Joe is an Edmonds native. He is a transfer VFW member and a retired Regular Army LTC. He served from 1967-1988 as a Military Intelligence Officer. Vietnam service was Jun 1968-Jun 1969. He was an Assistant Professor of Military Science for 2 years at the University of Washington. Joe’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal. Joe has a degree from Seattle University and a Masters from Clark University. Joe and Margaret reside in Edmonds and have 2 children.
Korean War veteran, Purple Heart recipient and Post 8870 member Phil Sacks had the honor of throwing out the first pitch on Monday night, Aug. 10, as the Seattle Mariners took on the Baltimore Orioles.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Phil served in the US Army, 9t Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division. Serving in Korea, the division was trying to take the aptly-named Heartbreak Ridge, when shrapnel from an enemy artillery barrage tore into his back and took him out of the war.
He received his Purple Heart while recovering in the Osaka, Japan Army hospital, where the large numbers of wounded meant that there wasn’t much ceremony involved. “Some officer in a uniform walked by my bed with a box of Purple Hearts, handed me one, and moved on to the next recipient,” he said. “I was kinda woozy, and didn’t fully realize what was going on till after he left my bedside.”
After the war, Sacks enrolled in Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute under the G.I. Bill. He graduated in 1958 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for several employers, ultimately retiring from Lockheed in 1995. He moved to Edmonds the next year. He was quick to get involved in his community, and soon began volunteering with the Edmonds Police Department’s neighborhood crime watch program.
Sacks was the second Purple Heart recipient to toss out a pitch at a Mariners’ game (last year it was a WWII vet). The event is timed to coincide with date George Washington instituted the Purple Heart, then called the Badge of Military Merit, and awarded it to three Revolutionary War soldiers on Aug. 7, 1782.
“It’s a great honor to be invited to do this,” Sacks said the day before the game. He then added with a grin, “but my right arm has been giving me some trouble the past few years, so I’m not sure my pitch will make it to home plate.” But when game time came, Sacks’ arm was in fine form. Standing between the mound and home, he gave it a nice, easy toss right to the plate where it was caught by Mariners’ pitcher Taijuan Walker.
Excerpted form MyEdmonds news.com article written By Larry Vogel
James “Craig” Kunard Sr.
Craig is originally from Spokane, WA and served in the Navy 1968-1972. Vietnam service was aboard the USS Enterprise with CAG 13 and VA 196 from Aug 1970-Feb 1971. Duties included Plane Captain and organizational maintenance. Educated in Aviation Electronics, Business and Project Management, his civilian career was an Operations Manager. He has 3 sons and 6 grandchildren. He and Carolyn Louise live in Mukilteo.
Paul is originally from Baltimore, MD. He spent 1970-80 in the Army Reserve, but enlisted in the Navy in 1980 where he served for 23 years before retiring. His specialty was photojournalism. Assignments included Beirut, Lebanon, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Other stations include Diego Garcia, Antarctica support, Italy and Sicily. He’s been a Public Affairs Supervisor on the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson. Awards include Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal and Operation Deep Freeze Medal. He has BA and BS degrees from the University of Maryland and a Masters Degree in Education from Old Dominion University. He is a part-time substitute teacher in Kitsap County and enjoys coin collecting. He and Laurie Ann reside in Lynnwood.