THE JULY MEETING LOCATION IS MOVED

Hopefully, everyone will get the word that we will not be holding our meeting at the Senior Center on July 11th. That facility will be having renovations to its HVAC system and will not be open to the public.   American Legion Post 66 has extended an invitation to us to hold our meeting at their Post home on 117 6th Ave. S. For those of you who not familiar with Edmonds, That is a block up the hill from the “fountain”, take a right and the building is on the left. A couple of key landmarks, a sign that is about 15 feet long on the lawn say Frank Freese Post 66 and a flag pole flying the US and POW/MIA flags. Hopefully, most of you can find it. We will be serving lunch—either subs or pizza.

 
 

4th of July Parade

Believe it or not, the 4th of July is here again. As in the past, we will be forming up at 6th and Main at 1130 hours and stepping off at 1200. For those of you who haven’t attended the parade, if you wish to park anywhere close to the rally point, you’ll need to be there by 1030 at the latest. We will have the American Legion Hall open so you can have a seat there if you arrive early. This year we will have 4 Jeeps (hopefully) and 3 Humvees so there should be room for all those who wish to ride. The route is .9 miles so a lot of us will walk. Unlike prior years, our annual picnic will be the following day, July 5th. We found that it was too difficult to navigate across town when 10,000 people were leaving at the same time. For those of you who haven’t participated in the past, I would urge you to do so, The crowd loves the veterans and we love the crowd. Be sure to bring your cover.

 
 

5th of July Picnic

For most of you, all you have to do is show up with an appetite at the Edmonds City Park at noon on the 5th of July. The American Legion and VFW are hosting our annual picnic and we have reserved a large shelter (#2) should the weather be on the dicey side. We have a number of Comrades picking up the necessary food and drinks and there are enough hot dogs and hamburgers to feed a crowd. Your family is welcome as are any veterans you may wish to invite. The easiest access is to turn into the park on the south entrance off of 3rd Ave. S. The road in the park will lead you directly to our shelter.

 
 

Volunteers Needed

We are going to be handing out Buddy Poppies at the 4th of July Fireworks at the Civic Playfield. We need 4 volunteers (2 at each table) for a couple of hours of volunteer time. If you were one of those who didn’t participate on Memorial Day weekend, here’s your chance to help out the Relief Fund.

 
 

Aquasox Game

District 1 is organizing a VFW outing to the Aquasox Game on August 16th. The District has reserved 65 seats (all together) for VFW Night. The cost is $10 per ticket. Following the game will be a fireworks show. Bring your spouses and enjoy the camaraderie of members from the other 7 Posts in District 1. One of the best fringe benefits of being a Past District Commander was meeting and getting to know really excellent folks from all over Snohomish County. This is a good opportunity for you to meet them as well. We need a head count so I will pass around a signup sheet at the July meeting. Since District will need to buy the tickets prior to our August meeting, please bring cash for the tickets. We will distribute the tickets at our August meeting or leave them at Will Call.

 
 

VFW Stuff—Bugs on Collars

0714_bugs-on-collarsWe don’t have any members of the Military Order of the Cootie in our Post, but for those of you attending District or Department meetings you may have noticed a bug on the back collar of some of the VFW comrades in attendance there. Hopefully, no one swatted it since that may have caused injury to a member of that Order. The Cooties are a Veterans Service Organization dedicated to having fun while entertaining troops and veterans confined to hospitals and VA rehabilitation facilities around the country. The best I can describe them, they are to VFW what the Shriners Clowns are to the Shriners. They do great work. For more information go to http://www.lotcs.org/ Oh, by the way, the bug on the collar is their membership pin.

 
 

Department Convention—Yakima

District 1 had a great representation at the Department Convention and Post 8870’s Commander, Jim Blossey, represented our Post. Unlike our Post elections, Department positions are sought after and there were several elections which were hotly contested. We received a number of awards and they will be added to our Virtual Award Wall on the Post’s website. The downside of the convention, there is 2 days worth of material and 3 days scheduled to cover it.

 
 

Profile of Comrade Warren Eddy by Fred Apgar

Comrade Warren Eddy

Warren began the war serving with the Coastal Defense National Guard which became a regular army unit following Pearl Harbor. While serving with the Regiment, Warren was selected to attend Officer Candidate School at a base in North Carolina. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in November of 1942. He was assigned to an automatic weapons battalion that was composed of 40 MM Bofers, fast firing anti-aircraft guns, and half-tracks with four .50 caliber machine guns. In addition to the half-tracks, the battalion, which was composed of 800 + men and officers, had numerous trucks and jeeps and was a completely mobile unit. Warren’s battalion boarded ships on the east coast for the two week cruise to England. Once they landed in Liverpool, the battalion was sent to Aintree Racecourse where they lived and trained. Warren’s battalion was attached to the 29th Infantry Division, and once their weapons and vehicles arrived, they trained on the Moors in South Devon, practicing beach landings. On D-Day -1, Warren’s battalion made their way to the docks. His battalion was back loaded onto LST’s; Omaha Beach was their destination. On the morning of June 6, 1944, the armada of all sorts of naval vessels departed the shores of England. The battalion would wait on the LST’s for three days until a road leading from the beach had been cleared. On D-Day + 4, Warren’s automatic weapons battalion dry-landed on the beaches of Normandy, and immediately made their way inland. On the way, his battalion suffered casualties from sniper fire and land mines. When his unit’s Executive Officer was killed, Warren was given a battlefield promotion to First Lieutenant and became second in command of his unit. While their mission was that of air defense, one of the commanding generals on the scene took advantage of the battalion’s fast firing guns to provide ground support for the infantry troops who were engaging the enemy in the infamous hedgerows of Normandy. During the day, Warren’s unit moved from field to field, clearing hedgerows and battling the Germans for control of the inland. At night, they slept in foxholes. On one occasion, Warren was ordered to reconnoiter a road in an effort to assess the enemy’s location and strength. He and two other troops proceeded down a road into a German controlled area when they were subjected to heavy mortar and machine gun fire. They fought their way out of the ambush, safely returned to their unit, and provided information regarding the enemy presence. For his action, Warren was awarded a Bronze Star with a “V” device for Valor. Approximately six weeks after landing in Normandy, the Allied forces were able to seize total control of Normandy and begin its break out. In August of 1944, Warren participated in the liberation of Paris, and the 60 vehicles in his battalion transported U.S. troops through the streets of Paris to the wild cheering of the newly liberated Parisians. Warren’s battalion was ordered to Holland for air defense duty, which was short lived when they were then ordered to support Allied efforts during the Battle of the Bulge. After reaching the Elbe River in Germany, all units were ordered to stop and let the Russians meet them there. While waiting, they were informed about a German POW camp filled with Americans. Control of the camp had been seized by the Russians, and Warren’s unit organized a convoy of 60 vehicles to free the prisoners. With the assistance of an Army Lt. Col. from Headquarters, who had maps of the area, the battalion successfully rescued the prisoners. After the war ended, Warren performed occupation duty for six small villages near Frankfurt. When he returned home, he was discharged from the Army, but remained in the Army Reserve from which he retired as a Major.

He is the Past Commander of American Legion Post #43 in Hollywood, California and a Life Member of VFW Post #8870 in Edmonds.

 

This article is one in a recurring series of profiles that recognize the courageous contributions made by members of VFW Post #8870.
Fred Apgar is the Past Commander of Post #8870

 
 

New Member Profiles

New Member Mike Denton

Mike Denton

Mike grew up in Spokane and Edmonds. He served active duty with the Navy 1962 -64. He was a Radioman aboard the USS Castor (AKS-1) in the Taiwan Straits, Quemoy-Matsu and Vietnam. As a reservist, he served on the USS Whitehurst DE634 1964-65. Mike attended Shoreline Community College and has a business degree from the University of Washington. He is retired from a career in advertising. He and Linda have two sons and reside in Edmonds.

 

0714_Benton-Webb

Benton Webb

Benton was born in Lafayette, TN and enlisted in the Navy in Nashville in 1943. He served in the Pacific Theatre, Solomon Islands. He was with the 152nd Landing Craft Repair Unit (LCRU) as a 1st Class Ships Cook 1943-45. He returned to Norfolk, VA Naval Base in July, 1945 and got married. He and Mary Eliza-beth were in New York City Times Square for the VJ Day celebration. They were married for 65 years. He was a member of VFW Post 3694 in Seattle after the war and served as the Post Athletic Director. Benton is a retired baker and served as a General Manager for Hansen Bakery and Best Pie. He resides in Bothell.

 
 

Supporting Combat Veterans International Fishing Trip for Wounded Warriors

Comrade Don Stay brought to our attention that the Combat Veterans Group International hosts a 3 day fishing trip for 4-6 wounded, ill, or injured Warriors. They raise funds by selling a very cool T shirt with all proceeds going to pay for the trip. If you are interested in supporting the group, you can contact the CVI Chapter 11 at PO Box 73, Port Hadlock, WA 98339 or call Don (not Stapleton) at 360-301-1774. The shirts are $20 M-XL or $25 for XX. CVI is a 501c3 organization.

 
 

No Memorial Ceremony for July

Be advised, there will not be a Memorial Ceremony in July at the Edmonds Cemetery. The National Guard troops who would normally preform the service will be not be available.

 
 

Ken Chaplin in Failing Health

We received word from Ken’s son that he is in failing health. Ken is a long-time member of our Post. Please keep Ken and his family in your prayers.

 
 

Commanders Column By Jim Blossey

It is a genuine privilege to have been chosen to be your Commander. I thank you all for your support and ask for your continued efforts as we move forward.

I am more fortunate than most incoming Commanders in that I have two exceptional predecessors to guide me and—where need be—correct me: Fred Apgar and Jim Traner. What a comfort it is to know that I can fall back on the knowledge and wisdom of these two models of effective leadership. Comrade Commanders, your example has been extraordinary and has definitely set a high standard for the future.

I am also greatly encouraged to see the dedication and experience of the active membership of VFW Post 8870. You members are the ones that have made this post one of the best in the district, if not the state. No other post even comes close to generating the amount of revenue that we do from the distribution of Buddy Poppies.

More revenue means that we can do much more through our Relief Fund. As one of four members of your relief committee, I have been perhaps more closely informed about the various causes that we support. We have taken the job seriously, researching each organization in depth and not committing even one cent until we are fully convinced that doing so is the best use of our funds. I plan to stay on with the Relief Committee and will continue to exercise close fiduciary responsibility.

The motto of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is “No One Does More for Veterans.” At Post 8870 our relief efforts reflect that, either in direct veteran support, or in support of current active duty military or of local youth.Besides financial support, each year the VFW as a whole donates more than 13 million volunteer hours of community service. Post 8870 continues to carry more than our share of those hours. From a personal point of view I am proud and honored to be a part of such an organization. So as your new Commander, what could possibly improve on such a record? Actually, I have two items on my agenda; they will be the topic of my column next month. Stay tuned.

 
 
 
 

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