McCarthy named new VRC director

Dr. Fred McCarthy

Dr. Fred McCarthy, former South Whidbey school district superintendent and a community leader, will take on the challenge of helping the nonprofit  re-establish its presence on Whidbey Island.

The VRC’s mission is to promote efforts within the community to heal the effects of war on veterans, family members and the communities to which they are returning from war and military service.

McCarthy, well known on Whidbey Island for his work in public schools, civic clubs, nonprofit agencies, chambers of commerce and faith communities, is not as well known as a veteran. He served during Vietnam as an Army Warrant Officer and helicopter pilot during the 1968 Tet Offensive in South Vietnam.

“When I was 21 years old I was an aircraft commander in helicopter gunships with the 121st Assault helicopter company, operating out an airfield in the Mekong Delta near the town of Soc Trang,” McCarthy said in the release. “A month and a half after I arrived in country the Tet Offensive of 1968 occurred. I flew 1,300 hours of combat missions during my year in Vietnam and had my share of adventures during that memorable time in my life.”

Following his experience in Vietnam, McCarthy went on to become a teacher and school administrator, ultimately serving 38 years in four public school districts in Washington state and also at a private school in Seattle. He currently teaches graduate courses at Western Washington University.

A veteran himself and the son of two World War II veterans, McCarthy said he has a deep, abiding respect for the men and women who have served our country in the military.

“This is an opportunity for me to give something back,” he said. “My military experience helped me become who I am.”

McCarthy said he looks forward spreading the mission and services of the VRC throughout Whidbey Island communities and to meeting with groups and individuals interested in helping returning veterans.

“We all know how much veterans today are giving,” he said. “I look forward to being able to help them find employment and reintegrate into their communities.”

Those interested may contact McCarthy by calling 360-331-8081 or by email at

The next community event being planned by the VRC is a Veterans Stand Down from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at American Legion Post 141 in Bayview. There will be agencies and service providers on hand to help veterans register with the VA and access other community services.