Arlington honors local military heroes

ARLINGTON – Kari Cook lost her husband in battle in Afghanistan and Jessica Hebert her brother in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Brothers Blake and Brad McPherson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and played for Arlington High School boys basketball coach Nick Brown.

Current basketball player Will Abram’s dad is retired after 20 years with the Navy.

They, and many others, were honored for their military service and sacrifices at Military Appreciation Day at the AHS basketball game Dec. 20.

Military night is one of six special events the team is having for the community this season. Atown Hoops is Jan. 3, Coaches vs. Cancer Jan. 10, Fan Appreciation Feb. 7 and Senior Night Feb. 10. It already celebrated its Community Heroes for local police and fire personnel.

Brown’s wife, Caryn, helped him start the cancer event, even before she was diagnosed with it.

“My wife has been a huge force in this,” he said, adding the community’s support during her treatments only strengthened their efforts.

“We’re humbled to be part of this incredible place,” Brown said Tuesday. “We want to do our best to give back to them.”

They are doing more events this year because, “People are affected by so many different things.” “It’s a blessing to my family, my wife, my program and myself,” he said of giving back.

As for the night itself, Cook said she was happy the military was honored. Unlike some, Cook said she likes to talk about her husband, Spec. Ryan Cook, who served in the Army infantry from 2008-2011.

She appreciates “any time we honor our heroes and veterans who put their lives on the line.”

Cook said while some prefer not to talk about, “When we can honor my husband’s memory I’ll take it.” She said she hasn’t always felt that way, but it’s been a few years now. He was killed on his second tour.

“I’ll still cry here and there, but we want to keep his memory alive,” she said, adding it’s part of the grief journey.

Her husband joined at age 29. There are three children, ages 21, 19 and 16. She works for the Arlington School District and takes tickets at basketball games. Hebert’s brother, Spec. Justin Herbert, was the first person from the state killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom on Aug. 1, 2003. He was born and raised in Snohomish County and graduated from AHS in 2001.

Brad McPherson graduated from AHS in 2008 and earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2012. He is now a captain and is still active duty while earning his master’s in education from the University of Washington.

“It’s great that Coach Brown likes to give back to the community,” he said.

His brother, Blake, who is four years younger, at first didn’t want to go to West Point. “I wanted to do my own thing,” he said, adding looking back he’s glad he took that route.

He graduated from AHS in 2012, has a degree in mechanical engineering and is a first lieutenant, although he will attend Captain’s Career Course next year. After that he will serve at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. He completed Airborne and Ranger school and was stationed in Germany for three years. Abram was stationed all over the world from 1990-2011. He was in Japan twice,and was in the Gulf. He served as a flight deck aircraft controller aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in Everett. He decided to come back here when he retired.

He said he felt honored to be recognized last Friday.

“It’s a special thing how the community embraces the military,” he said. “That’s one thing I like about this area. It supports military families.”

Others who were honored included:

•Paden Pineda also played for Brown, graduating in 2011. He has been deployed to Japan, Thailand and Iraq. The Marine sergeant is now stationed in California.

The other five honored all have ties to the school district:

•Mike Blue is a retired major with the Air Force, serving from 1986-2006. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2006 he has been the Junior ROTC instructor at AHS, where he also teaches senior aerospace science.

•Daylon Deeds also teaches aerospace science at AHS. He retired as a master sergeant with the Air Force, serving from 1997-2017. He was a fuels manager all over the U.S. and in Guam.

•Mike Gudgeon is a Skills, Tech and Math teacher at AHS. He was a steel worker 2nd Class for the Navy, serving from 1994-2000.

•Dennis Cox is a custodian at AHS. He served six years in the Army as Military Police, reaching the rank of Spec. 4.

•Ernie Adcock is married to cheer coach Brooke. He served in the Air Force from 1994-98 as an E-3 senior airman. He was an EMT in South Dakota.

More in News

Inslee: Stay home for 2 weeks

By Jerry Cornfield and Zachariah Bryan The Herald OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Fences have been put up around Marysville playgrounds to keep kids off. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville leaders concerned as (almost) everything’s closing

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – Within hours of Gov. Jay Inslee’s… Continue reading

Briefly

Beware of coronavirus scams SEATTLE – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is… Continue reading

Jennifer Thompson, left, and her father Ron Thompson secure a new remembrance plaque to the Oso slide site gate on Sunday, near Oso. Ron Thompson handcrafts a new plaque for the gate every year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community remembers Oso slide victims, survivors

By Ben Watanabe The Herald OSO — The power of remembering the… Continue reading

People gather to pick up special allergy meals before leaving Lakewood High School on Wednesday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Districts taking meals to students since schools are closed

By Stephanie Davey The Herald LAKEWOOD — Children wearing pajamas stood outside… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Letter about coronavirus from Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

This is an edited version of a letter Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring… Continue reading

DOUGLAS BUell/Staff Photos
                                Lead cook Keina Gowins with Presidents Elementary hands out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students and parents outside the school Wednesday. Presidents and AHS serve as central kitchen sites for preparing meals, which starting next week will expand to 12 delivery sites from Silvana to Oso. Right, Arlington Food Bank executive director Carla Gastineau and Mike Simpson, food bank board president and owner of Arlington Grocery Outlet, partnered with the district with their Meals Til Monday program, and gave a woman a box of donated food while at Presidents.
Arlington students won’t go hungry during the COVID-19 school closures

ARLINGTON – Arlington schools are closed through April 24 to help fight… Continue reading

Scott Beebe hands out Chromebooks to people in their cars. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville parents anxious to pick up school materials for kids

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – A few days ago Marysville schools… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more… Continue reading

Crews will blow garbage into the street and sweep it up over the next few weeks. The city is asking people to move their cars, trash cans and recycle bins when they come around to help them do a thorough job. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville shuffles workers due to virus, seeks public’s help for sweepers next week

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe. MARYSVILLE – From working from home to teleconferencing… Continue reading

Arlington closed until April 24 amid COVID-19 outbreak: what’s next?

ARLINGTON – When Arlington public school leaders met for a special meeting… Continue reading