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Whidbey Crosswind The Puget Sound Veterans’ Monthly | MAY 2015


Tattoos have long been part of military culture z pg. 3


Wing 10 holds change of command ceremony

Contributed photo

Capt. Vincent W. Segars transfers command of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10 to Capt. Brett Mietus during a change of command ceremony at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Mietus relieved Segars during the change of command ceremony. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Caleb Cooper)

Reconnaissance Wing 10 held a change of command ceremony at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Thursday, April 2.

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Capt. Brett W. Mietus relieved Capt. Vincent W. Segars as commodore. Former commodore of Wing 10 and current operations officer, Naval Air Forces, Capt. Garner D. Morgan was the guest speaker. “He’s the kind of person who doesn’t strive for success,” said Morgan of outgoing commodore Segars. “He simply does what’s right for our country and our Navy,

every time.” Segars attributes his success as a leader to the personnel who make up Wing 10. “For Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 10 squadrons, units and staff, it’s been an honor to be your commodore,” Segars said. During Segars’ tenure as commodore, CPRW 10 oversaw 39,000 mishap-free flight hours, four patrol squadron deployments to 5th and 7th fleets and maintained continuous intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support in every theater of operations.

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or hundreds of years tattoos have held special meaning for sailors. They choose images that symbolize patriotism or to remember their travels. A superstitious seaman might pick a tattoo for luck. Tattoos are, of course, as individual as the people who want them. Like music, fashion or anything else, sailors’ tastes in tattoos come and go. Tattoo artist Kyle Gonzales does see some trends. He’s the owner of Thrasher Tattoo, an Oak Harbor tattoo and piercing shop that inks quite a few sailors. “I see all kinds of things, but traditional tattooing is picking up,” Gonzales said. “They want

to get the tattoo their grandfathers had.” In particular, more sailors are returning to the Sailor Jerry tattoos popular half a century ago. These images were created by tattoo artist and former Navy man Norman Collins, aka Sailor Jerry. His work was typified by bold colors and iconic images. Some of his most famous images include dice, swallows, bottles of booze, nautical stars, anchors and pin-up girls. Sailors who want more contemporary images are apt to choose something that holds significance in their lives, said tattoo artist Leo Salazar. A sailor might get a banner with a flower and the date of his mother’s death. “People are getting tattoos to identify with things they’ve been through,” Salazar said. And it’s not just young Navy men who want tattoos. About half of the shop’s customers

Debra Vaughn photo

Mike McKinnis, a former sailor, is inked on nearly every inch of his body. His photo also appears on the cover. Some of his many tattoos include reminders of his service, including an eagle claw wrapped in a piece of the stars and stripes. are women, many of them sailors. Plenty of grizzled old salty dogs come in for more ink after they’ve retired.

Now that he’s out of the service, he’s inked far more territory than the military would allow.

Mike McKinnis, a former sailor, found tattoos to be addictive. While he was in the Navy, he acquired patriotic tattoos, including an eagle claw wrapped in the flag. On his leg he has a tattoo of a bulldog in honor of his late brother, a Marine. McKinnis’ wife is an active duty sailor, and in honor of her, he has a Sailor Jerry– style cutie pie.

“It’s going on for life, and you can’t erase it,” he said. While sailors and tattoos go together like ships and grog, the Navy hasn’t always looked kindly on the practice. In 1909, the U.S. Navy prohibited indecent tattoos, according to “The Encyclopedia of Body Adornment” by Margo DeMello. The rule was largely

ignored for years, but in the 1940s an indecent tattoo became enough to get a sailor booted. Tattoo artists helped sailors by covering up naked girlies and turning them into clothed nurses, hula dancers or “Indian squaws.” Today the Navy considers the location, size and the image when determining whether a tattoo is acceptable. Tattoos aren’t allowed on the head, face, neck or scalp. Tattoos on the arms can’t be larger than the wearer’s extended hand. It’s not acceptable to have tattoos of anything deemed

obscene or sexually explicit. Tattoos can’t advocate discrimination or gang affiliation.

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IDENTIFICATION STATEMENT AND SUBSCRIPTION RATES PO Box 1200 | 107 S Main St, Suite 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 © 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. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENTS:

Base’s efficiency guru brings green tactics home By JANIS REID For Chris Taylor it was all about finding a balance.

and the community, be light, warm, energy efficient and “not so big.”

And as an energy efficiency specialist for Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, he had the expertise to build the perfect net-zero energy home.

A large house is “more to clean, more to heat,” Taylor said. “We really use every room in the house.”

But it had to be livable space too, Taylor said. Envisioning a home in keeping with the tiny house movement, which pairs spacial frugality with energy efficiency, Taylor purchased the Front Street property and “the ugliest house in Coupeville.” Intent on demolishing the home and starting largely from scratch, Taylor worked closely with Matthew Swett of Langley-based Taproot Architects to bring his dream house to life. “I’m an engineer, not an artist,” Taylor said. But Taylor laid out some general guidelines for the home. It needed to connect to nature

of Puget Sound, received seven first place ribbons at the Skagit-Island Counter Master Builders Home Tour and scores LEED Platinum. Taylor said he did all this for virtually the same price as a conventional home. In some cases there’s “an up-front investment,” Taylor said, but the financial savings they enjoy from the efficiencies will continue to pay off for many years.

Two years later, the finished product is a 1,700-square-foot home with a 1,400-square-foot basement and a free-standing, 600-square-foot cottage for guests.

While not all homeowners can build a home from scratch, there are small things that can be done to increase energy efficiency, Taylor said.

Though small by some standards, the design walks just the right line between form and function for the Taylors. “I love entertaining from the kitchen. … There are views from all sides,” said Taylor’s wife, Helen.

First, increase insulation, Taylor said, and second, switch to LED lighting.

But while she finds the home beautiful, it’s important to her that it consumes as few resources as possible.

Janis Reid photo

Helen, Chris and Jillian Taylor sit in the dining room of their home, “Front Haven,” on Front Street in Coupeville, built to generate all its own energy from thermal and solar energy sources.

“It’s kinder to the earth to not suck resources away,” Helen Taylor said.

intended to blend into the history of Coupeville, with rooflines designed at the same pitch as neighboring homes to keep

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Taylor also used locally forested wood from within 100 miles, used local contractors, the floors are natural bamboo and slate, and recycled materials were used to construct the deck.


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“It’s not sexy,” Taylor said; however, “I light my entire house with the about the same energy as most people use for their TVs.” Updating old or leaky windows is also a great way to keep heat in homes longer, Taylor said, and energy-efficient appliances can have an impact as well. “These houses really pay off,” said Taylor’s 12-year-old daughter Jillian. “You can use resources wisely, especially if it costs the same.” And while she is well aware of the house’s features, her favorite elements are the glass chandelier in the dining room and the view of Penn Cove from her bedroom. “I live in a beautiful place,” Jillian Taylor said. “I’m happy now.” TERI MENDIOLA

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Lifesaving actions by Navy couple lead to recognition Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dylan and Nicki Rae Murphy received personal thanks from Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley and the City Council at their meeting at City Hall April 7 for saving the lives of an elderly couple. Late on the afternoon of March 18, 2015, they responded to an accident at the corner of Taylor and Eastern Drive in the Crescent Harbor Navy Housing area. Murphy and his wife heard a loud noise from their home nearby. Upon investigation, they discovered a damaged vehicle had crashed through government property fencing, rupturing a gas line and causing gas to discharge over the vehicle and into the surrounding area. He discovered a disorientated passenger and a severely injured driver bleeding from a head injury caused by a fence post smashing though the vehicle’s window. Murphy immediately directed his wife

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Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dylan and Nicki Rae Murphy are thanked by Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley. to get the medical first aid kit from their home while he rendered assistance to the injured. Once the injured people were both removed from the area of danger, Murphy noticed that the fence post had severed the man’s left eye, and he immediately administered direct pressure to the man’s injury in order to minimize bleeding.

He then asked his wife to continue to administer first aid so that he could direct vehicle traffic away from danger until emergency personnel arrived. Murphy works at Ground Electronics at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station’s Operations Department. The recognition ceremony is available for viewing at

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40 years later, DAV Chapter 47 still serving veterans By RON NEWBERRY

The work space for Steve DeAvilla and other volunteers dedicated to helping disabled veterans in Oak Harbor is a tiny office with wood paneling and a window that doesn’t open.

said John Callahan, a DAV service officer and retired Navy master chief. “Everyone knows about the VA administration and their paperwork.”

It can get simmering during the summer months and chilly during the winter but nobody’s complaining. DeAvilla, commander of Disabled American Veterans Chapter 47, is grateful to be able to use the space, which is located at the rear of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7392 on Goldie Road. The office and an adjoining room that is used for support staff has been home to Whidbey Island’s DAV chapter since last July. “It’s not for our comfort. It’s to serve the veterans,” DeAvilla said. “Larger, smaller, as long as we’re doing what we need to do help the veterans, so be it.” Helping disabled veterans is the backbone of the DAV, a national veterans advocacy and assistance group that dates back to 1920.

DeAvilla, a veteran of both Vietnam and the Gulf War, found himself in similar need following his retirement from the Navy after 20 years in 1991.

Photo by Ron Newberry

John Callahan, left, and Steve DeAvilla, service officers with DAV Chapter 47 in Oak Harbor, hold the original charter that was started in Coupeville in May of 1975. The group is celebrating its 40-year anniversary. 16, 1975. Forty years later, DAV Chapter 47 is still fulfilling its mission, assisting disabled veterans and their dependents with paperwork, transportation and other free services.

The roundtrip ride is free for the veterans as are the other services provided by DAV volunteers. One of the most common needs is receiving help to obtain VA and other government services.

He was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and various physical ailments, which hindered his transition to the civilian workforce. Out of answers, he went to DAV Chapter 47 and was guided through the sea of paperwork. He ultimately received additional benefits after the VA rated him “100 percent unemployable.” He’s felt indebted to the DAV ever since and has been involved with Chapter 47 since 1994. He is one of four volunteer service officers assisting veterans.

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decided I would give back,” DeAvilla said. The group is looking for more volunteers, including van drivers. Through work study, college students help in the office by answering phone calls, scheduling van rides and other tasks. In 2014, service officers at DAV Chapter 47 helped 563 veterans with 1,730 hours of service. The roundtrip van service was used by 738 riders. The longtime home of Whidbey’s DAV chapter was the Seaplane Base at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station until last year when the group could no longer remain there rent free. The VFW opened its doors to the DAV, which is able to pay a share of utilities and other minimal costs. To reach DAV Chapter 47, call 360-682-2945.

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Whidbey Crosswind, April 24, 2015  
Whidbey Crosswind, April 24, 2015  

April 24, 2015 edition of the Whidbey Crosswind