The Voice for Kitsapâ€™s Veterans and their Families
The invasion that saved Grenada â€” and was a domino in the downfall of the USSR Published monthly by Sound Publishing Co. | Updated regularly online on KitsapVeteransLife.com
Sub vets present scholarships to local students HONORS BREMERTON — Six local students are getting a boost in their college saving accounts, thanks to the Bremerton chapter of the United States Submarine Veterans. For more than 30 years, the chapter’s Lt. William “Willie” Spoon Memorial Scholarship program has provided awards to children and grandchildren of submarine veterans. The 2014 scholarships, each worth $1,000, were presented to: ■ Rebekah Cordray, sponsored by her father, Benjamin Cordray. The Central Kitsap High School
The Bremerton chapter of United States Submarine Veterans has presented scholarships to local students for more than 30 years. Submitted photo
student plans to attend Montana State University,
majoring in conservation biology.
■ David James Deanan, sponsored by his grandfa-
ther, James Kendall. The Crosspoint Academy student will attend George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, majoring in biology. ■ Dylan Heber, sponsored by his grandfather, George Verd. The Central
Kitsap High School student plans to attend the University of Washington. ■ Justine Morris, sponsored by her grandfather, Gregory Fessler. She is majoring in journalism at New York University. ■ Bethany Sheridan, sponsored by her father, James Sheridan. She is attending Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Florida, majoring in fashion merchandising/business. ■ Joseph Wiltz, sponsored by his father, Steven Wiltz. He is majoring in Christian studies at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.
Numbers you can count on: Veterans’ resources in Kitsap County Here is a listing of resources for veterans in Kitsap County. American Legion Post 109, Silverdale Address: 10710 Silverdale Way, Silverdale. Meets on the third Monday of the month, 7 p.m., at All Star Lanes & Casino. Contact: Email email@example.com, or visit on Facebook. American Legion Post 149, Bremerton Address: 4922 Kitsap Way, Bremerton. 360-373-8983. Online: www.legion149wa.org
FYI American Legion Post 172, Bainbridge Island Address: 7880 NE Bucklin Hill Road, Bainbridge Island. 206-842-5000. Meets first and third Friday of the month, 7:30 p.m. Online: www.bainbridgeislandpost172.org. American Legion Post 200, Belfair Meets on the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. Contact: Tom Welch, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Legion Post 245 Veterans Service Office, Poulsbo Address: 19068 Jensen Way, Suite 3A, downtown Poulsbo. 360-779-5456. Open every Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Disabled American Veterans ■ 2315 Burwell St., Bremerton. 360-373-2397. ■ 4475 Birch Ave W., Port Orchard. Chapter meetings: Potluck noon, meeting 1 p.m., second Saturday of each month ■ Adjutant/Service Office North Mason Resources,
140 NE State Route 300, Belfair. 360-552-2303. Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday or by appointment. Kitsap County Veterans Assistance Program Address: Kitsap County Department of Human Services, 614 Division St., MS-23, Port Orchard. Contact: Tom Vialpando, program coordinator, 360337-4811. Online: www.kitsapgov. com/hs/veterans/VA.htm. Marine Corps League Olympic Peninsula Detachment 531 Address: 2315 Burwell St.,
Bremerton. 360-265-7492. Meets on the first Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. Suquamish Tribe Veterans Resource Office LaVada Anderson 360-394-8515 landerson@suquamish. nsn.us. VFW Post 239, Bremerton Address: 190 Dora Ave., Bremerton. 360-377-6739. Meets second Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m. VFW Post No. 1694, Shelton Address: Memorial Hall, Second and Franklin streets,
Shelton. 360-426-4546. Meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, 7 p.m. Beverages and snacks are served at 6 p.m. by the Ladies Auxiliary. WorkSource Kitsap County Address: 1300 Sylvan Way, second floor, Bremerton. 360-337-4767. Contact: Michael Robinson, disabled veterans outreach, 360-337-4727, email@example.com. Or firstname.lastname@example.org. — To be included in this list of Veterans Resources, email rwalker@soundpublishing. com
WHO’S WHO: KITSAP COUNTY VETERANS ADVISORY BOARD KITSAP COUNTY VETERANS ADVISORY BOARD The Kitsap County Veterans’ Advisory Board is made up of 17 volunteers from throughout the county who are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners for one-,
two-, or three-year terms. All members must be veterans of military or merchant marine service. A simple majority of the council shall be members of local chapters of national recognized veterans organizations. The board meets on
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the second week of each month, at 5:30 p.m., in the Silverdale Community Center’s Evergreen Room. Here’s a list of members and their terms. ■ Leif Bentsen: June 9, 2014 — Dec. 31, 2016. ■ Keith Ciancio: Jan. 13, 2014 — Dec. 31, 2016.
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■ Steven Colby: Jan. 13, 2014 — Dec. 31, 2016. ■ Joel Courreges: Jan. 1, 2012 — Dec. 31, 2014. ■ Douglas Glispy: May 14, 2012 — Dec. 31, 2014. ■ Wayne Hammock: Jan. 14, 2013 — Dec. 31, 2015. ■ Michelle Hodges: Jan. 1, 2012 — Dec. 31, 2014.
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■ Mike Hume: Jan. 14, 2013 — Dec. 31, 2015. ■ Michael Kiser: May 14, 2012 — Dec. 31, 2014. ■ Mark Lowe: Jan. 1, 2012 — Dec. 31, 2014. ■ Robert MacFann: May 12, 2014 — Dec. 31, 2016. ■ Henry Murkins: Jan. 14, 2013 — Dec. 31, 2015.
■ Ed Palm: Jan. 27, 2014 — Dec. 31, 2016. ■ Samantha Powers: Jan. 13, 2014 — Dec. 31, 2016. ■ Corky Sullivan: Jan. 14, 2013 — Dec. 31, 2015. ■ Chuck Wagner: Jan. 13, 2014 — Dec. 31, 2016. ■ Vacant.
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ON THE COVER: 82nd Airborne artillery personnel load and fire M102 105 mm howitzers during Operation Urgent Fury, Nov. 3, 1983. Photo credit: TSGT M. J. Creen / DoDMedia
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The captain of the first U.S. Navy ship in to Grenada for Operation Urgent Fury recalls the invasion — and its part in the ultimate downfall of the Soviet Union.
OPERATION URGENT FURY
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eration helped smooth their path. enry “Penny” Hillaire was smiling in The Lummi Nation bid farewell on July 31 to almost every photo on display and in PFC Henry A. Hillaire: Soldier, political leader, the slideshow at his funeral service. father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle. That’s how I remember him. When I met the He played another important role — a role former vice chairman of the Lummi Nation in that becomes all the more important 2008, he lit up when his son, Darrell, as time marches on. He was a witness and I entered the living room. We had to the horrors of Holocaust, of statea lively conversation. He showed me sponsored persecution and murder of his shadow box with his World War II a people. And we’re losing those witmedals, which his son-in-law helped nesses every day. him obtain. We talked about smokers Lummi’s population was about 700 — amateur boxing matches — and when America entered World War II. Of the fellow soldier he helped manage; that 700, 104 went into military service the soldier went on to a professional — believed to be the greatest per capita boxing career. He fondly remembered PFC Henry A. number of any community in the United the beauty of the French coast. Hillaire States. Four Lummi died in action, Inducted into the Army in April according to a speaker at Hillaire’s 1943 and trained as an MP at Boise, funeral. he volunteered for overseas duty and shipped By 2008, Hillaire was one of eight living out of Boston for Liverpool, which was being WWII veterans from the Lummi Nation. As of buzz-bombed by the Germans. He shipped to this writing, there are two. Le Havre, France; when I met him, he still had According to Wikipedia, citing information a piece of shrapnel in his thigh from a Bouncing from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Betty that exploded on the beach. 16.1 million Americans served in the armed He could tell that story without emotion. forces during World War II; 1.4 million were still What came next made him tear up. alive in November 2012. Veterans Affairs estiWhile serving in Europe, he and his unit mated that 670 American World War II veterans assisted people displaced by the war, handing died every day in 2011. out food, clothing and supplies. He witnessed As these witnesses to history pass on, we the liberation of concentration camps and assisted the survivors. The memory still haunted him need to ensure their stories stay alive. Doing so six decades later: Human beings, malnourished, will protect the record from those who would revise it. And it will steel our resolve to ensure emaciated, skin and bones. Hillaire was still a world free of such disease, hunger, death and shocked that human beings were capable of unthinkable cruelty. treating other human beings like that. Note: Hillaire’s military decorations included When Hillaire returned from the war, his the Bronze Star, the European African Middle carbine was replaced by his rosary as a weapon Eastern Campaign Medal, American Theater against injustice. He and his wife fought to proService Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and tect the rights reserved by the Lummi Nation Marksman M — Rifle 03 Carbine. in its 1855 treaty with the United States. They worked to improve educational and economic opportunities for their people. They raised a family of 17 children, several of whom followed them into public service. Two served as chairpersons of the Lummi Nation, another served on the council. Political battles continue for Lummi’s newest Richard Walker, editor generation of leaders. But Hillaire and his gen-
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WRITE TO US: Veterans Life welcomes letters from its readers. To make room for as many letters as possible, keep your letter to 350 words maximum. Include your name and daytime phone number for verification. Send to P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo, WA. 98370; fax to 360-779-8276; or email email@example.com.
IN OUR OPINION
New secretary’s priority is clear: Fix VA health care V
‘Pit-to-pier’ would jeopardize national security, canal health
eterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald’s mandate is clear: Fix the system of health care provided to veterans. Damning investigations by government inspectors and media revealed that veterans have not received prompt medical care, dozens have died while awaiting care, and the VA fudged its records to hide these problems. Doubts about the VA’s probity were deep enough that the American Legion joined a chorus calling for McDonald’s predecessor, Gen. Eric Shinseki, to resign, which he did. In fairness, an inspector general cautions that it’s wrong to assume patients who died while on a waiting list died because they were waiting. But the fetor of malfeasance and the funk of incompetence have been too strong to ignore. As Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said at a congressional hearing in May: “What we need [now] is decisive action to restore veterans’ confidence ...” McDonald may have what it takes to do so. McDonald graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1975, in the top 2 percent of his class. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division, earned the Ranger tab, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and Senior Parachutist wings, and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. During his tenure as chairman, president, and chief executive officer of The Procter & Gamble Company, P&G received the U.S. State Department’s Award for Corporate Excellence for its environmental and social sustainability initiatives in Nigeria and Pakistan. Using the company’s water purification packets, P&G committed itself to the 2020 goal of “saving one life every hour” by annually providing two billion liters of clean drinking water to people in the world’s developing countries. In addition, in 2012, Chief Executive magazine named P&G the Best Company for Developing Leader Talent; The Hay Group, a global management consulting firm, consistently cited P&G in its top-tier listing of Best Companies for Leadership Study. We hope McDonald can make VA health care more efficient. Here’s a recommendation from Bloomberg View: Strengthen the VA’s ability to do what it’s good at and widen veterans’ access to services that don’t demand its expertise. “The inspector general’s report focused on wait times for primary care, suggesting that’s where the most pressing shortage is,” according to Bloomberg View. “If so, the VA could address much of the problem by paying for primary-care visits with private doctors when timely appointments aren’t available at its own facilities.” Veterans would continue to rely mostly on VA doctors for specialty care. “For this to work, effective cost control will be crucial,” Bloomberg View opined. “The VA could save money by building a network of civilian health-care providers. Tricare, which provides health benefits to some retired military personnel, pays for outside care when appointments aren’t quickly available at military facilities. And it controls costs by imposing maximum allowable charges through its network of outside providers ... If VA can’t offer prompt care, “veterans could be given access to Medicare’s network of primary-care providers, reimbursed by Medicare at Medicare rates, with VA covering the cost.”
VETERANS LIFE |
You don’t have to be a “treehugging environmentalist” to need the Hood Canal Bridge or to love the pristine area of Hood Canal. The current news about the Pit to Pier scheme is disturbing. Simply put, I don’t think that a gravel company’s profits are more important than the needs of the Navy or the needs of the citizens who live or work in and around Jefferson and Kitsap counties. The misinformation that is being put forth to put a positive spin on this scheme is shameful. Just imagine how life will be when one of those ocean-going barges or ships hits the Hood Canal Bridge. Who will suffer? Who will foot the bill to replace it? How long will that take? What is positive about this get rich scheme? Despite a signed agreement between the Navy and DNR for an easement on both sides of the Canal, the Jefferson County processes of an environmental impact statement marches on. Now the company has sued the government over this agreement. Please make your feelings known to Jefferson County before Aug. 11. We as citizens need to stand up and stop this ridiculous scheme before we are the ones suffering. DONNA NOLAN Port Ludlow ■
The idea of compromising the Hood Canal for profit to a “ small group of investors” is ludicrous (“‘Pit-pier’ company challenges state-Navy coastline easement on Hood Canal,” Peninsula Daily News, Aug. 6). Dan Baskins, Thorndyke Resources project manager, stated the conservation easement between the state Department of Natural Resources and the Navy will collapse under its own “stupidity.” He also stated it was a “goofy” way to stop the project. Apparently Mr. Baskins is not
“It is time for all of us to stand up and protect our beautiful canal and stand by our Navy.” — Lloyd Schulberg, Bridgehaven
concerned of the obvious dangers to our national security this would inevitably produce. To use the words “stupid” and “goofy” when referring to our United States Navy is shameful. Bridgehaven is a small community of 212 homes, and provides water service for nearly 508 people. It is located on the west side of Hood Canal, roughly two miles north of the proposed 990foot pier. Our water system is fed by an aquifer adjacent to the excavation sight. There is no guarantee our aquifer will be safe from contamination, diversion, or puncture resulting from the proposed dig. To put our community in harm’s way is walking on and over the little guy. Mr. Baskins is so intent on obtaining permits, he will not address the possibility of aquifer disasters. The Hood Canal bridge is the link for thousands of commuters. The ultimate goal of filling numerous ships and barges daily will have a huge impact on our commuters. Six barges are slated
Life The Voice for Kitsap’s Veterans and their Families 19351 8th Ave. NE, Suite 106, P.O. Box 278, Poulsbo WA. 98370 360-779-4464 | 360-779-8276 (fax) Email: (First initial, last name)@soundpublishing.com
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to pass under the east end of the bridge every day. When this bridge is damaged, there are few options for daily commuters. Not that many years ago it did happen. At the time, the state did have a walk on ferry to relieve some of the pressure, which is no longer possible, because the ferry landing was removed. The projected 4-mile long conveyor will, in its own right, damage the tranquil area that has existed for thousands of years. The constant sound of the conveyor system and the dumping of the rock into ships and barges will carry across the canal, throughout the entire area. It is time for all of us to stand up and protect our beautiful canal and stand by our Navy as they protect us 24/7. LLOYD SCHULBERG Bridgehaven Community Club Port Ludlow
Write to us Veterans Life welcomes letters to the editor. Write Editor, Veterans Life, P[.O. Box 278, poulsbo, WA. 98370. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To make room for as many letters as possible, keep your letter to 350 words maximum. Include your name and daytime phone number for verification.
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Remembering ‘Urgent Fury’ Cdr. John D. Kolata, USN (ret.) was commanding officer of the USS Manitowoc (LST 1180), which conducted the shipborne amphibious assault in the invasion of Grenada on Oct. 25, 1983. In an exclusive for Veterans Life, Kolata writes about the Operation Urgent Fury — and its part in the downfall of the Soviet Union By CDR JOHN D. KOLATA, USN (ret).
■ Dates: Oct. 25 to Dec. 15, 1983. ■ Cause: Military coup; Cuban and North Korean military presence. ■ What Urgent Fury accomplished: Military dictatorship deposed, Cuban military presence defeated, constitutional government restored. ■ Casualties: United States — 19 killed, 116 wounded. Grenada — 45 killed, 358 wounded. Cuba — 25 killed, 59 wounded, 638 captured. Civilians — 24 killed. Source: Wikipedia
ellow veterans, I’m CDR John D. Kolata, USN (ret). I’m honored to be able to write a guest column commemorating the approaching 31st anniversary of Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada. As the commanding officer of the USS Manitowoc (LST1180), I was in charge of the amphibious assault by a company of U.S. Marines embarked on Manitowoc. Here is a quote from the Surface Warfare magazine (March/ April 1984). LST sailors had cen- CDR John D. ter stage Kolata, CO as sunset of the USS fell on Manitowoc (LST D-day 1180) during and the invasion of Manito- Grenada woc launched an ingenious AMTRAC assault. The ship’s CO, CDR John Kolata, pointed his ship’s stern at the beach center from a bare half mile offshore to guide the assault column to the narrow unmarked beach. “It was exciting doing what we had trained for and what the ship was built for — landing and supporting combat Marines,” he said. Guiding the assault by radar was Manitowoc’s OS1(SW) Max Moore, who admitted that, “When the last boat hit the beach just right, [I breathed] a sigh of relief.” This operation was very serious. The challenge with very serious matters is to maintain your sense of perspective and to remember the priorities. At times, a kick in the butt is required to regain your sense of perspective. Here’s what I mean. Our task force had planned to land the
The USS Manitowoc (LST 1180). According to the writer, “The entire amphibious task force that Manitowoc was part of during Operation Urgent Fury displayed true flexibility in carrying out the orders of our commander in chief, President Ronald Reagan.” U.S. Navy Marines on the east side of Grenada. But the sea state was not favorable for small craft operations. My commodore on the USS Guam (LPH-9) told me to take charge of another amphibious ship and proceed to the west side of Grenada and launch the Marines. As we started moving from the east to the west, I reviewed the navigational charts for the west side of the island. The charts were completely unsat for an amphibious assault. My predecessor in command was now the chief of staff for my commodore and had operated a sailboat in a visit to Grenada
in the past. I communicated with him and asked if he had good charts of Grenada. He said he did and would dispatch a helicopter to my ship with the chart. I was very relieved. As we were proceeding to the western side of Grenada, the helo landed on my deck and a messenger brought the chart tube to the bridge. My executive officer and navigator were at my side when I opened the tube to examine the chart. You can imagine the surprise when I opened the “chart” to find out it was a tourist map with palm trees printed around the edge
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of the “chart.” That bit of humor told me to get the hell going with the business at hand — keep my perspective and comply with the priorities. It lifted a huge concern off of my shoulders. And then there was a repeat. For background, the Marines are under the command of the Navy until they cross the surf line, when they shift to the Marine chain of command.
So I was getting ready to order the commencement of launching the Marines when the Marine company commander burst on to the bridge (if he was a dragon, fire would have been bursting out of his mouth). In a surprisingly soft voice, he told me that he had lost communications with his Marine chain of command and requested his order from me. My entire bridge crew
was observing this situation. In a soft voice, I asked the Marine captain if it was normal for the Marines to take the high ground. No, he said, we should protect our flanks. So in a very loud and commanding voice, I said, “Captain, go in there and protect your flank!” Yet another thing that relieved my tension. The assault was highly successful and the Marines rescued the British governor general. The Manitowoc’s Marines suffered zero casualties. See GRENADA, Page 7
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VETERANS LIFE |
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8/25/14 1:12 PM
Dean Ottmar graduated from Lewis and Clark High School and attended Washington State University for a year. Then, the Korean War began. He was ready for whatever the Air National Guard threw at him.
F-94 crew chief has fond memories of service of 4; his father died in a grain elevator accident. His mother’s family had homesteaded in the Chewelah area and, at one time, his mother and father had a filling station before they lost it during the Depression. A photo of him and his parents standing in front of the station hangs on his dining room wall of
PROFILE By LESLIE KELLY
ILVERDALE — Dean Ottmar never intended on serving his country. But when asked to, he did. Ottmar, 84, who lives in Silverdale, was the crew chief on an F-94 Starfire, a fighter jet, during the Korean War. “I didn’t want to fight,” he said. “That’s not the kind of person I am. So when the draft came up, I enlisted in the Air National Guard,” Ottmar said. While some men he knew were leaving for Canada to avoid the draft, he went to Geiger Air Field in Spokane, near his hometown of Clarkston, just across the Snake River from Lewiston, Idaho. He was a member of the 116th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. He’d graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 1948 and he’d gone to Washington State University for a year. He was ready for whatever the Air National Guard threw at him. “In boot camp, I was about the one guy who’d never been a Boy Scout or anything like that,” he said. “I didn’t even know how to march like they do in the service. So they taught me.” Once he was finished with boot camp in Spokane, he was chosen to go to Chanute Field in Chicago to learn how to overhaul jet plane engines. “Of our whole group,
Ottmar’s home. His mother taught school in a one-room school house and, according to Ottmar, helped him to be the “easygoing” guy he still is today. Dean and Lois moved with the Air National Guard to California and then back to Moses Lake. Times were tough. “I didn’t get paid
very much,” he said. “Sometimes by the end of the month, a group of us would go out in the fields and steal watermelons and that’s all we’d have to eat for several days.” They had three children: Roger, born in 1951; Steve, born in 1952; and Kay, born in 1957. All three live See OTTMAR, Page 8
Dean Ottmar of Silverdale shows off a photo of a fighter jet. Ottmar worked on planes like this one in the Air National Guard during the Korean War. Leslie Kelly / Veterans Life there was only five or six of us who were chosen to go to Chicago,” he said. As he recalled, the Korean War was under way and the Soviet Union had given China jet fighter planes. Those aircraft were sent into Korea and the U.S. needed a hot squadron to counteract them. While he was in Chicago learning his trade, the rest of his unit was sent to England to take care of the U.S. jets that had been in Korea. “So I didn’t get to go to England,” he said. “I always felt like I missed out on that.” Instead, he was next sent to Hamilton Air Base in California where he was a mechanic on U.S. Air National Guard planes. In all, he served 21 months on active duty and then four years in the reserves. Following California, he was sent to Moses Lake, where he was discharged in 1952. “In Moses Lake, I was given a plane to take care
of,” he said. “The plane was painted with the Ace of Spades, the symbol of the Air National Guard. And my name was painted on it too.” While in the service, he was given a special commendation from Lt. Col. Edgar E. Snyder, commander of the 334th Technical Training Group at Chanute Air Force Base, for getting the highest grade in the aircraft jet engine mechanics course. There was something else special about Ottmar’s service. At the time he signed up, he was married and had a son. Right out of high school, Ottmar married his high school sweetheart, Lois. “I chased him until I caught him,” Lois said. “We grew up in the same neighborhood and I knew he was the one for me.” That neighborhood was called Vinegar Flats, after an old vinegar works that had been on the land. Ottmar was raised by his mother from the age
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Continued from page 5 I would say that the lesson we could learn from this story is to not sweat the small stuff, believe in the expertise of others, and get the job done — don’t expect to be told what to do every step along the way to mission accomplishment. The entire amphibious task force that Manitowoc was part of during Operation Urgent Fury
displayed true flexibility in carrying out the orders of our commander in chief, President Ronald Reagan. In my opinion, it was necessary to stop the expansion of communist Cuba and its ally, the USSR, into other parts of our hemisphere and in no small manner was a first step in the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War. — CDR John D. Kolata, USN (ret.) served as commanding officer of USS Manitowoc (LST 1180)
from 1982-85. He earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, studied public administration at George Mason University, and earned an MBA from Bryant College. After retiring from the Navy, he served as a city administrator for various municipalities in Ohio and Illinois. He is certified as a Credentialed Manager by the International City/ County Management Association.
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VETERANS LIFE | 7
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Silverdale to be closer to family. Dean had suffered a stroke and the couple decided they needed to live in a retirement community where they could have some assistance when needed. At Country Meadows, they have their own cottage and they eat with other residents at the “barn” every evening. They take some classes and they go on day trips in the community bus. As for what Dean is the most proud of, it’s his family. “We’ve raised three wonderful kids,” he said. “We’ve been able to travel. All in all, I’d say we’ve had a pretty good life.”
Continued from page 7 close by — in Silverdale, Renton and Lynwood — and the couple has four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. After Dean’s military service ended, the family moved back to Clarkston. Dean worked 30 years for Alta Vista, the local gas company, checking lines, reading and replacing meters, and adjusting pressure in the main lines. His wife worked for the Clarkston School District. They retired in 1989. The couple continued to live in the Spokane area until two years ago, when they moved to
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| VETERANS LIFE
Life as a Navy chaplain: Serving on board 24/7 PROFILE By LESLIE KELLY
ILVERDALE — When Paul Murphey decided he wanted to become a Navy chaplain at the age of 36, he was told he was “too old.” But two years later, in 1969, the Navy asked him if he was still interested and he said “yes.” It was the height of the Vietnam War and the Navy felt it needed “friendly voices on college campuses.” Murphey had completed a Ph.D. and M.Div. at Vanderbilt University and served as a college chaplain at Eureka College before moving to Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Not long after becoming a Naval Reserve chaplain, he received tenure and was promoted to full professor. Murphey says the Naval Reserve Chaplaincy provided him the best of both worlds — academic and military. Each time he did two-week active duty for training (ACDUTRA) or five-six week temporary active duty (TEMAC), the senior chaplain would ask if he wanted to go on permanent active duty. Finally, in 1975 while serving at Camp Lejeune,
North Carolina, the senior chaplain persuaded him to talk with the chief of chaplains about active duty. To his surprise, the chief, Adm. John J. O’Connor, agreed and he began the paperwork. In June 1976, he finished teaching his classes, turned in his grades, said goodbye to his family and left for Yokosuka, Japan. He had been told he would be assigned to the Naval Base at Charleston, South Carolina but his orders were changed in April. His first active-duty assignment was as chaplain for Destroyer Squadron 15, which at the time had six ships. “My responsibility was to serve all the men of DESRON 15 — there were no women at the time — regardless of rank or rate, race, social status, or religious affiliation or lack thereof,” Murphey said. “I was there to provide spiritual, moral, and mental guidance, leadership, and support to the command in religious and ethical matters.” It was in that assignment he learned of the generosity of American sailors. “The highlight of the two-year tour for me was to learn of the incredible generosity of American sailors as they cared for those in need such as orphans
Retired Navy chaplain Paul Murphey relaxes in his Silverdale home.
Leslie Kelly / Veterans Life
in Japan, Korea, and the Philippines. They gave graciously of their time and often brought candy or toys they had bought in addition to the supplies the ships provided.” One memorable event was the Christmas parade in Chinhae, Korea, which he organized complete with the 7th Fleet Band, clowns, yoyo champions and others, ending in visits to three orphanages and a veterans’ village. Murphey credits his successful adaptation to Navy life to Master Chief Ron Campagna, COMDESRON 15’s command master chief, who showed him the ropes and how to adapt to the structure of Navy life. During that tour, he and his wife Marilyn, who had decided not to accompany him to Japan, were
divorced after 27 years of marriage. Murphey refers to that period as the first act of his three-act life drama. He met Namiko Yabuki. She was the administrative assistant in the Navy Region Far East Commissary Office and helped arrange for material such as vendors’ supplies to be taken by the squadron to the orphanages. They were married in 1979 while Murphey was serving with 1st Force Service Support Group (1st FSSG), Camp Pendleton, California. From that assignment, he was sent to be a part of the precommissioning crew of a new amphibious ship, USS Peleliu (LHA5), being commissioned in Pascagoula, Mississippi in May 1980. Things went well for the dress rehearsal. Even though there were severe thunderstorms and rain through the night, an hour or so before the commissioning ceremony — which included Mrs. Thomas Hayward, the ship’s sponsor and wife of the chief of Naval Operations — the sun broke through and it was a beautiful morning. When Murphey stepped to the podium and opened the notebook, which was the program guide for the ceremony, he turned as he had done the day before to the pages for the invocation and benediction. To
his surprise, the prayers had been replaced by two Playboy magazine centerfolds. Murphey simply removed his cover — his hat — and placed it upright on the podium and read from copies of prayers he had put there in case he needed them. He saw the incident as the officers and crew testing their new chaplain. Murphey said it was a marvelous tour. He and Capt. Tom Scott, his commanding officer at the time, are still friends. Murphey was older than any man on the ship, as was usually the case in his assignments. The ship’s crew was close knit and as chaplain he and “the best religious program specialist I ever served with, Mark Goffrier,” became deeply involved in providing support to the crew and their families. When it came time to leave the Peleliu, the Chaplain Corps detailer asked Murphey where he wanted to go. He requested Whidbey Island but was told a female chaplain was needed there. The detailer told him, “I’m going to send you to the best kept secret in the Navy: Naval Submarine Base, Bangor, Washington.” He and Namiko had a great three years at Bangor and especially appreciated the leadership of Capt. Jack Kinnert who, with his wife Barbara, was Presenting
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a regular participant in the life of the chapel. In addition to being assigned to Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific (SWFPAC) and the Marine Barracks, Murphey shared responsibility for Jackson Park Chapel with Chaplain Jack Dowers. He performed more than 150 weddings in the three years he was at Bangor. He was promoted to commander in 1983 and was recommended for assignment as command chaplain on the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV41). It took almost a year for the decision to be made in his favor. The repeated reply was, “You’re too old for such a strenuous assignment.” Murphey was 53. Murphey says, “By God’s grace, I received the fulfillment of a chaplain’s dream,” and the assignment brought Namiko home with her family. “It was all I could have asked for,” Murphey said. As he first discovered at DESRON 15, shipboard ministry is 24/7. On a ship at sea, a chaplain is with his congregation day and night, a visible reminder of God’s love and presence. He also has no hiding place; the crew knows him as he is. A seagoing chaplain also has a rare opportunity not available to others — offering the Evening Prayer at Sea over the 1MC. Murphey said he never ceased to be amazed at how many of the crew actually listened to and even looked forward to those moments. Following the Midway, he was assigned to the Chapel of Hope, Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka. As that tour came to a close, the detailer asked him where he wanted to go for “his twilight tour.” Murphey requested sea duty again. The detailer laughed heartily and said that wasn’t going to happen. Three months later, Murphey got a call from the detailer saying, “Remember what you wished for? You’re going to get it. We’re sending you back to the Midway as command chaplain.” This was unprecedented for the same chaplain to serve in that assignment on the same carrier for two nonSee MURPHEY, Page 11
New venture for multicredentialed Navy veteran 27-year career man has a law degree, PhD, and now a barbecue restaurant By DANNIE OLIVEAUX
PORT ORCHARD — Dickey’s Barbecue Pit opened its newest location in Port Orchard on July 17 under the leadership of a U.S. Navy veteran. The restaurant is located at 1800 Mile Hill Drive, Suites 160 and 170, behind the 7-Eleven. Thomas “Dr. D” Driver, a first-time franchise owner, retired in 2010 after a 27-year Navy career as a senior officer and hospital administrator. He also has a law degree, a doctorate in ministry and a PhD in business. He owns two other businesses — Animal Intelligence Software and
Continued from page 10 consecutive tours. This time, at 58, Murphey was not considered too old to serve on the Midway as he had been at 53. That second tour on the Midway was the pinnacle of his career. “I was privileged to serve under the greatest naval officer I have ever known, Capt. Arthur Cebrowski.” Cebrowski was commanding officer of the Midway during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He ultimately became a vice admiral and president of the Naval War College. As Murphey neared the mandatory retirement
BUSINESS Panther Editing Service. Driver’s franchise hosted a VIP and friends-of-family opening on July 16, followed by a three-day grand opening that featured 94.1 KMPS on site, $2 pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, all-day merchandise giveaways and gift cards worth up to $50 for the first 50 guests. Driver said Dickey’s is famous for its pulled pork, ribs and brisket. There’s a large, hanging menu board and customers can watch as their meal is prepared. “People are going to love the different concept of coming into a cafeteria dining-type setup, where you see your meat pulled out of a warmer that just came out of the smoker,” he said. “We’re pulling it out and cutting right in front of you.” All meats are slowsmoked on-site, using hickory wood. Driver said it takes
age of 60, he and Namiko retired to Kitsap County where they had a home. In 2006, Namiko was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and wanted to return to Japan to live with her family there. “Namiko was a perfect Navy wife. I was so fortunate to have shared almost 30 years with her,” Murphey said. “The second act of my drama — the Navy phase — now came to an end.” After returning to Kitsap County, Murphey taught at Chapman University, Olympic College, City University of Seattle, and at Seattle Pacific University. Paul and Namiko Murphey divorced in 2008. He later married Blossom Tibbits, whom they had
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Thomas “Dr. D” Driver opened a Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise in Port Orchard.
between 13-14 hours to cook brisket. Prior to cooking the meat, it is marinaded and placed into a cooler for 24 hours. “At 6 p.m. at night, I’m putting those meats into a smoker,” he said. “By the time I get here in the morning, I’m pulling it out.” The store also serves
chicken, han, sausage, turkey, and complimentary soft-serve ice cream. The store has $8.99 specials each day. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant features wood floors and decor. It seats 75 people and the banquet room can accommodate up to 35 more, and has audiovisual connections for pre-
sentations. Dickey’s provides music courtesy of its own Internet music site. Two television monitors on the wall show news and sports. Dickey’s also provides full catering and delivers meals within a 10-mile radius. Customers also can order and pay for meals online. The store was expected to hire about 10-15 full- and part-time employees. Driver, a Springfield, Mass., native, grew up in a military family. “As a kid growing up, we barbecued as a family and as I got older — being in the military myself — we used to have a lot of officer barbecues,” said Driver, a Port Orchard resident. “We used to have lots of fun cooking hamburgers, steak and ribs.” Dickey’s Barbecue (www.dickeys.com) was founded by Travis Dickey with the goal of producing authentic slow-smoked barbecue. More than 73 years later, the Dallas-based fam-
known at Central Kitsap Presbyterian Church for several years. Her husband, Charles B. Tibbits, had died some years before. In 2010, he and Blossom moved to Country Meadows in Silverdale
where they now reside and share in the many activities of this third act — the retirement years. Murphey has written and published books and book reviews and is proud of a set of books he authored titled “Sacred
Moment, Prayers of a Navy Chaplain at Sea and Ashore.” Murphey looks back on his life as a Navy chaplain with a sense of awe and wonder. “It was as grand an adventure as anyone could
Dannie Oliveaux / Veterans Life
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V E T E R A N S L I F E | 11
The Peninsula’s Home For
Roger Weeden’s home, the superstructure of an old tug boat, faces Puget Sound from the road leading to Point No Point Light. Below, the upstairs has reminders of the house’s origins, including the hatch-style door to the deck and a once-functional helm, compass and SOS signaling device. Katie Shaw / For Veterans Life
Old tug makes perfect home for retired marine engineer By KATIE SHAW For Veterans Life
f all the boats in Hansville, Roger Weeden’s is comfortable to live in full time. In fact, he does live in it — and on land. The house, which is often mistaken for a retired ferry, was taken from the top of a V4-M-A1 oceangoing tug, used in World War II by the U.S. Maritime Commission. After the tug’s brief service in the “Mothball Fleet,” aka Reserve Fleet, a man named Doug Evans bought the tug from the government and sold parts from it. The superstructure he left intact and sold to Hamilton Dowell, who made it into his home, Weeden said. In 1972, the house came to Hansville by barge, which beached near Point No Point so movers could roll the house to its location. “They took a steel shell and turned it into a house,” Weeden said. Weeden bought the house in 1991 and has lived there since. “With my background as a marine engineer and a lifetime of going to sea, it was a natural fit,” Weeden said. Dowell remodeled and
furnished the house when he moved it to Hansville, hiding exposed pipes and metal walls. Now, you could almost forget it was once part of a tug, although the portholes in the living room on the main floor are somewhat of a giveaway. A spiral staircase leads to a cozy multi-purpose room. The upstairs has reminders of the house’s origins, including the hatch leading to the deck and a once-functional helm, compass and SOS signaling device. “When the wind gets whipping around, you’ll get these strange whirring sounds because of all the shapes [of the house],” Weeden said. On the open deck, there
VETERANS LIFE |
are large gun turrets, a mast and a view of the water. Living in a former oceangoing tug isn’t all smooth sailing, though. Indoor lighting is dim because the portholes are the only windows on the main floor. The exterior requires constant upkeep and painting of its considerable surface area. Being such a unique home presents other difficulties. “It’s been appraised before,” Weeden said, “but it’s hard to find comparables. I tell people the house is either priceless or worthless.” The only insurance provider he found that would give him the time of day is Lloyd’s of London, which is expensive, he said. And now, since his wife’s death earlier this year, the house’s continued maintenance is growing more cumbersome to him. “I can see myself downsizing in the next few years and finding a new captain for this thing,” Weeden said. In front of the house, a sign informs curious passersby of the former tug’s history. “During the war, the Maritime Commission built some 50 of these seagoing tugs ... in addition to several dozen smaller tugs,” the sign reads.
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TPC-5152-3 Veterans Life.indd 1
8/19/14 11:56 AM
Published on Aug 28, 2014