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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Press Editorial

May 22, 2012

Memorial Day is for remembering, honoring

While most will enjoy the three-day weekend to mark the beginning of summer, Memorial Day is so much more. Memorial Day is set aside to honor the men and women from the United States military who have died in military service to their country.

This national holiday is especially poignant while our country is at war. Soldiers are still fighting in far-flung corners of the world for the liberty that affords us a carefree day in the park, chowing down on barbecue or watching the Indianapolis 500 — what many of us will do this weekend.

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Off the Press

May 22, 2012

Veterans deserve our thanks, for everything

Kathleen R. Merrill Press managing editor

Memorial Day. What does it mean to you?

It’s usually a fun day for me, but it’s also bittersweet, and there is always a solemn time of remembrance.

See, I’ve always had a heart for the men and women who have served our country. Maybe that comes from my father, who served in Vietnam in the United States Navy. (He’s an awesome man and my personal hero.) Maybe it comes from my own U.S. Army service and the pride that was instilled in me.

I can’t help but get teary when I hear the national anthem, no matter the location or occasion. I love our flag and all it stands for, and I love the men and women who have signed up and gone on duty for this country, to keep all of our various freedoms that make ours a country like no other.

My heart aches for the men and women of all ages who have gone off to war, and not returned home. And for the ones who have come back, but no longer alive, who have given the ultimate sacrifice for all of the blessings we have in our everyday lives.

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Send veterans photos for memorial section

May 8, 2012

This year, again for Memorial Day, The Issaquah Press will print its third annual veterans section — Lest We Forget.

We want your photos and information, veterans. If someone in your family was a veteran, but he or she has passed away, we still want to include him or her. It is important for us to honor and remember all local veterans, living or deceased.

If you have already sent your photo and information to us, you don’t need to do so again. We keep them on file.

Fill out your form at www.issaquahpress.com and email your photo to editor@isspress.com.

Send veterans photos for memorial section

May 1, 2012

Memorial Day seems a long way off, but it will be here before you know it. This year, The Issaquah Press will print its third annual veterans section — Lest We Forget.

We want your photos and information, veterans. If someone in your family was a veteran, but he or she has passed away, we still want to include him or her. It is important for us to honor and remember all local veterans, living or deceased.

If you have already sent your photo and information to us, you don’t need to do so again. We keep them on file.

Fill out your form at www.issaquahpress.com and email your photo to editor@isspress.com.

Send veterans photos for memorial section

April 10, 2012

Memorial Day seems a long way off, but it will be here before you know it. This year, The Issaquah Press will print its third annual veterans section — Lest We Forget.

We want your photos and information, veterans. If someone in your family was a veteran, but he or she has passed away, we still want to include him or her. It is important for us to honor and remember all local veterans, living or deceased.

If you have already sent your photo and information to us, you don’t need to do so again. We keep them on file.

Fill out your form at www.issaquahpress.com and email your photo to editor@isspress.com.

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