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Welcome New Members!

Duane BowmanDuane Bowman

Duane is originally from Seattle. He served with the Army from Aug 1970 – Mar 1972. He was trained as a supply clerk. He served in I Corps, Vietnam Jun 1971 to Mar 1972 both as a supply clerk and as an infantryman. He has a BA Urban Planning from Western Washington University. He is now retired and is a Mountlake Terrace food bank volunteer.

Kevin BridgefordKevin Bridgeford

Kevin served with the Army and Army National Guard from 1984 through 2005 and retired as a Master Sergeant. He was trained as a Signal Support Specialist and Communications Chief. Kevin deployed to Iraq, LSA Anaconda, Mar 2004 to Mar 2005 with the 81st Armored Brigade of Seattle. He also served at Camp Casey, Korea. Awards include the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with “M’ device. He works now as an Ultrasound Product Support Engineer. Hunting is a hobby and he is a Hunter ED instructor with WA Fish & Wildlife. Kevin and Carrie have 3 children and reside in Bothell, his hometown.

Mike Schindler to be November Speaker

Mike Schindler to be November SpeakerMike Schindler to be November SpeakerNavy veteran Mike Schindler, founder and CEO of Operation Military Family, will speak to us about his new book, U.S. Veterans in the Workforce: the 7 Percent are America’s Greatest Assets.

The book tells the stories of returning veterans so that we might gain a true understanding of life for them and their families.

And Our December Post Meeting Speaker: Col. (USA Ret.) William S. Reeder

Col. (USA Ret.) William S. ReederCol Reeder is a legendary aviator who has made contributions to survival, evasion, resistance, escape (SERE) training and the attack helicopter community. His 30-year career included two combat tours in Vietnam flying armed OV-1 Mohawk reconnaissance airplanes and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

Col. (USA Ret.) William S. ReederColonel Reeder has in excess of 3,000 flight hours, over 1,000 in combat, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Purple Hearts. He was named AAAA Army Aviator of the Year in 1977.

His book, Through the Valley is the captivating memoir of his experience as the last U.S. Army soldier taken prisoner during the Vietnam War. Signed copies of the book will be available.


VETERANS DAY SCHOOL APPEARANCESAs we have done in past years, we plan to participate in the Veterans Day observances of our local schools. So far we have around 15 schools requesting veterans to help them recognize Veterans Day this year. We expect 18 to 20 schools before it is over.

As of this writing, 21 of us have indicated a willingness to participate. There are many of you who have not had the chance to volunteer. Most of the requests are for Thursday, November 10, and many of the schools would like multiple vets to attend. If you would like to participate in this highly rewarding experience, please let past commander Jim Blossey know ASAP.

From the Book Shelf

On Homecoming and Belonging

“Sebastian Junger has turned the multifaceted problem or returning veterans on its head. It’s not so much about what’s wrong with the veterans, but what’s wrong with us.

If we made the changes suggested in TRIBE, all of us would be happier and healthier.”

— Karl Marlantes, author of ‘Matterhorn’

TRIBE On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian JungerDecades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians, but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitation pull on Westerners for hundreds of years and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past.

The most recent example of that attraction is combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of military life, particularly that found in combat. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may help explain the high rate of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.

TRIBE On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian JungerTRIBE explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that, for some veterans, war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing. Tribe explains why we are stronger when we come together and how that can be achieved, even in today’s divided world.

From the Bookshelf” is a recurring series that will appear in this newsletter from time to time. This review was written by Mike Denton.

VFW Wants POTUS Involvement in Bonus Payback Crisis:

VFW Wants POTUS Involvement in Bonus Payback Crisis

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter this week ordered the Defense Finance and Accounting Services to suspend all efforts to collect reimbursements from affected California National Guard members, but VFW National Commander Brian Duffy said the suspension decision doesn’t go deep enough, and is now calling on President Obama to issue an executive order to eliminate the collection process altogether, to repay those monies already collected plus interest, and to restore any damaged credit ratings that resulted from a horrendous abuse of power and lack of oversight within the California Army National Guard. “The president must get personally involved and not leave it to a weak system of checks and balances that created a financial crisis that is tremendously impacting the lives of thousands of current and former Guard members,” exclaimed the Chief. “The president often touts that he has a phone and a pen and is not afraid to use either. This would be a good time to use both.”

Annual Christmas Party

Annual Christmas Party The Post’s Christmas party will be held on Saturday, December 10 at 12:00 Noon, and lunch will be served at 1:00 PM. The annual pot-luck event will be held at the American Legion Hall in Edmonds. The American Legion and VFW Posts will supply turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, wine, beer, soft drinks, and coffee/tea. Families attending are asked to bring a dish that will be shared with others. We need side dishes, salads, rolls/bread, and desserts. Additionally, the “cost of admission” will be non- perishable food item(s) and/or unwrapped toys.

There is a new focus on the needs of Teenagers this year. Suggestions include gift cards from Target or Fred Meyer, sports equipment (basket/soccer balls, etc.), warm fleece clothing, grooming supplies for girls and boys.

Food donations will be given to the Edmonds Food Bank and the toys/clothes will be donated to Holly House.

Members who plan on attending the party are asked to sign up on the Post web site http://vfw8870.org/ volunteers-needed/, (under Holiday Party) indicating the number of guests and the class of food item you will bring. Family members and friends are invited to attend the party. We all look forward to the fellowship.

Edmonds Veteran’s Plaza Update

Edmonds Veteran’s Plaza Update In a relatively short period of time the steering committee has raised $510,000 toward this project. All that remains is an additional $65,000 to assure that there is adequate funding to complete the project and provide tasteful amenities to honor our veterans. Citizen contributions of $100, $250 or $500 will go a long way toward finishing this task.

Contributions of $500 or more receive the opportunity to honor a veteran through a paver that will be placed on the plaza, or can be made to a fund to honor veterans who lack the financial resources to purchase a paver.

Donors of $1000 or more can have their names engraved on the donor wall in perpetuity, and major donors of $5000 or more will have newly designated and exclusive naming opportunities available.

Contributions in any amount, can be made to Edmonds Veteran’s Plaza, C/O Edmonds VFW Post 8870, PO Box 701, Edmonds, WA 98020. Checks should be made payable to Edmonds VFW Post 8870, indicating that the check is for the new plaza. Donations can also be made online at http://edmondsveteransplaza.com. Credit cards are accepted.

Jim McCann Presents Quilt to John Shelton

Jim McCann Presents Quilt to John Shelton

Jim met Deb Patterson at a local craft store while getting Veteran poster materials for his 50th High school reunion. She gave him a discount coupon and asked if he knew a wounded Vietnam Veteran. Thinking of John Shelton, Jim told her about VFW post 8870 and that we have a Sniper Marine in our Post who was combat injured in Vietnam. Ms. Patterson asked Jim to follow her home in her wheel chair where she presented him with a Quilt that she and a friend (who has passed away) had made to be given to a wounded vet and asked him to present it to John. At right is a photo of that presentation at our September Post Meeting.

Ms. Patterson is planning to make additional quilts and intends to stay in touch for further presentations to our Purple Heart members.