Honoring our Veterans
Camp Casey and neighboring Fort Casey have long been a part of the U.S. military. Until the fort was decommissioned in the 1950s, men stationed at Fort Casey raised their families in and around Whidbey. NAS Whidbey Island has continued in this tradition with 17 active-duty squadrons and three Ready Reserve squadrons and families living in and around Oak Harbor.
Today, many groups and organizations use Camp Casey for retreats, classes, and meetings. As if to continue the rich military history, both the area U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, as well as the Civil Air Patrol Cadets hold their summer encampments on our parade grounds. Their banner proudly claims: “We create leaders with character.” These young, possibly future members of our military learn a lot about duty, leadership, and honor. Military members sacrifice much more than we can imagine keeping us safe.
What happens once these exceptional leaders complete their service to their country? They earn the status of ‘veteran’ and integrate into the civilian community. Many take the skills and experience learned during their service and continue serving in their communities, including ours. On Veterans Day (November 11), it’s important to pause and show support.
There are several ways you can do that:
- Attend a Veterans Day Parade. The 53rd annual Veterans Day Parade is scheduled for Saturday, November 10, at 11 a.m. in Auburn. The parade boasts over 200 units and nearly 6,000 parade participants, including 30+ high school marching bands, military vehicles, veterans’ groups, honor guards, and more. It is considered one of the largest Veterans Day parades west of the Mississippi, proceeding west on Main Street from East Street Southeast to A Street Northwest in Auburn.
- Want to stay local? Oak Harbor’s Veterans Day Parade will be held downtown on November 12, rain or shine, starting at 1 p.m.
Other suggestions for providing recognition:
- Support your local Veterans Affairs center by donating or volunteering. Contact the USO, Blue Star Families, or Operation Gratitude to find ways to help.
- Educate your children about why we honor veterans and the wars in which military personnel may have served. Explain to your children or family members that Veterans Day celebrates all members of the military: those currently serving and those who have served previously, both in times of peace as well as in times of war.
- Volunteer with the Disabled American Veterans organization to provide a vet with free transportation to VA medical facilities.
- Send a care package to a service member with baked goods, cards, or toiletries.
And, of course, the simplest way to show support is by saying thank you.