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Events on the Horizon:

Staff Meetings: 9:00 AM, First Tues., American Legion Hall, 117 6th Ave. S., Edmonds
Post Meetings: Second Tues., American Legion Hall; Dinner at 5:00 PM ($5) Meeting at 6:00 PM


NL0616_flagJune Post meeting takes place on June 14 – Flag Day!
July 4 – Independence Day Parade – form up at 6th & Bell by 11:30 AM
Joint VFW/ Legion BBQ/Picnic following the parade 1:00 PM Legion Hall.
(A suggested donation of $5.00 per person would help to defray food cost)

Edmonds Community College Memorial Day Observance

Fallen Heroes, World War II Veterans Honored

Edmonds Community College Memorial Day Observance Fallen Heroes, World War II Veterans Honored

On May 25, Edmonds Community College hosted its Memorial Day Ceremony, at the Black Box Theater on the College campus. The event was planned by a distinguished committee headed by Chris Szarek, USN Retired, Veterans Resource Center Director at the college.

Our own Post Commander Jim Blossey acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which featured “A Time to Remember” slide show featuring images and stories of fallen members of the families of College students, faculty and staff. Music was provided by the EdCC voice class, under the leadership of Linda Kappus and by Kyle Gaul (son of Post 8870 member Charlie Gaul on bagpipe.

Gold Star Mother Monica McNeal was on hand to introduce the keynote speaker, RaeLynn Ricarte, author of “Living the Oath: Warriors Take It, Families Endure it”. The book explores the wartime experiences and the post war aftermath of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families. Her topic explored the origins of the book through her experience as the mother of a combat Marine, centered around the idea “Be an American Worth Dying for”.

Following the ceremonies at the Black Box, all present processed to the campus “Boots to Books” monument, where colors were presented, followed by presentation of the “Soldier’s Cross” and the laying of a wreath. The ceremonies concluded with the playing of “Amazing Grace” by Kyle Gaul on bagpipe and “Taps” by Post 1040 bugler Glenn Ledbetter.

Post Receives National VFW Recognition

Post Receives National VFW Recognition

At the May 21st District 1 meeting, VFW Post #8870 was recognized for the large number of members who participated in area school Veterans’ Day assembly as speakers. Former Department Commander, Fred Green, presented Commander Jim Blossey with certificates of appreciation for those Post members who volunteered to be members of our speaker’s bureau. For the past two years, Commander Blossey has coordinated our speaker’s program, assigning Post members to the Edmonds and Mukilteo School District schools requesting such assistance. In recent years, we have gratefully noted an increase in the number of such requests, which provide our members with the opportunity to share some of their life experiences with our nation’s youth. It is a gratifying and most positive experience, and members who have not done so in the past, are urged to volunteer for the Post’s speaker’s bureau.

Veterans Honored at Holy Rosary School Spring Concert

Veterans Honored at Holy Rosary School Spring Concert

A group of veterans including members of VFW Post 8870, MOPH Chapter 12 and serveral other veteran Parishioners were honored at the Holy Rosary School Spring Concert, in Edmonds, held on Thursday, May 26.

Student musicians, including a string orchestra, directed by noted local volinist and string instrument teacher, Fred Chu; the school band directed by Alex Dugdale and vocal groups from grades K-8 performed a set of songs focused on a patriotic theme, including a sung version of the Pledge of Allegiance, Yankee Doodle, You’re a Grand Old Flag and others. The students also performed several dance routines to musical accompanyment.

The veterans present were invited into a semi-circle front and center, whereupon, the student singers serenaded them with a piece entitled “Proud of Our Veterans”, under the baton of Susan Olmos, Holy Rosary Parish Music Director and teacher, who also produced and directed the entire program, along with an able staff of parents and teachers.

One of our group was heard to say that this was the “best reception he has had as a veteran since returning from Vietnam 50 years ago”. It was indeed a moving experience. Many thanks to Ms. Olmos and her students for including us.

Home Depot Partners With VFW

Home Depot Partners With VFWThe Home Depot chain of home improvement stores has a long history of supporting our nation’s veterans. A 10% discount is provided to veterans, and members of VFW need only show their membership card. Home Depot also provides, free of charge, all building materials and manpower needed to accomplish small home renovations, repairs, and improvements for veterans. For example, projects such as the installation of a ramp at a veteran’s home are completed on a regular basis. Members of Post # 8870 who have a need for such a home improvement project are urged to contact our Post Chaplain, Fred Apgar (206-940-7502) who will connect them to a Home Depot representative.

Edmonds Cemetery Memorial Day Observance – 2016

A large crowd gathered at the Edmonds Cemetery to honor all of our fallen men and women on a beautiful sunny “Edmonds Kind of Day”! Particularly honored on this occasion was Edmonds native Frank Freese, KIA in France in WWI, in the battle of Meuse Argonne, where he is buried. Edmonds’ American Legion Post 66 is named in his honor.

Post 8870 member First Sergeant Chris Edwards led a guard of honor from the Washington National Guard, who provided a rifle salute. Taps was played by Edwards.

Edmonds Cemetery Memorial Day Observance - 2016

VFW Post 8870 color guard

Edmonds Cemetery Memorial Day Observance - 2016

VFW Essay Winner Olivia Olsen

Edmonds Cemetery Memorial Day Observance - 2016

Cdr Jim Blossey and Les Abel raised the colors.

Edmonds Cemetery Memorial Day Observance - 2016

WWIi Vets Norm Goldstein, (L) and Amos Chapman Read the names & and rang the bell for the fallen

 

Record Revenues From Memorial Day Poppy Distribution

Record Revenues From Memorial Day Poppy DistributionPost 8870 members set a new record of $14, 624 in revenues generated from Buddy Poppy distribution for Memorial Day 2016.

Members staffing QFC Mukilteo  stations led the pack by a small margin.

It was a great effort on the part of all hands participating and will give our Relief Committee a good boost for the coming months.

NL0616_memorial-poppy

Chaplain Fred Apgar and Senior Vice Commander Terry Crabtree are pictured outside Central Market.

Post 8870 Election Results

The election of officers for the 2016-17 post year was held at the May Post meeting and resulted in the following command and staff members for the coming year:

Commander: Terry L. Crabtree
Senior Vice Commander: Carl L. Kurfess
Junior Vice Commander: Joan Wyant
Quartermaster: Dennis L. Peterson
Chaplain: Fred Apgar
Judge Advocate: Aaron M. Terwedo
Surgeon: Al. S. Boyett
1 Year Trustee: James. M. Traner
2 Year Trustee: David M. (Mike) Denton
3 Year Trustee: Daniel A. White
Adjutant: Richard F. Simmons
Service Officer: Don D. Whedon

 

CONGRATULATIONS To Our New Post Officers

The new officers will be installed at the June Post meeting, but will not officially take office until June 25, when the new Department of Washington officers are sworn in at the Department Convention.

From the Book Shelf

The Eleven Days of Christmas: America’s Last Vietnam Battle By Marshall Michel III

The Eleven Days of Christmas: America’s Last Vietnam Battle By Marshall Michel IIITo many, it was referred to as the Christmas Bombings. Officially, the operation was called Linebacker II.

By December 1972, the Paris Peace Talks had fallen apart, and to most Americans, the war had already been
lost. Despite the opposition of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and Congress, President Nixon ordered the massive bombing of target complexes in and around Hanoi and Haiphong. The air battle would mark the first time that SAC’s giant B-52 long-range bombers would bomb targets so far to the north.

In the previous eight years, B-52’s had routinely flown “Arc Light” missions in relatively low threat environments to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail complexes. During Linebacker II, our B-52 force proved shockingly vulnerable to the Soviet built Guideline surface-to-air missiles (SAM). Also revealed in the book is an objective discussion of SAC’s planning errors that resulted in the significant loss of American crewmen and B-52’s.

After Day 2 of the 11 day bombing campaign and despite the threat of court-martial, many pilots ignored some of the non-sensical planning orders to improve mission success and survivability. Nevertheless, Linebacker II resulted in staggering losses.

The North Vietnamese returned to the peace talks and an agreement to end the war was finally signed. (ed. note: An agreement largely ignored subsequently by North Vietnam.) The air battle swung back and forth between what appeared to be certain American victory, to what appeared to be a North Vietnamese victory and finally, to an ambiguous ending.

The author is a retired Air Force pilot who served multiple tours in Vietnam, flying F-4’s. The book has been meticulously researched, and its riveting account of Linebacker II holds the reader’s attention.

“From the Bookshelf” will be a recurring series of book reviews that will appear in the
VFW Post #8870 newsletter from time to time. This review was written by Fred Apgar.