Each year, a different representative presents the flag for each branch of the military while Shifty Sailors sing battle hyms. File Photo/Whidbey News-Times

Annual Vets Day program Saturday in Coupeville

The Central Whidbey community will honor veterans Saturday during the annual Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony.

The event, organized by the Central Whidbey Lions Club, will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Veterans Memorial in Coupeville near the county courthouse on the corner of 6th and Center streets.

During the event, a representative from each branch of the military will present that branch’s flag.

“It is my honor to be the MC of the event,” said Coupeville Mayor Molly Hughes, who will lead the program.

Hughes said that the Shifty Sailors will sing the battle hymn for each branch as its flag is raised.

Those presenting flags are as follows:

n Maj. Gen. TRISH ROSE of Coupeville will post the United States flag. Rose served in the United States Air Force on active duty and as a reservist from 1984 until her retirement earlier this year. Her assignments include mobilization assistant to the director for logistics, engineering, and security assistance, U.S. Pacific Command; and mission director for the Central Command Deployment and Distribution Operations Center in Southwest Asia, where she directed joint logistics for operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, during a deployment to Kuwait. Her last assignment was mobilization assistant to the deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering and force protection at Air Force headquarters.

n The Army flag will be posted by LAURENCE MOSES of Coupeville. Col. Moses served in the United States Army from 1957 until his retirement in 1983. His service included Berlin during the crisis and wall building of 1961 and subsequent tours as a commander in West Germany. He served two tours in Vietnam, one tour at the Pentagon, and completed his service as commander of Fort Ord, Calif.

n The Marine Corps flag will be posted by JOHN ROOKE of Oak Harbor. Lt. Col. Rooke served in the Marine Corps from 1957 to 1978 as a light attack jet pilot. In addition to two tours in Vietnam, he served at the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, Calif.; the USS Midway; Iwakuni, Japan; Beeville, Texas as a flight instructor; Kaneohe, Hawaii; Washington, D.C., San Diego and Yuma, Ariz. He flew every model except the first of the A-4 Skyhawk aircraft.

n The Navy flag will be posted by ROGER WEBER of Oak Harbor. Lt. Weber served in the United States Navy from 1959 to 1962. His service included a tour aboard the minesweeper Endurance as mine sweeping officer, and as special services officer at Naval Station Adak, Alaska.

n The Air Force flag will be posted by DOUG MARTIN of Coupeville. Staff Sgt. Martin served in the United States Air Force from 1975 to 1983 as an avionics technician, working on the FB-111A while stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, N.Y., and the F-111F at RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom.

n The Coast Guard flag will be posted by SUZANNE WALLIS of Coupeville. Lt. Wallis served in the United States Navy from 1981 to 1990, and in the United States Coast Guard from 1990 until her retirement in 2003. Her Coast Guard service included assignment as a marine safety officer, performing ship’s inspections, port security, and environmental outreach and response. Her duty stations were Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle. While assigned to the district commander in Seattle, she developed a first responders’ training program that is still used by the Coast Guard today.

n The Merchant Marine flag will be posted by NOAH LANDAU of Coupeville. Landau graduated from the California Maritime Academy in 1988 and began work on various commercial ships, primarily tankers. In 1990 and 1991, he served as third mate on a tanker carrying jet fuel for the Navy in support or Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In 1998, Landau left the offshore Merchant Marine to work on the inland waters of the Salish Sea for Washington State Ferries, where he serves as captain on the Anacortes routes.

n The POW-MIA flag will be posted by Navy veteran Richard Johnson in memory of the late Bill Ethridge of Coupeville, in recognition of those veterans who never came home. Ethridge was a bombardier on a B-17 and was shot down following a mission over Germany. His plane ditched in the English Channel and the crew was picked up by the enemy. They spent the remainder of WWII in German prison camps. Ethridge wrote a book of his exploits which tells a gripping story of the tragedies of war. Ethridge was also the leader of the committee that conceived and saw through to completion the Coupeville memorial.

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