Buddy Poppies

My blatant plea for assistance went unheeded last month so I won’t try it this month. However, twice a year we raise in the proximity of $11-$12,000 which are the funds we use to support our veteran and current service member communities. Unlike a lot of requests you receive, our funds stay in our community for the most part and virtually all of it stays in our state. So if you can’t find the time to assist us in our Poppy distribution, consider drop-ping a check made payable to:

VFW Post 8870
PO Box 701
Edmonds, WA 98020
Remember that your donation is tax deductible and, better, not a single penny of our Relief Fund is used for administrative expenses with the exception of the purchase of Poppies which are made by veterans here in Washington State. We’d love to have your company when we distribute Poppies but your generous donation will be equally appreciated.


Veterans Day

On November 11th at 11AM, we will have our first Veterans Day ceremony at our new Veterans Plaza at 5th and Bell. Depending on the weather (although it never rains in November in Edmonds), we may have to put up some shelters for the speakers and honored guests. In addition, if Memorial Day at the cemetery is any indication, we will also have to put up chairs for our elderly citizens to use. Therefore, we will have a work party detail at 0930 to get things organized. Since this is our first attempt at this, the more hands we get to help, the quicker we can adjourn to the coffee shop before returning at 11AM. The agenda is still somewhat fluid, but Commander Jim Blossey will MC the event, Mayor Dave Earling will say a few words, and Mike Reagan, Post member and founder of the Fallen Heroes Portrait Foundation will be the keynote speaker. Our own Chris Edwards will play Taps to close the ceremony. Following the ceremony, we will need some hands to help us pack up everything. At that time, we will adjourn to the Edmonds Cemetery where there will be a tour of the notable veterans interred there. Hopefully, we can have a major showing of our VFW members so please wear your covers to the ceremony. This is our day at our Park so please make an effort to be there.


No Posting of Flags at the Cemetery

We were originally scheduled to post flags at the cemetery for Veterans Day. The events at the cemetery have been cancelled and we will not be placing the flag. However, our work party at Veterans Plaza at 0930 is still on. See you there.


Mike Reagan to Speak at 3rd Place Books

Mike Reagan will speaking at 3rd Place Books on November 13th at 7PM. As most of you know, Mike is a member of our Post and has drawn over 4,000 portraits of service members who have lost their lives in either Iraq or Afghanistan. We strongly support the Fallen Heroes Project and Mike.


VFW Trivia

Most VFW members simply attend their Post meeting and remain fairly oblivious to the hierarchy of VFW which is fine since our involvement is primarily in our local community. However, each Post is a member of a District. Post 8870 is a member of District 1 and Washington state has 16 Districts in total.
An oddity is that there is a District 17 but no District 8. The Districts are there simply to assist the Posts in their tasks. At the state level, the VFW organization is described as a “Department” and the District Commanders together with the Department line officers form a group known as the “Council of Administration” whose job it is to govern the state organization. Beyond the state level, you have a National organization made up of the various Department Commanders and line officers elected at the National Convention. Like the military, you work within your chain of command so a Post member who has a grievance about a Post Commander would first approach his Judge Advocate who in turn refers the issue to the District Commander. That’s a very quick description of the organizational chart.


JBLM Honors Vietnam Vets

JBLM Honors Vietnam VetsMost of you missed it but for those Vietnam vets who did attend, it was an event you’ll never forget. All of the service branches were present and they were excellent hosts. Plus, it was just great being around so many veterans who served in Vietnam. General Barry McCaffrey was the keynote speaker and a veteran of Vietnam, serving three tours and the recipient of two Silver Stars, three Purple Hearts, and two Distinguished Service Crosses. I’m not sure you can find a better advocate of the Vietnam veteran than General McCaffrey. Personally, it was interesting going back to a place I had gone through Basic Training. The reception getting off the bus was a bit better this time.


Post Charter Draped for Warren Eddy

At our November meeting, the Post charter was draped to honor the memory of Warren Eddy. Warren, who was a long standing member of Post #8870, served in the Army during WW II. Warren was raised in northern Minnesota and joined the Washington State National Guard unit upon moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1940. Soon after the unit was activated, Warren was selected to attend Officer Candidate School. After receiving his commission in 1942, he was assigned to a weapons battalion after which he boarded a ship headed for England. His battalion boarded LST’s on D-Day, and for the next three days, Warren and his men remained on the landing craft. Finally, on the morning of D-Day +4, they dry landed on Normandy Beach and headed inland.

While his unit’s mission was air defense, they were used primarily to provide ground support to the infantry. His battalion was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division. Shortly after arriving in France, Warren was ordered to reconnoiter a road to locate the enemy and assess its strength when the three soldiers were ambushed. For his action in returning his men to safety after being ambushed, Warren received a Bronze Star with a “V” device for Valor. Warren participated in combat operations as the Allied Forces chased the Germans back to Germany.

Upon his return home, Warren joined the Army Reserves and retired at the rank of Major. He and his wife, Sandra, were married for over 50 years, and they had two children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Warren, who died after a brief illness, was a Life Member of VFW.


NG Eliminates Military Honors

I should say Congress eliminated military honors. Monthly, the National Guard, Post 1040’s Honor Guard, and a number of us meet at the cemetery to honor Snohomish County veterans who did not receive military honors at their funerals. The cutbacks in funding the military have taken their toll and it only figures that recognizing veterans would be the first item on the chopping block. It is said that the “willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive how the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”


Puget Sound Honor Flight

Brian Sequin was our speaker at last month’s meeting. Brian is a member of VFW Post 1040 and has pretty much single-handedly resurrected the Puget Sound area (called a Hub) of Honor Flight. I should mention, however, that Fred Apgar has also been a team member of Brian’s. Honor Flight, for those who are not familiar with it, is a project to fly WWII veterans back to Washington D.C. to visit the WWII memorial as well as other veterans memorials. It is basically a three day trip, one to get there, one to sight see, and the return trip. We have sent several of our members on Honor Flights and other members have been “guardians”, individuals who assist the veterans in getting around and seeing to their needs. All of us in Post 8870 as well as the other Posts, would like to have every WWII veteran who wishes to go on an Honor Flight to have the opportunity. If you or someone you know wishes more information, you can contact the Post or go their website at http://www.honorflight.org/ for more in-formation.


Post Becomes “Vietnam War Commemoration Partner”

What does that mean? It means that as a Post, we have committed to hold two functions each year in 2015-17 to recognize, thank and honor our Vietnam Veterans and their families. In return, the Department of Defense will provide us with a Commemoration flag and seal which we can use in any event we hold. We have already discussed with members of the Edmonds Cemetery board to recognize Vietnam veterans at next Memorial Day’s ceremony. As most of you know, there is a theme each year usually recognizing veterans and those who died in a particular war or a specific branch of service. We have suggested at the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam war it would be appropriate to recognize veterans and their families of that conflict. That would be one of the two events we are required to conduct. I am sure we could do something similar next Veterans Day as well. Also, we have a joint picnic each year with American Legion at the Edmonds park. That would be a great opportunity to invite our fellow citizens who served in Vietnam but haven’t wished to become a member of VFW to join us in fellowship. We will keep you posted.


New Member Norman Goldstein

New Member Norman GoldsteinNorm is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He enlist-ed in the Navy at age 19 in November, 1942 and served until December, 1945. He served in the Pacific from mid-1944 until the end of WWII. He was a torpedo man and was based on both Guam and Saipan. He maintained and restocked torpedoes. He bivouacked with the Marines onshore. In civilian life he was an educator with a Masters in Education and a basketball coach. He coached at Ballard High School in the 1950’s and taught Chemistry. Norm was later Assistant Principal in Mountlake Terrace. Norm and Dorothy have been married for 70 years and have 2 children. They reside in Edmonds.


Happy Thanksgiving from Your Editor

I want to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. At my house, I’ll be sticking the bird on my Webber BBQ (charcoal only as I’m a purist), and thinking about some Thanksgivings a long time ago in a land far, far away. Unfortunately we still have troops in lands far, far away so keep them in your prayers.


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