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Edmonds Veterans Plaza Status

Edmonds Veterans Plaza Status Ron ClyborneAt the July Post meeting, Ron Clyborne, pictured at left during the 2016 Independence Day Parade, Chair of the Plaza Committee, gave us an update on our new Edmonds Veterans Plaza. As of the date of our July meeting, funding pledges exceeded $500,000, well over our initial funding goal of $420,000.

The committee has decided to add an interactive Veterans Service Kiosk at the Plaza. This Kiosk will be a device similar to an ATM, the purpose of which will be to allow veterans visiting the plaza to access Veterans services information on site.

A delay in the bidding process has pushed out the projected dedication date beyond Jan 1, 2017. The committee will keep us informed as the completion/dedication dates solidify.

In Memoriam

Elizabeth Mather

We lost another of our valued comrades when Elizabeth Mather passed away on August 1. Elizabeth served in the United States Navy, 1952-56 and was an active member of 8870, including as past Quartermaster until her health forced her to reduce her activity. The post charter was draped in her honor at our August meeting and Mike Reagan brought her portrait, which was later presented to her family at her Funeral Mass, held August 19, 2016 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Edmonds. Liz will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Elizabeth Mather

James Harkness

Jim Harkness, one of Post 8870’s few remaining veterans of World War II passed away on August 18. Jim born in Elk Point, South Dakota Jim graduated from Snohomish High School in 1942 at 16 years of age. He enlisted in the Army in September 1943 and participated in the Battle of the Bulge with the 758th Field Artillery BN. After being honorably discharged in March, 1946, Jim married Ruth Clemens Nentwig in 1951 and had a daughter, Sue Carol (Harkness). During his career with Safeway, Jim met and married his second wife, Dorothy Neal, in 1982. Jim enjoyed collecting antiques, writing his memoirs, short stories and poetry and was a very active member of VFW Post 8870. Jim is survived by three sisters, Gladys, Tina, and Fanny of the Midwest; his daughter, Sue Carol (Harkness) Irwin of Renton, wife, Dorothy Mae (Davenport) , three stepchildren, six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Interment was at Tahoma National Cemetery, on August 25, 2016.

James Harkness

Kenneth Hicks

Just before press time, we learned that Ken passed away on July 22 of this year. Born November 17, 1946 in Livingston, Montana, later living in Orting, WA, Ken served in the Air Force from 1969-73 and in Vietnam from 1971-72. He performed C-54 aircraft maintenance at Tan Son Nhut AFB and also served as a flight mechanic with the 377th CAMS with 200 sorties. Stateside, he was based at Lackland AFB, Shepard AFB and McClellan AFB. Awards include the Good Conduct Medal. He had been a member of Post 8870 since February 2014. Ken earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington and retired after a career as an engineer with Boeing. Ken resided in Edmonds with his wife Carol and is survived by a son and daughter. Ken was a member of Cascade Warbirds.

Kenneth Hicks

September Meeting Speaker: Bruce Meyers

Col. Meyers will speak to the Post on his experiences at Khe Sanh during the Vietnam War. Below is a description of his book “Reflections of a Grunt Marine” copies of which will be available for sale at the meeting.


It’s difficult to put Bruce F. Meyers in any one slot. Multi-faceted, inventive, dedicated …and some might say driven to excel, Col,. Bruce F. Meyers charged at challenges and at life with ingenuity, hard work, and a joie de vivre that inspires and fascinates the reader. Bruce began a brilliant military career in the U.S. Marine Corps as a University of Washington NROTC graduate in 1945. As a Marine, he saw action in Korea and then went on to develp innovative and clandestine means for special troop insertions in war zones—some of which are still practiced by Navy SEALs and Special Forces. In Vietnam, having advanced to the rank of colonel Bruce commanded 6,300 troops at the legendary 63-day siege of Khe Sanh. Later, Bruce served at the Pentagon and as a White House aide. After twenty-eight years in the Marine Corps, Bruce returned to Washington state and practiced law for more than two decades. This is the story of an exceptional grunt Marine and the amazing legacy he created.



Help Post 8870 to Take Credit for All You Do

nl0916-vfwOur Post needs your assistance in reporting all of the community service activities in which you have been involved each month.

If you attend the meeting, record these activities on the sheet provided at the Guard’s desk.

If you cannot attend, list activities in which you were involved and send this information via email to Post Surgeon Al boyett. This information is submitted to the VFW Department of Washington and is needed to justify the non-profit status we have been granted.

Be sure to include the number of hours in which you were engaged in the activity, mileage incurred, and any out-of-pocket expenses.

Examples of community service activities that qualify include:

  • Involvement in organizing a blood drive and/or donating blood
  • Involvement in a recycling program
  • Picking up trash along streets
  • Volunteer work with organizations (schools, hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, museums, and/or other charitable service organizations)
  • Delivering donations to organizations
  • Volunteer time to assist in planning and conducting Veterans programs/parades/events
  • Transporting veterans for doctor’s appointments/VA hospital
  • Visiting disabled or housebound veterans to provide companionship
  • Involvement in fund raising efforts for local organizations
  • Donation of toys, funds, and assistance to those in need
  • Any donation of time and/or funds to churches and schools
  • Any activities that promote Americanism (flag flying, donations of flags, participating in parades, public ceremonies, flag raising ceremonies, placing flags on Veterans’ graves, guest speaking engagements, and so forth)
  • Involvement in community safety programs
  • Involvement in youth activities (youth sports, Boy/Girl Scouting, Special Olympics, etc.)
  • Mileage you incurred while involved in community service activities

If you have any questions, call Al at 425-481-9208.

From the Book Shelf

The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American LegendThe Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend By Bob Drury and Tom Clavin


While Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and Geronimo are better-remembered Native Americans who fought the white man’s expansion into the old American West, Red Cloud was a great Sioux war chief and military genius who accomplished far more that his more well-known contemporaries. The title of the book comes from the name of the Sioux’s sacred homeland in the Badlands, Paha Sapa, or “The Heart of Everything That Is”.

Red Cloud was an orphan who took his first scalp at the age of 16. He accompanied his tribe’s war parties on raids of other Indian nations and proved the living embodiment of the maxim that “war is the best teacher of war”. He learned his lessons well and became the Chief of a band of Sioux called the Bad Faces.

The book chronicles the treatment of the plains Indians by the United States government. The inevitability of war between the Indians and whites was sealed when gold was discovered in what is now Montana, and the Bozeman Trail was opened to provide a shorter route to the gold fields. The 535 mile trail cut through the Powder River basin,which had previously been given to the Sioux by treaty.

The authors used contemporary journals and diaries, newspaper articles, eyewitness accounts, and meticulous firsthand sourcing to write a compelling account of life in the old American West, and the treatment of Native Americans in our nation’s pursuit of what was called our Manifest Destiny.

“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.

Post Members Tour USS Shoup (DDG 86)

Tour of USS Shoup (DDG86) SlatedThanks to a fortuitous contact by Phil Sacks with Commander Jason Rogers, the Captain of USS Shoup, we were able to arrange a tour of the ship when she returned to her home port at Naval Station Everett early in September, following participation in “RIMPAC” a multinational naval exercise conducted out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

We arrived at the Naval Station and after some initial confusion with base security personnel, the ship’s Public Affairs Officer, LTJG Zach Bessette delivered us to the dock through three layers of security in a Navy vehicle, where we were warmly welcomed by Captain Rogers and his command staff.

The tour included a close up look at Shoup’s main battery of one 5-inch gun and her main missile battery, the bridge, engineering spaces and even passed by the chow line as the crew was beginning lunch, (the Navy seems to eat pretty well) finishing up in the ward room, the dining space for the ship’s officers.

On the following page are several photographs taken during the tour, with more detail.

Post Members Tour USS Shoup (DDG 86)

Visiting veterans are welcomed by the Captain of the Shoup, Commander Jason Rogers, USN and his command staff on the ship’s quarterdeck.

Post Members Tour USS Shoup (DDG 86)

Joining the tour were nine veterans pictured including Dan White, Jeff Blossey, Rene Blemenfeld, Carl Kerfuss, Dennis Peterson, Mike Denton, Ron Clyborne, Phil Sacks and Jim Blossey. Karen Peterson and Dorothy Sacks were also present.

Post Members Tour USS Shoup (DDG 86)

Looking over the ship’s 5” gun mount on the foredeck. Behind the gun mount, but not shown is the forward missile battery which provides much of Shoup’s punch.

Post Members Tour USS Shoup (DDG 86)

Featured in the Shoup’s wardroom is the coffee cup rack shown below, at the top left of which is the steel cup used by General David Shoup, the ship’s namesake during WWII. Shoup was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in the Pacific and was Commandant of the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. (Note the 4 stars of the General’s rank above the cup)

Post Members Tour USS Shoup (DDG 86)

Included in the group shot above are our very gracious hosts and guides, LTJG Bessette and LTJG Miller.


Edmonds Veterans Lead the Way!

4th of JulyEdmonds Veterans Lead the Way!Members of VFW Post 8870 and American Legion Post 66 once again led the way as Edmonds celebrated it’s annual “Edmonds Kind of 4th”. Veteran members acted as color guard to begin the parade and a large contingent followed the color guard, on foot (including our senior member Col. Buck Weaver) or in vehicles. Veterans participating were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic welcome and support expressed by the crowd. Edmonds, it seems, is very appreciative of its Veterans.

Edmonds Veterans Lead the Way! Edmonds Veterans Lead the Way!

Edmonds Veterans Lead the Way!

Above is our own Ron Clyborne and family, in his role as this year’s parade Grand Marshall. Congratulations Ron!