The generation with first-hand knowledge and experience of World War II is slowly being lost. But lawyers and staff in our Bellevue office got to meet three of them, and learn a little WWII history, thanks to a Veteran’s Day lunch organized by partner Warren Koons, whose own father was a radio operator on B-24s during WW II and the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Koons brought three eminent World War II pilots in the area to speak about their remarkable experiences: one a friend he’s known for years (a glider pilot whose unit was greeted by Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower on its return from behind enemy lines); one the father-in-law of a DWT staff member (a B-24 pilot); and one a gentleman Koons met in the locker room of the Bellevue Club (a B-17 pilot shot down on his first mission and a German POW for 13 months). The group was also joined by DWT partner Rich Elliott, a nuclear submarine officer during the Vietnam War. Elliott brought along his 2014 Meritorious Unit Citation ribbon, his officer’s sword, and his Navy dress uniform jacket—which still fit! Elliott spoke passionately about his service on the USS Stonewall Jackson, whose crew was awarded MUC for its excellent performance in major nuclear submarine warfare exercises (test-firing the sub’s Poseidon missiles). The several dozen people who attended the lunch also heard from Kathy Ulrich, donor stewardship officer for Seattle’s Downtown Emergency Service Center, a shelter serving the chronically homeless, who spoke about her organization’s efforts to connect with veterans.

Read full 2014 Diversity & Inclusion Report