Charles Runacres Jr., 97, recognized for service

November 11, 2014

One would think that a ceremony to honor a 97-year-old World War II veteran wouldn’t be a laughing matter, but it was filled with it.

By Greg Farrar Charles Runacres Jr., 97, is presented an American flag pin Nov. 7 by Thomas Ortung, chaplain for Providence Hospice of Seattle, in front of friends and family members in the Briarwood nursing home, at Timber Ridge in the Talus neighborhood.

By Greg Farrar
Charles Runacres Jr., 97, is presented an American flag pin Nov. 7 by Thomas Ortung, chaplain for Providence Hospice of Seattle, in front of friends and family members in the Briarwood nursing home, at Timber Ridge in the Talus neighborhood.

The laughter started when Charles Runacres Jr. cut off some planned musical selections less than halfway into the first song, “Anchors Aweigh.”

“I think that’s enough,” Runacres said matter-of-factly, bringing a burst of laughter from his family members who came to the ceremony.

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VFW, Liberty NJROTC get Gordon Schumacher his flag

November 11, 2014

A group of Liberty High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps students gave up a sunny Saturday to honor a 91-year-old World War II veteran on his birthday.

By Kathleen R. Merrill World War II veteran Gordon Schumacher, 91, is helped by his sons Dale (left) and Dean as Liberty NJROTC members Emily Magley (with her back to the camera) and Tina Kaiser fold his flag while the VFW’s Dave Waggoner (in hat) looks on.

By Kathleen R. Merrill
World War II veteran Gordon Schumacher, 91, is helped by his sons Dale (left) and Dean as Liberty NJROTC members Emily Magley (with her back to the camera) and Tina Kaiser fold his flag while the VFW’s Dave Waggoner (in hat) looks on.

And they wouldn’t have had it any other way.

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Editorial — Please honor veterans for their service

November 4, 2014

It’s that time of year again, time to celebrate and remember veterans at ceremonies across the area.

But the men and women who served or died in military service to their country should be remembered and honored all year.

Members of our military are still fighting and dying in remote areas all around the world.

Here are ways you can keep the spirit of Veterans Day going:

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D-Day flyover remembrance begins at noon June 6

June 5, 2014

NEW — 4:35 p.m. June 5, 2014

The community is invited to gather June 6 to remember the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Community members and World War II veterans will come to watch a rare “Diamond Four” formation of World War II P-51 Mustangs fly over Veterans’ Memorial Field.

Refreshments will be provided in the Eagle Room at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way.

The event will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. The planes are expected to fly over Issaquah at 12:40 p.m., although the exact time depends on air traffic control.

The Issaquah Singers will also perform at the event.

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Passionate for the past

June 3, 2014

History Day competitors make it to nationals

Contributed Liberty High School students (from left) Sally Rim, Lauryn Hepp and Carlyn Schmidgall accept an award for their project about the Vietnam draft at the regional History Day competition. The trio qualified for the national competition held at the University of Maryland in June.

Contributed
Liberty High School students (from left) Sally Rim, Lauryn Hepp and Carlyn Schmidgall accept an award for their project about the Vietnam draft at the regional History Day competition. The trio qualified for the national competition held at the University of Maryland in June.

 

Liberty High School student Lorrin Johnson is almost at a loss for words when asked to describe her love of history.

It’s not because she can’t find the words, it’s just that she has so many things to say about her favorite subject, it’s hard to whittle them down to a few coherent sentences.

“Don’t get me started,” she joked. “I’ve gone on rants about it before.”

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German POW earned freedom, three degrees

May 21, 2014

Col. William Geil has a great memory — though he says it’s hard to forget getting captured by Germans behind enemy lines.

The 89-year-old Squak Mountain resident has seen his fair share of service in a career spanning more than three decades. He served overseas in World War II and two tours in Vietnam. His time in the United States Air Force is only made more impressive by the three degrees he earned outside the military. Still, he plays it humble.

“I don’t like bragging,” Geil said about his time as a prisoner of war. Speaking plainly, he said he didn’t find it anything worth bragging about. “I had a cousin that finished 25 missions, while I finished my time in the war in a prison camp.”

William Geil

William Geil

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Marine Corps, Vietnam shaped Jerry Pearson’s servant nature

May 21, 2014

In a small box that’s usually tucked away in his home library, Issaquah attorney Jerry Pearson has several keepsakes from his three-year stint in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Among the items are a set of dog tags made to commemorate three of his fellow Marines; a brass dragon head he found in a village; and the two Purple Hearts he was awarded for combat-related wounds in Vietnam.

The dragon head, in particular, brings back a flood of memories for Pearson, who was born in Seattle before moving to Issaquah as a small child in 1951. He associates it with Ron Dexter and Lester Bell, two members of the Fifth Marine Division who were shipped to the jungles of Southeast Asia and never came home.

By Neil Pierson Issaquah native Jerry Pearson, surrounded by legal texts at his Pearson Law Firm office, is more than 40 years removed from his duties as a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

By Neil Pierson
Issaquah native Jerry Pearson, surrounded by legal texts at his Pearson Law Firm office, is more than 40 years removed from his duties as a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.

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Issaquah veteran recalls the sacrifices

May 21, 2014

Dag Garrett knew he wanted to fly.

It’s why during the tail end of World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps as a fresh-faced 18-year-old.

Over the course of a year, Garrett transformed into a well-versed navigator, more than eager to hit the skies in support of his country.

By Christina Corrales-Toy Dag Garrett holds a poster of newspaper clippings and photographs from his stranded-at-sea ordeal in 1947.

By Christina Corrales-Toy
Dag Garrett holds a poster of newspaper clippings and photographs from his stranded-at-sea ordeal in 1947.

He would have to wait though, because just as he was about to deploy, the war came to an end.

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Brave ship remembered by brave man

May 21, 2014

World War II veteran Hugh Preston was in the U.S. Navy well before he should have been.

“He went behind his father’s back and enlisted and came back and said, ‘I’m gone,’” his daughter Isabella Tobiason said. “He wanted to serve. He wanted to fight for his country.”

He was just 17.

Photos contributed The Aaron Ward III is shown in photos before it was bombed (above) and after (right).

Photos contributed
The Aaron Ward III is shown in photos before it was bombed (above) and after (right).

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Remember D-Day at flyover

May 13, 2014

Four P-51 Mustangs from the Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field will do a flyover of Issaquah’s Veterans Memorial Field on June 6, the anniversary of D-Day.

Thirty cities in Washington will get up-close looks at the planes as they fly over.

A time hasn’t yet been set, because the flight plan isn’t finished.

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