(Tom Hughes & Jenna Dennison Photos)
Left Photo: David Church, at the Veterans Day dinner held at Vashon Eagles. Church served in the Korean War.
Middle Photo: A tight-knit group of local veterans and veterans’ supporters enjoyed a Veterans Day breakfast at Sporty’s: (left to right) Billy Hoolahan, Roy Bumgarner, Armen Yousoufian, David Hoffman, Dave and Everett Hatfield, Phil Maharin, Jim Robinson, Paul Byrne, and Ken Gresset.
Right Photo: Neil Gurnowich, at the Veterans Day dinner held at Vashon Eagles. Gurnowich served in the Vietnam War.

(Tom Hughes & Jenna Dennison Photos) Left Photo: David Church, at the Veterans Day dinner held at Vashon Eagles. Church served in the Korean War. Middle Photo: A tight-knit group of local veterans and veterans’ supporters enjoyed a Veterans Day breakfast at Sporty’s: (left to right) Billy Hoolahan, Roy Bumgarner, Armen Yousoufian, David Hoffman, Dave and Everett Hatfield, Phil Maharin, Jim Robinson, Paul Byrne, and Ken Gresset. Right Photo: Neil Gurnowich, at the Veterans Day dinner held at Vashon Eagles. Gurnowich served in the Vietnam War.

Scene & Heard: Vashon celebrates Veterans Day

Veterans gathered throughout Vashon to celebrate the day.

Last Thursday, Veterans Day was celebrated on Vashon in a number of ways.

According to the 2020 United States Census, the island is home to 611 veterans — a number that includes one World War II veteran, 54 Korean War veterans, 257 Vietnam veterans, 114 veterans who served in the first Gulf War, and 14 who served in the second Gulf War, after 2000.

These facts and many others were detailed during an online Veterans Day talk by Bruce Haulman and Mike Mattingly, presented by Vashon Heritage Museum on Veterans Day. During the talk, still viewable at tinyurl.com/247vha3c, the speakers recognized the hundreds of Vashon veterans who have served in every American war from the Civil War to Afghanistan and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Mattingly also discussed the organizations representing Vashon veterans and the Vashon Veteran’s Retreat Center’s Haywire House.

For a dedicated group of local flag raisers, the day began at Sporty’s, where breakfast was served and enjoyed by all, despite the fact that rainy weather prevented the group from placing flags along Vashon Highway as planned. The group is a 50/50 mix of those who have served and those who honor that service. They raise flags on 13 different occasions per year.

Later in the day, the Vashon Eagles hosted their annual Veterans Day dinner, free for all veterans. The dinner was lightly attended in comparison to previous years, said Mattingly, but diners included David Church, who served in the Army during the Korean War. He arrived in Korea prior to much of the destruction that occurred, and described Korea as being “a beautiful country.”

Another diner, Neil Gurnowich, served three tours in Vietnam and was a Seabee in the Navy. Gurnowich described having difficulty, after returning home, in finding work or being recognized for his service.

The Beachcomber thanks Vashon veterans for their service to our country and our community.

— Elizabeth Shepherd and Jenna Dennison


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