Retirement community honors local vets, raise funds

Spiritwood at Pine Lake residents handmade 200 poppy flowers to honor Veteran’s Day.

Spiritwood at Pine Lake honored its resident veterans Monday afternoon as seniors handed out 200 handmade poppies in recognition of Veterans Day at a local QFC.

Jennifer Angell, marketing director at Spiritwood, organized the holiday event after her successful themed calendar campaign to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. Several veterans from multiple eras of war participated in the event, and locals enjoyed seeing and speaking with the veterans.

“It was amazing — people were loving it,” Angell said. “It was just neat to have the veterans out… It made me proud to be American, to know that those men had given up their lives essentially.”

Poppies are a common weed in Europe and often were the only flowers to grow on a barren battlefield. An artificial poppy has become a commemorative symbol throughout the United States and other countries to honor those who’ve died in war.

Spiritwood residents handmade 200 poppy flowers and handed them out at the local QFC, gathering about $200 for the Veterans Association throughout the day. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Angell

Spiritwood residents handmade 200 poppy flowers and handed them out at the local QFC, gathering about $200 for the Veterans Association throughout the day. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Angell

Washington state has one of the lowest number of veterans per capita, but Spiritwood has the honor of hosting several, including Lt. Col. Bob Nuss, 98, a veteran of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Nuss was joined by Korean War veteran, Bill Adams and fellow WWII veteran, Robert Hansbough, who has written several books about his experiences.

They chatted and were eventually joined by Sgt. 1st Class Trevor Riesner, who toured Iraq twice since he joined the army in 2006 and currently works as a recruiter. He has earned awards, including the Meritorious Service medal, Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal.

“The interesting thing is just the conversation between Trevor and those men,” Angell said. “[Nuss] was the original flight navigator who helped dropped the bomb on Nagasaki.”

Nuss and Hansbough are the only two WWII veterans remaining at Spiritwood — five had lived there last year.

Riesner brought his family and took time to visit with all Spiritwood residents who were interested. He swapped stories with the resident veterans and the men shared differences and similarities about how they regard the service now compared to when they first joined.

Riesner and Nuss talked for about two hours.

“They talked about the politics in the military now,” Angell said. “Bob felt that the military is too political now, and he wouldn’t have joined [today], he said, because, ‘I really feel like after Vietnam there were too many political statements being made and you’re no longer a hero…’ It gave me chills to be quite honest.”

Throughout the day, Spiritwood residents raised about $200 while handing out poppy flowers to QFC patrons. All proceeds were donated to the Veterans Association of America.

“I feel like none of us would be here and living the lives we do with our freedom without those men. I’m thankful every day,” Angell said. “To think about them putting their lives on the line like that and what they see at such a young age, it is unbelievable to me. And how could you not thank them?”

Sgt. 1st Class Trevor Riesner, an active service member, visits with Spiritwood residents during Veterans Day to answer questions and meet with other veterans. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Angell

Sgt. 1st Class Trevor Riesner, an active service member, visits with Spiritwood residents during Veterans Day to answer questions and meet with other veterans. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Angell

More in News

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

Providence Point residents speak out in support for intersection improvements

Issaquah residents supported a traffic light on SE 43rd Street at a CIP public hearing on July 1.

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Kennedy
                                Tools4Schools will be having its annual school supplies drive Aug. 12.
ISF and Issaquah Food Clothing Bank partner again for Tools4Schools drive

Tools4School provided more than 900 backpacks to students during the 2018-19 school year.

Photo courtesy of Life Enrichment Options
                                The annual Challenge Race returns to Issaquah for the 22nd year on July 27 at the Issaquah Community Center.
Challenge Race returns to Issaquah

The annual event will take place at the Issaquah Community Center on July 27.

Pete, with his companion Nina, served as “the foundation” of the zoo’s gorilla program when he first arrived in Seattle in 1969. Photo courtesy of Dennis Dow / Woodland Park Zoo
Prop 1 would fund parks, zoos and open spaces

King County voters could approve the renewal and increase of the levy on the August ballot.

Issaquah begins long-term planning for the future of parks

Long-term master plans for three major Issaquah open space areas are in the works.

An aerial photo shows the locations of two earthquakes and five aftershocks in and near Monroe, which rattled the Puget Sound region early Friday. The first was the magnitude 4.6 quake at upper right, 13 miles under the intersection of U.S. 2 and Fryelands Boulevard SE at 2:51 a.m. The second, magnitude 3.5, occurred 18 miles under the Old Snohomish-Monroe Road at 2:53 a.m. The aftershocks followed during the ensuing two hours. This image depicts an area about 3 miles wide. (Herald staff and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network)
Early wake-up call: Twin quakes under Monroe rattle region

Thousands of people felt them. They were magnitude 4.6 and 3.5 and hit minutes apart.

Courtesy photo
King County Sheriff’s Office has been giving ICE unredacted information

Both the office and jail have supplied the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

‘Feedback loops’ of methane, CO2 echo environmental problem beyond Washington

University of Washington among researchers of climate change’s effects in global temperatures.

Most Read