May 31, 2012

By Contributor

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Veterans make an impressive showing at USO event

No worries if you heard low-flying planes and rifle fire May 22. It was the opening of the USO Golf Tournament at The Golf Club at Newcastle. Many Newcastle residents are involved; KIRO’s Bill Swartz (China Creek) is the emcee, TEAM-WORKS’ Mack Strong (Highlands) is a volunteer and celebrity golfer, and Bill and Shari Griffiths (Meadowview Park) are organizers for the event.

The night before the tournament, the Regency Newcastle Senior Living Center sponsored the USO Happy Hour at The Golf Club at Newcastle. Veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and peace times in between were met by Newcastle residents, businesses and elected officials who acknowledged and thanked them for their service.

King Parker (Renton) talked about his time in the Navy on a submarine. Lloyd Bailey’s (Newcastle) WWII D-Day story was told by Regency Manager John Kotalik. Mark Martinez (Renton) talked about his transition coming home to an accounting job at The Boeing Co. after serving two tours in Iraq and commanding an M1A1 Abrams tank. Lorinda Eklund (Hazelwood), an Air Force veteran herself, shared that her husband Scott is currently deployed in Afghanistan. Paula Spence (Milepost) provided the gift of an emergency provision pack for the speakers.

It was an impressive showing on all counts for Newcastle and the USO Puget Sound is very appreciative of the support. Special thanks to King County Councilman Reagan Dunn, Rep. Marcie Maxwell, Mayor Rich Crispo, Deputy Mayor Lisa Jensen, Council members John Dulcich, Carol Simpson and Gordon Bisset, and Coal Creek Utility District Commissioner Doug Kunkel for attending. The local support for this meaningful event makes me proud to be a resident of Newcastle.

You can watch a video of the event at this link — https://vimeo.com/43026801.

John Jensen,


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