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Veterans Life A Sound Publishing Monthly Magazine




o r

May 2012









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Memorial, one day or a state of mind? In this month of the annual Memorial Day observance we wanted to explore the idea of “memorial” as an everpresent and constantly ongoing process of veterans’ remembrance of their own service and that of comrades living, dead or some wicked combination in between.

helicopter flight, a whole campaign or an entire war can be memorialized in any number of ways. Every time I say my daughter Aza’s name aloud it is a memorial to a few seconds of my collective tours in the Middle East.

Most of our society stands up once a year to memorialize those who died in service to the nation. Maybe it’s enough when you consider the level to which memorials rise daily to honor everything from the 4th of July to Pear Harbor to 9/11 and that there are individual veterans groups looking after those memorials and trying to keep them relevant and at the forefront of the American view. Memorial Day itself is for the citizens of this nation to pay their respects to the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. As we get a litter deeper into the 21st Century, the concept of who gave their lives, and how and when, is expanding to include and consider some of the men and women walking among us today.

This months logic puzzle is a memorial to the first four Washington state men who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, including two peacetime awards. David Hartmann is back to explain how bird hunting has become a memorial for him and the men he served with in Afghanistan. In our monthly column The Bond, we explore the relationship between driver and his Bradley Fighting Vehicle

We are to remember too. In that context of remembrance, veterans of five generations of war today have a connection to memorials of all size and place that the overwhelming majority of our fellow citizens do not. A single incident on patrol, a flash of a second during

In the features of this edition Brett Cihon looks at the struggling tradition of getting Taps played for each veteran during their final lights out ceremony. Kate Whittle talked with veterans about art as a memorial and Chris Chancellor found out what the current condition of the Veterans of Foreign Wars is, and other organizations, that work to keep year-round memorials going in the community and across the state.

Much of the comment we got back from the first issue came in the form of veterans saying they want more information on resources. So we will begin to build a reference section both in print and online. Watch for it in the coming months. Sincerely, Greg Skinner Editor, veteran

INSIDE MEMORIAL DAY IN KITSAP COUNTY From the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Ivey Green Park in Bremerton to a small obelisk in Silverdale’s Waterfront Park dedicated to the community’s single World War I casualty, the memorials in Kitsap County offer a variety of locations to memorialize our war dead.




We came from all around the U.S. and it’s sure that our deployed roles didn’t really fit into the tidy doctrinal descriptions for which we had trained. But, it was war, things don’t always go according to plan.  

THE BOND These days, when I brag on myself as a driver I rarely bring up my best work – the 100 hour push through three divisions of Iraqi Republican Guard from behind the steering yoke of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.


1892 --- Indian Campaigns --- John E. --- Clancy --- Musician --- Rescued comrades under enemy fire, 1894 --- Civil War --- Hazard --- Stevens --- Captain --- led a party that captured a fort, 1897 --- Civil War --- John M --- Wilson --- First Lieutenant --- remained on duty while acutely ill, 1906 --- Philippine insurrection --- Edward --- Lyon --- Private --- Routed 300 enemy troops

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Veterans Life is published monthly by Sound Publishing Inc.; Corporate Headquarters: 19351 8th Avenue, Suite 106, Poulsbo, WA 98370. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $24/year via USPS. Copyright 2012 Sound Publishing Inc


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More PTSD docs on the way     Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki April 19 announced that the department would add approximately 1,600 mental health clinicians to improve the mental health services the agency provides veterans. The hiring program is looking to bring on nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers its existing workforce of 20,590 mental health staff as part of an ongoing review of mental health operations. “As the tide of war recedes, we have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to anticipate the needs of returning Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “History shows that the costs of war will continue to grow for a decade or more after the operational missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have ended. As more return home, we must ensure that all Veteranshave access to quality mental health care.”          VA’s ongoing review of mental health operations has indicated that some VA facilities require more mental health staff to serve the growing needs of Veterans. Based on the model for team delivery of outpatient mental health services, plus growth needs for the Veterans Crisis Line and anticipated increase in Compensation and Pension/Integrated Disability Evaluation System exams, VA projected the additional need for 1,900 clinical and clerical mental health staff. As these increases are implemented, VA will continue to assess staffing levels. VA will allocate funds from the current budget to all 21 Veterans Integrated Service Networks across the country this month to begin recruitment immediately. The announcement came just days before the findings of a major VA Inspector General report called for by Senator Murray to look into the long wait times for VA mental health care were announced. VA’s action is welcome news to Murray who has held multiple hearings

over the past year on overcoming barriers to VA mental health care. Murray will hold a third hearing on this subject in order to hear the Inspector General’s findings on Wednesday, April 25th. “This report confirms what we have long been hearing, that our veterans are waiting far too long to get the mental health care they so desperately need. It is deeply disturbing and demands action from the VA. This report shows the huge gulf between the time VA says it takes to get veterans mental health care and the reality of how long it actually takes veterans to get seen at facilities across the country,” Murray said. Under the leadership of President Obama and Secretary Shinseki, VA claims to have devoted more people, programs, and resources toward mental health services to serve the growing number of Veterans seeking mental health care from VA. Last year, VA provided specialty mental health services to 1.3 million Veterans. Since 2009, VA has increased the mental health care budget by 39 percent. Since 2007, VA has seen a 35 percent increase in the number of Veterans receiving mental health services, and a 41 percent increase in mental health staff. VA has enhanced services by integrating mental health care into the primary care setting, developed an extensive suicide prevention program, and increased the number of Veterans Readjustment Counseling Centers (Vet Centers). VA’s Veteran Crisis Line has received more than 600,000 calls resulting in over 21,000 rescues of Veterans in immediate crisis. To locate the nearest VA facility or Vet Center for enrollment and to get scheduled for care, Veterans can visit VA’s website at Immediate help is available at www.VeteransCrisisLine. net or by calling the Crisis Line at 1-800273-8255 (push 1) or texting 838255.

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Murray offers protection for veterans from unemployment and foreclosure U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) on April 18 introduced the Servicemembers Rights Enforcement Improvement Act of 2012. Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and friend of the veteran community, believes that many of the protections put in place to help shield our nation’s heroes— specifically the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act — have been violated in a disturbing number of cases in recent years. With high unemployment and foreclosure rates continuing to affect our nation’s veterans

and servicemembers, the act is co-sponsored by Senators Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The Servicemembers Rights Enforcement Improvement Act, which includes a number of proposals provided to the Congress by the U.S. Department of Justice, would strengthen the Department of Justice’s ability to enforce these laws on behalf of servicemembers and veterans. “Our men and women in uniform serve with tremendous dignity on the battlefield,” said Murray. “Our nation owes it to them to guarantee protection under the law when they return

home.” With ten years of Bush era use of the National Guard and Reserves for major roles in the fights in Afghanistan and Iraq, warrior-citizens must have airtight reemployment rights and financial protections when they are called to the colors, said VADM Norb Ryan,  President, Military Officers Association of America. “The Military Officers Association of America strongly supports the ‘Servicemembers R ights Enforcement Improvement Act of 2012’ and urges quick passage of the bill to strengthen enforcement of the rights of those who defend the rest of America,” Ryan said.

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Cola sought Spring Stand Down for veterans U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee joined with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) in sponsoring his legislation to increase veterans’ compensation through a Cost-of-Living Adjustment. The COLA increase is expected to affect several important benefits, including veterans’

disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. It is projected that over 3.6 million veterans and survivors will receive compensation benefits in Fiscal Year 2013. “Last year’s passage of the COLA bill I sponsored provided a much needed cost-of-living increase for the first time since 2009,” said Chairman Murray. “Particularly in this difficult economy, our veterans deserve a boost in their benefits to help make ends meet. We have an obligation to the men and women who have sacrificed so much to serve our country and who

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now deserve nothing less than the full support of a grateful nation. A COLA increase will help bring us one step closer to fulfilling our nation’s promise to care for our brave veterans and their families.” Tester’s Veterans’ Compensation Cost-ofLiving Adjustment Act of 2012 directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to increase the rates of veterans’ compensation to keep pace with a rise in the cost-of-living, should an adjustment be prompted by an increase in the Consumer Price Index. The bill specifies that the increase would affect veterans’ disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children, and certain related benefits. The COLA increase for veterans will match the annual increase provided to Social Security recipients. The COLA is designed to offset inflation and other factors that lead to the rising cost of living over time. The COLA rate is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.

Veterans agencies in Kitsap County will provide a series of free services for veterans and their families during the Stand Down Saturday, May 5, at the Sheridan Park Community Center, in Bremerton. One of the main goals of Kitsap County Veterans Assistance Program coordinator Leif Bentsen is to get every veteran in attendance at the Stand Down event to sign up for VA medical. Doing so will begin the needed work of showing the VA that there is a need for more and better medical services for the Kitsap County veteran community. “The big push is to get people to enroll in VA Healthcare,” Bentsen said. Stand Down is cosponsored by the Kitsap Area Veterans Alliance, Kitsap County Veterans Assistance Program and the City of Bremerton. The stand down is for veterans only and their family members, ID is required for entry. Veterans need to bring their DD214s or ID cards that proves military service. Unaccompanied spouses will need to bring the veteran’s ID and marriage certificate. “It’s very important that veterans bring more than one copy of the their DD214. Especially if they want to apply or enroll for veteran-related services with different agencies,” said Bentsen. Free groceries, legal counseling, foreclosure advice, VA benefits, haircuts, a hot meal, and dental screening are just a few examples of items and services available to veterans and their family members at the Spring Stand Down for Veterans and Their Families. There will be a wide variety of services from several agencies including the Lions Club Vision Team, Dr. Wally Volz and the Mobile Dental Clinic from Medical Teams International will provide dental screening; DSHS representatives will help with modification of child support payments, dealing with debt, CASH, and Basic Food programs. New this year, Habitat for Humanity Repair Corps, a partnership between Habitat

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and Home Depot, will be present. Thirtysix Habitat affiliates in 21 states across the country have been selected to participate in an $800,000 pilot program managed by Habitat for Humanity International. Home repair grants will be allocated in amounts up to $10,000 for each Repair Corps project. Repair Corps grants will pay for needed home repairs from insulation and weather stripping to the installation of wheelchair ramps and renovated bathrooms and doorways to accommodate disabled veterans. Larger repairs such as roofing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and structural improvements will also be available. The program is designed under the same model as new homes built for Habitat families where the veteran will repay the zero interest loan necessary for these repairs, which is then deposited into a revolving fund to assist additional families in need of decent housing. The Home Depot Foundation is committed to ensuring that every U.S. military veteran has a safe place to call home. In April 2011, the Foundation pledged a three-year, $30 million initiative to address veterans’ critical housing needs. Since its formation in 2002, The Home Depot Foundation has granted more than $270 million to nonprofit organizations improving homes and lives in local communities. Veteran service officers will be available and help with disability or pension claims or benefits with federal, state and county veteran programs. Abraham’s House will offer free clothing, sleeping bags, and camping gear for our brothers and sisters still sleeping outside. A representative from the VA Homeless Program will be in attendance. The Stand Down will take place between 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. The Sheridan Park Community Center is located at 680 Lebo Street, near the Warren Avenue Bridge in East Bremerton. For more information, go to the veterans/VABoard.htm or call Leif Bentsen at 360.337.4883.

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Memorial Day in Kitsap County

From the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Ivey Green Park in Bremerton to a small obelisk in Silverdale’s Waterfront Park dedicated to the community’s single World War I casualty, the memorials in Kitsap County offer a variety of locations to memorialize our war dead. Another grave, in Port Gamble holds the remains of a Coxswain Gustav Englebrecht, the only US KIA in the local 1856 “Indian Wars.” At the county’s Veteran’s Memorial Park, which borders Port Orchard, at the base of a flag near the restrooms, there is a plaque dedicated to eight veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. A Korean War memorial is situated at the county fairgrounds. In the northern reaches of Kitsap County the Suquamish Tribe dedicated a new and stunning veter-

ans memorial on Nov. 11, 2010.

County events Saturday, May 26 – The Unforgotten, Run to Tahoma III, at 10:45 a.m. Veterans will receive the unclaimed remains of deceased veterans from the Kitsap County Coroner in a brief ceremony and escort them in a cortege to Tahoma National Ceremony. The event takes place outdoors at the coroner’s office, 5010 NW Linden St., which is next to Pendergast Park in West Bremerton. There is no seating, so bring a lawn chair and dress for the weather. When you arrive, follow the signs for ceremony parking or joining the cortege line to Tahoma National Cemetery. There will be a 20 minute break following the ceremony and before the departure for


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Monday, May 28 - The annual Memorial Day Service at Forest Lawn Cemetery is hosted by the Fleet Reserve Association Bremerton Branch 29. The service starts at 11 a.m. at 5409 Kitsap Way in Bremerton.

Tacoma. Sunday, May 27th Miller-Woodlawn will have their annual Memorial Weekend. On Saturday, May 26 flags will be placed on the graves of veterans in the cemetery. On Sunday May 27th at 8 p.m. there will be a service with an Honor Guard and Boy Scouts will be present. Attendees should arrive early in order to find a parking spot. 5505 Kitsap Way, Bremerton (360)3777648

Cemetery is the site of the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” honoring those fallen military men and women. John H. Nibbe, Civil War hero is also buried here, as well as Wesley Harris, the Marine for which the Navy gun range near Seabeck is named after.

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mined. A longer service will follow at the Legion Hall Flags will be placed on the graves of Bainbridge vet-

Monday, May 28 – Ivy Green Cemetery at 1401 Naval Avenue in Bremerton will host a Memorial Day observance with Veteran’s of Foreign War District No. 4 and local VFW Post 239 at 1 p.m. in the large military section where all services are represented. Ivy Green


Monday, May 28 – American Legion Post 245 and VFW Post 2463, Kingston, are hosting thier annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Waterfront Park in downtown Poulsbo. The proceedings start at noon and this year’s guest speaker is Becky Erickson, mayor of Poulsbo.


Monday, May 28 - The USS Turner Joy is host to a Memorial Day Service from 10 a.m. to noon, sponsored by the Kitsap Harbor Festival. (360)792-2457 Monday, May 28 - The Bainbridge Island Memorial Day Service, sponsored by the American Legion Colin Hyde Post 172 at the Bainbridge High School Veterans Memorial. The time is still to be deter-


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American war deaths B










the number of American combat deaths since 1775, a time that has seen 1,343,812 services members die while serving the nation’s military needs.



the number of combat deaths in World War I, which saw 116,516 die.


the number of combat deaths in the Revolutionary War, which saw 25,000 colonial forces die.

the number of combat deaths in the American Expeditionary Force Siberia, which saw 168 die between 1918 and 1920.



the number of combat deaths in the War of 1812, which saw 20,000 Americans die.

the number of combat deaths in World War II, which saw 405,399 die.



the number of combat deaths in the Yakima War of 1855-1856, which saw 34 soldiers die.

the average number of service members to die per day during World War II


the number of combat deaths in the Korean War, which saw 36,516 die.


the number of combat deaths in the Civil War, which saw an estimated total of 625,000 Americans die.


the number of combat deaths during the Cold War which lasted from 1947 to 1991.


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the number of combat deaths in the Vietnam War, which saw 58,209 die.


the number of Marines killed in the U.S. Embassy in Beruit bombing in 1983.


the number of combat deaths in the Persian Gulf War, which saw 258 killed.


the number of combat deaths in the War on Terror, which has seen 6,280 die in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.


the average number of service members to die per day in the War on Terror.

the number of U.S. military members missing at war since World War I.

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An Afghan war veteran and his comrades shoot birds and remember By David Hartmann We came from all around the U.S. and it’s sure that our deployed roles didn’t really fit into the tidy doctrinal descriptions for which we had trained.  But, it was war, things don’t always go according to plan.   I deployed to Afghanistan in 2003 as an activated Army Reserve officer on an engineer team of six soldiers who for some months worked closely day in and day out on various projects and missions.  And we grew pretty tight during that year and we managed to stick together and all get through the tough spots.  Call it a team, unit, band of brothers; any number of the clichés you’ve heard probably apply. Whatever the title, I still count those men as family, probably as close to brothers as an only child will ever have.  At the end of our tour, we all swore to keep in touch and at least try to get together again. To that end, with nearly a decade passed it is happening.  We mainly keep in touch through email, Christmas cards, the occasional picture and phone calls. The first reunion was in Vegas with the spouses. That was a blast, you can’t not have fun in Vegas and it was great catching up, but we’d all brought our wives along assuming they were somehow as close as we are. There was a surprising realization on that trip – a head-slapper. The six of us men spent so much time shedding sweat, blood, and tears together while sharing stories of our lives and families back home, we could practically tell each others’ stories. I knew how Nick met his wife, how Dan’s daughter got her name, and could probably sketch out the farm where Carl grew up as if I’d actually been there. It didn’t dawn on any of us that our wives only got a few stories and those were secondhand through their husbands. Everyone was cordial, but, since we all lived far from each other, even through the deployment, the wives were pretty much strangers to each other.  A year or two after Vegas most of us managed to get together  in South Dakota to hunt their prized state bird during a reunion pheasant hunting trip.  Everyone road-tripped in from various corners of the American West and set up in Sioux Falls where pheasant hunting is a state tradition.  Our hotel was a little on the posh side, especially for a group of guys who lived for a year in a tent.  But, in South Dakota we were treated like royalty and nobody batted an eye as we strolled in with our gun cases and orange hats.   I love that state. You can only pheasant hunt in the afternoons and it tends to encourage hunters to partake of the nightlife. Yes we each managed to bag a few birds, but I had more fun in the evenings eating big dinners just reminiscing with the guys over drinks.  It was truly awesome to catch up with them and find out everyone seemed to be doing well. Carl and Big Dan had retired from the Army Reserve and I wasn’t far behind them.   Nick, Frank, and Little Dan were still in fighting the

good fight and expecting another deployment sometime soon. Another couple years ticked by with lots of emails, a few phone calls, and a couple other failed attempts at reunions. We finally managed to put together another hunting trip, just the guys.  A lesson from Vegas, and it just seemed that the logistics were easier. This time it was wild turkey, the animal, not the bottle.  Again, all-night drives and a convergence on South Dakota. This time to the the western reaches of the state in Black Hills, near where I grew up. 

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We met up to try do-it-yourself hunting where there is plenty of National Forest land and plenty of turkeys to shoot.  In reality, it didn’t take much effort to set up at the end of a logging road, start calling, and get the gobblers to answer us. That first day, we played around with a few turkeys but never did get a shot off.  Over dinner and drinks at the end of day one, we opted to phone a friend. Bob had a family friend “Some stories, you that had a good line on when and just can’t tell to where to set up people who weren’t for birds. 


Armed with his advice and an David Hartmann actual full night’s sleep, we really got into the turkeys. Three birds were down by the end of day two before settling into another night of catching up. Family vacations to tropical or touristy places are fine. But, its also true that I had some of the most fun of my adult life just spending time with guys again.  We carried on like we’d grown up together in the Waltons’ house. I should qualify this fun though. Another realization crept in again, like it had on the first couple reunions. As truly uplifting as it was to meet up and resume sharing life with these guys, some of the stories eventually turned to the bad days downrange. War veterans know what I’m talking about.  Some stories, you just can’t tell to people who weren’t there.  I have yet to be invited back to a group of local poker buddies to whom, after imbibing a bit much, I let slip a couple Afghan anecdotes that I thought were fairly tame.  Like most vets, I’ve learned to censor myself in the interest of keeping the peace, both internal and external.  So in among the belly laughs and “remember when”s, our group picked at a couple sore spots here and there. Sleep doesn’t come quite as easy so shortly after a scab or two is scratched off. But, in the company of brothers, bleeding a little bit again makes the whole body a little stronger. We tell ourselves that scars heal, veterans have nightmares, and that is just the way it is and in the end I know we were better for it. I can not wait to meet up with my brothers again.

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by K.S. Keeker

Since the first Congressional Medal of Honor was awarded to Private Jacob Parrott on March 25, 1863, there have been 3,458 other recipients. Of those, 33 Medals of Honor are accredited to Washington State. But who were the first four of the Evergreen State’s wartime honorees and what did they do to earn a medal? Hint: All four served in the U.S. Army. From the clues listed below, can you determine the first (Edward, Hazard, John E. or John M.) and last names (Clancy, Lyon, Stevens or Wilson) of the four soldiers; the war they fought in (Civil War, Civil War, Indian Campaigns or Philippine Insurrection); their rank (captain, first lieutenant, musician or private); the year they were given the medal (1892, 1894, 1897 or 1906) and what CLUES: 1. The solider who fought in the Indian Campaigns was awarded the Medal of Honor before Hazard, who was awarded the medal before the soldier surnamed Wilson, who was awarded the medal at some before the soldier who routed 300 enemy troops. 2. The soldier who remained on duty while acutely ill isn’t the one named surnamed Stevens.


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they did to earn it (led a party that captured a fort, remained on duty while acutely ill, rescued comrades under enemy fire or routed 300 enemy troops). Note: Two peacetime Medals of Honor are accredited to Washington State. Harry D. Fadden, a coxswain in the U.S. Navy, was awarded a medal on July 31, 1903, for rescuing a fellow sailor from drowning during training aboard the U.S.S. Adams on June 30, 1903. And Raymond E. Davis, a quartermaster in the U.S. Navy, was awarded a medal on Jan. 5, 1906, for his heroism during a boiler explosion on the U.S.S. Bennington on July 21, 1905. Answer provided on page 3

3. Edward White fought in the Philippine Insurrection. 4. Neither John M. nor Hazard is the soldier surnamed Clancy, who was a musician. 5. The soldier who was awarded the medal in 1906 wasn’t the captain, who isn’t the soldier that rescued comrades under enemy fire. 6. The solider who fought in the Civil War isn’t surnamed Wilson.

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By Brett Cihon Alone, Bob O’Neil finishes the last notes of Taps. He stands a moment, lowers his trumpet and wipes his brow with his uniformed shirtsleeve. Sobs from the memorial fill the warm April day at the Tahoma National Cemetery. O’Neil quietly backs away from the group. Within seconds he’s jogging down the cemetery road. “We have one right now at 2,” he says through heavy breaths. “Then 2:15 and 2:30. I can talk after that.”

“This is warm air powered by a human heart.”

The hardest 24 notes in the world

O’Neil slows only as he approaches committal shelter number two, one of four shelters where marines, soldiers, sailors, coast guard and their wives and other are memorialized at the National Cemetery serving the puget sound reagion. Three members of the Marine Honor Guard are lined up, waiting for the funeral procession of a Korean War Veteran. One of the young marines, Lance Corporal Robert Smith, is holding a small bugle with an electronic piece inserted into the brass tubing. O’Neil walks up to Smith. “Put that away son,” he says. O’Neil is one of sixteen volunteer buglers in the bugle core at the Tahoma National Cemetery. Four times a month, O’Neil drives from his home in Tacoma to the cemetery to play the 24 notes of Taps for as many as 20 memorial services a day. At the end of each day his feet ache and his mouth is sore from the seven hours of memorial music played. But the retired Lieutenant Colonel finds solace in the fact that he has provided hundreds of American Veteran’s their final song. He also finds solace in the fact that his fallen comrades didn’t have to hear their Taps from a fake bugle. “This is warm air powered by a human heart,” says O’Neil, positioning himself for his third service of the day. “The other thing is electronic. It’s not the same.” The “other thing”

O’Neil mentions is what has come to be known as a Ceremonial Bugle. Described on the website as “a dignified method of playing Taps at a military funeral when a live bugler is not available,” the Ceremonial Bugle is a bugle with an electronic disk inserted into the horn. The Ceremonial Bugle allows a servicemen to present the illusion of a live rendition of Taps. The website calls the Ceremonial Bugle and it’s “symbolic playing” of Taps, a more respectful means to honor those who served.


In 2004, a USA Today article quoted Mark Ward, the Pentagon’s senior policy adviser, that about 4,000 fake bugles were purchased for military services. Tom Day, the founder of a nonprofit group Bugles Across America, said 16, 000 Ceremonial Bugles are used at around 35 percent of all military memorials in

“A recording of Taps is what I would consider stolen dignity, A man or a woman who has served their country deserves live Taps.” Tom Day, founder of nonprofit group Bugles Across America




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the U.S. each year. That number is compared to the 35 percent of military services that use a live bugler. The rest, he said, use CD players or do not play Taps at all. Day started the nonprofit following a 2000 law, that amended The Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act, entitled veterans to military funeral honors. The law promises two service members to fold and present the flag to surviving family members and a bugler to sound Taps. If a bugler is not available, the SSCRA reads, a high-quality CD or digital bugle will be used. But Day didn’t think a digital bugle, or sometimes no sound at all – just because the government guarantees it, it doesn’t make it so – was good enough. “A recording of Taps is what I would consider stolen dignity,” Day said. “A man or a woman who has served their country deserves live Taps.” Slowly, Day’s organization found the ability to provide live Taps for more memorials. With 65 years in marching and music, Day has watched Bugles Across America grow to 8,000 members strong from his home in Illinois. Buglers as young as 12 and as old as 92, including over 2,500 women, have played Taps at more than 200,000 funerals since 2000. All of these funerals are done by volunteers like O’Neil. No pay, no compensation. Only the knowledge of playing what Day call-

sTthe hardest 24 notes in the world while men and women who served the country are lowered into the ground.

From Kelly Strong’s Poem “Freedom is not Free” I heard the sound of Taps one night, When everything was still. I listened to the bugler play And felt a sudden chill. I wondered just how many times That Taps had meant “Amen” When a flag had draped a coffin of a brother or a friend.

There is one tangible benefit, though. Those interested in playing for Bugles Across America receive a free horn. In effort to solidify live Taps, Day and his organization will send a $150 dollar bugle to anyone who wants to join. For beginners he supplies a mouthpiece and various CD’s and instructional books on the bugle. Once someone demonstrates Taps over the phone to Day using the mouthpiece, they’re part of the bugle core. No dues or monthly fees, Day says. He’ll even supply a uniform. Still heaving from the jog, O’Neil lines up and waits for the funeral procession. A grizzled white hand pats him on the back. “Where you been?” asks John Way, the Honor Guard Commander from American Legion Post 239 in Bellevue. “You haven’t been slacking off on us again, have you?” Way is one of ten or so men from American Legion Posts 239, Post 99 in Kirkland and Post 78 in Auburn that twice a month make up the memorial color guard at Tahoma. Aged veterans of WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam make up the memorial honor guard team along with two active duty service members, lead the bevy of memorials.

Ambassadors for the cemetery, they watch and speak with the grieving family of the lost veteran. They read prepared statements at the memorial. They issue the 21-gun salute. They hand a rose to the husband or wife of the bereaved. Opinionated and always with an eye for tradition, members of the memorial honor guard recognize the importance of O’Neil and his horn. Way says

there comes a moment in every ceremony right after the guns are sounded and Taps starts to play that he always has to fight back tears. Veteran James Marr, from Post 99, says that men who gave up their lives in the face of real atrocities and real horrors should at the very least be provided with a real horn at the end of their days. Having done hun-

dreds of funerals, Alan Schneder of Post 99 remembers private ceremonies when Taps was played from a boom-box. “It takes away from the whole thing,” he says. O’Neil says that the services do their best to provide active duty live buglers. The Army and Navy do a decent job of trying to assign a bugler to every ceremony, he

VFW Standing together as a memorial Declines in VFW membership not as severe in Washington state, getting younger veterans involved remains a challenge

By CHRIS CHANCELLOR Groups cluster together at each four-seat table with another veteran often pulling up a chair to join in the conversation. There are few details that would distinguish this scenario from any other casual get together as many of the patrons enjoy their favorite domestic beer and a variety of foods from the bar that rests just steps away. Bonanza, a popular American Western TV show during the 1960s, is featured on the TV. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2669 on Bay Street in Port Orchard, which opened Sept. 10, 1932, is not different than most. The majority of the crowd inside the establishment are Baby Boomers – or older. “If we can’t get the younger kids this post will die along with others all around the country,” said Roger Montez, 63,

of Port Orchard. He served from 1967-76. “There’s still a thought process that it’s an old-mans club.” Post 2669 recently initiated five younger veterans and he encourages them to put their own mark on the organization. Instead of watching reruns of famous TV shows from the 1960s or ’70s, Montez said younger members could bring in live bands to perform at night. “Change this place around,” he said. “You’ve earned the right. It is a part of your heritage.” George “Corky” Berthiaume, who is the VFW office manager for Washington state’s daily activities and is a member of the national council of administration for our state, Idaho and Montana, said local posts have fared better than most. The VFW, which has 29,000 members in the state, has seen about a 15 percent decline during the last decade and “we

probably won’t drop any” this year. That is much better than the national picture, where many states have seen 40 to 50 percent declines in membership. Why the post have not declined as much is attributed to the military presence in the area. In addition to naval bases in Kitsap, Everett and Whidbey Island, there is Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Pierce County. The latter has experienced substantial growth in recent years and has sent more troops to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq than any other base in the nation. Berthiaume, who served 38 years, including stints in South Korea and Vietnam, believes that age should not be an issue when it comes to joining the VFW. While camaraderie is a buzzword among those who join the organization, Berthiaume said the VFW also serves as an

important political organization. In an era where deficits – and budget cutting mechanisms – are regular discussion points among politicians, the military is not immune from that. Perhaps none are more significant than veterans benefits. “That brings more of the veterans to us because we’re the ones that speak for them,” Berthiaume said. “Active-duty military cannot go out and protest.” Berthiaume, who scheduled a meeting with Sen. Patty Murray earlier this month to discuss those issues, said the VFW takes positions that should appeal to younger veterans. Among those are looking at ways to curb unemployment rates – job numbers for January revealed that unemployment among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan was 9.1 percent, but it was as much as 15.2 percent – and discussion about increasing health-care premiums and reducing coverage for activeduty military and their families in additions to those who are retired. “We just want to ensure the veterans are taken care of,” Berthiaume said. “Our biggest goals are to see that

those (benefits) are not cut. They’re at absolute minimums right now. “That was the understanding for their sacrifices. They don’t need to be reneging on that.” Though the VFW says they advocate, they are restricted from direct lobbying. Another significant medical issue within the military for the last several years has been Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition that results from experiencing a traumatic event, such as mortality. Known symptoms include frequent nightmares, flashbacks, irritability and reclusiveness. Recovery from PTSD can be quick or a lifelong ordeal.

“Change this place around. You’ve earned the right. It is a part of your heritage.” Roger Montez

“We see how it has helped veterans and families deal with physical wounds and PTSD,” Berthiaume said. “It makes you feel good and it’s healing for yourself.” Berthiaume said the best way for veterans to fight for their issues is en masse. “We don’t have mega millions of dollars,” he said. “The only way we have any impact with the Legislature

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is passionate appeals.” Pete Cholometes, commander of VFW Post 239 in Bremerton, attributes some of the organization’s recruiting efforts of younger veterans to knowledge. “People don’t even understand what VFW means,” he said. “They just think it’s some other organization.” Cholometes, 70, who served in Vietnam, believes the VFW’s slogan change

should help with those efforts. It was changed from “Honor the Dead by Helping the Living” to “No One Does More for Veterans.” Local VFW’s have been busy recently with the construction of honor walls to memorialize veterans. Fred Needham Post 2669 began work in March on a 24-footlong, 6-foot-high brick wall that could list as many as 12,000 veterans’ names at the Port of Bremerton

Marina Park. Port Orchard also will feature a similar Wall of Honor along the waterfront. That one will be 28-feet long and 6-feet high. Montez said all 600 bricks on the front side of the wall have been sold, while about 500 remain for purchase at the other end. The cost is $30 per brick. Unlike many walls, neither Bremerton nor Port Orchard’s is a momorial and anyone who has served can purchase a brick, accord-

ing to Montez. Another local VFW project is the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” which honors fallen military men and women at Ivy Green Cemetery in Bremerton. Cholometes believes the only similar memorial is in Washington, D.C. Those are just a couple of the volunteer efforts conducted through local VFW’s. But if membership continues to erode to the point that

they eventually no longer are in existence, will any people or organizations step forward to honor them? Berthiaume is not certain. He recently returned from spending six days in Washington, D.C., for business purposes, but he made sure to stop by Arlington National Cemetery. Berthiaume, who made his first visit there since 1959, said he was appalled by what he experienced. He said respect for veterans has deteriorated during the last half century. “Even the respect of veterans who were laid in Arlington is not there,” he said. “It says to be quiet. There was a group of people there who were laughing and joking. I stopped them to remind them this is a place people died for you to have the right to freedom.” In a sense, Berthiaume finds that trend more troubling than the VFW’s dwindling participation numbers. Veterans need time to recognize the benefits of joining his organization. “The Vietnam veterans were the same way,” he said. “They weren’t in any hurry to come into the VFW.” Montez, who now is a regular at his post, is an example of that. He said he

did not consider joining the VFW until “six or seven years ago” when his friends informed him about the organization and outlined the potential benefits of joining. Cholometes said a 24-year-old woman recently stopped by his post to fill out paperwork to join the organization, and Montez said five younger veterans stopped by his post recently to inquire about joining. Berthiaume is optimistic that the VFW might have more success recruiting those who served during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom because they are “interested in seeing better treatment than Vietnam veterans.” “It’s the bond that we have,” Berthiaume said. “It’s the life experience. They feel more comfortable with people that have seen the same as they have.” Cholometes believes that is a message VFW leaders need to communicate beyond the slogan change. “You will find that people will tell more about themselves when someone has been through the same thing in the same time frame,” he said. “I’ve been shot at and rocketed at just like everyone else over there.”

Sergeants to Sculptors Women veterans commemorate experience and find therapy in art by KATE WHITTLE When Sam Powers sat down to paint a mask as part of an art activity for veterans at Olympic Community College in Bremerton, she wasn’t aiming for anything fancy. Powers, a diminutive 30-year-old who wears pink pearl jewelry, is also an Air Force veteran who recently finished a doctorate in higher education. She doesn’t consider herself an artist. The end product, a black mask adorned with gold flowers on one half and gears and cogs on the other, represents the “duality of man and machine,” she said, something many veterans express – having to shut down their expressive, human sides to become goal-achieving automatons. Women make up nearly 15 percent of active-duty U.S. military, and their involvement has been growing since the 1970s. The more and more that women

come back from time in service collecting intense experiences, the more, it seems, they turn to arts to memorialize their experience.

Women’s art nationally

At the non-profit Swords to Plowshares office in San Francisco, women veteran coordinator Star Lara is curating the fourth annual Shout! women veteran’s art exhibit. Lara, an army veteran who served two tours

in Iraq, said the Shout! art exhibit is one way women create a community. “I definitely think the female veteran’s artist community is growing, as the number of women who’ve served grows,” she said.

The veterans’ art community creates bonds that cross coast to coast. Navy veteran Charlie Palumbo, another passionate veterans’ advocate that Lara knows, is based in Charlottesville, Virginia. The two met through

Palumbo’s “Veteran Artist” Facebook page. Today, Palumbo is an active volunteer and advocate in the veteran artist community. But a few years ago, Palumbo felt isolated and confused after leaving the Navy. “You get out and you’re like, ‘now what do I do? Nobody’s taking care of me and I don’t know who I relate with,’” Palumbo said.

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Palumbo joined the Navy in 1998 after graduating high school. She was on a ship near Japan on Sept. 11, 2001. Everything changed, and she found the transition to loaded weapons and barbed wires and curfews abrupt. The long working hours and 300-day stretches out to sea took its toll on her energy. After getting out of the military in 2004, she felt lucky to have her husband, a navy man who she served with, but still needed an outlet. One day sometime in 2008, she saw an ad on Craigslist for an expressive arts therapy group. She wasn’t sure what it was, exactly, but she’d been looking for some kind of community of women to join

“We tend not to accept paintings of bunnies by veterans,” Levi Moore

“It was no big ‘I wanna serve my country’ thing, I was a victim of the economic draft,” Erica Slone, an Iraq veteran.

and it seemed interesting. At first, the class seemed goofy. The teacher encouraged her to paint how she felt, and then dance with her painting to tell her story on a physical level. “I was like, ‘okay, you’re crazy, I don’t know why anybody would dance with their painting,’” Palumbo said. But as Palumbo painted, danced and learned how to meditate in the classes, she worked through lingering bitterness and anger and decided to be proud about her time in service. In 2010, the poet Palumbo wrote “The Face of a Memory: Emerging from the Military through Poetic Voice,” a memoir of vignettes about people she served with, characters like “The Chef” and “The Texan.” She took each story to the person it was about. “And each one was really willing to read it and go through the journey and allow me the space to heal,” she said. Even finding a cover photo for “Face of a Memory” became emotional. She’d seen the photo of an Iraq war veteran on a photography site, felt drawn to the vibrant, intense face and messaged the photographer

to ask to use it. It turned out the photo was of Sergeant Jared Savage, who died in an explosion in Mosul, Iraq in 2008. Many works by veterans end up at the National Veteran’s Art Museum in Chicago, which showcases hundreds of works inspired by conflicts in recent U.S. history. “We tend not to accept paintings of bunnies by veterans,” said Levi Moore, the museum’s executive director. “We like to have them hone in on their experience.” In May 2012, the veterans art museum will wrap up a special exhibit, Overlooked/ Looked Over, which featured eight women veteran artists. “Overlooked/Looked Over,” was curated by Erica Slone, an Iraq veteran who uses art to remember her years of service in Qatar and Iraq. Slone, a former Air Force staff sergeant, meant the title as a reference to the Mae West quote, “I’d rather be looked over than overlooked,” as a jab at the ways women are treated in the armed forces. Slone graduated from an Ohio high school, got a car and an apartment and worked at a GM factory

making car parts. One day, she realized she made the same amount of money as workers who’d been there 18 years. In 2002, she decided she’d have a better chance at escaping rural Ohio and finding a better living by joining the Air Force. “It was no big ‘I wanna serve my country’ thing, I was a victim of the economic draft,” she said. Her first station was in Ohio, ironically, but then she was deployed to locations in Qatar and Iraq. She spent part of 2006 in Mosul, Iraq. “We were constantly getting mortared and RPGed,” she said. She was good at what she did, and was promoted to E5 Staff Sergeant, but started feeling misgivings about the value of war and her place in life. Serving under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as a gay woman became grating. Slone was discharged in 2008, and decided to immediately enter Ohio State University to study art. She was scared because of the lousy economy, but also because she wasn’t sure if art was a selfish choice. Transitioning from a staff sergeant to an art student wasn’t easy, starting from the first day of every class,

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when students introduce themselves. The moment she’d introduced herself as a veteran, she was met by blank faces.

“In general, art, like any other facet of our culture, women are less represented,” she said. She hopes that will change.

Slone doesn’t think of her work as a deliberate comment on war or the military, but finds that writing and sculpting has become her way of remembering her experiences. She recalls very little of her military experiences until she starts making art and forming a narrative.

Of the 255 artists in permanent exhibits at the veteran’s art museum, director Moore said, only about five are women.

Since then, she’s developed a community of veterans and artists, leading up to being asked to curate the National Veteran’s Art Museum Overlooked/Looked Over exhibit.

As more women veterans are dealing with combat trauma because of the changing nature of war, Moore expects to see more submissions. It often takes a few years after a conflict’s end for veterans to start producing artwork. Moore expects to see more Iraq and Afghanistan

veterans creating and submitting art between 2013 and 2017. The U.S. Veteran’s Artist Alliance in Los Angeles provides a gallery space and loose-knit membership to connect veterans with therapy resources. “People’s minds are changing toward how we can apply the arts as therapy,” said artistic director Keith Jeffreys. “We’re really at the forefront, so there are not a lot of female veterans that are using art as therapy, but they are there,” he said.

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The funeral procession comes to a stop in front of O’Neil. About 15 cars in total. A woman with gray hair and shaky at the knees needs help walking from the car to the front seat of the service. Her middle-aged daughter guided her to the seat. The daughter hugged her husband and took a seat in the front row. Slowly, other family members filled vacant seats. The old woman shields her eye from the sun.


Each memorial ceremony is different but strangely the same, Way says. As many as 150 cars have followed an urn to the front of a service pew. And they have as few as one solitary visitor, watching the service in the rain. The service is a great way to help lead people through their grief, help family’s take solace from knowing their loved one was put to rest.

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If they used a Ceremonial Bugle at his funeral, he’d be O.K. with it, Smith says.

“This is a good family,” O’Neil says quietly.

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says. But since active duty military receive a $50 stipend for each service, O’Neil says, a live bugler is not always fiscally feasible. That’s where active duty service men like Corporal Smith come in. With a feather touch on the nob and his cheeks puffed like a robin, Smith says he imitates a live bugle pretty well. He says the family still has the live bugler effect, and that a ceremonial bugle is bet-

This year marks the 150th anniversary of

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Taps. Civil War Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield wrote the song at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia. Like Revelry and so many other songs, it was originally meant to denote a time of the day. In Taps’ case, the song signaled lights out, so that at the first note, worn and dirty Union soldiers were called to head to their beds. But over time the song began to signal a fallen comrade. Played in Arlington National Cemetery and at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the song signals salute for all in the armed forces. After Way reads a few words he turns to watch the members of the honor guard fire off the 21-gun salute. The old timers have a hard time with the heavy rifles and some misfire. The shots jar the family. After no one speaks for a moment, family members start to look around. Through tears in her eyes, the old widow lifts her head up as if just about to speak. But standing a ways back, Bob O’Neil brings his gloved hands close to his face. He touches his lips against a silver tube. And air sounds through the horn.

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Vietnam memorial Vietnam veteran, retired Army Band CWO and Chicago blues guitar aficionado Kimo Williams plays his version of Jimi Hendrix “Purple Haze” during a benefit concert in Bremerton last summer. Note the engineers crest blazing his otherwise blank chest. Best known nationally for his work with Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band, Kimo played “Purple Haze” and other 1960’s era rock anthems across Vietnam after an Army entertainment director saw him playing at the 25th Combat Engineer Battalion in Lai Khe and decided to send him around out to other bases to entertain the soldiers. The night before Kimo joined the Army on July 4, 1969, he saw Hendirx play the Waikiki Bowl in Hawaii. Photo by Greg Skinner

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11871 Silverdale Way (suite 103) • 360-692-5577

Bremerton (360) 373-5883 Port Orchard (360) 876-1252 Toll Free 1-800-422-8942

SUBSCRIBE TO VETERANS LIFE Receive the ONLY publication in the market designed for Veterans of Kitsap County, delivered to your door!

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Signature Send To: 3888 NW Randall Way, Suite 100, Silverdale, WA 98383 360.308.9161

Sound Publishing 3888 NW Randall Way, Suite 100 • Silverdale, WA 98383 • 360.308.9161

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real estate for sale

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We make it easy to sell... right in your community

Local readers. Local sellers. Local buyers.

click! email! call toll free! 1.888.399.3999 or 1.800.388.2527 Real Estate for Rent Kitsap County BREMERTON

real estate for sale - WA Real Estate for Sale Kitsap County


3 BEDROOM, 2.5 BA, split-entry. Approx 2700 SqFt. Near Silverdale. Large lot. Mountain V i ew. C K s c h o o l s . $360,000. (360)6983613 evenings

2 BEDROOM DUPLEX, large fenced yard, 2 car parking and very clean! Garbage included. $850/ Month. First, last, $500/ deposit. 360-967-6038, 360-535-1651. BREMERTON

3 BEDROOM, 2.5 bath t ow n h o u s e. Wa l k t o PSNS. 1 mile to ferr y. Washer, dr yer. $1350 month. 360-286-9237 EAST BREMERTON

2 BR, 1 BA Recently renovated! Washer, dryer, dishwasher & garage with opener. 2 blocks from schools and busline. Includes water and sewer. $850/ month, last, one year lease. Days 360-692-5566. Evenings/ Weekends call 360-373-1663.


CLIFFSIDE near Hansville. 750 SF, 2 bedroom cabin, high bluff Hood real estate Canal. Views of Olympic Mountains, Point Gamfor sale ble, Bridge. Deck, beach access. 2/3 acre, fenced Real Estate for Sale with gate. All appliances. Lots/Acreage Wood fireplace inser t. $985, last and $500 deSUQUAMISH 20 ACRES TREE Farm! posit. (360)297-4181 3 miles from Bainbridge Apartments for Rent Island. Some trees alKitsap County ready established. $5,500 per acre. 360- BAINBRIDGE ISLAND 790-7507. 550 Madison Ave Apartments Real Estate for Rent Kitsap County


print & online 24/7 Office Hours: 8-5pm Monday to Friday

Now Accepting Applications for Wait List

1 & 2 BR, 1 BA Apts Income Limits Apply BAINBRIDGE ISLAND

Rhododendron Apts 235 High School Road Taking Applications for waiting list for 1 & 2 BR units. Handicap and disablitiy eligible, rent 30% of income. Income limits apply


No pets. Credit check. Valley View Apt.

Available Now!

360-779-4679 POULSBO

$100 OFF!! 1-2 BEDROOMS


No pets. Credit check. Valley View Apt.

Available Now!

360-779-4679 POULSBO


19581 1st Ave NE Very Nice 2 BR Apt Avail. No Waiting List! Rent Is $559/Mo. Must Qualify As An Elderly/Disabled House -hold. Income Limits Apply

360-779-6939 TDD: 711

Apartments for Rent Mason County SHELTON

Income Limits Apply Section 8 Welcome


Toll Free 800-388-2527

^ ADOPT ^ Active young successful creativce musical couple lovingly await 1st miracle baby. Expenses paid. Dave & Robin, 1-800990-7667 A-FIB? IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE USED PRADAXA and suffered internal bleeding, hemorrhaging, required hospitalization or death between October 2010 and the present time, you may be entitled to compenstion. Call Attorney Charles H. Johnson 1-800-535-5727

or MAIL to: Sound Publishing, Inc. 19426 68th Avenue S. Kent, WA 98032 ATTN: HR/LNIS EOE

Income Limits Apply

(360)427-7033 or TDD 711 WA Misc. Rentals Duplexes/Multiplexes

2 BEDROOM: large and very clean! Washer/ dryer hookups, dishwasher, garage and fenced yard. No pets or smoking. $700/ Month plus $500 security deposit. 206463-2529.

real estate rentals Commercial Rentals Office/Commercial


Varying sizes and configurations available. North Poulsbo area. Call Mark, Connie, or Christine at: 360-779-7266

jobs Employment Volunteers Needed

VO L U N T E E R C R I S I S L I N E A D V O C AT E NEEDED: Respond to victim crisis calls after bu i s n e s s h o u r s f r o m home. Provide one-onone advocacy, suppor t and crisis intervention. C O M M I T M E N T: M i n i mum of 1 year. 30 hour core advocacy training required and provided. Evening/Nighttime hours ava i l a bl e. C O N TAC T: Heather Turner at Families & Friends of Violent Crime Victims. 425-252-6081 or email: Employment General

Carriers The North Kitsap Herald has openings for Carrier Routes. No collecting, no selling. Friday mornings. If interested call Christy 360-779-4464


Immediate Part Time position; 3 days per week, 6+ hours day. Center exper ience a plus. First Years, Bainbr idge Island. 206-842-6363 INCOME OPPORTUNITY!

Fax 360-598-6800



Salesperson Needed to work in a fun, fast-paced environment! Little Nickel, a division of Sound Publishing, Inc. is seeking an experienced Inside Advertising Sales Consultant. Position will be based out of our Eve r e t t o f f i c e. We a r e looking for candidates who are assertive, goaldriven, and who possess strong interpersonal skills—both written and verbal. Ideal candidates will need to have an exceptional sales background; print media exper ience is a definite asset. If you thrive on calling on new, active or inactive accounts; are self-motivated, well organized, and want to join a professional, highly energized and competitive sales team, we want to hear from you. Must be computer-proficient at Word, Excel, and utilizing the Internet. Compensation includes a base wage plus commission and an excellent group benefits program. Please email resume and cover letter to:

A No Smoking Community Elderly and/or Disabled

Rent It homes apartments houseboats vacation homes


Rents start at $565/mo including Water, Sewer, Garbage & Electric.

Virginia Villa Apartments

1.5 BATH Townhome Apts. 1/2 Mile to Ferry Park-Like Setting


Saratoga Springs Apts 1100 N. 12th Street


1 & 2 BRs. Starting at $600/mo, utils incl. Income limits apply. Must FINCH PLACE APTS be 62+, and/or disabled. 215 Finch Place SW Taking applications for Small pets welcome! waiting list for 1 bed- 200 High School Rd NE 206-842-5482 room units. 62+, handiTDD: 711 cap or disablility eligible. Income limits apply. KINGSTON 206-842-0724 2 BEDROOM, TDD: 711 MANITOU BEACH Waterfront studio. Full bath, washer, dryer and private entrance! $645 month plus $200 damage deposit, first and last. 206-842-3044.

$100 OFF!! 1-2 BEDROOMS

206-842-8144 TDD: 711






1 BEDROOM Cottage. Sun Room, Full Bath, Small Kitchen, Sunny Deck on Farmland. Pets m a y b e o k a y. $ 9 5 0 month includes power, water, garbage, laundry. 206-387-6727

Employment General

Apartments for Rent Kitsap County

The Bainbridge Island Review newspaper seeking quality motor route carriers. Thursday night delivery. No collections. Must be at least 18 years of age. Reliable people with reliable vehicle please call Brian. 206-842-6613

Home Services Lawn/Garden Service

Andy’s Landscape & Excavation Lawn Maintenance, Beauty Bark & Pruning Decks, Fencing, Debris Removal, Retaining Walls, Pathways, Etc!

home services


Home Services General Contractors


Lic# ANDYSLE893JA, Bonded, Ins.


General Contractor Siding, Remodeling, Painting *Call for Free Estimate*

Find your perfect pet in the Classifieds.


Zetino’s Services

Accept All Major Credit Cards

Yard Care & More! Trimming, Weeding, Mowing, Clean-Up & Hauling, Etc


Home Services Hauling & Cleanup

Lowest Rates ~ Refs Call Today For Free Estimate!



WE TAKE IT ALL! Junk, Appliances, Yard Debris, etc. Serving Kitsap Co. Since 1997

Home Services Remodeling

360-377-7990 206-842-2924

REMODEL & REPAIRS 360-509-7514 www.lewisandclarke Lic# LEWISCC925QL

Home Services Landscape Services

Countryside Landscaping and MAINTENENCE Land Clearing! Prune, Pressure Wash, Bark, Employment Retaining Walls, Plant, Media Fe n c i n g ! Fr e e E s t i REPORTER Reporter sought for staff mates! 360-265-7487 opening with the Penin- Lic# COUNTLM932JE. sula Daily News, a sixd a y n e w s p a p e r o n LOPEZ GARDEN Washington’s beautiful Landscaping Service North Olympic Peninsula that includes the cities of Por t Angeles, Sequim, P o r t To w n s e n d a n d Forks (yes, the “Twilight” Forks, but no vampires or werewolves). Bring Gutter Cleaning, your experience from a Mowing Maintence, weekly or small daily -Rockwalls, Pruning, from the first day, you’ll Pressure Washing & be able to show off the Clean Up! Local, Exp., writing and photography Lic. Free Estimates! skills you’ve already acquired while sharpening your talent with the help o f ve t e ra n n ew s r o o m leaders. This is a generPROUD TO SERVE KITSAP al assignment reporting position in our Port Angeles office in which beSpring Cleanup ing a self-starter must be demonstrated through professional experience. Weeding ~ Trimming Port Angeles-based PeClean-Up~Great Equip ninsula Daily News, cirMowing $25 Minimum. culation 16,000 daily and 15,000 Sunday (plus a 360-471-8532 website getting up to Serving Kitsap County one million hits a month), publishes separHome Services ate editions for Clallam and Jefferson counties. Lawn/Garden Service Check out the PDN at ALL w w w. p e n i n s u l a d a i l y GROUNDS CARE and the beauty and recreational opSpring Clean-Up! por tunities at Pruning, Full Mainthttp://www.peninsuladaienance, Hedge, Haul,, Roof and tion/pdntabs#vizguide. Gutter, Etc In-person visit and tryout Free Estimates are required, so Wash360-698-7222 ington/Northwest applicants given preference. Send cover letter, reMIKE’S sume and five best writYARD i n g a n d p h o t o g r a p hy SERVICE clips to Leah Leach, Mowing, Trimming, managing editor/news, Pruning, Clean-Up P.O. Box 1330, 305 W. and More! First St., Port Angeles, Very Reasonable! WA 9 8 3 6 2 , o r e m a i l 360-373-6475


Home Services Roofing/Siding

Re-Roof/Repair/New Roof

300 to $500 OFF on Re-roofing*


Free Estimates *Call for Details

206-841-6246 pacifwc904ce

domestic services

360-451-9759 360-451-0437

Domestic Services Adult/Elder Care

$14 AN HR!




• • • • •

24 HR Care Licensed CNA Friendly Cost Effective Includes Meals

360-874-8411 360-620-2742 GENTLE FAMILY HOME

Adult Family Home. Owned and operated by RNs. In brand new handicap accessible home in Port Orchard. Call: (253)509-8256




Flea Market

stuff Appliances

2 7 ” D RO P I N R a n g e, $325. 20” Gas Range, $250. Dorm Size Refrigerator, $65. Side by Side Refrigerator, $375. 360405-1925 MATCHING Washer and Dryer set, $340. Guaranteed! 360-405-1925

Find your dream home at

flea market

Chair; Rocker recliner. Beautiful rocker recliner! Large plush, blue-green upholstered. Like new condition! Firm $150 cash. Poulsbo. Call 360779-4188. D r e s s e r ; ve r y o l d i n good shape $150. Don 360-377-0322.

HIDE-A-BED, Clean and comfor table, like new condition. Green color. 27” TV built in cabinet. Moving, must sell. $150. AM/FM/Cassette. Nice! 206-913-9856 Poulsbo $100 Don 360-377-0322 Lawnmower, $50. 360B A R E M I N E R A L S 2 0 698-1547. Piece Eye Shadow Collection, $50 ($90 value). N i c e S o fa , l a r g e a n d L’Oreal Exper t Volume cur ved. Beautiful gold Shampoo, Conditioning velvet. Comfor table & S p r a y a n d E x p a n d clean. Must sacr ifice. Spray, $35 ($60 value). $ 1 5 0 . 2 0 6 - 9 1 3 - 9 8 5 6 Smoke free home, pho- Poulsbo tos available, all prices S o m m a Q u e e n E l e OBO, (360)479-1307, g a n c e wa t e r b e d w i t h cash or Pay Pal only. frame, queen size, $50. (206)842-3692 Flea Market

Home Furnishings

“Divorce For GrownupsTM”


Law Offices of Lynda H. McMaken, P.S.

BEDROOM SET: Solid Oak, 6 years old. Q u e e n s i ze b e d w i t h Ser ta mattress, box spring, frame, headboard (also flannel sheets). Double dresser, mirror and two night stands. High quality wood, (not veneer), solid construction. Made in the U.S.A. Moving, can’t take with me. $975. Delivery possible with additional fee. (360)2862144

Home Furnishings

Home Furnishings

Must Sell! New NASA Memory foam matt. set. Full $375, Qn $400, King $500. New. 20 yr warr. Del. avail. 253-539-1600 --------------------------------Brand New Orthopedic matt. & box spring. Still in plastic. With warranty! Twin $ 175, Full $200, Queen $230, King $350. Call 253-537-3056 --------------------------------Factory Closeout BR set. Incl: bed, nightstand, dresser, mirror. Full/ Queen, $395. King, $495. 253-539-1600 --------------------------------Overstuffed Microfiber sofa & loveseat, new, factory sealed, w/ Lifet i m e w a r r. o n f r a m e . Scotch guarded. Only $695. 253-537-3056 --------------------------------New Adjustable Bed w/ memory foam mattress. List: $2800. Sacrifice, $950. 253-537-3056

NEW QUEEN pillowtop mattress set w/warranty. Sell $149. 253-537-3056 --------------------------------KING PILLOWTOP mattress set, 3 piece, brand new in wrap. $249. 253539-1600 --------------------------------NEW CHERRY Sleigh bedroom set. Includes dresser, mirror & nightstand. Still boxed. Will let go $599. 253-5373056 --------------------------------FULL OR TWIN mattress sets, new. $120. 253-539-1600 --------------------------------N E W A D J U S TA B L E b e d w / m e m o r y fo a m m a t t r e s s. L i s t $ 2 8 0 0 . S a c r i f i c e, $ 9 5 0 . 2 5 3 537-3056 --------------------------------L E AT H E R S O F A & loveseat, factory sealed w/lifetime warranty. List $3500. Must sell $795. 253-539-1600

NEW LAZY BOY Dual L ove s e a t R e c l i n e r. W57XD38XH40. Super Soft Fudge Colored Fabr ic with Copper Head Nail Trim. Excellent condition. Originally $1,312. Asking $600 firm, cash o n l y. 3 6 0 - 6 7 8 - 0 2 6 8 Coupeville, Whidbey Island.

Log on to a website that’s easy to navigate. Whether you’re buying or selling, the Classifieds has it all. From automobiles and employment to real estate and household goods, you’ll find everything you need 24 hours a day at

Home Furnishings

GREENHOUSE/ Sunroom Windows!

360-643-0356 DINING SET Solid Oak! Table with smoked glass inset, opens to seat 10, 8 upholstered chairs, hutch & stand up storage unit & table pads. Ve r y g o o d c o n d i t i o n , $ 1 , 0 0 0 o r b e s t o f fe r. 360-373-9410. Jewelry & Fur




MAY 2012


A K C G R E AT D A N E Puppies. Now offering Full-Euro’s, Half-Euro’s & Standard Great Danes. Males & females. Every color but Faw n s , $ 5 0 0 & u p. Health guarantee. Licensed since 2002. Dreyersdanes is Oregon state’s largest breeder of Great Danes. Also; selling Standard Poodles. Call 503-556-4190.

I B U Y G O L D, S i l ve r, Dogs D i a m o n d s, W r i s t a n d Pocket Watches, Gold 3 DACHSHUNDS. and Silver Coins, Silverware, Gold and Platinum Antique Jewelry. Call Mic h a e l A n t h o ny ’s a t (206)254-2575

Search the Classifieds in your local paper to find a pet to fit your family’s lifestyle.



Perfect for deck enclosure! New, double insulated tempered. Cost was $2400; 12 only $690! CAN DELIVER!


1/2 OFF Glass w/ Purchase of Garage Door

1-888-289-6945 A-1 Door Service (Mention this ad)

Find your perfect pet

Go online to or look in The Classifieds today.

Yard and Garden

MINIATURE PUPPIES. 1 Female, 2 Males. Blue and Tan Dapple, Red Dapple, Black and Tan. $400 to $550. These puppies have great temperaments. Shots, wormed and vet checked. Home raised with both parents on site. Born 2/18/12. Call or text for more information and pictures 360969-1622

ENGLISH CREME Golden Retr iever pups for sale. 7 weeks old. AKC registered. Have first wormer and immunization, well puppy check up. 2 males, 4 females left. They are beautiful, healthy pups. For $800 you will have a wonderful addition to your family or a best friend. Please contact (360)269-5539.

Target Military Jobs


Energy Advisor

YORKIE/ YORKSHIRE Terrier, AKC Registered. Born 1/21/12. Home raised. Will be small. Father only 3 lbs 2 oz. Very friendly and loving puppies, full of mischief. Mother and father onsite. Wormed and first shots. Females: $900. Males: $700. Call anytime: 360-631-6256 or 425-330-9903

Puget Sound Energy’s Energy Efficiency Services department is looking for an Energy Advisor to join their team! The Energy Advisors research, analyze, resolve and respond to customer inquiries, issues and requests related to energy efficiency and conservation. They also promote and explain energy efficiency and renewable programs and their advantages. They represent PSE in an effort to promote and cross market products and services by presenting and providing educational materials to employees, organizations and community groups. They will consult with customers to help lower bills and educate them regarding energy efficiency and conservation as well as promote PSE energy efficiency and conservation programs and services at community and corporate outreach events such as trade and home shows, fairs, educational workshops and trainings. Gain the energy to do great things through a career with Puget Sound Energy! PSE offers a highly competitive compensation and benefits package. PSE is an Equal Opportunity employer. We encourage persons of diverse backgrounds to apply. Read more about these opportunities and apply online to ad #4936 at

ANIMAL RESCUE FAMILIES A Non-Profit Animal Rescue Organization, is h a v i n g a f r e e S p ay / Neuter program for Cats and Dogs during the month May. Vouchers for the spay/neutering are issued Sunday, May 6th and the following Sunday, May 13th at the Bremer ton Petco from 11am to 3pm only! Maximum two pets per family. Vaccinations are not i n c l u d e d ! Yo u d o n o t need to bring your pet at the time you apply for the voucher.

Sell it for FREE in the Super Flea! Call 866-825-9001 or email the Super Flea at theflea@

To Advertise your employment opportunities Call Tiffany at 866-603-3213

Transitioning Out of the Military? The Port of Seattle Can Help! Veterans Fellowship Program The Port of Seattle’s Veterans Fellowship Program assists veterans in transition from active duty to the civilian work environment. The program supports you through exposure and experience in the civilian workplace while refining skills and abilities necessary for successful integration into civilian organizations. Through career guidance from the Port of Seattle, backed by the dedication and work ethic reflective of your service in the armed forces, you will have the opportunity to successfully transfer your military experience into the civilian workplace in a six-month fellowship. WHAT AWAITS YOU AT THE PORT OF SEATTLE While gaining invaluable on-the-job experience and training during your fellowship with the Port of Seattle, you receive individualized career assistance through: t&YQPTVSFUPUIFDJWJMJBOXPSLFOWJSPONFOUBOEUPDPSQPSBUFCVTJOFTTQSBDUJDFT t*EFOUJGJDBUJPOPGZPVSUSBOTGFSBCMFTLJMMT t3FTVNFXSJUJOHHVJEBODFBOEJOUFSWJFXJOHQSBDUJDF t1MBOOFEBOEJOGPSNBMOFUXPSLJOHPQQPSUVOJUJFTXJUIPUIFSPSHBOJ[BUJPOTBOEDJWJMJBOFNQMPZFFT As a fellow you receive appropriate compensation for your work. Basic health care benefits are provided for you and your dependents. Our program is recognized as a best practice by Hire America’s Heroes, a Seattle-based consortium dedicated to helping men and women leaving active duty to refine their skills and focus on the abilities necessary for the current business environment.

For more info or to apply today visit

You Served Our Country, Now Let Us Serve You. VETERAN’S LIFE


MAY 2012



Garage/Moving Sales King County


AKC REGISTERED Lab Puppies. Over 30+ titled dogs in the last 5 generations. Sire is a Master Hunter and Cer tified Pointing Lab. OFA Hip and Elbows, Dews Removed, First Shots, Dewor ming. 5 Males (4 Black, 1 Yellow), 5 Fem a l e s ( 3 Ye l l o w , 2 Black). $700 each. Call Mike, 360-547-9393

Build up your business with our Service Guide Special: Four full weeks of advertising starting at $40. Call 800-388-2527 to place your ad today.



garage sales - WA Whether you’re buying or selling, the Classifieds has it all. From automobiles and employment to real estate and household goods, you’ll find everything you need 24 hours a day at

Collectibles, Household, Clothes, Jewelry, Electronics, Furniture, Toys, Books. Coffee & Ethnic Pastries Avail. Thur-Fri 9:30am-8pm Sat 9:30am-5pm Sun Noon-4pm at Latvian Center, 11710 3rd Ave NE, Seattle SOLD IT? FOUND IT? Let us know by calling 1-800-388-2527 so we can cancel your ad.

Take 5 Special t5 Linest5 Weekst Runs in ALL the Sound Classified papers

Garage/Moving Sales Kitsap County

Pickup Trucks Toyota

Sat., April 21st, 7am- 3pm, 8241 NE Blakely Heights Ct. Furniture, Bed, Marine Equipment, Tools, Bicycle, Toys, CDs, Books, Clothes, Housewares, Etc.


Marine Miscellaneous

13’ ZODIAC YL380 DLX, 2004. Like new. Suzuki 4 0 H P 4 S t r o ke O u t board incredibly silent with less than 10 hours. This Zodiac is loaded. Always garaged, never left in water, VHF radio, Depth Sounder, Keelguard Protection Kit, Spotlights, Compass, GPS, Footwell Lights, Running Lights, Automatic Bildge, EZ-Loader Tr a i l e r, F u l l H i g h e s t Quality Custom Cover. $14,500. 360-298-0415 or 360-378-6118. Friday Harbor 2 0 0 5 1 7 ’ D C Tra cke r. Deep V Aluminum boat. 2005 4 Stroke Merc, 115 HP. 2005 4 Stroke Merc 9.9 HP, 50 HP electric t r o l l i n g m o t o r. H u m m i n g b i r d G P S, C h a r t P l o t t e r, F i s h F i n d e r, Stereo, 1 Downrigger, Bimini Top. Ready to fish! $10,500 OBO. Call Tr o y, 3 6 0 - 5 4 4 - 2 2 1 7 . Email for photo: 2 8 ’ B AY L I N E R 2 8 5 5 Ciera, 1991. 7.4 litre Mercury Cruiser, Bravo II Ster n Drive. Engine hours: 850. Shore power, depth sounder, GPS. Good Condition. Fish or Cruise - It’s Ready for T h e Wa t e r ! $ 1 2 , 0 0 0 . Call for More Info: 509264-8260 or 509-6635723. Moored in LaConner.

2 KAYAK TRAILER for sale in great condition! Perfect for canoes or kayaks ~ Just in time for summer!! Newer tires and taillight package included. $750 obo. Call Pat 360-221-8294. Langley, South Whidbey.

Count on us to get the word out Reach thousands of readers when you advertise in your local community newspaper and online! Call: 800-388-2527 Fax: 360-598-6800 E-mail: classified@ Go online:


4 BR HOME; FULL Estate Sale! Furniture, mattresses, linens, books, small kitchen appliances, mechanical tools, Shopsmith, miscellaneous! Friday, April 20 th from 9am to 4pm. Sale located in Eglon area. 31255 Sunr ise Beach Drive NE, 98346.

Build up your business with our Service Guide Special: Four full weeks of advertising starting at $40. Call 800-388-2527 to place your ad today.


9.5’ LANCE 915 Pickup C a m p e r, 2 0 0 1 . G o o d condition. Stored inside. $4,250. 360-421-1000


Reach thousands of homes with the Classifieds Call us today at: 800-388-2527 Fax: 360-598-6800 email: or on the web at:

Marine Sail


wheels Advertise your Vehicle, Boat, RV, Camper or Motorcycle

Marine Power

33’ NEWPORT Cruising Sloop, 1982. 4 sails including spinnaker and two poles. Only 2 owne r s . Pe r f e c t f o r N W cruising. Very well maintained and updated. Lots of gear included. A real steal at $22,000 OBO. Call Marnie at 206-5798994 (Vashon Island) Automobiles Toyota

2007 TOYOTA Corolla Sport Edition. Black, 4 d o o r, a u t o m a t i c, s u n roof. 1 owner, excellent condition, 60,000 miles. $11,500. (360)620-9195 Pickup Trucks Ford

2002 FORD RANGER. $6300. Runs great!! 1 0 2 , 0 0 0 m i l e s . V- 6 , stepside, 4 door extended cab. 2WD, automatic, power steer ing, Edge package on this truck includes: Air conditioning, cloth/ vinyl slit bench seat, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyl e s s e n t r y. S e c u r i t y alarm. Extra tint on the windows (looks great with the color). Easy clean vinyl floor interior. 206-498-7433

Take 5 Special 5 lines 5 weeks Advertise your Vehicle, Boat, RV, Camper or Motorcycle. Call 800-388-2527 for more information.

2007 TOYOTA Tundra Crew Max. Only 23,900 m i l e s ! V- 8 , 5 . 7 L , 6 Speed Automatic. 4WD, TRD Off-Road Package, Stability Control, ABS, A/C, Power Everything, Cruise Control, Tilt Wheel, MP3 Multi Disc Premium Sound Package, Bluetooth Wireless, Parking Sensors, Backu p C a m e ra , D u a l A i r B a g s, D u a l Powe r Seats, Sliding/Tilt Sun Roof, Running Boards, H a r d To n n e a u C ove r, Bed Liner, Towing Package, Alloy Wheels, Upgraded Exhaust and Air Breather. Kelley Blue Book Value: $37,940. Asking $33,000. 360632-4385 Sport Utility Vehicles Subaru

2009 SUBARU Forester AWD, 5 speed manual. 2.5 liter, Premium package includes AC, power w i n d ow s, d o o r l o ck s, etc, moon roof, roof rack, more. All weather package, including heate d s e a t s, w i n d s h i e l d wiper de-icer. Only 46K (mostly highway) miles. One owner, all maintenance. Great condition, moving must sacrifice, $19,750/firm. (360)2862144 or 808-291-5077

2008 HARLEY Davidson XL 883 Custom. Spring is Here, Time to Ride! Excellent condition. 6,000 miles. Lots and Lots of Extras. Had Heart Surgery in August, Doctor Says Don’t Ride. Dang It! Always kept under cover and in carport. $6,500 OBO. (360)6201114 Tents & Travel Trailers

1995 29’ TERRY Travel Trailer. Clean, ready to go! No leaks, always under cover. Sleeps 8. Inlcudes tow package inc l u d e s t ow b a r s a n d hitch. Lots of storage inside and out. New converter & batteries. Everythign works. Great condition! $5,800. 360221-7560, leave message. Email for photos available. 34’ ALJO, 1994. Clean, tall ceilings, repainted, many built-ins removed. More like small cabin. $6500 obo. You move. Located on Vashon Island. 206-463-3009

Utility Trailers

Be the icing on their cake...

D U A L A X L E Tr a i l e r ; Flatbed steel frame, 8’x16’ foot bed, 2 spare tires and heavy duty torsion bars included. Excellent condition! $1,500 c a s h . Fr i d ay H a r b o r, San Juan Islands. 360298-0213.

Advertise in the Service Directory in The Classifieds.

Vans & Minivans Volkswagen

1987 VW WESTFALIA, full camper, pop top. 2 tables, closet, storage, sleeps 4. Good condition. Ready for adventures! 123,000 miles. $13,500 OBO. 360-4056304

Call: (800) 388-2527 e-mail: or go online: to get your business in the

With the weather getting nicer, are you itching to do some cleaning around the house? No doubt you’ll find some things you forgot you had and no longer need or want. Turn your trash into cash by advertising it in the it in the Classifieds

Call Today!

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MAY 2012

The Bond

The driver driv·er (drvr) n. a sleepless SOB that gets you there and back By Greg Skinner These days, when I brag on myself as a driver I rarely bring up my best work – the 100 hour push through three divisions of Iraqi Republican Guard behind the steering yoke of a Bradley Fighting vehicle. There are plenty of civilian driving feats to throw on the table from my driving resume in the two decades since my time in the Bradley. And, from day one as a driver, I was jumping cars, playing high speed chase, driving through corn fields chasing deer and outrunning cops that thought I should slow down. All of it was done with an untrained natural ability to make any vehicle dance on most any surface. Never a crash, never an injury. I am The Driver and I always will be. I became The Driver, during that sleepless dash across the Cradle of Civilization – a strange place for a straight legged infantryman to be in control of a heavy armored all-terrain death machine. It wasn’t supposed to be, but the first time I drove a Bradley Fighting Vehicle was onto the train that would take the 36-ton tracked weapons platform and personnel carrier from Bamberg to a German seaport for the boat to Daharan Saudi Arabia. I had no idea how it worked when I stomped on the boot-sized gas pedal

an pointed the behemoth down the frozen picturesque cobble stone streets of a 1,000 year old Bavarian village. The whole affair was cloaked in Christmas and the eventuality of the desert. An infantry private in the Illinois National Guard, I signed up for active duty and the promise of a life in southern Germany with a little Cold War clean up. Instead, I washed into a mechanized unit still standing watch in the Fulda Gap as the Soviet Union collapsed in on itself. We were there in case the nearly dead Soviet giant stepped forward into Western Europe in a final throw against its pending death. It’s been more than 20 years since that desert drive where my goal was to stay alive and to keep my but in the drivers seat 24/7 to ensure that I stayed alive. In doing so, I would keep the six other souls aboard alive with me. It was on that drive that I learned that no human should be awake between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. – ever. I learned that there was battlefield wisdom to be gleaned from Apocolyps Now’s Chef who cried “never get out of the boat,” as a tiger chases him from the jungle. In my case it was “never get off the Bradley” after I jumped from the hull to the desert floor. Off to relieve myself, I looked down between my feet to see a BLU 97, a tank killing cluster bomb bomblet, with a boot on either



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The company had plenty of infantrymen already transitioned on the Bradley and its turbo diesel churning 600 horsepower into a hydromechanical transmission that delivered 98 percent of the power to the ground. I knew helicopters, rifles and machine guns, things that you walk into battle with. My combat tools were switched from a rifle and knife to topography – what little there was – speed, agility, range and a complex molecularly structured armor plating. I gave up my personal weapon and the fear of pulling its trigger to kill for a role in a three person killing team working a 25 mm chaingun and anti-tank missiles. Sgt. J, a master gunner and former light infantryman, came into the barracks one night just before we deployed in December 1990 saying that he wanted me to drive his track. That I take orders, have good instincts and the ability to think for myself were the reasons he gave me. I also hear that he knew of my work on the autobahn doing weekend runs across Germany into other parts of Europe. he knew I was a driver. I don’t know how many of the 1,700

On the job, I learned that a good driver always gives his gunner a field of fire while hiding at all times. A good driver can smooth out undulating terrain at top speed while calling out range and direction to targets. The good driver can take a dump in a bag without slowing down or bumping the gunner off target. A good driver gets the regulator removed. A good driver knows that there are men in back being tossed as the battle unfolds at speeds up to 50 mph. I learned that in the hands of a good driver a Bradley charging 36 tons at full bore will jump a tank ditch without a ramp. I learned that just because you see the muzzle flash of the T-72’s 125 mm gun it doesn’t mean that round is coming for you, though I still don’t believe it. When I drive more than 50 miles today, or have precious cargo, I become The Driver again – connected with my vehicle, never late and duty bound to get there and back safely.


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Bradley drivers deployed to the Gulf War knew what they were doing before they got there. But, only 28 were destroyed in the fight, 20 of those were killed by friendly fire, something I too experienced. When all was said and done, the infantry, in our BFVs, killed more Iraqi armor and infantry than the tankers with their Abrams M1A1 main battle tanks.


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side. Had I not stopped to pee, I would have crushed it with my driver side track a few feet under my seat. After that, I stayed on or in the track for days.

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Veterans Life May 2012  

Kitsap Veterans monthly

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