Ceremony to honor Port Angeles veteran’s homecoming

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — One of a dozen Blue Star Banners lining Lincoln Street will be removed today in a 4 p.m. ceremony to honor the return of a service member represented on the banners.

The ceremony will mark the first homecoming of any service member represented on the banners.

The ceremony will be at the light pole immediately across the street from the Masonic Temple at 622 S. Lincoln St. and will feature Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd and representatives from the Patriot Guard Riders, said Port Angeles resident Kris Cadwallader, whose son, Erik Slater, is honored on the banner.

Cadwallader said she bought the banner with the help of her husband, Del, and father, Bob Wilkins, to honor Slater, 37, after he went into the United States military, and they will bring it home once it is taken down.

Returned in September

Slater, a lifelong Port Angeles resident, returned from active duty in Afghanistan in September.

He also served two tours in Iraq starting in 2004 and, before that, served in the Navy in Japan on two aircraft carriers from 1997 to 2001.

In the years between 2001 and 2004, Slater got married, bought a house and served on a submarine base stateside before joining the Army.

Slater’s banner is one of 12 hanging from light poles along Lincoln Street, said Mike Sturgeon, who manages installing the banners for Wave Cable.

The banners cost about $350, Sturgeon said, and are purchased through a source in Kitsap County.

To learn more about the Kitsap County Blue Star Banner Program, visit the program’s website at http://bit.ly/RiIVfX.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 07. 2012 6:03PM
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