World War II veteran honors other soldiers’ service

May 24, 2011

Issaquah resident Eugene Klineburger keeps fellow veterans alive in his memory. By Greg Farrar

Eugene Klineburger is humble about the years he served in the U. S. Army during World War II and immediately after the conflict.

“I never did anything really great during the war. I did what they told me to do,” he recalled.

Klineburger, 92, did not see combat, and instead served stateside as war raged in Europe and the Pacific. The longtime Issaquah resident guarded prisoners of war and detained Japanese-Americans at camps across the West from 1942-46.

“I appreciate what my fellow soldiers went through, I really do,” he said.

Like Klineburger, more than 16 million people served in the armed forces during World War II. The National World War II Museum estimates about 1,000 veterans of the conflict die each day.

December marks 70 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States’ entry into the fighting. Ties to the long-ago battles loosen as the greatest generation fades into history and baby boomers settle into retirement.

“As they’re aging and dying off, it will be like ancient history,” Klineburger said.

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Issaquah legislator backs hiring preference for veterans

April 21, 2011

Ted Wicorek (from right), J.W. Johnson, Booker Stallworth, Mike Gregoire, Gov. Chris Gregoire, Jim Robinson, Marjorie James, Rep. Jay Rodne, Sen. Jeff Baxter, David Black Jr. and Tom Hinman at the Wednesday signing ceremony. Contributed

NEW — 10:30 a.m. April 21, 2011

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Wednesday to allow employers to give military veterans a leg up in job searches.

State Rep. Jay Rodne, sponsor of the legislation and a 5th Legislative District lawmaker, hailed the measure to establish employment preferences for veterans, widows or widowers of veterans, and spouses of certain veterans. (The district includes Issaquah and East King County.)

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Issaquah High looks at PTSD in stage drama

March 15, 2011

With an amputated leg and a case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jenny Sutter is broken inside and out, but begins healing with the help of her friends.

Issaquah High School cast members in ‘Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter’ include (from left) Sam Tacher as Hugo, Maya Ramos as Jenny Sutter, Denis Gleeson as Donald, Laura Kasser as Lou, Jamie Lutz as Cheryl and Aaron Mohs-Hale as Buddy. By Greg Farrar

In the play, “Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter,” by playwright Julie Marie Myatt, Issaquah High School takes its audience into the world of an American Marine returning from Iraq.

The character Jenny has trouble going home to reality after she returns from the war, and ends up in Slab City, an ex-Marine base in California. There, she meets a cast of people who are dealing with different types of pain — some physical, some emotional. The play explores how they confront or escape hurt, and how they can either help or harm those close to them.

Senior Maya Ramos, who plays Jenny, said her character goes through emotional and physical stress, but finds help from her friends.

“She doesn’t want to go home because she feels so damaged,” Ramos said.

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Press Editorial

February 22, 2011

Donations send flags to soldiers overseas

Residents who travel are often seen wearing T-shirts that display their hometown pride. But who knew that soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere from Washington often fly the state flag at faraway places?

State Rep. Jay Rodne knew.

Rodne, a 5th Legislative District lawmaker and Iraq war veteran, sponsored legislation in 2009 to create a state flag account. Donations from the public will be used to purchase state flags to be mailed to military units.

“I know firsthand how much it matters to our men and women overseas when they receive their Washington flag,” Rodne said recently.

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Issaquah legislator touts effort to donate flags to deployed soldiers

February 16, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Feb. 16, 2011

Soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere from Washington often fly the state flag at faraway places.

Under a quirk in state law, military members had to buy the flags, because the law prohibited donations of state property to private citizens.

State Rep. Jay Rodne, a 5th Legislative District lawmaker and Iraq war veteran, sponsored legislation in 2009 to create a state flag account.

The program is accepting donations from the public to raise money to purchase the flags to be mailed to deployed military units. Residents can donate to the account through the Secretary of State’s Office.

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Milestone anniversary fosters new hope for veterans

February 8, 2011

Gathered for their regular meeting on Jan. 18, members of the Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post No. 3436, drank coffee, traded stories and conducted business as usual.

Yet despite the routine atmosphere, this was no ordinary day.

Exactly 75 years earlier, the original founders of the Albert Larson Post signed the VFW charter, establishing one of Issaquah’s most historic organizations, which has been serving the city ever since.

“They formed 75 years ago, but are still going strong,” said Richard Whipple, the adjutant and quartermaster of the Department of Washington. “The recognition lets them know they’ve done a fantastic job.”

At the meeting, Whipple presented the post with a 75th anniversary certificate, known as the Diamond Jubilee Award. It’s an honor only a select group of posts have achieved, yet the local VFW members said they’re simply doing their duty to help the community.

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Issaquah grad takes wing for flyover

January 11, 2011

Navy Lt. John Nelson, a 1997 Issaquah High School graduate, pilots a Boeing EA-18G Growler in the dash-2 position (left) in a two-plane flyover of Qwest Field on Jan. 8 for the Seattle Seahawks playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. By Greg Farrar

Sure, the Seattle Seahawks received a boost from the 12th Man in the improbable playoff triumph against the New Orleans Saints last week, but the home team had some air support before the match-up, too.

Issaquah High School graduate Lt. John Nelson, a Navy pilot, participated in the Qwest Field flyover just before kickoff Jan. 8. Read more

Sammamish children sing, dance to honor veterans

November 16, 2010

Members of the Sunny Hills choir wave flags as they sing for the crowd in the school’s multipurpose room. By Christopher Huber

World War II veteran Phil Sulman, always says he’s got 195 stories to tell for his 195 days of combat.

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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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Issaquah dentist gives back to vets

November 9, 2010

You’d think that when American veterans return from active duty, dental care would be an automatic benefit. However, you’d be wrong.

Only veterans deemed “completely service-disabled” are covered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and that is for only certain types of dental work, according to Issaquah dentist Theresa Cheng. That means most veterans don’t get seen by dentists — and it goes for their caretakers and family as well. Read more

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