Whidbey Crosswind, for our veterans | Opinion

Kathy Reed

Welcome to the “new” Whidbey Crosswind! We’re excited to share a new look and a new focus with you, our readers.

We began publishing the Whidbey Crosswind a year ago with a focus on active duty Navy and community news. It didn’t take us long to realize that a huge part of our readership was veterans and retirees and we began to feature more and more such news.

The fact of the matter is we have more retirees and veterans on Whidbey Island than we do active duty military. While covering the Navy is important, it’s just as important to cover the news and events of people who have decided to make Whidbey Island their home.

According to U.S. Census figures, there are more than 13,300 veterans who make their home in Island County. That is almost 17 percent of the population, as compared to 9 percent of the overall state population who are veterans. Island County has the third highest percentage of veterans in the state. When confronted with figures like that, it’s hard to ignore.

There are lots of resources available to veterans, but there are not a lot of publications dedicated to covering veterans. We are changing that.

We have an opportunity to cover issues that affect veterans and retirees directly, such as education, benefits, health issues, the job search and much more. We have a chance to shine a spotlight on our very active and involved veterans service organizations who are in tune, not only with the veterans community, but the community at large.

Look for regular features such as veterans health, travel and leisure opportunities, profiles of veterans who are making a difference in the community and stories of amazing men and women who have served their country well.

With that in mind, I invite you to send us news of events and happenings, suggestions for stories that are important to you as veterans and retirees of the military and your opinions and questions. You can reach me by email at kreed@whidbeycrosswind.com or call me at (360) 675-6611. We look forward to hearing your comments as we begin this new Crosswind adventure.

-Kathy Reed, editor