Do you know who you are standing next to? When I was a young boy, my dad would take me to Fort Richardson in Alaska, where he worked, and introduce me to a number of individuals in uniform. I remember them all – whether it was true or not – as friendly and encouraging. They all had some story that was captivating to an 8-year-old boy who loved playing Army…and it was for that reason – those stories – that I joined the…Navy.
Edmonds is home to many untold stories of those who have served our country in uniform. OMF Cares, of which I serve as an advisor, recently captured a few of those stories in the Edmonds “Heroes of the Military 2015” calendar. Richard Bologna, who served as the project lead on what has turned into a masterful retelling of some of these stories, spent six months meeting with these heroes and getting them to share their piece of history.
The stories are told from those who served as recently as the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom conflict to as far back as WWII – and they are all Edmonds residents.
The calendars will be made available at the Nov. 11 National “After the Hug” Gala event and a select few are now available at the Edmonds Bookshop. All proceeds go to support the mission of OMF Cares, which is addressing real-time issues of homelessness, post-service career change, and critical healthy lifestyle issues for military and veteran families.
Bottom line: The next time you are in a coffee shop or downtown at one of the local merchants and you come across someone you don’t know, take a moment to ask them to share their story. You never know what bit of history you’ll uncover.
— By Michael Schindler
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.