Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kitsap sailors honor veterans

This story touches me on two levels: First I have family that lives in the Kitsap Peninsula area of Washington State. It's of note that they live is such proximity to men and women who've given so much to their country. Second is the quote from Chief Penaranda, a leader in the galley at the Bangor submarine base.

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Maebel Tinoko, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

RETSIL, Wash. (NNS) (2/23/2009) -- More than 100 service members and veterans attended the 99th anniversary ceremony at the Washington State Veterans Home in Retsil, Wash. Feb. 20.

Alphonso Knight, superintendent of the Washington State Veterans Home welcomed and thanked guests for their attendance.

"Thank you for joining us as we celebrate 99 years of serving those who served at this state-of-the-art institution," said Knight. "We are here to recognize the veterans and honor what they've done for our country."

The history of the Washington Veterans Home begins on the battle fields of the Civil War, as this home was constructed for the survivors of that conflict.

The keynote speaker for the event was Army Lt. Col. Karl C. Bolton, commander of Madigan Army Medical Center's Warrior Transition Battalion.

"Today we are giving back to those who served because Soldiers deserve only the best," said Bolton. "America has a long history of taking care of our veterans and it's important for them to receive the most excellent resources."

On Feb. 22, 1910, the veterans home was opened, and today the home is a state-of-the-art, non-institutional facility providing a "Resident Centered Care" concept that focuses resources around the individual resident. The home serves more than 292 veterans needing both skilled-nursing and assisted-living care.

"It's important to celebrate America's history with veterans to carry on their traditions," said Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Sherwin Penaranda, Naval Base Kitsap Bangor galley. "Being here gives me a chance to see how the military has evolved over the years."

For Command Master Chief Myron A. Roshto, of Navy Operational Support Center Kitsap, it was important to honor veterans.

"We are paying a tribute to veterans for the sacrifices they have made; it helps me appreciate the freedom and rights we have today," said Roshto. "I think everyone should thank a veteran for what they've done."

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