Photo provided
                                Navy League/Rotary Shore Sailor of the Year, AT1 Lina Lim, of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit, Whidbey Island poses with her commanding officer, Cmdr. Marvin Harris, right, and her executive officer, Cmdr. Richard Killian.

Photo provided Navy League/Rotary Shore Sailor of the Year, AT1 Lina Lim, of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit, Whidbey Island poses with her commanding officer, Cmdr. Marvin Harris, right, and her executive officer, Cmdr. Richard Killian.

Oak Harbor celebrates sailors of the year

  • Tuesday, February 4, 2020 3:44pm
  • News

By Steve Bristow

Special to the News-Times

Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns and city council proclaimed Jan. 24 as “Sailor of the Year Day.”

Beginning with a statement of appreciation from state Sen. Ron Muzzall, a certificate of appreciation from Island County’s three commissioners and Severns’ proclamation, Oak Harbor celebrated Navy sailors at the annual Navy League and Rotary Sailor of the Year Recognition Luncheon.

Three sailors, one each from sea, shore and reserves, were especially singled out. These sailors were AWF1(NAC/AW) David J. McKinney from Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One; AT1(AW) Lina Lim, from the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit-Whidbey Island; and YN1(AW/SW) Jason C. Rosa from Patrol Squadron 69.

They were honored as the embodiment of excellence for their dedication to the Navy and citizens of Oak Harbor. By extension, they represented all sailors from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.

Hosts Greg Smith and Steve Schwalbe, presidents of Oak Harbor Navy League and Rotary Club of Oak Harbor, welcomed the capacity crowd of roughly 160 Navy personnel, plus community and business leaders. Darin Hand, former base command master chief, served as master of ceremonies.

Keynote speaker, NAS Whidbey Island Commanding Officer Capt. Matt Arny, acknowledged the many efforts of “Team Whidbey” which were present at the Chief Petty Officer’s Club Ballroom. Leaders from Navy Junior ROTC units at Oak Harbor High School and Burlington-Edison High School were also introduced.

As a key theme, all sailors of the year, including junior “blue jacket” sailors of the year, were awarded Navy League/Rotary letters of commendation for their service.

The Navy League and Rotary sailors of the year were then presented with numerous awards and gifts from the community. These came from the elected leaders and multiple businesses through the Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, Navy Federal Credit Union, Navy Morale Welfare and Recreation, Alaska USA, Military Wives, and Costco, plus Brandman, Columbia, and Embry-Riddle Universities, which have Navy campuses.

As an indication of the busy base tempo of operations, two of the three awardees were serving away from home. They were represented by their spouses and children. Ayaka McKinney was recognized with a Military Spouse’s Medal. The Military Child’s Medal was presented to Amelia and David McKinney Jr., plus Bianca Rosa.

“This is one of most important events we do as a community through the Navy League and Rotary,” said Navy League President Greg Smith. “It is our honor to show our appreciation to these great sailors and their families, and by extension the entire Navy.”

The sailors will receive one more award this summer, by being one of the lead entries in Oak Harbor’s nationally ranked Old Fashioned Fourth of July Parade.

Steve Bristow is a current member and past president of the Oak Harbor Navy League.

More in News

Volunteer burnout a problem for fire district, according to chief

Availability of firefighters has become a critical need for South Whidbey Fire/EMS… Continue reading

Contest invites kids to get crafty

Kids with a big imagination can now participate in a local art… Continue reading

Oak Harbor staff works to clarify zoning code

Island County Superior Court ruled against Oak Harbor’s low-income housing development for… Continue reading

Sailor follows her father’s path to NAS Whidbey

Past and present collided recently when Naval Linguist Abigail Burns posed in… Continue reading

School board planning equity policy

South Whidbey School Board took its first steps towards evaluating its education… Continue reading

Food program for children expands to week of meals

A South Whidbey food program providing weekend meals for children and their… Continue reading

LIHI appealing court ruling against downtown housing project

The nonprofit organization that attempted to build low-income housing in downtown Oak… Continue reading

Photo provided
                                Staff from Island Drug at Ken’s Korner are being temporarily relocated to the Oak Harbor store while efforts to secure a new South Whidbey location continue. From left to right: Store Manager and Pharmacy Technician Rachel Soto-Paulus, Pharmacy Technician Merissa Dahlman and Pharmacist Rich Russo.
Pharmacy leaving its Ken’s Korner location

After 15 years at Ken’s Korner in Clinton, Island Drug is looking… Continue reading

COVID-19 uptick deemed no cause for alarm

Thirteen additional people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Island County in… Continue reading

Most Read