Whidbey Crosswind The Puget Sound Veterans’ Monthly | APRIL 2015
Exhibit lifts off
PBY-Naval Air Museum aircraft display opens z pg. 3 SERVING WHIDBEY ISLAND’S VETERANS, RETIRED MILITARY PERSONNEL AND FAMILIES
Senate approves bill for veteran assistance By JANIS REID
access to help.”
A bill that aims to simplify eligibility guidelines for county veterans services is making its way through the state legislature. Sponsored by Sen. Barbara Bailey, the bill “makes it simpler for counties to know when veterans are eligible for county-level assistance funds,” according to a March news release. The legislation, Senate Bill 5171, passed the Senate unanimously in March and was being reviewed by the House at press time. “Due to definitional issues, we have needy veterans and their families unable to receive benefits, and that is unacceptable,” Bailey said. “We’ve engaged with those working with veterans in our state, and this is a needed change to give those who have served our country
Counties are currently required to establish veteran assistance funds that help indigent veterans or families with interment or cremation and other assistance programs, but differences in how state law defines “veteran” has prevented some veterans from accessing these funds. “We need to put this bill on the governor’s desk this year to give all our veterans access to these valuable resources,” Bailey said. Through a state mandate, each county must establish a veterans’ assistance fund that is funded by a property tax levy and can be used for very specific purposes. The definition of veteran for purposes of the fund would be modified in the new law to include any person who served in the active military or was a World War II-era civil service crew mem-
ber that meets certain criteria. The definition would also include members of the National Guard or armed forces reserve activated for non-training purposes and former National Guard or armed forces reserve members who fulfilled the initial service obligation and were released with an honorable characterization of service. Counties would be able to expand eligibility at the discretion of the county legislative authority, in consultation with the county veterans’ advisory board. The definition of the family of a veteran for Veterans Assistance Fund purposes is expanded to include the family of a service member killed in action, regardless of length of service.
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New exhibit takes flight PBY-5A Catalina seaplane is ready for public viewing By RON NEWBERRY
Wil Shellenberger admits that his preference would be for there to be no fence to obscure the view of the aircraft on display at the PBYNaval Air Museum. But he knows that’s neither realistic nor possible. “Our insurance requires us to have it,” said Shellenberger, president of the PBY Memorial Foundation. “It’s primarily for security and safety and to keep kids from climbing on the plane. “I remember being 12 years old. I would have wanted to crawl all over it.” Two months since its tedious move through downtown Oak Harbor, the PBY5A Catalina seaplane is ready for closer inspection by the public. A new aircraft display area opens April 1 across the street from the PBY-Naval Air Museum at 270 SE Pioneer Way. Although the amphibious aircraft, built around 1943 and stationed in Oak Harbor in 1945, is the star of the show, the display will include a few more aviation-related artifacts, including 750-pound bombs and an aircraft mooring buoy. Also featured is a World War II-era Ford staff car, a replica built by the Whidbey Kruzers car club, and a runway supervisory unit, better known as a “wheel’s up shack.” A small replica of the USS Arizona Memorial will be on display, designed to recognize the sailors from Washington state who died when the ship
How to find the museum The PBY-Naval Air Museum is located at 270 SE Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor. It is currently open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday and is closed Monday and Tuesday. Tours also are available by appointment. Admission starting April 1 is $7 with $1 off for active duty, seniors and children (under 6 free). To contact the museum, call 360-240-9500.
sank Dec. 7, 1941, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Several interpretive signs will tell the stories of the exhibits. “It’s designed to be a selfguided tour,” Shellenberger said. The hope is for the new display to be the key trigger to help boost museum attendance as the tourist season gets underway in Oak Harbor.
Ron Newberry photo
Wil Shellenberger, president of the PBY Memorial Foundation, stands before a World War II-era 1946 Ford staff car and the PBY5A seaplane that are part of a new aircraft display across the street from the PBY-Naval Air Museum in downtown Oak Harbor. ask questions,” Shellenberger said. Since arriving on the Seaplane base in 2010, the aircraft sustained some damage from winds. Repairs are needed to fix a damaged aileron, a hinged section of the outer wing. “These are repairs that can’t be done when it’s on the airplane,” said George Love, a retired chief petty officer and museum volunteer who is spearheading the repairs.
The museum moved from the Seaplane Base at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station to its new location in the former Whidbey Furniture building last spring but had to leave the aircraft behind until a move could be properly arranged. The outer wings were detached from the aircraft to allow for the plane to be towed through downtown and will remain that way while repairs and maintenance take place in public view. “It’ll be a great opportunity to see work being done and to
“The fact that it’s going to be a display airplane, we don’t have to go with original parts.” Such damage while being exposed to the elements is part of the drive behind the PBY Memorial Foundation to ultimately raise enough money to build a hangar-style museum in Oak Harbor to feature the PBY and other aircraft that have flown out of NAS Whidbey. That is also why the PBY-
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Shellenberger said once the plane lands indoors, it will be painted with World War II colors and interior features such as instrument panels and radio equipment will be restored.
“When we finally get a hangar-style museum built, we are going to make it look good,” he said. That is part of the master plan behind the temporary move to Pioneer Way and ultimate resting stop on property where a permanent home will be built. SEE PBY, PAGE 8
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VOL. 4, NO. 12 WHIDBEY CROSSWIND STAFF Executive Editor & Publisher............................KEVEN R. GRAVES Associate Publisher.................................... KIMBERLLY WINJUM Editor.............................................................JESSIE STENSLAND Staff Reporter.............................................................JANIS REID Admin Coordinator/Production Manager........... RENEÉ MIDGETT
Assistant Advertising Manager.......................... TERI MENDIOLA Advertising Sales......................... PHIL DUBOIS, NORA DURAND Lead Creative Artist....................... MICHELLE WOLFENSPARGER Staff Artists...REBECCA COLLINS, JEN MILLER, JEREMIAH DONIER Circulation Manager........................................ DIANE SMOTHERS
IDENTIFICATION STATEMENT AND SUBSCRIPTION RATES PO Box 1200 | 107 S Main St, Suite E101, Coupeville, WA 98239 360-675-6611 | fax 360-679-2695 | www.whidbeycrosswind.com 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 © 2015, Sound Publishing
READER INFORMATION: ADMINISTRATIVE: The Whidbey Crosswind is a monthly publication of Sound Publishing, and is a member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, the National Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. Advertising rates are available at the Crosswind office. While the Crosswind endeavors to accept only reliable advertisements, it shall not be responsible to the public for advertisements nor are the views expressed in those advertisements necessarily those of the Whidbey Crosswind. The right to decline or discontinue any ad without explanation is reserved. DEADLINES: Classifieds and Display Ads – 4 p.m. Monday prior to publication; Community News and Letters to Editor – Noon Monday prior to publication.
Culture of involvement championed by military By JANIS REID
The culture of volunteerism and service at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is evident at every community event and within many local nonprofits and organizations. And while much of the military involvement in the community goes largely unnoticed, many projects, programs and events wouldn’t move forward without the manpower of the local military. These service projects have included painting over graffiti around Oak Harbor, to moving furniture at the Habitat for Humanity store, to marching in community parades. Petty Officer James Rarick said the “feel” of the Whidbey community is different than other places he’s been stationed, like the Navy base in San Diego. “It’s so awesome to see all the events people are involved in,” Rarick said. “It feels like people are closer and more attuned toward each other.”
Rarick is one of hundreds of sailors and military personnel stationed on Whidbey Island to make it their mission while stationed here to give back to the civilian community whenever possible.
fixture at community events and parades.
“We try to build it as a culture and be good ambassadors to the community,” Rarick said. “It’s nice to give back to the community that supports us.”
“We all benefit a little from the opportunity to serve others; our all-volunteer military culture starts with service to a greater good,” Nortier said. “Volunteering in the community comes from the same character traits that led each of our sailors, Marines, airmen and soldiers to join in the first place.
Last summer, Rarick helped run the kids craft booth during the Penn Cover Water Festival.
“We are not just volunteering to help the community; we are part of the community.”
“It was a blast,” Rarick said.
One Whidbey sailor has made headlines from local newspapers to national magazines for his fundraisers for Wounded Warrior Project and in May, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Rarick said many of his volunteer efforts are organized through the First Class Association, one of many rank-based associations on base that provide service to the community.
Ron Newberry photo
Kirshenmann has said that there would be no way the store could accomplish what it does without Navy volunteers.
Petty Officer Michael McCastle said that while he’s “not a bake sale kind of guy,” he believes there are other ways he can give back. Aside from his “ultra-endurance” fundraising events, McCastle said he also mentors local youth and occasionally volunteers at Hillcrest Elementary.
The local military’s commitment to community involvement starts at the top with Capt. Mike Nortier, commanding officer of NAS Whidbey, who is a constant
“Everyone can find something that’s suitable for them,” McCastle said. “That’s the beauty of giving. I think that volunteering and giving back to the
Capt. Mike Nortier, commanding officer of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, walks in Oak Harbor’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March.
Service projects completed by Rarick’s association include a quarterly road cleanup on Ault Field, spending time at local retirement homes and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.
Habitat for Humanity store, more than half are activeduty servicemen and women.
Of the 100 or so volunteers that routinely give time at the
Habitat for Humanity Store manager Whitey
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community is more than just something nice to do. It’s a responsibility.” McCastle said he believes it’s particularly important for military personnel to give back because it fosters a positive relationship between civilian and active-duty communities and “reveals a very human side to our country’s warriors.” “There’s a saying that goes, “ ‘The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away,’ ” McCastle said. “I try to live by those words every day.” Nortier has praised the community’s support of “Team Whidbey” through events like the annual Military Appreciation Picnic, saying that “those relationships we have, both on a personal and professional level, are both very important.” Nortier said NAS Whidbey and its active-duty soldiers are simply trying to return the favor. “Sailors and their families take great pride in volunteering in events and organizations to strengthen ties, build camaraderie and teamwork, develop friendships, and skills and talents that make them better sailors, parents and leaders at work, home and play,” Nortier said.
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Leaders show support for Navy base with D.C. visit By JESSIE STENSLAND
The future of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station is on solid ground. A group of Oak Harbor leaders, including a current and former Island County commissioner, journeyed to the Pentagon in March and got this message loud and clear. “We’re very, very secure,” said Councilwoman Beth Munns, who happens to be married to a former base commander. “We have clear airspace that is unparalleled.” In fact, Munns said the base is slated to get three new aircraft in the near future. The EA-18G Growlers are replacing the EA-6B Prowlers; the P-8A Poseidons will replace the P-3 Orions; and the C-40A Clippers are replacing the C-9B Skytrain. “Most bases are thrilled to get one new platform,” she said. “We’re getting three.” Councilman Joel Servatius, who also made the trip, said he was also impressed to hear that the Navy plans to base a squadron of people who will support the Tritons, unmanned aircraft that will support the Poseidons. That may mean as many as 400 to 500 people at the base, even though the aircraft itself will not be on Whidbey, he said.
Servatius said the increase in people at the base is good for the economy. “We let them know we’re very grateful for the jobs and the positive effect the base has on the economy,” he said. It was the 24th consecutive year that a delegation of city and county leaders have met with Pentagon leadership to express the community’s support for NAS Whidbey. It all started in 1991 when NAS Whidbey was placed on the government’s Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, list. Since the escape from the list, elected officials and representatives from the Save NASWI Task Force have continued the annual meetings at the Pentagon to express the community’s support for the base and to tout positive aspects of the area, such as lower expenses and high quality of life. Munns said the message is well received.
From left to right, former commissioner Mac McDowell, Finance Director Doug Merriman, Commissioner Jill Johnson, Mayor Scott Dudley, the Honorable Dennis McGinn, Councilwoman Tara Hizon, Councilman Joel Servatius, J.Z. Golden with Rep. Rick Larsen’s office and RADM Jim Seely. Island County Commissioner Jill Johnson and former commissioner Mac McDowell made the trip.
“They tell us we’re the only ones that come anymore,” she said. “They’re impressed that people from a small town would come every year.” It was a large contingent this year. In addition to Munns and Servatius, Councilwoman Tara Hizon, Mayor Scott Dudley, Finance Director Doug Merriman,
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with Sen. Patty Murray. Servatius said it’s clear that the community’s effort over the years has forged a strong
relationship with the military. While it’s not free to send officials to Washington D.C., Servatius said it was “money well spent.”
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In addition to the Pentagon visit, the Whidbey officials also met with Sen. Maria Cantwell, Rep. Rick Larsen and joined a “group session”
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Marine gives back through sailing instruction By CLAYTON CANFIELD Veterans Resource Center
Sailing a small boat is one of the most satisfying, relaxing and enjoyable outdoor activities I know. Using only the wind to move you and the boat from one place to another is not only an environmentally friendly, but also entails almost all the activities of a healthy outdoor life. Getting away from everyday hustle, bustle and noise; feeling fresh air in your face; and seeing the everchanging water, mountains, birds, and aquatic wildlife are all aspects of an enterprise that provides a great sense of relaxation, reflection and accomplishment.
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As a volunteer with the Whidbey Veterans Resource Center in Bayview, I jumped at the opportunity to teach sailing to veterans and their families last summer. I did this as a member of the South Whidbey Yacht Club and one of their sailing instructors. It was an extremely rewarding experience.
2014 was the first year that SWYC offered classes specifically for veterans and their families.
together and the indirect bond between all veterans and active duty service personnel is difficult to describe.
The veterans and their families were excited to learn and extremely appreciative of the whole experience. They have even asked us to start an intermediate class so they can progress. Having taken up sailing late in life as I did, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to a wide range of sailing experiences. These ranged from relaxing cruises in places like the San Juan Islands and Desolation Sound, to crewing on a 40-foot racing boat for many years, to sailing offshore between places like San Francisco, Seattle and Hawaii. The great thing about sailing is that you can pick the type of activity you want, from all-out racing, to ocean crossings, to spectacular sight-seeing, or simply relaxing on the deck and enjoying the sunset. Coming from a family with several veterans in it, I naturally gravitate toward people connected with the Real Estate for Sale Other Areas
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Thanks to his example, I also joined the Marine Corps but became a helicopter pilot and served a tour in Vietnam. My brother retired as a major from the National Guard.
Initially, sailing is similar to a number of activities that require getting used to multiple variables and coordination of several controls at the same time. To a few, it can be intimidating to first. Yet almost everyone I have sailed with loves it soon after they realize they can easily control the boat without help.
Thanks to my flying experiences, “finding the wind” comes naturally to me and is, of course, critical to sailing.
They realize very quickly that sailing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, as you are immersed in fresh air, nature and the weather.
The direct bond that is created between individuals who served
Feeling the breeze, figuring out how to sail to your destination
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Veterans and their families receive a significant discount. For more information about classes specifically for veterans and their families, and for information about other WVRC programs and services, please call 360-331-8081. We encourage all veterans and their families, and anyone who thinks it is too hard to learn, to come sail with us to see how easy, fun, fulfilling and relaxing it can be.
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Sign-up is through South Whidbey Parks and Recreation on Maxwelton Road near Langley. Each session comprises four threehour classes for a total of $200 for adults and $175 for youth.
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South Whidbey Yacht Club and the Whidbey Veterans Resource Center will conduct sailing classes again this summer in June and July on Lone Lake.
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Looking for a job with growth potential?
WE BUY VEHICLES PAID FOR OR NOT!
Visit www.ohsd.net for a complete posting and Online application instructions. Equal Opportunity Employer
We are currently hiring numerous positions in the Child Development Centers, Recreation Assistants, Outdoor Guides, Food Service Workers & Chef for the CPO and O’Club and Operations Assistant. Employee privileges include access to base facilities such as gyms, recreation centers, restaurants, and discount tickets to sporting and entertainment events. Background check req’d. Application online, www.navylifepnw.com Email: CP-Personnel.cnrnw @navy.mil or fax: (360) 396-5445 Open Until filled. EEOE.
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Naval Air Force salutes Peterson, Firewood Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet announced March 6, 2015 that Naval Aircrewman Helicopter 1st (NAC/AW/SW) Jesse Peterson and Search and Rescue Firewood 75 were named CNAP Enlisted Aircrewman of the Year and Association of Naval Aviation Helicopter Aviation Award, respectively. Peterson is a SAR helicopter inland rescue aircrewman, rescue crew chief and rescue swimmer. Last year, he was involved in five
civilian rescues that resulted in 11 lives saved. “Not only does he embody professionalism throughout his primary and many collateral duties,” said Capt. Michael Nortier, NAS Whidbey Island Commanding Officer, “Peterson selflessly volunteers countless hours in the community and leads a group of his peers as president of the First Class Association.” Peterson was singled out for one particular rescue where
his crew resource management between pilots, two rescue swimmers and Coast Guard Helicopter 97 were put to the test last July at Deception Pass. During the rescue of seven children and two adults stranded in kayaks in a kelp bed, he directed the rotor wash to blow the young survivors away from a nearby rock face and onto a beach for rescue. The crew of Firewood 75 received national attention during the devastating landslide in Oso, Wash., on March
22, 2014. Flying the MH-60S that day were Lt. Cmdr. David Wanter, Lt. Robert Merin, Naval Aircrewman Chief Richard Andraschko, former Naval Aircrewman 2nd Class David Scott and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brent McIntyre. Among the first on scene that morning, the crew quickly evaluated the area and deployed two crew members to locate, extract and treat trapped survivors. Firewood 75 continued to deliver additional rescue personnel to assist.
WHIDBEY ISLAND ARTISTS Greeting Cards
Ron Newberry photo
The exhibits inside the PBY-Naval Aircraft Museum in Oak Harbor include those honoring local veterans.
CONTINUED FROM A3 That plan is about five years off with the focus now on fundraising and providing a quality experience at the current site. Increased admission fees have coincided with the museum’s latest aircraft display addition. Admission is rising from $5 to $7 with $1 off for active duty, seniors and children. The museum also is looking for more volunteers to help staff the museum and, in particular, the new aircraft display area.
Lincoln Rock Farm Photography
Four volunteers now will be needed to staff both venues, doubling the previous number required. In the summer, there are plans for the public to begin touring the inside of the aircraft, Shellenberger said. So far, the move off base to downtown has resulted in an increase in attendance that Shellenberger hopes to see climb even more significantly.
“The number of visitors are up every month from the previous years,” he said. “We set a goal of reaching 8,000 visitors this year. That’s going to be a big increase. The last year at the Seaplane Base we had 3,300. We want to ramp up our number of visitors.” Deon Matzen
A ribbon cutting ceremony to open the new aircraft display is set for 11 a.m. April 1 with light refreshments served.
northcascadesharley.com 1337 G Goldenrod ld d Road, R d Burlington WA
We also feature cards from these fine artists: Jane Wilson, Betty Rayle, Roosje Penfold, Dan Karvasek, Craig Johnson, Veronica VonAllwörden, Gaylen Whiteman, J. Graham Ross and Mary Sanford
On Beautiful Whidbey Island
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