January 15, 2013
NEW — 10 a.m. Jan. 15, 2013
Washingtonians can observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Lake Sammamish State Park and other state facilities, Tiger Mountain State Forest and other state forestlands, or in national forests and parks.
Officials at the agencies responsible for state and national public lands waived admission fees for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday.
Visitors do not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks, including Lake Sammamish and Squak Mountain near Issaquah.
Mount Rainier National Park waived entrance fees to the 235,625-acre park. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is waiving fees at more than 74 day-use sites in the forest.
Throughout the year, state and national parks waive entrance fees to promote outdoor recreation.
November 13, 2012
Through a partnership between the state Department of Veterans Affairs and Washington’s Lottery, lotto players can help veterans by purchasing a ticket.
Funding for the Veterans Innovations Program to aid service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq comes from the Veterans Raffle. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit service members and military families.
Tickets for the Veterans Raffle, on sale through Jan. 1, can be purchased at more than 3,700 lottery retailers statewide for $10.
The program raised more than $247,000 last year for the Veterans Innovations Program.
Participants can also go to www.walottery.com/raffle to learn more about the program and support the cause.
November 12, 2012
November 9, 2012
NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 9, 2012
King County Metro Transit bus riders should prepare for reduced service in upcoming weeks, starting Nov. 12, as the nation observes Veterans Day.
The transit agency operates on a reduced weekday schedule on several holidays through January — including a full week of reduced service at the end of December.
The planned reductions arrive during a slow period, as Metro Transit experiences a reduction in weekday riders — estimated to reach 15 percent or more systemwide.
The mass transit agency uses a Sunday schedule for several of the upcoming holidays. The reduced weekday schedule features more bus service than on weekends, but less service than on regular weekdays. Officials estimate the limited schedule saves Metro Transit about $1 million per year.
November 8, 2012
NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 8, 2012
Freebies abound for veterans and active-duty military personnel for Veterans Day, as local businesses seek to honor military members’ service.
The offerings include complimentary burgers, car washes, haircuts and more. Other businesses rolled out programs to aid veterans and active-duty personnel.
Brown Bear Car Wash is offering free Bear Essentials car washes to all current or former military members on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. The company operates car washes in Issaquah at 22121 S.E. 56th St. and in Sammamish at 3050 228th Ave. S.E.
“The event is our way of demonstrating appreciation for those who currently serve our country and have made sacrifices on behalf of all of us,” Brown Bear Car Wash President Vic Odermat, a U.S. Marine veteran, said in a statement. “It reflects our bond to the communities we serve, including a large armed services presence here.”
November 6, 2012
Due to its growing popularity, the service that the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3436 hosts honoring local services members will be in a new location this year.
David Waggoner, of the Issaquah VFW, figures the Issaquah Valley Senior Center will be large enough to house the 60 to 70 expected attendees. All residents are invited, regardless of whether they’ve served in the military.
November 6, 2012
Residents can explore the outdoors for free as state and national parks waive entrance fees for Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-12.
Lake Sammamish, Squak Mountain and other state parks do not require a Discover Pass during the holiday weekend. The waiver also applies to lands run by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the state Department of Natural Resources, including Tiger Mountain State Forest.
The fee waiver encompasses all 398 national parks — including Washington’s Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic national parks.
May 22, 2012
Veterans deserve our thanks, for everything
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.
November 15, 2011
The day before the United States paused to honor veterans, attention focused on the greatest generation and the sacrifices members made to fight and win World War II.
The early Veterans Day observance in Issaquah included a visit from a congressman and a chance to share stories about the long-ago conflict.
Jack Yusen served aboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts amid World War II, until Japanese forces sunk the destroyer escort in the Battle of Leyte Gulf — the largest naval battle during World War II. Some sailors survived the attack only to bob in the shark-infested Philippine Sea until rescuers arrived days later.
“We had no water, no medicines, no food,” Yusen said Nov. 10. “If one of the guys got bit by a shark, we’d push him away, because the blood made other sharks come. It was horrible. I was 18 years old, but we survived.”
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert met Yusen and about 15 other veterans at University House Issaquah, a retirement facility, to pay tribute to veterans from World War II and other conflicts. In a brief speech, the congressman called on others to acknowledge veterans’ sacrifices and service. (The National World War II Museum estimates about 1,000 veterans of the conflict die each day.)
November 15, 2011
A World War II Navy veteran, Paul Miller has been through his share of Veterans Day celebrations.
Not surprisingly, he still thinks those remembrances are important and worthwhile.
“We need to pay our respects and honor those who have served and … especially those who made that ultimate sacrifice,” he said following the 45-minute commemoration at the Issaquah Valley Senior Center on Veterans Day.
The ceremony ended with a 21-gun salute provided by the Issaquah High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.
“Veterans do not take life for granted,” said veteran and Issaquah City Councilman Fred Butler, who presented the keynote talk during the event. “They know that duty and sacrifice are more than words.”
Butler said the country has a new breed of veterans in those returning from often multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Too many veterans with real skills cannot find jobs in this economy,” he said.
He urged those listening to get to know those new veterans and help and hire them if possible.
Issaquah Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3436, led by David Waggoner, presented the Veterans Day event. For his part, Waggoner’s talk highlighted an Issaquah vet he believes deserves more attention then she has gotten so far.