Pancakes, prayers for vets

Photo by: Steve Davis

After a pair of two-hour round-trips to Chesaw in as many days, Juliette and I were content with today's assignment, a Memorial Day pancake breakfast just a few miles down the road. It was a fundraiser for the Republic Volunteer Fire Department; the firefighters flipped elderberry pancakes and monitored frying eggs and ham where the firetrucks usually park.

Women veterans overlooked

As an Army nurse during the Vietnam War Karen Schimpf tended to soldiers whose bodies were blasted on the battlefield.

She arrived in Saigon as "an immortal 22-year-old" she said. But that wasn't the way she left.

When Schimpf came home the war was unpopular and those who participated in it were not celebrated heroes.

Women's contributions went unnoticed, she said yesterday when my partner Kelly West and I talked to her at her home in Tonasket, Washington.

"We came home by ourselves," Schimpf said.

Being overlooked, she said, still stings a little.

Textures of Washington

When I found out we were going to be taking a 3-day preliminary trip out to Washington state in April, I realized this was an amazing opportunity to get an initial visual understanding of the area. The landscapes, the towns, and the forests of northern Washington will become the backdrops of our future stories, and I want to digest as much of it as possible before our official project launch at the end of May.

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