OH Navy League broadcasting virtual Veterans Day program

Viewers can watch the porgram on Nov. 11 begining at 11 a.m. on local social media and channel 10.

Veterans on Whidbey Island and all over the world can tune in to a virtual program this year hosted by the Oak Harbor Area Council of the Navy League of the United States.

The local Navy League will broadcast its virtual Veterans Day program on social media and local Comcast Channel 10 at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. Local partners will also broadcast it on their social media pages, including the Whidbey News-Times’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WhidbeyNews.

The program was pre-recorded and features interviews with a local World War II veteran retired Cmdr. Clayton Engebretsen of Freeland and retired Sgt. Robert Olivarez, Jr (USMC), an Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veteran, plus Regional Commander for the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Speakers include Commander, Navy Region Northwest, Rear Adm. Stephen Barnett, Oak Harbor Mayor Bob Severns and a speaker from Growing Veterans, a mental health support organization with an outpost at Greenbank Farm.

An active duty vocalist from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island will sing the national anthem, and the color guard from Oak Harbor High School’s Navy JRTOC and the Sons of the American Revolution will be part of the program.

Greg Smith, president of the Oak Harbor Area Council of the Navy League of the United States, said that the group wanted to find a way to honor veterans who took COVID-19 precautions into account. The group organized a similar program for Memorial Day this year that was held virtually.

Kelly Davidson led the effort for the Memorial Day and Veterans Day programs this year.

According to Davidson, the group’s Memorial Day video was viewed 8,000 times by viewers as far away as New York, Canada, South Carolina, Georgia, the Netherlands and France watched in the first two days after the video was posted.

“When you do something like this, of course, you have all the social media networks all across the nation and globe — all those folks who are now able to see that,” Smith said.

Despite the coronavirus’s toll on events throughout 2020, Smith said he thought it was important to find a way to honor veterans this Veterans Day.

“Like pretty much any military service, we vie for the opportunity to not let anything get in the way of our mission. We just adapt to the situation and we overcome the obstacles presented to us, and we make it happen,” Smith said.

Veterans Day is observed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month every year to commemorate the signing of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918 and honors everyone who has served in the nation’s armed forces.

“The fact is that we cannot let our veterans go unrecognized and we just can’t allow that to happen,” said Smith.

“We feel it is important to honor the sacrifices they’ve made over the centuries and continue to make.”

More in News

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society President Laura Renninger, seen here with group mascot Garry, said she hopes Oak Harbor residents appreciate the city’s unique namesake trees this year.
City’s mayor proclaims 2021 as ‘Year of the Oak’

Members of the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society hope residents will take advantage of a few opportunities to celebrate the city’s namesake tree.

Federal judge rejects injunction request against Navy Growlers

The decision wasn’t a surprise, and it doesn’t directly affect the underlying lawsuits by the state Attorney General’s Office and COER.

Schools look for more diversity in hiring teachers

Despite 41.9 percent of the Oak Harbor student population identifying as an ethnicity other than white, only 7.9 percent of teachers identified as an ethnicity other than white.

Teachers starting to receive COVID-19 vaccines

Gov. Inslee made the group immediately eligible along with those already in Phase 1B1 of the state’s vaccination program.

Hospital renovation moving forward

The $22.5 million project is on on track despite the district’s “cash poor” status and the pandemic.

Coupeville Middle School students are returning to campus, but not for class

Students in grades 6-8 will return to campus on March 8 in the afternoons for two days a week.

Camano man accused of murder appears in court

The man was accused of shooting two people, killing one, at a Camano Island home on Feb. 28.

House passes ban on certain police use-of-force tactics

Chokeholds are prohibited, car are chases limited and military equipment is not allowed.

Most Read