If you have books, DVDs, household items, or anything else you'd like to donate, a veterans group is in need of items for a garage sale to raise money for a memorial bench.
The sale runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
"We'll take anything that's not too heavy. We're all too old to handle anything like heavy furniture," said Robert Cauble, chapter commander of the Mid-Columbia Chapter of American Merchant Marine and Navy Armed Guards World War II Veterans.
Items can be dropped off at his home, 1020 S. Conway St., Kennewick. He and his wife, Janell, ask that you call first, 586-1418, to be sure they're home.
The garage sale is to raise money for a memorial bench for Merchant Marine WWII veterans to be installed at the new Washington State Veterans Cemetery at Medical Lake.
"Taxpayers have paid for the other branches -- Army, Marines, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard -- but the cemetery committee did not ask for money for the Merchant Marine," Cauble said. "So we're raising our own money, $2,800, to buy the bench and Merchant Marine seal."
The cemetery committee decided to not include a memorial to the WWII veterans of the Merchant Marine because they are not considered a branch of the military during peace time.
"But we sure were during WWII," said Cauble.
The Merchant Marine fleet are sailors working aboard ships owned by United States companies, and the ships registered and operated under the American flag.
During WWII, Merchant Marine sailors worked side side by side with the Navy Armed Guard on slow-moving, often overloaded, merchant ships carrying supplies across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans to troops stationed overseas.
The bench will not be installed in the memorial circle with the flags and memorials to the other branches of service but behind it, along a walkway. There is a flag, bought by Cauble, hanging from a flagpole provided and installed by the cemetery committee next to where the bench will be installed.
"There are memorials to WWII Merchant Marine veterans at most other veterans' cemeteries," he said, "but not all."
The cemetery is the only one in Washington paid for by grant money from the Veterans Administration. The 120-acre cemetery was dedicated on Memorial Day.
Cauble also will accept donations of money toward the cost of the bench. Checks, made out to the AMMV Mid-Columbia Chapter, can be mailed to him at 1020 S. Conway St., Kennewick.
The chapter holds no-host luncheon meetings open to the public at noon on the second Wednesday of the month at Clover Island Inn in Kennewick.
There are about 60 members of the Mid-Columbia chapter, some living in Idaho, Montana and California.
-- For more information on the Merchant Marine go to usmma.edu.