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2 days ago

Washington State Society Sons of the American Revolution

Too bad they will not return from D.C. until 10:30 PM on Monday! ☹️

Puget Sound Honor Flight
And, we are on our way! First stop ... WWII Memorial! And of course, the customary “Red Bus Rocks” chant to get the day started!
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Washington State Knight Essay winner, Benjamin Crosby, receives the state award and medal from National Knight Essay Committee Chairman James M Lindley, at the George Washington Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution Meeting last Saturday. ... See MoreSee Less

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“By the rude bridge, that arch’d the flood, their flag to April’s breeze unfurl’d, here once the embattled farmers stood, and Fired the Shot Heard Round the World!”
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Despatch from Fort Lewis, 15th instant:

Beg to Report.

DAR State Regent Julie Pittman's State Project" is the emplacement of nine granite benches throughout the State honoring American "Women who serve yesterday - today - tomorrow."
Sunday, Mary Ball Chapter Regent Lee Gentemann led a gathering of members, DAR State officers, and JBLM military women in a DEDICATION CEREMONY for this beautiful bench.

The SAR-DAR Color Guard with Drum Corps was honored to open the ceremonies by presenting and posting the Colors.
Amazingly the rain parted for the ceremony and a lone eagle circled the proceedings!
Dignitaries along with Julie Pittman included the JBLM Garrison Commander, Col. Nicole Lucas, Alfie Alvarado, Director of WDVA, and LTC Barbara Nichols, ANC (Ret.), a decorated veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
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(One of the most unforgettable characters I ever met.)
You could even say that Stan Wills is the Father of our Washington SAR Color Guard.
Here is the story:

In 2011, when I joined SAR, I got interested in the Color Guard.
My leader at the time here in Western Washington, was Lee Thomasson, Captain of the Alexander Hamilton Chapter. I became his "first follower". I learned that we had some six color guards, four in Eastern Washington and just Lee and Fred Ramsey here. Lee, Fred and I began by posting colors at the Salvation Army, our first gig in 2011.

Everyone kept saying, "Have you met Stan Wills?" , "Do you know Stan Wills?". I finally emailed him, talked to him on the phone. Stan, a retired Navy veteran, Senior Chief Petty Officer in the submarine Navy, was a leader, and had been doing a lot of color guard outreach and parades in his neck of the woods around Spokane. They went to Honor Flights, posted colors for civic organizations, did citizenship ceremonies, gun shows and marched in several parades. He and Gale Palmer did a lot of living history in the schools too. They even had a drummer, Bill Caskey. Stan told me all about it, encouraged me to get uniformed, and learn more about everything that happened in the 1700s, especially our Founding. He was full of great ideas, inspiring!

Well, Doug Nelson in Poulsbo took his uniform out of the closet, lost a little weight and joined us. We decided to carry the Colors in our first parade, the HUGE Veterans Day Parade in Auburn, Nov 5, 2011. Stan and Gale came all the way from Spokane to be our armed musketeers, complete with sparkling bayonets! Doug, Lee and I carried the Colors. Stan also told us about many of their Eastern Washington events and what they were doing. More inspiration and encouragement from my intrepid mentor!

I decided we needed a State Color Guard Commander and talked to Stan to be our commander. He deferred to me, saying, "Since most of the chapters, and all the activity will be in Western Washington. No, it should be you." So in 2011, the Washington State Society Color Guard was formally "commissioned". Thanks to Vice Commander Stan Wills, we completed that first year with 27 uniformed events, statewide.

For'ard to seven years later: Our WA SAR Color Guard has grown to 54 uniformed guardsmen, (!) participating in some 200 events each year. It includes our SAR-DAR Fife and Drum Corps of 12 musicians. Nearly half of these events are living history presentations in public, private and home schools. DAR chapters and DAR state officers are asking for us.

Meantime, Stan Wills founded the Mid-Columbia Chapter, in Kennewick. Now with a five-man, very active Color Guard Unit. They will host our SAR Annual Meeting this month. Their Color Guard Captain Larry Flint is chairman of the planning committee and their President Barry Moravek is a uniformed color guard as well. Stan will be there as usual, in uniform, lending his sage advice, common sense, and leadership to the proceedings.

I salute Vice Commander, Major Stan Wills, for all his strong and continuous support over these past seven years. For his shining example as a patriot and a SAR leader. His personal encouragement of my efforts and our activities and events. He now fully supports our new Color Guard Commander Art Dolan. Stan's enthusiasm, expertise, and leadership have been the seeds that sprouted to become the now semi-famous Washington State "SAR-DAR Color Guard and Fife & Drum Corps" WOW!
Thank you Stan, for all you did and all you do for WA SAR!!

- Bob O'Neal, Lt. Col. US Army (Ret.)
Past Commander, Washington SAR Color Guard (2011-2017)
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