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Whidbey Crosswind The Puget Sound Veterans’ Monthly | AUGUST 2014

Freedom ride Veterans find support in motorcycle clubs z pg. 4


Group offers homes for dogs while owners deployed By KATE DANIEL

The men and women who serve our country are confronted with an array of challenges, particularly when stationed far away from home; but one Clinton resident is working to ensure that finding care and temporary residence for their canine companions is not amongst them. Ron Kerrigan is a veteran and Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation volunteer who is currently boarding two Dogs on Deployment canines, Joe and Reece, for a sailor named Cory who relocated from Virginia to Everett and whose military duties have required him to be at sea for extended periods of time.

Kerrigan, who has rescued six dogs of his own, met Cory, Reece and Joe at Marguerite Brons off-leash dog park to ensure the two packs would meld satisfactorily. Although Joe and Reece are younger than the rest of Kerrigan’s dogs, and a tad more energetic, they seemed to make fast friends with their six new housemates and have stayed with Kerrigan on and off since April. “I love dogs, and it is good to feel I’m doing something meaningful,” said Kerrigan. “Putting a ‘support our troops’ bumper sticker on your car is all well and good, but this is something that I think is more helpful.” Kerrigan took in his first military dog, which he still

cares for, in 2011 when he was volunteering with Whidbey’s Old Dog Haven. The soldier, who was scheduled to leave for Afghanistan, contacted the shelter seeking care for his 12-year-old dog. Kerrigan offered to help, and simultaneously began searching for organizations to assist in such circumstances. Eventually, Kerrigan came across Dogs on Deployment.

U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Alisa Johnson and her husband, U.S. Navy Lt. Shawn Johnson, stationed in San Diego, Calif., decided to create a nonprofit online network, Dogs on Deployment, in 2013 after struggling to find longterm boarding for their own furry companion, JD. Alisa Johnson was given orders to relocate to Quantico, Virginia to attend the Basic School for Marines and her husband was set to embark on his second deployment abroad. The couple had adopted JD — the dog Alisa Johnson refers to as her “soul puppy” — at eight weeks old at the end of a two-year physical separation for the couple due to their respective military com-

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While the Johnsons were fortunate enough to find family members in Virginia willing to watch JD, they realized their situation was not unique and decided to develop Dogs on Deployment in order to assist others. “I have countless memories of receiving a phone call, reading a news piece or opening an email including a personal message from someone that was helped through our network and I just burst into happy tears,” Alisa Johnson wrote in an email. “I’m a Marine and our number one mission is ‘mission accomplishment,’ but our number two mission is ‘troop welfare’ and I fully believe that Dogs on Deployment is improving the lives of military members everywhere through the support of our volunteers and donors. My joy is getting a request from a family that is facing extreme financial struggle and their pet’s welfare is questionable, and being able to say, ‘Don’t worry. We’ve got it.’” To date, Dogs on Deployment has found temporary residence for over 500



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Clinton resident Ron Kerrigan stands with Joe and Reece, dogs he is boarding as a part of the Dogs on Deployment program. dogs and has granted over $20,000 to military pet owners. Owners are responsible for paying for pet food and any potential veterinary visits while the dog is in the host’s care, but otherwise no money is exchanged. When possible, military personnel are able to visit their pets at the host’s home during breaks. “Having JD with me while my husband was deployed, and we were separated for another three years, kept me sane and comforted,” Alisa Johnson wrote. “I soon adoptA PROUD SPONSOR

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ed our second dog, Jersey. ...You cannot possibly be sad with the two of their fluffy wiggling butts around.” Joe and Reece will return to their owner’s care in August, but Kerrigan has already contacted another soldier whose dog he has offered to board when the time comes. Learn more about the organization at

Wounded Warrior events VA takes ‘significant’ steps raise funds, awareness to fix service, wait times Navy petty officer Mike McCastle will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most pullups done in a 24-hour period starting at 6 a.m. July 26. The event, held at Fort Nugent Park, aims to raise funds and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. The current world record is 4,030 set by Navy SEAL David Goggins. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the nonprofit organization Wounded Warrior Project and will support a full range of programs and services for this generation of injured veterans and their families. “It’s not about the record,” McCastle said. “It’s not about the war. It’s about the war-

rior. This challenge will test my physical limits, but I will recover. Twenty-four hours of discomfort does not compare to the sacrifice our wounded service members and their families make every day.” In addition, the cycling event Soldier Ride will begin with a bike fitting at the Best Western in Oak Harbor 2-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7. Ride alumni will be fitted for adaptive equipment to accommodate their various injuries. Friday they will traverse Fort Casey State Park in Coupeville beginning at 10 a.m. On Saturday, August 9 warriors will begin their ride at the Friday Harbor Fire Department and cycle through San Juan Island.

men and women have been injured in the recent military conflicts. In addition to the physical wounds, it is estimated as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment. Wounded Warrior Project’s 18 programs and services are uniquely structured to nurture the mind and body and encourage economic empowerment and engagement. Information about both these events can be found at

More than 47,000 service-

State gets veteran transportation funds The Department of Veterans Affairs and the White House Rural Council announced this month the award of eight grants, totaling $815,051.50, which will improve access to health care for veterans living in highly rural areas. The grants will assist more than 11,000 veterans in seven states and 56 counties by providing up to $50,000 per highly rural area to fund transportation services for veterans to

and from VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care. Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs received $100,000, approximately benefiting 1,756 veterans. The grants are part of a program authorized by Congress to help states operate or contract for transportation services to transport veterans to VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care.

Under the direction of Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson, the Department of Veterans Affairs has taken significant steps to improve veterans’ access to quality health care. In keeping with the commitment to improve transparency in the department’s processes, the VA released the latest update of facility-level patient access data. “VA is fully committed to fixing the problems we face in order to better serve Veterans,” Gibson said. “VA must restore the public’s trust, but more importantly restore the trust of our Veterans who depend on us for their health care.” The Veterans Health Administration has reached out to over 160,000 veterans to get them off wait lists and into clinics. The agency has also made over 543,000 referrals for veterans to receive care in the private sector – 91,000 more than in the comparable period a year ago. Additionally, the VA has reduced the New Enrollee Appointment Report from its peak of 46,000 on June 1, 2014 to 2,000 as of July 1, 2014. As of July 1, 2014, there has been a reduction in over 17,000 veterans on the electronic waiting list since May 15, 2014. Since June 2014, Acting VA Secretary Gibson has traveled to 11 VA medical centers across the country in an effort to hear

directly from veterans and employees about obstacles to providing timely, quality care and how VA can immediately address them. “We have to rebuild trust by creating an open and transparent culture that is focused on better serving Veterans,” Gibson said. “That’s what these site visits are all about – listening to veterans and employees around the country about how we can better serve veterans and deliver the quality healthcare that they have earned.” The VA has added approximately 7,000 appointments provided to newly enrolled veterans who had requested an initial appointment at the time of enrollment. The VA is continuing to address systemic challenges in accessing care, as quickly as possible and will provide the most immediate information on its progress to veterans and the public via the VA website In a hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Wednesday, Gibson testified that the VA needs approximately $17.6 billion in additional resources to meet current demand for the remainder of FY 2014 through FY 2017. This funding would address challenges such as clinical staff, space, information technology and benefits processing necessary to provide timely, high-quality care and benefits.



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VOL. 3, NO. 16 WHIDBEY CROSSWIND STAFF Executive Editor & Publisher............................KEVEN R. GRAVES Associate Publisher.................................... KIMBERLLY WINJUM Editor.............................................................JESSIE STENSLAND Staff Reporter.............................................................JANIS REID Production Manager...............................................CONNIE ROSS

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IDENTIFICATION STATEMENT AND SUBSCRIPTION RATES P.O. Box1200 | 107 S. Main St., Ste. E101, Coupeville, Wa. 98239 360-675-6611 | fax 360-679-2695 | The Whidbey Crosswind is published monthly by Sound Publishing on the last Friday of every month. Mailed subscription available for $20 per year. Payment in advance is required. Periodicals rate postage paid at Coupeville, WA and at additional mailing offices. Copyright © 2014, Sound Publishing

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For the love of the motorcycle Veterans find support, camaraderie in motorcycle clubs and events By JANIS REID

Navy veteran Fritz Radcliffe said he rides motorcycles for the sense of liberation and connection with other bikers. And also to feel a little like an outlaw. “It’s a brotherhood,” Radcliffe said. “The freedom on the bike. … The camaraderie of the brothers. But it’s about being an outlaw in a way.” Radcliffe said he rode with the Hells Angels for a time when he was younger, but eventually found his way to the VFW Riders of Oak Harbor. “I got tired of being under surveillance,” Radcliffe said. “I like being around the veterans a lot more.” Motorcycle


among veterans is a decadeslong tradition that was — and still is — a way to stay connected with other veterans and retirees. Myron Brundage, president of the VFW Riders out of Oak Harbor’s VFW Post 7392, said the group was started four years ago simply as a way for local vets to get together. “You approach the road totally different on a motorcycle,” Brundage said. “Only bikers understand why we do this.” In addition, the groups lend emotional support to veterans who can associate with those who have served in the military. “We all have that same thing in common,” Brundage said. For that reason, the VFW

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Myron and Debbie Brundage, owners of A Lot of Rings and Things in Oak Harbor, ride their trike during last year’s Veteran’s Day Parade. Myron Brundage is president of the VFW Riders, a group that both provides support to its members and reaches out to needy vets. Riders and other island groups also try to give back, Brundage said.

ones that need the help.”

Initially, they organized and raised money to support VFW programs and much needed equipment updates.

While the VFW Riders is one of the largest veteran motorcycle clubs on the island, there are a number of veteran-centered, motorcycle-friendly groups.

Today, the group has turned to veteran outreach, providing money and personal items to low-income and indigent vets. This year, the VFW Riders have donated $1,000 to the opportunity council to help provide necessities to the island’s veterans.

In July, Brothers in Arms held a benefit run for Pets for Vets, a nonprofit, volunteer organization that takes rescue animals, trains and places as companion animals with veterans suffering from PTSD and similar conditions.

“I enjoy helping the vets,” Radcliffe said. “They’re the

Local veterans and civilians also participate in the

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Patriot Guard Riders, a national organization that provide escorts and flag lines to any fallen service personnel, including first responders, or returning squadrons. What they have in common, according to their mission statement, is an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security. Other groups include the Combat Vets Association and the Legacy Vets. Bruno Bechthold joined another organization, the Run for the Wall, last year and completed his second run with them last month. Bechthold joined more than 2,000 riders for the a cross-country, 8,000-mile motorcycle ride that culminates in a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. “Birds fly and motorcycles ride wherever the heart wants to go,” Bechthold said. “As

military retirees we often ride with fellow retires from all branches but still share that common bond, which in itself creates fun and friends.” According to their website, the Run for the Wall’s mission is to “call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action, to honor the memory of those Killed in Action from all wars, to promote healing for veterans and their families and to support our military personnel all over the world.” Bechthold said those who made the military their career lived and followed strict rules. Riding, on the other hand, only requires rules for safety and gives unlimited access to freedom. “My second run … was just as meaningful and fun filled as the first time,” Bechthold said. “This time there were less tears at the (Vietnam Memorial) wall. … “One thing for sure, I’m ready to go again next year.”

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She applied and received four grants from the Kitsap County Foundation. Other donations just started coming in. The first banner went up in 2006. To date, there are 250 Blue Star Banners hanging throughout Kitsap County honoring those who served. There are 16 Gold Star Banners honoring those who were killed in action. The blue and gold stars denote the program that began in World

Lynette George started Blue Star Banners in Kitsap County to honor veterans.



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“It took a year and a half to get it going,” she said. “But I was able to get a graphic designer to design the banners and I built a website.”


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such banners are sponsored by cities. As a civilian budget official for the U.S. Navy, she knew there weren’t extra funds in the military or in the budgets of local cities to buy the banners. So she formed a nonprofit.


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BANNER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 War I and continued in World War II. Blue stars were hung in the windows of homes where someone was serving in war. Gold stars were hung if their loved one was killed during the war. Each banner is 6-feet long and costs about $350. The banners were originally hung in Silverdale and Bremerton, but the program has grown and now there are banners in Poulsbo, Port Orchard, Port Angeles, and are spreading to Port Townsend, Chimicum and in Mason County. Banners are traditionally hung in the cities where the military member grew up. Blue Star Banners usually hang from three to five years, and sometimes the person who the banner honors will request to have the banner taken down once he or she returns from serving overseas, or their service in the military ends. Gold Star banners hang indefinitely unless the family requests otherwise.

the “Beer Run� in Poulsbo supports the banner program. And veterans’ motorcycle groups have several poker runs throughout the year, giving the proceeds to the banner program. George also discovered that many times, families of those serving want to sponsor and pay for a banner to honor their loved one. Because of that, the nonprofit is financially stable, she said. “We do come across times when a family wants to have a banner, but can’t afford it,� she said. “That’s where we come in.� She also uses some of the funds to market the program so that everyone knows about the banners. Photos of all the banners are on the website and family members are welcome to share stories on the Facebook page. For each banner, there is a story of a military member who served. Among them is Sean and Allie Brazas. Their banner is attached to the power pole at the corner of Randall Way and Kitsap Mall Boulevard. Allie has a Blue Star and Sean has a Gold Star.

“I fell to my knees,� she said. “I thought ‘I’ve lost one of my boys.’ After that, I was just so appreciative of everything.� Lynette George Applebee’s across the street.� Sean was a dog handler in the Navy and died from a gunshot wound May 30, 2012. The following January, his wife came to see their banner hung. Another banner with a story is one that once hung at the corner of Randall Way and Bucklin Hill Road. It was purchased by George’s family to honor Jeremy Seelig, a service member they didn’t know but who deserved a banner. “It wasn’t until years later that I got a call from someone who said ‘I’m Jeremy Seelig and I want to know if I can have my banner.’� Seelig had seen George’s truck which has advertisements on it for the banner program and jotted down her phone number. He thought his banner should come down because he had gotten out of the military.

banners, that’s where George draws the line. She said Wave Cable hangs all the banners without charging the nonprofit for their work.

his banner and that it was her family that had sponsored it. He now is an EMT and works in the Bremerton shipyard and helps George promote the banner program. “He’s such a wonderful person,� she said. “He helps watch out for all the banners and lets me know if there are any banners that have faded or have torn, so that we can replace them.�

George’s sons, Christopher Weimar, 28, of Seabeck, who served in the Army, and Wayne George, 30, of Longview, who was a Marine, both suffered psychological and physical injuries at war.

Seelig said it meant a lot to have his banner hanging while he was in the service.

But George, who served in the Navy from 1981 to 1985, considers herself fortunate.

“Right before we deployed, they came to where we were and had us sign all the papers so that our banners could go up,� he said. “I was just a 20-year-old kid and I was scared. Somehow, it made me feel better that that banner would be there for my friends and family to see while I was away.�

“My sons came home,� she said. “I’m just so lucky.� She had an unnerving experience while they were away. A man dressed in a suit driving a black SUV came up her driveway while she was out raking her yard. She thought he was military and was coming with bad news, but he was just asking directions.

When he came home and left the service, he decided that his banner should come down to make room for another banner of someone who was serving.

“I fell to my knees,� she said. “I thought ‘I’ve lost one of my boys.’ After that, I was just so appreciative of everything.�

Now he enjoys being a part of the banner program in Mason County.

It’s with that spirit that she says she will continue to make time for the banner program as long as military families want to have banners hung.

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Since the program gained attention, donations have continued to come in and now there are annual fund-raising events to support the program. Every St. Patrick’s Day,

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“They didn’t grow up here,� George said. “But they served here and they met and were married here. Their banner hangs at that corner because they were engaged at

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“Lynette is some woman,� he said. “All the time she puts in and all that she does to sponsor the program and get the word out for those who are serving, it’s just amazing.�

She told him that he could have


To find out more go to www. or Facebook and look for the Blue Star Banner page.

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M O Nt"EEJUJPOT T H TO M O N T H ! S t u d360-678-6040 io $475 Month! Near-JD$$4P"5;8-13 NAS/ Town. Water, Sewer, Garbage Paid. 360-683-0932 or 626485-1966 Cell

Spatz of Washington LLC


New Construction - Remodeling - Additions

360-678-6040 Lic#CC01SPATZWL953PR






New Space AVAILABLE NOW! Some Just Like A VAULT!

Hwy 20 & Banta Rd


Employment General



If you are missing or have found a stray cat or dog on Whidbey Island p l e a s e c o n t a c t WA I F Animal Shelter to file a l o s t o r fo u n d r e p o r t . WAIF can be reached at either (360) 678-8900 ext. 1100 or (360) 321WAIF (9243) ext. 1100.

jobs Employment General

In appreciation of Your Service... I’d like to offer mine Over 30 years of auto experience


Roy G. Mureno, Jr.

jerry smith $)&730-&5t37 chevrolet ad:Layout 1 4/16/12

Seattle-based Commercial General Contractor is seeking qualified

Fleet Sales/Personal Vehicles 10:29 AM

Page 1 360-707-7939

Find your perfect pet

potential customers when you advertise in the Service Directory. Call 800-388-2527 or go online to

Health Care Employment



Full time. Busy Oak Harbor office is looking for someone to star t right away. Experience preferred. Send resume or apply in person @ 231 SE Barrington Drive, Suite 209 Oak Harbor



Don’t Drive By! DROP IN!

12484 Reservation Road • Anacortes • (877) 205-9212


professional services

garage sales - WA


Professional Services Attorney, Legal Services

Garage/Moving Sales Island County

Firewood, Fuel & Stoves

Notice to Contractors Washington State Law (RCW 18.27.100) requires that all advertisements for construction related services include the contractor’s current depar tment of Labor and Industries registration number in the advertisement. Failure to obtain a certificate of registration from L&I or show the registration number in all advertising will result in a fine up to $5000 against the unregistered contractor. For more infor mation, call Labor and Industries Specialty Compliance Services Division at 1-800-647-0982 or check L&Is internet site at


Advertising doesn’t have to break the bank. The Classifieds has great deals on everything you need.

The opportunity to make a difference is right in front of you.

7/26 SUNRISE HILLS M U LT I FA M I LY YA R D SALE! Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. Kayak, riding mower, fishing gear, golf clubs, bikes, tow bar, fur niture, dinghy, teddy bears, linens & more! Off Jones Road. Find what you need 24 hours a day.

Searched everywhere?

Classifieds. We’ve got you covered. 800-388-2527

With 96% of Subaru vehicles sold in the last 12 years still on the road,* the 2014 Subaru Outback® lets you see the world and then some.



OUTBACK 2.5i PREMIUM Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

MSRP................ $28,515 Dewey Discount ..-$2,216


VIN# 4S4BRBCC5E3206609 STOCK# 98661



Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

MSRP.................$27,281 Dewey Discount .. -$1,682


VIN# JF2SJADC2FH431578 STOCK# 99457


IMPREZA 2.0i PREMIUM 4-DOOR MSRP................. $22,110 Dewey Discount ...-$1,111 VIN# JF1GJAC67EH021864 STOCK# 99473

Sunbelt Version







Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

MSRP................ $28,882 Dewey Discount ..-$1,583



Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive MSRP.................$31,899 Dewey Discount ...-$2,400

VIN# JF1ZCAC10E9603368 STOCK# 98981

VIN# 4S4BRBLC6E3247007 STOCK# 99024




MSRP................ $30,787 Dewey Discount ..-$1,688


VIN# JF2GPBKC9EH237559 STOCK# 99297

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Recycle this newspaper.

OAK HARBOR, 98277.

NOTICE Washington State law requires wood sellers to provide an invoice (receipt) that shows the s e l l e r ’s a n d b u y e r ’s name and address and the date delivered. The invoice should also state the price, the quantity delivered and the quantity upon which the price is based. There should be a statement on the type and quality of the wood. When you buy firewood write the seller’s phone number and the license plate number of the delivery vehicle. The legal measure for firewood in Washington is the cord or a fraction of a cord. Estimate a c o r d by v i s u a l i z i n g a four-foot by eight-foot space filled with wood to a height of four feet. Most long bed pickup trucks have beds that are close to the four-foot by 8-foot dimension. To m a k e a f i r e w o o d complaint, call 360-9021857. WeightsMeasures/Fire woodinformation.aspx

Go the extra 100,000 miles.


NEIGHBORHOOD Yard Sale, Saturday, August 2nd from 8am - 2pm at Sierra Countr y Club Community. Located between West Beach and Libbey Roads, Coupeville.

Finding what you want doesn’t have to be so hard. Try

Sunbelt Version


Serving Whidbey, Oak Harbor, Burlington and Mt. Vernon

Assistant Project

With demonstrated safety and quality control experience.

CARRIER NEEDED Manager For the Whidbey News Requires 2+ years of Times, downtown Oak experience H a r b o r. D e l i ve r i n g Wednesday and SaturE-mail resumes to day mornings. No colwalto@ lecting. Great second job! Call Circulation, Reach over a million 360-675-6611 in the Classifieds. Call me before you buy your next car or truck

Construction Superintendent QCM SSHO

OUTBACK 2.5i Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

VIN# 4S4BRBAC6E3294945 STOCK# 99178



Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

MSRP................ $22,762 Dewey Discount ..-$1,463


VIN# 4S3BMBA68E3034740 STOCK# 99280


MSRP.................$26,074 Dewey Discount .. -$2,075




IMPREZA 2.0i Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

MSRP................ $20,334 Dewey Discount ..-$1,035


VIN# JF1GPAA65E8292147 STOCK# 99376

** Pictures for illustration purposes only. Subaru, Forester, Outback, Tribeca, Legacy, Impreza, WRX, STI and SUBARU BOXER are suggested trademarks. * A documentary service fee of up to $150 may be added to the sale price of the capitalized cost. VIN numbers posted at dealership. One only at this price. Expires July 31, 2014.

360-734-8700 • 1800 IOWA STREET • BELLINGHAM, WA 8


| AUGUST 2014

Whidbey Crosswind, July 25, 2014  
Whidbey Crosswind, July 25, 2014  

July 25, 2014 edition of the Whidbey Crosswind