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Thursday, August 25, 2011

A quick note to MAC users

The sound files in the Bell Ringing post below (bell echo ceremony and Lt. Governor Owen's speech) have now been updated to mp3 files, rather than the Windows-specific format originally used. Also, Mr. Chiechi's age was listed erroneously in the earlier post. It has now been corrected. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ringing of the bells for a fallen General

AWG Deputy Commander Roger Flygare, along with Generals Skip Dreps, Mark Gjurasic and John Welsh, conducted a 21-bell "Echo Bell Salute" on behalf of the association to open the memorial service in the state Capitol rotunda for General Vito Chiechi. Mr. Chiechi died July 26 at age 86.


General Roger Flygare, left of podium, rings the bell while Mark Gjurasic
and John Welsh  pay their respects to Vito Chiechi in the rotunda.

General Skip Dreps rings the echo bell on the balcony above.















Lt. Governor Owen addressed General Chiechi's public legacy.
 Hear the lieutenant governor's speech

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vito will be first to get 'Echo Peal' salute

The Association of Washington Generals will participate in celebrating the memory of General Vito Chiechi on August 24, who will become the first Washingtonian to be honored with a 21 Peal Bell Salute in the Capitol rotunda.

General Skip Dreps provides this report based on research he conducted with the National Archives.

The peal of a bell has a long naval/military tradition. This year for example a peal was added to a national service in Hawaii.


“In a new addition to this year's event at the Pearl Harbor Memorial service, the ship's bell from the USS Arizona was to peal while a survivor visited each of the 14 attack sites around the harbor, said National Park Service historian Daniel Martinez.


The peal of a bell has also been used to honor the passing of royalty:


“The bells of St Paul's Cathedral were rung (in 2002) for four hours in a half-muffled full peal yesterday in remembrance of the Queen Mother. It was the first time that this had happened since the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. A full peal had been scheduled as a joyous Eastertide event, but after the Queen Mother's death on Saturday the Dean and Chapter of the cathedral decided that a half-muffled full peal would be rung as a memorial to her. The Queen Mother was a regular visitor to St Paul's, and was patron of the Friends of St Paul's Cathedral for 50 years. Yesterday's full peal of the cathedral's 12 bells began at noon and could be heard across the City of London and beyond.”


In Hartford Connecticut they have celebrated their independence on July 4th for the eighth time this year with a peal salute: “Members of the state chapter of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence will ring a replica of the Liberty Bell Monday in honor of the 13 colonies that separated from England in 1776. The bell will be rung once for each of the original colonies of America.”

Our tradition of military salutes is as follows:  “The tradition of firing blank rounds from the gun batteries of both ships and fortifications as a form of salute goes back almost to the earliest days of naval guns.  It apparently originated as a sign of good faith; by discharging your guns, you temporarily disarmed yourself and thereby showed yourself to have peaceful intentions.  The number of guns varied from situation to situation and country-to-country--for many years, ships would fire up to seven guns and shore fortifications (which could store more powder) would return salutes with up to three guns for each fired by the ship.
 
The earliest record of an American warship exchanging salutes with a shore installation occurred in October 1776, when the Danish battery at St. Croix saluted a Continental schooner, Virgin Islands.  It was not until 1818 that the U.S. Navy issued regulations on this subject, requiring that "an officer appointed to command in chief shall be saluted on hoisting his flag."  Those regulations also prescribed a 21-gun salute for the President, conforming to the number of guns that had been established as the royal salute in the British service but also corresponding to the number of states in the Union at the time, 19 for the Vice President, and 17 for cabinet members and governors. 

The 1821 revision changed the President's 21 guns to one gun for each state (23 at the time) and added provisions for salutes of 15 guns for major generals, 13 for brigadier generals and commodores on separate service, nine for other commodores, and seven for captains. 

An 1823 order provided for a 15-gun salute to the Board of Naval Commissioners visiting a ship as a body.  The 1833 Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Navy raised the Vice President's salute to 21 guns, cabinet members' to 19, and the Board of Navy Commissioners to 17.  It also provided for salutes of 17 guns for full admirals, 15 for vice admirals, and 13 for rear admirals, notwithstanding that none of these ranks existed at the time in the U.S. Navy.  Finally, in 1843, by which time the number of states had reached 26, a new set of regulations returned the President's entitlement to the internationally recognized 21 guns, dropped the Vice President back to 19 and cabinet officers back to 17.”

The echo peal tradition began with this tradition:

“Navy ships on the Potomac passing George Washington's tomb at Mount Vernon pay tribute to the memory of our first president in one of the Navy's oldest ceremonies. Ships of the Navy follow a prescribed and inspiring ceremony; private vessels toll their bells as they pass the channel leading to the Mount Vernon wharf.

Commodore Charles Morris, United States Navy, related the earliest known account of this ceremony. In May of 1801, three men-of-war of the U.S. Navy passed up the Potomac River to the new Navy Yard in the District of Columbia. Commodore Morris, as a young midshipman, was on board the two-year old frigate USS Congress (36 guns, Captain James Sever). In his autobiography he states:


‘The ship was delayed by head winds so that we did not reach Washington till late in May. We passed the frigate United States in the lower part of the Potomac. About 10 o'clock in the morning of a beautifully serene day, we passed Mount Vernon. Every one was on deck to look upon the dwelling where Washington had made his home. Mrs. Washington and others of the family could be distinguished in the portico, which fronts the river.

When opposite the house, by order of Captain Sever, the sails were lowered, the colors displayed half-masted, and a mourning salute of thirteen guns was fired as a mark of respect to the memory of Washington, whose life had so recently closed, and whose tomb was in our view. The general silence on board the ship and around us, except when broken by the cannon's sound, the echo and re-echo of that sound from the near and distant hills, as it died away in the distance, the whole ship's company uncovered and motionless, and the associations connected with the ceremony, seemed to make a deep impression upon all, as they did certainly upon me.

When the salute was finished the sails were again set, the colors hoisted, and we proceeded up the river. The frigate New York had preceded us, without saluting, but we found her grounded on the bar at the entrance of the eastern branch of the Potomac, and the Congress, passing her, was the first ship of war that reached what has since become the Navy Yard at Washington. The frigates New York and United States joined us a few days afterwards.’ ” Thus, the tradition of the peal of the bell and its echo in honor enable respect and good fortune was born in America.

The honor then became official with a Presidential act:

“In 1906 when the yacht Mayflower rendered passing honors with President Theodore Roosevelt embarked, he was much impressed. Finding upon inquiry that the honors were not official, he immediately prompted the issuance of the following order prescribing the ceremony to be observed by all vessels of the United States Navy passing Mount Vernon between sunrise and sunset:


‘Marine guard and band paraded; bell tolled and colors halfmasted at the beginning of the tolling of the bell. When opposite Washington's Tomb, buglers sound taps, marine guard present arms, and officers and men on deck stand at attention and salute. The colors will be mastheaded at the last note of taps which will also be the signal for 'carry on.'  (General Order No. 22, June 2, 1906).


Today's orders are the same except that the playing of the national anthem was prescribed in 1913. The tolling of the ship's bell is perhaps the most distinctive aspect of the ceremony, which is observed during daylight hours while the tomb and adjacent areas are abeam.”


The manner of rendering these military honors varies, depending on the size and complement of the ship. Insofar as practicable, it calls for parading the full guard and band, playing the national anthem, half-masting the national ensign, and tolling the bell. As a naval ship passes Mount Vernon, the crew forms up on deck with the tallest sailor nearest the bow and attention is sounded. When opposite the tomb, "hand salute" is signaled. Meanwhile the ship's bell is struck eight times at five-second intervals. As the bell begins to toll, the national ensign is lowered to half-mast.

According to General Dreps:

The Association of Washington Generals (AWG) is the only organization in our nation’s history to combine our military traditions of using the peal of a bell.  In our past we have honored our Fallen Washington Generals with a single 21 Peal Bell Salute. The Echo Peal Salute created by Commanding General Bill Sperry to combine our salute and the history Echo TAPS to reflect our highest of historic military honors. It was used to by the Washington Generals to honor each service member killed in Iraq or Afghanistan this year for the first time at the Garden of Remembrance at the Benayora Hall in Seattle. For each service member the peal of the bell and its echo sounded with the reading of each name.

Image
General Skip Dreps rings a bell at the Garden of Remembrance after each of eight names of fallen soldiers are read at the Garden of Remembrance at Benaroya Hall on Memorial Day. (Seattle Times photo)

On August 24, the 21 Echo Bell Salute will be rendered for the first time in our state and nation’s history to honor the memory of AWG Board member Vito Chiechi in the Legislative Building in our State’s Capitol. Deputy Commanding General Roger Flygare will ring the lead bell and AWG Skip Dreps will ring the echo bell.

"It is fitting that this unique honor is bestowed to Vito that combines the tradition of TAPS, a 21-gun salute, and the peal of a ship’s bell to honor a Washington General who was a proud US Navy veteran. AWG is honored to participate in a salute to the life of Washington General and friend, Vito Chiechi, and with each peal and its echo we continue to be reminded of the passing of a great Washingtonian," said Dreps. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Senator Murray gets a briefing on AWG projects


Senator Patty Murray gets a briefing from General Dreps 

General Skip Dreps met with U.S. Senator Patty Murray following her Veterans Town Hall in Mount Vernon, Washington on August 18.

Skip reports that he was able to not only invite the Senator to AWG's annual banquet, but she was briefed on the Sv. Nikolai monument near La Push, Fort Nunez-Gaona and Diah Veterans Park in Neah Bay, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial flagpole and inscription project in Olympia, and the successful summit of Mt. Rainier by Camp Patriot.

She was also presented a Camp Patriot Summit shirt for her support of this annual event.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wounded warriors get a new home

The Association of Washington Generals is a longtime supporter of the Wounded Warriors program. The Tacoma News Tribune reports on a new home for wounded warriors at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in today's edition. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Attending Washingtonian of the Year? You can now register and pay online

With the Sept. 17 Washingtonian of the Year event fast approaching and tickets being reserved at a brisk clip, the Association of Washington Generals is now offering a new way to purchase your tickets - online.

For your convenience, you can reserve your ticket(s) online via a convenient web form, then click on the PayPal icon below to complete the  transaction.  The form also provides the choices of mailing in a check or paying at the door. The event is limited to just 100 participants.



Ticket Quantity


The form and PayPal payment option is also available on the AWG Web site.
The event will honor this year's Washingtonian of the Year recipients Mack Strong, former Seattle Seahawks fullback who has devoted himself to civic causes, and Zoë Higheagle-Strong, chapter executive of HOPE worldwide – Washington. 

For more information contact info@WAGenerals.org

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fundraising for Vietnam memorial flag poles and inscription

(Editor's note: This article thanking the AWG is reposted from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs' blog of July 6). 
 
Fundraising continues for the addition of flag poles and an inscription at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Capitol Campus.

Our thanks goes to Skip Dreps and the Association of Washington Generals who contributed $3,100; members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars who contributed over $1,300 at their annual convention in Yakima; and attendees of the 45th Anniversary of the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces who raised over $800 at their Seattle event.

As of July 5, far we’ve received $11,335 in contributions, so we’re on our way to raising the $50,000 we need to move forward. But we need your help to get the word out to other veterans or supporters who can help.

Has your VSO post or chapter gotten involved by sending a donation or posting flyers?
Do you know a business or individual who might be interested in donating?
Do you have an upcoming event where donations could be collected?
Let us know! Call Committee Co-Chairman Dale Parsons aka ‘Sgt Bilko’ at 253-208-7791 or e-mail heidia@dva.wa.gov.

Keep track of our donation status and see whether your organization has contributed here: http://www.dva.wa.gov/VietnamMemorialFundraising/VietnamMemorialFlagpoleProject.html

Thursday, August 4, 2011

'Washingtonian of the Year' event to honor Mack and Zoe Strong at Seahawks headquarters


The Seahawks Headquarters/VMAC in Renton will the the site of the Sept. 17 Washingtonian of the Year event

Final details are being laid for a Sept. 17 reception at Seahawks Headquarters/Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC) in Renton for the Association of Washington Generals' "Washingtonian of the Year" event.

The Washingtonian of the Year Award is bestowed annually to persons who have demonstrated leadership, selflessness, generosity and compassion in their service to others.  This year’s award goes to the husband and wife team of Mack Strong, former Seattle Seahawks fullback who has devoted himself to civic causes, and Zoë Higheagle-Strong, chapter executive of HOPE worldwide – Washington. 

The fundraising event will start at 5 p.m., and is tentatively set to be emceed by Lt. Governor Brad Owen. It will feature a silent auction, tours of the VMAC, the Seahawks Sea Gals (attending only), the Blue Thunder Drum Line and a presentation on the history of the Washington Generals. It will be catered by Famous Dave's BBQ.

The event is being coordinated by General Mike Flood, vice president for community relations for the Seattle Seahawks & Sounders FC, with assistance from the General's Washingtonian of the Year banquet committee and the Seahawks/Sounders FC organization.

Tickets are $100. More details will be posted on this space as they become available. Meantime, to reserve a place you may contact the Generals at info@wagenerals.org


Memorial Service for General Vito Chiechi set for Aug. 24 in Capitol

The memorial for Vito Chiechi, a Washington General with a long history of service to the state who died July 26, is set for 2 p.m. Aug. 24 in the rotunda of the Legislative Building.

General Chiechi had served on the AWG Board of Directors for several years prior to his death. He was 86.

Deputy Commander Roger Flygare said Mr. Chiechi will be remembered as "a true and loyal friend" of the Generals. Several AWG members are expected to attend the ceremony.

More on Vito:

Vito Chiechi served several roles during his 40-year career in politics.
Vito Chiechi

Phil and Helen Smart newest Generals

Phil Smart with a young hospital patient

Phil Smart, the owner of Seattle’s first Mercedes-Benz dealership, a retired colonel and an “ultimate volunteer” (Puget Sound Business Journal) and his wife Helen “Precious” Smart were commissioned as Honorary Generals by Commanding General Bill Sperry on July 12 at a ceremony at the dealership. Board directors of the Children’s Hospital and Boy Scouts as well as the Seattle’s Consul General from Germany attended the nomination ceremony.

According to his nomination, Col. Smart has contributed much of his time volunteering at the Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center for over 40 years and with the Eagle Scouts for 14 years. He has raised the spirits of the young and ill by dressing up as Santa for 26 Christmases and has shared his experience and thoughts about community service with over 65,000 people since 1991.

The Seattle-King County Association of Realtors named Phil Smart First Citizen of 1994 for his service to communities and stated, "Phil is a true believer that life is not measured by duration, but by donation…Phil truly has found the ways to give himself away.”

When asked what stands behind the his success, Smart answered that that he couldn’t have done it all without his “Precious” wife Helen who has been by his side for 70 years.

Commander's Report: Sperry calls on Generals to recruit more Generals and update bylaws to streamline process


Recruiting more members into the Association of Washington Generals should be a top priority of the organization, Commander Bill Sperry stated at the July 12 meeting of the AWG’s executive board in Olympia.

Commander Bill Sperry

“It is obvous to me, that since becoming associated with the Generals, that one of the reasons we are declining in support is because we are not ‘sexy’ enough, we do not have enough good causes for people to rally behind,” Sperry said. "Just raising money for school kids’ scholarships just isn’t enough.”

Sperry said the focus must be on proper organization, with a strong set of bylaws and the financial support through dues to back it up.

Sperry called on the organization to open its doors widely to new members who deserve recognition, saying there should be “no limits” as to the number.

“I feel there are hundreds of people in our state who should be honored,” Sperry said. “If you find someone who deserves to be a General, write them up and we will get them approved for an award!”

Sperry said a new “general” category of membership should be created in the bylaws in order to bring more people as Generals. The process of admitting new members should also be streamlined, he added, noting that a broader membership base could potentially bring in more dues-paying members.

Following Sperry’s comments, General Ralph Ibarra offered to lend his lengthy business management experience to the task of updating the bylaws with a more efficient process for membership.

“The process needs to be done systematically so we don’t have to go back and fix each time and so the organization doesn’t find itself at risk in any way, shape or form,” said Ibarra.

"Things change, and we need to be on top of that," said Sperry. "I compare this to a five-paragraph field order, that is the five-step process for problem solving that we learned in the Army."

Generals Zimmerman and Gjurasic participate in Korean Wreath-Laying Ceremony on Capitol Campus


Generals Gjurasic and Zimmerman at Korean Wreath-Laying ceremony


Generals Mark Gjurasic and Jim Zimmerman represented the AWG at the annual wreath-laying event at the Korean Memorial on July 23 on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

"We were glad and proud to present the AWG," Gjurasic said.

The annual ceremony pays tribute to veterans of the Korean War. An event at the memorial sponsored by the Korean community took place on June 25 also drew participation by the Generals.   

Happy 40th Birthday to the Generals!

40th Birthday Cake

Dear AWG:

According to the AWG Bylaws and the records of the Secretary of State,
2011 marks the 40th Anniversary of the Association of Washington Generals.  Furthermore, the filing date for incorporation of the AWG was July 12, 1971; coincidentally, our last meeting was held on Tuesday, July 12, so Happy 40th Anniversary AWG!!

Best regards,

Ralph B. Ibarra
Full General - AWG

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Generals forge ahead on Russian ship rememberance project

Artists rendition of the Sv Nikolai by Jack Datisman


By Irina Korosteleva
Washington’s historical and nearly forgotten story of Russia and its native peoples has attracted the attention of the Washington Generals, who have taken initiative to represent the cultural tie by constructing a monument to a Russian ship that became stranded off the Washington coast more than two centuries ago.

The monument, slated for construction in May, 2012,  will stand by the Hoh River where Russian sailors retreated and where a story of epic survival took place.

In 1808, the Russian American Company sent the small ship Sv. Nikolai from what is now Sitka, Alaska to a few miles north of the Quileute village of LaPush on the northwest coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Rather than finishing the mission, heavy seas pushed the ship onshore just north of the Quileute River. Twenty-one men and three women aboard survived; other members of the crew were killed or captured by the natives, while some took refuge at distance and endured harsh winter conditions. A couple of years later, a ransom payment made by an American sea captain rescued 13 members of the original crew.

To revive and commemorate their story, the AWG sought donated land located beside the Hoh Rain Forest interpretive center in the Olympic National Park- a popular tourist route and believed to be at or near the original location where Russian settlers once took refuge. 

Commanding General Bill Sperry, who is coordinating the memorial project, went before the Jefferson County Planning Commission in February to propose that the county assume ownership of the memorial when completed. However, he was told Jefferson County is under pressure to not add more parks to its system and in fact scale back its inventory of parks, which put it in a tough position to assume ownership of the Nikolai project. Despite the setback, however, Commission did approve the initiation of the project while long-term ownership and maintenance responsibilities are still being worked out.

In hopes to fundraise and build the monument, the Generals set a lecture on May 15 held at the Russian Community Center in Seattle. The wreck of the Sv. Nikolai ship informed the Russian community of the ties between Russian history and the native peoples of Washington, Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii.

By informing the Russian community, the AWG helps the State of Washington maintain cultural ties to its history.

“AWG builds international relationships through projects like St. Nikolai,” said General Skip Dreps, “and it also plays a vital role in remembering our veterans contribution to our State and Nation.”

Commander Sperry added: “This is a significant incident on Russian and American History and is worthy of honoring the Russian sailors.”

Dispatch from the field: General Welsh participates in French ceremony noting American independence


The Association of Washington Generals recently received this report from General John Welsh:

Commander Sperry, I was honored to receive an invitation for the July 4 ceremony noting American independence at Picpus Cemetery in Paris, held at Lafayette’s gravesite, attended by US and French diplomatic officials.  

The invitation came from the French Branch of the Society of Sons of the American Revolution i(SAR) in which I am an honorary member, as well as being a member of the American Branch of the SAR.   (My curriculum vita included membership is the Society of Washington Generals.)   

Afterwards, the invitees moved to the Palais de Luxembourg, the seat of the French Senate, for a program followed by  dinner in the Senate dining room.  I was later treated to dinner in the gala “Restaurant Opera” at the Café de la Paix, followed the next day by a day trip to the refurbished 18th century Chateau de Chantilly.  

My colleagues are arranging a program next year at the Palace of Versailles featuring “George Washington” and his French ally, the “Comte de Rochambeau,” in a salute to the French/American alliance.   France is America’s longest ally, and entered into a formal military alliance with Congress during the American Revolution.  The French corps in America was led by Lt. Gen. Rochambeau.  The joint allies defeated the British army at Yorktown which ended the war, and the peace treaty was signed in Paris in 1783.    

John Beresford Welsh, Esq.

Generals help Camp Patriot climbers summit Mt. Rainier

The Association of Washington Generals showed their support for Camp Patriot, an organization that assists disabled veterans, by participating in a gala banquet at CenturyLink Field  in Seattle on July 9 to help send three vets and their support team to the summit of Mt. Rainier. 

Camp Patriot vets near Rainier Summit


The AWG donated $1,000 to help raise funds for the Camp Patriot Annual Summit Challenge on Mt. Rainier. The climb was successful: Gil Magallanes Jr, Eric Cowan and Derrick Ford made it to the top.

The Camp Patriot banquet was coordinated by General Mike Flood, vice president for community affairs for the Seattle Seahawks/Sounders organization.

The Seattle Seahawks and Sounders also sponsor the event, along with other various community organizations in hopes of helping Camp Patriot reach the peak of Mount Rainier.

       

General Dreps keynote speaker for Vietnam Vets parade in Seattle


General Skip Dreps offers "final" salute

General Skip Dreps served as the keynote speaker the 46th Annual Army of the Republic of Vietnam Veterans Day in Seattle on June 18, and led the parade.

To help the state’s Department of Veterans Affairs with their efforts to raise $50,000 to complete additions to incorporate three new flagpoles, the Washington Generals, presented a donation of $3,100.
Colonel Pham Huy Sanh, retired Executive Board Chairman of the Republic Of South Viet Nam Armed Forces Veterans Confederation of Washington State, assisted in being the Parade Marshal and the master of ceremonies.  
                                   
In concluding the parade, Skip Dreps and Colonel Sanh laid a wreath in honor of all soldiers who died in the Vietnam War.

Generals participate in Korean War Memorial wreath laying ceremony


Washington Generals were among the crowd, along with members of the Korean community and other dignitaries at a wreath-laying ceremony on June 25. (Department of Veterans Affairs photo) 

Representatives from the Association of Washington Generals were among those attending the 61st Anniversary Korean War Memorial Ceremony in Olympia on June 25.

Generals Bill and Kitty Sperry, Jim and Nancy Zimmerman, Skip Dreps and Mark Gjurasic, along with the South Korean Consul General Young W. Song and Major General John A. Hemphill laid a wreath at the Memorial ceremony, which was filmed by the South Korean’s Department of Defense that commissioned a documentary in honor of the rescue of over 95,000 North Koreans in evacuation of Hungnam by US forces in December 1950, and UN’s involvement in the Korean War.

State Rep. Cindy Ryu and Federal Way Council member Michael Park emceed the ceremony, which was coordinated by State Senator Paull Shin and the Korean War Meritorious Veterans League.

At its conclusion, the Generals met with Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs Director John Lee and visited additional veterans memorials on the Capitol Campus.

Symphony maestro Gerard Schwarz made a General


Gerard Schwarz, at podium, addresses Bill and Kitty Sperry. To the left is Roger Flygare, deputy commander. 

Gerard Schwarz, who recently laid down his the final beat as conductor of the Seattle Symphony after 26 years, had just one more act on his final day in the office: to accept a commission as a Washington general.  On June 17 Commander Bill Sperry presented the maestro with his commission in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.


The commission captured not only that Schwarz was being awarded for his work with the Seattle Symphony, but also for his involvement in the community in various educational and civic activities.  The commissioning was covered by KIRO-TV news.

Upon reflection of his career, Schwarz stated "I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to do what I have done and I couldn't do it without a lot of people saying yes. It's been a phenomenal time.”
Schwarz has conducted more than 100 world premieres in Seattle and has 14 Grammy nominations and two Emmy Awards to his credit. Although he has stepped down from his position as music director, he will continue to lead the symphony several weeks each year as its conductor laureate.

Generals commission Gary Loomis

Gary Loomis, left with Lt. Governor Owen  and Commander Bill Sperry
Gary Loomis, founder of a company that manufactures high-performance fishing rods and a leader in fisheries conservation efforts, has found new company in the Generals. Loomis was handed his commission during a June 14 board meeting in Olympia by Lt. Governor Brad Owen.

Since leaving G. Loomis in 1997, the Woodland resident has devoted his time in serving in organizations dedicated to rehabilitating and protecting the fisheries of the Pacific Northwest. He has helped establish the Coastal Conservation Association Pacific Northwest and Fish First.

In accepting his commission, Loomis told the Generals board members:  “Thank you. I will continue to do what I can to making Washington a better state for fishing.”