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Sunday Spin: At the confluence of two wars

OLYMPIA – It’s never really clear whether coincidence or fate juxtaposes certain events, but there was a peculiar one here last week.

For those who didn’t notice, Friday was the 10th anniversary of the start of the war in Afghanistan. It’s a milestone that was mostly honored in its breach; perhaps the 20th will be a bigger deal if the United States is actually out of Afghanistan.

Friday was also the day the state Department of Veterans Affairs put out a call for photos of the casualties of a previous war, Vietnam. It’s a dual purpose request: the state is trying to have one photo of every service member from Washington killed in that war, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the other Washington has an ambitious expansion project to get at least one photo for each of the 58,272 names on The Wall.

There are 1,049 Washington names on The Wall, and state Veterans Affairs has photos of about half of them. (If you have a photo of a relative or friend from Washington state who died in Vietnam, check the newspaper’s online database  to see if it’s one the state needs.)

Marking an anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War was always difficult. . .

Kerri Thoreson: POW/MIA Bracelets Still Meaningful

Remember those iconic stainless steel POW/MIA bracelets. Kerri does. So should we all.

“On a recent sunny October day I watched as the postman came up the walk, a shoe box-sized package in hand. I signed for the delivery, taking the box to my desk to open. I was overcome with emotion to see 60 stainless steel bracelets, each bearing the name, rank, home state and date an American service member became a prisoner of war or missing in action in Vietnam. It was a compelling visual reminder of the war that was the backdrop of so many of our coming of age years.” Read more: http://www.cdapress.com/articles/2009/11/10/news/bracelets-remind-and-honor-soldiers-families-who-wait.txt