Sammamish man returns to Pearl Harbor for first time since just missing day of infamy

June 29, 2010

Above, Gerald Treacy Sr., far right, poses with his B-24 flight crew in 1942. At right, Treacy sits at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, earlier this month, with the Arizona Memorial in the background. Contributed

On Dec. 3, 1941, Gerald Treacy Sr. was called away from Hickam Field, adjacent to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii to attend his father’s funeral.

Four days later, he was in New Jersey when the Japanese attacked. At Hickam alone, 121 men were killed, and 274 were wounded.

“I would’a been right there,” Treacy said.

When he got back from the short furlough, they were still putting out fires and dealing with the aftermath, he said.

“The way he described it was just chaos,” said Treacy’s son, Gerald Treacy Jr.

Father and son returned to Pearl Harbor June 1-6 to celebrate the elder Treacy’s 92nd birthday and visit the memorial and other sites he experienced during the war. It was his first time back since 1942.

The longtime Sammamish resident saw close friends and fellow service members killed in World War II. He openly talks about his war experience, but tends to remember the humorous and lighthearted aspects of his time as a navigator in the 13th Army Air Corps.

The elder Treacy fondly recounts his time with the nine- to 10-member B-24 flight crew and the things they did to lighten the mood while flying spy missions in the Pacific region. Like when the radioman didn’t strap on a parachute, telling Treacy he would simply hang onto him if they had to evacuate. Or the time Treacy nearly fell out of the bomb bay, but a reconnaissance camera’s power cable saved him.

“I remember the good memories,” Treacy said from his home at Spiritwood at Pine Lake.

Treacy, who was a sergeant, served from 1941-1946 and spent the first two years stationed at Hickam Field at Pearl Harbor.

“He was happy, but sad. Very somber,” the younger Treacy said of seeing his father relive the good and bad memories. “It was overwhelming for him to see it again.”

During his five years in the Army Air Corps, the elder Treacy served in Hawaii, New Guinea, the Philippines and Guam, he said. He nearly became a prisoner of war in the Philippines when a rebel soldier accosted him at bayonet-point one night. The elder Treacy said he made a joke with the soldier and walked away, knowing a gunshot would give away the rebels’ position. Read more

Rwanda Partners hosts fundraiser for seniors

April 13, 2010

Seniors are invited to attend a fundraiser at 10 a.m. April 22 for Rwanda Partners.

The event will be at Spiritwood at Pine Lake, 3607 228th Ave. S.E., and will feature a film, “Wounded Healers,” about the work that is bringing new life to the country of Rwanda.

Colorful baskets, trivets and trays of all sizes are available from Rwanda Basket Co. weavers with funds going to help Rwandan weavers and their families. Purchase baskets locally at 10 a.m. April 22 at Spiritwood at Pine Lake. Contributed

You can also meet Tracy Stone, executive director of Rwanda Partners, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping with the country’s healing and restoration after the genocide of 1994.

This is an opportunity to learn first hand from Stone about the work of reconciliation and poverty reduction that is making a difference in the recovery of Rwanda.

“We should care because these are global neighbors in need and even small efforts on our part can make a significant difference in Rwanda,” Ann L. Thomas, program manager for Spiritwood Assisted Living & Memory Care, wrote in an e-mail. “Equally important is what we can learn from courageous Rwandans about forgiveness and reconciliation, overcoming fear and learning to live in peace.”

Refreshments will follow the 39-minute film. Although no collection will be taken, attendees can enter a raffle for a basket by Rwanda Basket Co. weavers.

A large selection of beautiful, handmade Rwandan baskets will also be available for sale, providing support for Rwandan weavers and their families, Thomas said.

Learn more about how you can help by calling 206-838-8698 or going here.

Health kits to haiti

March 2, 2010

Bea Richards (from right), Margy Davidson, Betty Cottler and Betty Smith, and other residents of Spiritwood at Pine Lake, wrap 50 health kits Feb. 27 to send to residents of Haiti, by way of Our Savior Lutheran Church through Lutheran World Relief, after the recent devastating earthquake. By Greg Farrar

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