Posted by Joe Quinn on May 24, 2019
     The theme of this week’s bulletin is best exemplified by this photograph:
      Her Ladyship Gayle Selden started off the meeting with military precision precisely at 12:30 p.m with an Inspiration by Jan Gee.    It was appropriately dedicated to those who serve.
     That was followed by a respectable singing of the Star Spangled Banner by the assemblage.  Jacob, the Norwegian Exchange Student standing next to me, belted out our National Anthem as though he has sung it many times since last August.  Later I found out that he has, and he likes it better than O Canada!
      The Rotary Army of helpers today included:  Eric Warn at the Paul Harris table, Jan Gee doubling as Sergeant-at-Arms, Eric Quinn as War Photographer, and the usual set up crew of Duncan (Cook), Ward (Fletcher), Rob (Erb), Bob (Hammar) and Terry (Roarke).
      Leanna Christian introduced Guest Christina Holderith.  Astrid Arola introduced Chris Wood. Gary Barton introduced Susan Hartle.  Kevin Griess—the military mayor of the Army Garrison of Rheinland Pfalz-- was also with us today.  And District Governor Greg Horn introduced Jacob Christiansen, the aforementioned Exchange Student from Larvik, Norway.
Above: Greg Horn with Norwegian Exchange Student, Jacob
      Sunshine Report:  Mary Horn reported that Sally Smith, who fell ill during the Rotary Conference excursion, is recovering from a long-term health issue.  Jim Rooks said Puffin Bob Bruback is dealing with some sort of anemia, which requires chemotherapy, and wants badly to come back to Rotary when he can. 
      Gayle read a nice thank you note from Rotary Scholarship recipient Gabby Trevino.
       Queen Gayle also said one theme today would be audience participation, so that is why she forced us to try to sing the Star Spangled Banner.  She immediately asked us to participate in a quick roll call vote on whether we wanted to meet or cancel the meeting on Friday, July 5th, with Independence Day being the day before.  A strong majority voted to cancel that meeting.
      A DIGRESSION:   What does Memorial Day mean to us?  It surely is about patriotism, right?  But what is patriotism?  I think it is much more than riding around with an American flag in your truck.  By coincidence, I decided to re-read the “Winds of War” by Herman Wouk this past week.  It has got me thinking about the meaning of patriotism and “The Greatest Generation.”  Americans fought and died for our freedoms; that was true patriotism.  Thanks to all those who serve now.  In this era, when we no longer have the Selective Service System—the draft—it is even more of a sacrifice to volunteer for military service.   Many come back scarred, physically or mentally with conditions like PTSD.  Thanks to all our veterans and especially those now in uniform.  See more about that below and what we could do for them.
      ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Her Excellency then announced that Clover Park Rotary’s Capri Night is next Friday, May 31st.  
Also, John Lowney desires (demands?) our attendance on June 28 for the coronation, ‘er Installation, of Bill Potter and his new board members. Only 5 weeks left, Gayle said, in her reign, to mild applause.  Seems to me that means we are going to miss her.
      Speaking of President-Elect Bill Potter, he announced that we will be celebrating the area Rotary Clubs’ night at the Tacoma Rainiers on August 15th so see Bill if you want to attend.  Tailgate time is 5:15 p.m. and first pitch is at 7:05 p.m.  RSVP by July 12th.   Game and tailgate: $18 each.  Tailgate only:  $10 each (is that option offered because the Rainiers are not winning?).
      The Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament at Thornewood Castle is June 14th so fork over $50 and play poker.  See Barb Spriggs for that one.   Barb must be out of town lately; wonder if she’s been traveling.  (See how that Rat on a Rotarian can be, Gayle.)  By the way, the castle is haunted, Gayle said, so you might want to stay overnight at 40% off the usual price.
      Dave Coleman announced that he and John Warner came up with the idea for the Lakewood Historical Book Club, so if you are interested, your first task is to choose the first book.  Should it be American Moonshot (about the space program) or The Pioneers (about the pioneers who went West, obviously)?
      Continuing with audience participation, Gayle called for a vote on a proposed $2000 donation to Partners for Parks for the “H Barn Renovation”.  Nary a nay was heard; approved unanimously.
The Courage Bike Tour was announced.  It seems that “The Courage” without much Pierce County Rotary backing was not a huge success.  Therefore the Mary Bridge Hospital folks decided that a mistake was made by not recognizing how important the Rotary Clubs were in making the Courage Classic such a huge success for all those years.   The Courage Bike Tour will be held on August 24th weekend this year and will be re-dedicated to Rotary.  We are exploring the possibility of sponsoring the Leavenworth-area rest stop again.
The wonderful Waughop Lake poems, sponsored by Lakewood Rotary, were briefly mentioned. 
Above: New Lakewood Rotarian, Gary Barton, inducted by our Queen Gayle
      INDUCTION:  At that point Gayle inducted into membership a familiar face, Gary Barton.  His sponsor, Mary Horn, stepped forward with Gary.  Gary said his youngest son received funding as an Eagle Scout for their Springbrook Park Eagle project.  Gary has been married 36 years and is a retired hydrogeologist.  He has served as a Boy Scout Scoutmaster for many years. 
      YOUTH EXCHANGE PROGRAM:  Gayle said we are missing out on the wonderful Youth Exchange Program, and noted we have had many such exchange students here over the years.  District Governor Nominee Greg Horn has set a goal of 45 incoming exchange students during his year as District Governor (2020-21).  This year District 5020 had 28 students from all over the world; they were most impressive showing off their talents and poise at the District Conference in Victoria a couple of weeks ago.  We had the honor and pleasure of spending about four hours golfing and talking with Jacob Christiansen of Norway on Friday and we can tell you these kids are poised, intelligent and prove the next generation will be just fine.  Gayle said we just need a champion (a Youth Exchange Committee Chair) to get this program going again.  While it is too late for 2019-20 already, why not step forward and support Youth Exchange in “Greg’s year”?
       ANOTHER DIGRESSION:  Memorial Day got me thinking about Memories (get it?).  I remember this from my last few months at European Stars and Stripes, near the end of my four years in the Air Force.  I had a temporary assignment in the newspaper’s library, where the past clippings of the military newspaper for Europe were stored for reporters researching possible stories.  I had to reorganize the library to make it more user friendly.  One day I discovered numerous glossy black and white photos of all sizes just stuck away in a desk, apparently forgotten.   To my great surprise, I had stumbled upon historical photos of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials taken by Stars and Stripes photographers during those many hearings about what the Nazis did during World War II. Hermann Goering in uniform in the prisoner’s dock.  Speer, the industrialist, looking grim.   These photos were just shoved (or hidden) away in a desk in the library, which was managed by a German civilian, who probably really did not want to pay any attention to that embarrassing bit of history.  Needless to say, I brought the existence of these photos to the attention of Mert Proctor, the Managing Editor.  We shall never forget the lessons of history; nor should we forget those who died or suffered protecting our freedoms.
                Gayle then donned what she called her battered crown.  She nailed Terry Roarke for going on a cruise from Savannah, Georgia to Baltimore, Maryland over 16 days.   They only had a crowd of 28 revelers so it sounded like fun, with some time in Washington, D.C. too.  Worth a Greenleaf.
       Kendra Riconosciuto was recognized for finishing her baccalaureate degree after 16 years from her starting point.  She got her degree from WSU and attended more colleges than we can list here, but accomplished while raising two kids.  Kendra forked over $100 to help celebrate and Gayle said some members have made donations to the Paul Harris Foundation in Kendra’s name to honor her commitment and persistence.
      Gayle called on her father, Rick Selden, to contribute in honor of Sharon Selden, her mother, for being recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the Junior League. That was worth $20 from Rick who said Gayle should match it.  At least he meant to say that! 
      Astrid Arola is a proud Mom.  Her son was promoted to Major.  A pilot, he flew Astrid down to Myrtle Beach for vacation.  Another son—Anthony—passed the CPA exam and her daughter Kirsten also passed her initial CPA test.  She paid for that!
       Bill Potter also threw in a few bucks to make an announcement:  He is seeking a used car as he as teenagers now.
     THE PROGRAM:  Christina Vu introduced our Speaker for today, Leslie Mayne, a founder of PTSD, Permission to Start Dreaming, a Foundation formed in 2011, after her son died from an overdose while dealing with PTSD.  The first endeavor of the foundation was Race for a Soldier, started in 2011.  This year it will be held on September 15th.  This 10-mile or 5K run will be held in Gig Harbor.   You can volunteer at a water station, fly a flag along the course, sponsor a mile, or pass out finisher medals. You will love being a part of this well regarded event in the tranquil and historic town of Gig Harbor.   Go to
Above: Presenter, Leslie Mayne
     The Foundation also sponsors Pull for a Soldier which is a trap shooting event going on today at Gig Harbor Sportsman’s Club.  You can also golf at Swing for a Soldier on July 8th at Canterwood Golf and Country Club.   Go to Last but not least this year they are sponsoring a Prayer Breakfast on September 13th so come hear the veterans’ stories.  See
      Leslie said this organization is on a mission—to make a difference in this struggle of our veterans suffering from PTSD or traumatic brain injuries.  She urged us on this solemn holiday to remember our wounded warriors.  She said she was honored to speak at Lakewood Rotary.
      We were honored to have her for this very timely and appropriate program.
      The Drawing:  Oh the suspense as Gayle called for the ticket.    Only four white chips to one red so the odds were getting better and so was the pot. It was up to about $1000, but Jim Bisceglia only won $5 with a white chip.  Big buildup and then the letdown.  Oh well.   Next week three to one odds. 
Above: One of many American flags displayed at the Arlington Project here in Lakewood for Memorial Day
      P.S.  An editorial note:  Are you wondering what you might do to help our soldiers who are about to re-enter civilian life?  We are working on an idea.  The Crossfit gym where I train has a membership largely made up of active military with some veterans added into the mix.  They come in with their fatigues on so we civilians know who they are and there are a lot of them.  Some of them have left us and been deployed in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.  A few soldiers we have trained with and honored have been badly injured in combat. One young Air Force enlisted man with about 8 months left to serve recently told me he is struggling to decide what he wants to do when discharged.  He gave me contact info for a transition person at JBLM.  Could we Lakewood Rotarians form a working ad hoc committee to help these young men and women with resume writing, developing interview skills, or even open doors to employment?  I think we could.  They do not need money; they need advice.  Join me in presenting this idea to the LR Military Appreciation Committee for action.  At this point it is just an idea.   JQ
And yes, read this bulletin and tell Greg Rediske so you can get a make-up for a missed meeting; also, please do your online shopping at Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase can be allocated to Lakewood Rotary.