellphones, no Skype, no email.

What he and his wife Onadee did have, however, was V-Mail. Short for Victory Mail, the hybrid mail system used by Americans in World War II to securely correspond with soldiers stationed abroad.

“I wrote what they call V letters,” he said. “During the war times, instead of having your 8.5 by 10 legal paper, they reduced them down … those days you couldn’t run to the computer to get it across and I was certainly too far away to yell.”

William Bentz reported for active duty at Fort Lewis before taking on firefighting training at a WWII U.S. Army camp called Camp Claiborne in Louisiana.

Bentz opted to be what was called service personnel instead of in the infantry because he had a wife and infant at home.

It took 25 days via naval ship to get to his first long-term destination during the war — New Guinea.

“A lot of people don’t think about it, but there were 2,500 to 3,000 troops up there, but they zigzagged going across the Pacific because of submarines,” he said regarding a maneuver that was supposed to make ships harder targets to hit. “Coming home was a different story, of course.”

After spending seven months in New Guinea, he served in the 781st Engineer Petroleum Distribution Company on Leyte Island in the Philippines.

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World War II veteran recalls ‘Forgotten Battle’

May 22, 2012

Historians refer to the Aleutian Islands campaign as the Forgotten Battle.

Norman Peery served on the destroyer USS Jarvis for a year and a half in the harsh Aleutian Island chain off Alaska during World War II, and continues to serve his fellow veterans at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3436 events in Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

The battle occurred amid roiling seas and pea-soup fog in the chain of islands stretched between North America and Asia at almost the same time as the Battle of Guadalcanal started thousands of miles to the south.

Guadalcanal is engrained in history, but the Aleutian Islands campaign is almost relegated to a footnote.

Not for local veteran Norman Peery.

For Peery, 86, World War II meant rough seas in the Aleutian Islands and, in postwar military service, smooth sailing to occupied Japan.

The retired Boeing electrician participated in the Aleutian Islands campaign, a bitter struggle over the islands between the United States and Japan.

The islands stretch for more than 1,200 miles from the Alaskan Peninsula and form a dividing line between the Bering Strait and the North Pacific Ocean.

Peery entered the U.S. Navy on Dec. 16, 1943, and served 18 months in the remote island chain aboard the USS Jarvis, a destroyer. (The ship was built at a Seattle shipyard in 1943-44.)

“There was a lot of rough water, believe me,” Peery said in a recent interview. “If you’ve ever been up in that water, you know.”

The destroyer plied the water off Adak and Attu. The islands hosted fierce fighting in the campaign.

“The water up there was so rough that you had to stand in the kitchen and put an arm around a post at dinner and hang on to that post and eat with the other hand,” he said. “That was kind of hard.”

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