Bremerton Patriot, May 30, 2014
May 30, 2014 edition of the Bremerton Patriot
Honoring the fallen in Bremerton BY LESLIE KELLY LKELLY@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM Patriot Bremerton KITSAP WEEK Musical tribute to the Beatles at the Admiral in Bremerton In this edition FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2014 | Vol. 17, No. 16 WWW.BREMERTONPATRIOT.COM | 50¢ Unclaimed veteran gets a proper send-off BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM It was windy Monday afternoon as a crowd of about 200 gathered at the Ivy Green Cemetery in Bremerton for the annual Memorial Day tribute. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer said the wind served a purpose. “There’s a Native American saying that when a soul passes, the wind becomes strong,” Kilmer told the crowd. “The strength of the wind shows the strength of the departed. So it is only fitting that the wind is blowing strong today.” Kilmer was one of several speakers at the 90-minute ceremony, at the foot of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Ivy Green. Among the other speakers were Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent and Navy Rear Adm. Dietrich H. Kuhlmann, commander of Submarine Group 9 at Bangor. Kilmer spoke about the meaning of Memorial Day. “They answered the call, and they risked it all,” he said of the fallen. “Today is a day when we remember their sacrifices.” Kilmer told the audience that war comes as an enormous cost and the fallen will never be forgotten. He noted the importance of remembering the Missing in Action and those who were Prisoners of War. “Neither will the Gold Star mothers and fathers be forgotten Harrison to close hospital in Bremerton BY KEVAN MOORE KMOORE@SOUNDPUBLISHING.COM Leslie Kelly/staff photo A group of Marines participate in an annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Bremerton on Monday, May 26. For more Memorial Day photos, please turn to page 6. because they have given so much,” he said. Kilmer also said much is owed to veterans who served that now need help. He said he was committed to making sure each veteran receives the benefits promised to him or her. “This is so important when we hear about a backlog of cases at the VA and when we hear about secret wait lists,” he said. “We can honor the dead by treating our veterans SEE MEMORIAL DAY, A9 Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent wants to engage Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Derek Kilmer in conversation about housing a veterans hospital at Harrison Medical Center Bremerton when Harrison moves its acute care services to Silverdale. The move is expected to happen in the next three to four years, Harrison President and CEO Scott Bosch announced May 23. Bosch said Harrison’s board of directors is still evaluating what outpatient services will continue to be offered in Bremerton. “The board is not willing to abandon Bremerton,” Bosch said. “We are not going to leave Bremerton. We are going to be here in a significant way.” What that presence will look like is not yet clear, but it could include some urgent care services, wellness programs and medical specialists. Lent, who spoke privately SEE HARRISON, A9 Hundreds of bikers, their formation stretching for miles, escorted the remains of six veterans from Kitsap County to Mount Tahoma National Cemetery on May 24 as part of “The Unforgotten, Run to Tahoma V.” Many of the hundreds of attendees at some point choked up or were brought to tears — whether by the playing of “Taps,” the volley of gunfire, the folding of a flag, or the sight of proud men carrying the remains of former brothers in arms, in separate ceremonies at each location. The Run to Tahoma was originally organized as a way to escort the remains of at least one unclaimed veteran from Kitsap County to the national cemetery. This year, that veteran was Walter L. Brown, who served briefly in the U.S. Army. In his eulogy, Mark Lowe, a Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Board member, noted that many people in today’s world take for granted that they are instantly connected to family and friends through social media, instant messaging and email. For Brown, though, that was not the case. “There are those who are not connected to anyone, like our lone brother here,” Lowe said. “He’s the reason we’re here today. We are his family. He, like many, should never be forgotten. We are here to celebrate Walter Brown’s life. We don’t know a lot about Walter Brown. We do know that he served briefly in the U.S. Army in 1951 and was medically discharged.” Lowe said Brown received a small Veterans Administration pension and spent his final days in a veterans hwome before passing away. “So, we are here today to say goodbye to Walter,” Lowe said. “We’ll give him a proper send-off that any great veteran would be proud of. We will stand in for the family of this unforgotten veteran. We will receive the flag that a family member would have received. We will cringe when we hear the ceremonial volley of gunfire. We will shed a tear when we hear the bugler’s final calling. We will go around, talking to one another, until the time feels right to leave. And, just like family, we will remember this day.” Lowe talked about the special bond that veterans share with each other. “We have made a vow to never let a brother or sister be forgotten, that we will honor them with proper ceremony and escort them to their final resting place,” Lowe said. “We SEE RUN TO TAHOMA, A9 Kevan Moore/Staff photo Kitsap County Veterans Advisory Board member Mark Lowe accepts a flag on behalf of the family of Army veteran Walter Brown, whose remains were unclaimed.