Roundhouse rocks for veterans fundraiser

By Zorena Barker, Forum Correspondent


“Alien Squad is in the house tonight, representing Area 51.”


So began the night of music at the Roundhouse on Saturday night.


Rockin’ the Roundhouse was a fundraiser for Forks’ Sarge’s Place, the shelter for homeless veterans living in the area.


Bands were brought together by Chris Wearstler (formerly a resident of Sarge’s Place) who now heads the Anti-Nonsense Network, which he describes as “an underground, independent musician community comprised of people all over the world.”


“We’ve got musicians in Ghana, the U.K., and the Middle East,” Wearstler said.


He was bouncing on an adrenaline buzz Saturday night as he watched his fundraiser come together. He said he was excited to be the liaison bringing the musicians face-to-face as well as to give something back to Sarge’s Place.


The line-up featured Alien Squad (“a hip-hop collective”), Spirit Lifter (an electronic artist), Primal Times and Twitch Angry.


In an especially appropriate twist, each of the bands have members who have served in the armed forces. All of the men in Alien Squad are currently on the Navy ship, the John C. Stennis.


Sheri Tinker of Sarge’s Place sent press releases all the way down the western U.S. coast, not so much expecting music lovers to trek up here for the event, but to bring forth awareness of what a rural area is doing for homeless vets.


“Rural areas attract the veterans because it is easier for them to isolate from a society that pushes its own expectations on them,” Tinker said. “Veterans have their own culture.”


Having brought musicians to the West End for several years, she knew what to expect. The money brought in from ticket sales was already dog-eared to go directly to the needs of local homeless vets.


In Forks, there is a huge contingency that willingly gives to support Sarge’s Place.


The large turnout at the Roundhouse were evidence of that fact.


Twitch Angry stands over 6 feet tall, sports a slightly graying Mohawk, and has a quick smile to match his wit. He and his band traveled by bus from Sacramento to be here. Twitch used to be an Airborne Ranger for the Army and jumped at the invitation to be here.


“We aren’t here for the money. None of us would be here at all if it were not for them (veterans),” he said.


Turnout was small and bands were paid only gas money for the trip.


But they said they were glad to know their efforts will help isolated veterans in the woods around Forks to get some boots and raincoats for winter ahead.

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