Ron Clyborne kicked off the official fund raising for Veterans Plaza at the Edmonds Community College Memorial Day ceremony sponsored by the Student Veterans Association. In the coming months, we will ask each of you to help us but at the current time we are trying to secure corporate and foundation donations. We have a big nut to crack as the Plaza will cost $450,000 and be funded solely by private donations.
For a number of years Post 1040 in Lynnwood and our Post seemed to trade honors when it came to Post of the Year. Now and then an upstart like Post 1571 in Arlington would crash the party. The latest upstart is Post 2554 located in Sultan. It now has the honor of beating out their big brothers from the city. I know that most of us have a hard time making one meeting a month but if you do have the opportunity, consider dropping in on another Post’s meeting if it’s convenient for you. You will find it illuminating. Different Posts have different community and veterans support activities and it will be educational to you as well as finding yourself warmly welcomed at these various meetings.
Our own Col Buck Weaver was the honored guest at this year’s Memorial Day ceremony at the Edmonds Cemetery. This year’s theme was VJ Day. Fred Apgar described the origin and meaning of the White Table, now a fixture in every veterans’ organization banquet and meeting place.
Finally, Amos Chapman and Neal Goldstein read the list of names and rang the ship’s bell for those Snohomish County residents who were killed in the Pacific Theatre in WWII. I estimate there were approximately 300 hardy souls at the ceremony who braved a slightly chilly day.
A number of us attended the Memorial Day ceremonies at ECC and organized by the Veterans Resource Center. Our own Buck Weaver lead the audience in “America the Beautiful” while Ron Clyborne described the Veterans Plaza project. Opening remarks were made by Dr. Jean Hernendez, College President, who deserves special thanks in making ECC one of the most veteran friendly schools in America. As a Vietnam veteran and a product of the U of W in the early ‘70’s, no one is a better position to see the contrast better than me.
The featured speaker was Colonel Bruce Meyers, USMC retired. He served as a platoon leader in WWII, a rifle company commander in Korea, and was the Marine commander at Khe Sanh. The Col. had a remarkable military career and we thoroughly enjoyed his presentation. Interestingly, following his retirement from the Marine Corp, he became a practicing trial attorney for many years in Seattle and later served as a associate dean and associate professor of law at a West Coast law school. I’d would have hated to answer a question wrong in his class—you’d probably be dropping for 20.
Senior Vice Commander
Junior Vice Commander
First Year Trustee
Second Year Trustee
Third Year Trustee
Sergent at Arms
We will be hosting our scholarship winners at the June meeting. For you who have attended this in the past, you know this is one of the better programs of the year. We give out 4 scholarships, 2 to the Edmonds School District and 2 to the Mukilteo School District. This year the scholarships are named the Rock Roth Scholarship after our good friend who died last year unexpectantly.
The MOPH has arranged with the Seattle Mariners to have the August 10th game designated Purple Heart Night at the ball park. Even if you were lucky enough not to be a member of MOPH, you are still invited to sit with the group. The good news is $6 of each ticket sold through the group will be donated to the local chapter. We have several members who belong to it so this is a good opportunity to support them. For more information you can go to www.MOPH12.org. I went last year and it was a blast sitting with an entire section of veterans. Tickets are priced $22 for the View Level i.e. third level probably behind 3rd base, and $37 for Main Level.
A motion was made that the Post consider moving the meeting away from the 3rd Tuesday of the month. The motion was tabled for now. The reason behind the motion is the American Legion meets on the 3rd Monday of the month and back to back meetings is somewhat painful. Almost the entire Legion is made up of VFW members. A straw poll was taken and it was very one sided in favor of changing the meeting night. This change has to be approved by the membership and no one wanted a snap decision on the change so it will be discussed in length at the next Staff meeting and Post meeting. If you have comments, please let them be known.
Our Post raised $13,620 (and still counting as a few additional contributions are received) in the two days we braved some slightly cooler weather at four different locations. A few of our Comrades had to pull 2 all day shifts to cover for some no-shows and folks showing up at the wrong location. Some other folks, like Barry Fitzgerald, just showed up and helped out and for that we owe him and the others a big thanks.
These Buddy Poppy fund raisers are the source of funds we give to various individuals and entities that our Relief Fund Committee deems worthy. They do a good job of going through and insuring that our donations are being properly used for their intended purposes. With a few more volunteers we could lighten the work load of the same group of individuals that show up rain or shine. With an additional group of volunteers, we could add a store which would be adding $1,500 to $4,000 to the total. We do a lot of good with the funds we raise, but we could do more if we had more. Some worthy cause is always left out due to lack of funds.
In addition to collecting for our Relief Fund, we also are recruiting new members for VFW. Each table has applications and recruiting brochures and we need to make it known that VFW is a welcoming organization for new members.
We will have a table at the Fourth of July fireworks this year. We only need a couple of volunteers and I would like to see a couple of new faces handing out Poppies and raising awareness of VFW in Edmonds. This should only take a few hours and you’ll be the beneficiary of a great fireworks show. Please let Bob Crawford, our Poppy chair, know if you are interested.
Finally, our next major Buddy Poppy fund raiser will be November 6th and 7th. That should be sufficient warning to get it on your calendar.
I’ll get on my soap box for a bit. At the store where I handed out Buddy Poppies, there was a sign on the door saying wine was on sale in memory of heroes. Huh? Now I like that store and they treat VFW very well allowing us to hand out Poppies twice a year at two of their locations. However, I puzzled over that sign for two days. Somehow, Memorial Day has simply become a BBQ day for far too many Americans. My XO from Vietnam, Lt. M, and I still exchange emails now and then. Typically, it is Veterans Day, 4th of July, Memorial Day, or a day in December that no one would pay any particular attention to other than those who were there, On that particular day in 1968, we lost a number of our mutual friends. So when Lt. M sends me an email saying he hopes my Memorial Day was OK, I know exactly what he is talking about and it is not about the wine on sale or the BBQ. We all have those particular days that pass and we stop and think about an event that happened on that day many years ago and, in doing so, we keep alive those who have gone before us. Memorial Day is the day that combines all those “particular days” and when the Lt. and I are long gone and no one thinks twice about that day in December 1968, hopefully those attending some future Memorial Day ceremony will think about those young men, not in the abstract, but as individuals who gave the rest of their lives in defense of our Country.