Post Changes Meeting Location

After many years of meeting at the Edmonds Senior Center, the Post has elected to change its meeting location to American Legion Post 66’s home at 117 6th Avenue S.. You can take a look at the new location by going to http://mapq.st/1sOd4al since I was unable to print a map for you. Or to put it in a different perspective, go one block east (up the hill) from the traffic circle on Main St. and 5th and turn right on 6th Ave. There is a large American Legion sign and a flag pole with an American and POW/MIA flag flying. Everything else i.e. time, cost of meals, etc. will remain the same, only the location is changing. For those of you who don’t mind walking a bit, please leave any open parking spots that are close to the hall open for those who aren’t as mobile.

 
 

Big Changes for the Ladies Auxiliary

Resolution 302 was approved at the National VFW Convention in July. The Resolution reads as follows:

EQUALITY FOR ALL VETERANS’ SPOUSES AND FAMILY MEMBERS

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars goes on record supporting the transformation of our national association, known as the Ladies Auxiliary, to make suitable accommodations for the male spouses and male family members of all eligible service members; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Adjutant General and the Ladies Auxiliary National Secretary be directed to work in concert, developing suitable language for by-law amendments, to be presented at their respective conventions in the year 2015; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the VFW supports any additional efforts by the Ladies Auxiliary to create an association name and protocols that are gender neutral.

As you can see, there is at least a year of planning before the Ladies Auxiliary becomes The Auxiliary. There are cries being heard that the sky is falling but hopefully that isn’t the case, and Auxiliary will only become stronger with the inclusion of spouses and sons of our female comrades.

The VFW also passed Resolution 301 which changed the Congressional Charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars making it gender neutral by replacing “men” with “veterans”. Our organization includes a number of women who have served in combat and National feels they deserve the same consideration as their male counterparts.

 
 

Edmonds Night Out

0914_Edmonds-Night-OutThe kids were lined up to toss bean bags, knock down cans, or spin the wheel for a prize (every spin was a winner) at the Edmonds Night Out. We had 8 volunteers that evening and the Post presented the colors to begin the festivities. Our Vice, Chris Edwards, brought a contingent of Army National Guard with 3 vehicles and the kids loved climbing through them. I saw one kid nearly topple under the weight of trying on some body armor. It was humorous until I tried to pick it up—that stuff is heavy and I thought our flack jackets we wore in Nam were bad. Anyway, it was a great night out and the Post and Army National Guard were big hits with the kids.

 
 

When to Wear and When to Remove Covers

I was approached by a member asking if there were any rules pertaining to the wearing of VFW covers. I was somewhat surprised by the lack of information on the internet so here is what I could run down from the 2014 Podium Edition of the VFW.

 

General Rules of VFW Ritual

  • Para 13(b) Members will follow the action of the Chaplain or presiding officer relative to removal of caps during prayers; …. 
  • (c) official caps will not be worn during luncheons, banquets or other meals; 
  • (d) Official caps will be the only head covering allowed to be worn at regular meetings of the VFW of the US.

 

Section 803 of the By-Laws goes on to say:

No member or other person shall use or wear any seal, emblem, badge, insignia or uniform of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States while engaged in any commercial or political activity in such a manner as likely to falsely convey that such activity is approved or endorsed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

 

I know that I have seen news clips of numerous politicians with veterans wearing their VFW or American Legion covers while standing behind them. I would assume they are in violation of Section 803. We recently had a politician requesting to have their photo taken with one of our members. I suggested it would not be appropriate and the politician graciously did not pursue the matter. In any event, use your best judgment anytime you have your cover on in public.

I referred to the Podium Edition of the VFW which includes the Congressional Charter, By-Laws, Manual of Procedure and Ritual of the VFW. It is for sale at the VFW store online and we typically order a copy for each officer. Since there are not a lot of substantial changes from one year to the next, if you want one speak to one of the continuing officers for their old copy or approach or contact Quartermaster Dennis Peterson who may some extra copies for sale. Everything you need to know about VFW is contained in the book.

 
 

Membership

The Post has 211 members. Included in that number are 153 Life Members and 58 Continuous Members meaning every year we need to have 58 souls send us checks for their dues to arrive at 100%. Herding cats is a slightly easier task. To complicate matters, anyone joining after January 1, 2014 has a membership based on the payment date and anyone who was a member prior to that date has a membership that expires on July 1st (this would be the bulk of our 58 members). This new system is great for National’s cash flow and murder at the individual Post level. So if you are a continuous member, please pay ASAP so our Quartermaster doesn’t go insane trying to run after everyone. Better yet, simply become a Life Member. Don’t worry that by paying a bit early you will be forfeiting part of your prior year dues. National simply extends the expiration date of your membership by 12 months so you get the benefit of a full 12 months anytime you make a payment.

Also, if you need help in paying your dues, let the QM know. We don’t want to lose a member because they have hit a rough spot financially. We have funds in our Relief Fund for those who need assistance. Our dues are $35 annually and you can mail your check to:

VFW Post 8870
PO Box 701
Edmonds, WA 98020

Alternatively, you can go online to VFW.org and renew your membership there. Either way, the sooner the better.

 
 

Cell Phones

Just a gentle reminder to turn your phones to vibrate or, better yet, to off during a meeting. It is very disruptive to have phones ringing and, worse, Comrades answering their phones during a meeting. If you are expecting an emergency phone call, please remove yourself from the meeting before taking the phone call. Remember to salute the colors on the way out of the room and when you return.

 
 

New Members

James “Craig” Kunard Sr.

Craig is originally from Spokane, WA and served in the Navy 1968-1972. Vietnam service was aboard the USS Enterprise with CAG 13 and VA 196 from Aug 1970-Feb 1971. Duties included Plane Captain and organizational maintenance. Educated in Aviation Electronics, Business and Project Management, his civilian career was an Operations Manager. He has 3 sons and 6 grandchildren. He and Carolyn Louise live in Mukilteo.

Paul Russo

Paul is originally from Baltimore, MD. He spent 1970-80 in the Army Reserve, but enlisted in the Navy in 1980 where he served for 23 years before retiring. His specialty was photojournalism. Assignments included Beirut, Lebanon, Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Other stations include Diego Garcia, Antarctica support, Italy and Sicily. He’s been a Public Affairs Supervisor on the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson. Awards include Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal and Operation Deep Freeze Medal. He has BA and BS degrees from the University of Maryland and a Masters Degree in Education from Old Dominion University. He is a part-time substitute teacher in Kitsap County and enjoys coin collecting. He and Laurie Ann reside in Lynnwood.

 
 

Remembrance Day 2014

The Chief Petty Officer Selectee Class 121 has extended an invitation to anyone who wishes to attend the 14th Annual September 11th Remembrance Day Ceremony on base. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to troy.schulz@navy.mil or 425-304-3357. The ceremony is from 0745 to 0830. If you don’t have a pass to get on base, you’ll need to receive permission so RSVP as soon as possible so your name will be on the list at the gate.

 
 

September Speaker

Traci Williams, Chair of the National Military Services for the Department of Washington, will be speaking about this vital VFW program and how it helps our current troops.

 
 

Commanders Column By Jim Blossey

Think back. Why did you join VFW?

Next question—Why did you stay in VFW?

Very often the answer to both questions is the same. For many of us it is best summed up by our organization’s slogan, “No One Does More For Veterans.” Sure, we enjoy the camaraderie and are proud to wear our covers and be identified with this great group, but it is our overriding purpose that drives most of us.

Just who are these veterans that we do more for? Often they are simply nameless faces in unknown places. But as individuals they are one with us and we feel moved to help them through whatever difficulties they may be facing.

Here in Edmonds Post 8870 we have an opportunity to help another important group—one that is not nameless and faceless—in fact these veterans are very well known to us: our own members. Let me explain.

As you undoubtedly know by now, we have voted overwhelmingly to move our monthly meeting location to the American Legion Hall. Our brothers in the Legion have welcomed us and show every sign of being ideal hosts. In return we have a very simple obligation: to leave the premises as neat and clean as we found them. To make sure this happens, 8870 is forming a House Committee.

This will be a group that will have only two main responsibilities: To set up the room for our meeting and to restore it to its original condition when we are through; and to decide what to have for lunch or refreshments and to arrange for people to prepare it.

It is a once-a-month job, but a crucial one. Some of us are well-experienced in such matters. Others are simply eager to find an ongoing way to serve. So far, without even trying, we have three members who have stepped forward. We need four to six more at a minimum.

 

How about it, could you help out? It is an easy job, which you will share with other comrades, and it will take at most a couple of hours a month. It is your chance to live our motto of Doing More for Veterans, OUR veterans.

 

Contact me at jamesblossey@comcast.net or at 425 670-2686. Thanks.

 
 
 
 

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